Japan Highlights


Would love some advice on what kind of shoes I should take. Also if I would be right with casual clothes or if I might need a nice dress for one night or something. Please and thank you :slightly_smiling_face::blush:


As always, That depends on when you are going. As far as shoes, the general rule is good supportive shoes. You will do a lot of walking. According to my step tracker I walked 219.6 km or 136.5 miles during my trip. So, yeah good shoes. An extra note for Japan. If the shoes can easily slip on and off that would help. In Japan, you often take off you shoes. This includes inside of restaurants and some shops. I had a pair of sketchers walking shoes that slid off and on, and they worked well. And general rules for clothes. Layers help. But also you want to be able to pack light, you will be dragging your suit case (I actually recommend a backpack) all over subway and train stations. These stations don’t always have covenant elevators or escalators, and are crowded. So, the less you pack the better. You will have options to wash clothes at different locations. So, clothes that don’t require too much care are best. Stuff that doesn’t wrinkle easily and such. Also, as a general safety tip for travel,(even though Japan is one of the safest places to visit) Don’t were clothes with big name brand logos or that look too expensive, same for jewelry and accessories. You will want at lest one nicer out fit, a dress for nights out. The last night in particular. If you would like some more specific info, let me know when you plan to be there and I will try to help.


Your looking at about half a day. You will leave Takayama that morning and be in Kyoto by afternoon. All train hopping. It’s a shorter trip then you will Take from Tokyo to Takayama. You should be able to plan something for your birthday night if that’s what you are hoping for. :slight_smile:


If you have already traveled sorry I didn’t see it earlier. Your options for this are many. You can rent sim cards or mobile phones. I don’t know where you are located, but I used my own phone with an international package from my US mobile phone carrier. But in addition to that I rented a puparu. It’s a portable WiFi device. It is easy to use and set up and worked great. I kept mine in my day-pack inside a Ziploc bag (I was in Japan in the rainy season, so the bag was necessary. lol)
Hope this helps.


Thanks for letting me know. That’s a huge shame. We booked the trip as my birthday is on Good Friday in Australia and I didn’t want my 30th to be doing nothing. Oh well, as I said, good to know :slight_smile: Thanks for the heads up!


Hi Kateliz!
I just want to say thanks for answering all these questions with so much depth. I have been keen on this tour for a while, and you seem to be the only one answering any questions. I love logging on, and seeing all the new things you recommend for this tour :blush: It’s been very helpful with my planning. Thanks again :v:


Yes, thanks so much Kateliz474, such great insightful tips and info, very helpful! I head off in five weeks and you’ve definitely helped make up my mind about taking a backpack and packing light!


I’m so excited for you! I know you are going to love your trip to Japan. I really don’t think you will regret packing light. So, here is another tip or two about light travel. You are going to buy stuff…you will. As well as having other things you will want to take home with you. I wound up being able to bring all of my omiyage (souvenirs for other people back home) back home in my day-pack. I bought mostly small or easily pack able items. But if you want to buy some larger items or do a lot of shopping, there are a couple of ways to get your stuff back home. One of my friends bough an inexpensive suitcase and checked that on his way home. The other option is what my Japanese teacher does. Ship stuff home. It may be cheaper than a checked bag fee. My sensi ships her dirty clothes home as apposed to the souvenirs. But it’s up to you what you want to ship. The Japanese postal service is very reliable, but I would check on customs fees and regulations for my home country first. While on the topic of shopping, there are two great places I found. One is very well known the other not so much. In Asakusa Tokyo, the street leading up to the temple is a famous place to buy souvenirs and gifts. It’s going to be one of the best places in Tokyo to buy this kind of thing, that goes for price, quality, and variety. The other place was in Takayama. If you want to buy a Kimono or Yukata, there is a great place for that. If you go to the coin laundry in Takayama, as you walk down the hill pay attention to the houses. One house sales Kimono and Yukata, as well as obi and such. We think they were probable used, but they were in amazing condition. Similar items would cost you double in Kyoto and triple back here in the US. And they are authentic as apposed to the stuff made for tourist. Hope some of this helps, and I hope you enjoy the trip!


Can anyone please tell me how strict they are with luggage sizes? I know they are rather lenient with smaller groups but my travel partner is really worried that they won’t let us take our suitcases :cold_sweat:


Thinking of booking this trip for October, What are the hotels like? Ive done a topdeck trip before and they have all been great so hoping for more of the same. How hard was it to get from Tokyo airport to the hotel?


Hi Katieliz, I noticed you went during the wet season, and I was wondering just how wet it actually is. Was it light showers or, really coming down? The wether forecast for June says it’s still quite warm, so I’m assuming it’s more like tropical wether. I think I’d prefer to go in June or July, as its off peak season. I’m from a tropical town, where it’s quite hot and humid, so I don’t have a lot of winter clothes. Should I invest in some if I decide to go in June? Or was it just lightly cold… Thanks :+1:


It didn’t rain all day long. Rainy season in Japan is more like it’s guarantied to rain at some point of in the day for the most part. One day in Tokyo it did rain all day and it was heavy rain fall. Some of our group opted to go back that day because they were uncomfortable. But most of us trudged on. lol However, due to humidity it’s not really cool. When the rain was actually falling then it was a little cooler, but often you were just sticky later. I wore mostly short sleeve T-shirts and shorts or jeans. I tend to get hot easily so I was quite warm a few times. I had packed a light rain jacket, but with the humidity it was too much. So, I bought an umbrella at the 7-11. I’m use to warm weather (I’m from the Southeastern US, 32+ c or 90+ f in the summer is standard.) I don’t remember getting cold, but I do remember being hot and muggy. I think you will do fine without winter gear. A light Jacket and jeans should do fine, or something like that should be okay. If you get cold easy, then maybe check the forecast a couple of weeks before hand. I know that July is hotter and more humid. In Tokyo in particular it can be bad.

Hope this helps,


The trip is a lot of train hopping. You will have to take your luggage yourself from place to place. This means taking it up and down two sometimes three or four flights of stairs in crowded subways and train stations that don’t always have elevators or escalators. Also, the rooms are small and don’t have a lot of spare space. Do yourself a favor. Leave the big suitcases at home. Take a backpack or smaller suitcase and bring less stuff. You will have the ability to wash your clothes at coin laundries. Trust me on this one.



The last tour I went on was through the States, and my luggage was larger then the recommended, and no one noticed. All of our travel was on a bus, so I thought maybe it would get measured, otherwise not all the luggage would fit, but we were fine! This tour I can’t imagine a larger suitcase would be a problem, as all the travel is through trains. But I think you should really take Katieliz advice into consideration and try packing lighter if possible. It sounded quite difficult trying to get through the crowds with a huge suitcase.


I know I’m late to this conversation… but here is hoping! I’m taking this tour in November, and I was wondering about the included rail pass, as we’re trying to plan our free days! Is it the unlimited 14 day JR pass? I know they only have 7, 14 and 21 and the trip is 12 days.

Do any of the trains cost extra on top of the rail pass we get (for budget purpose).

Thanks :slight_smile:


The rail pass is included, however you don’t get it until a few days into the trip and it only covers took the end of the trip. You also get a icoca card thing, which you have to top up yourself. These are given back at the end of the trip


Hi everyone, I’ve been looking into this trip and have a few questions of my own before booking or getting too excited about going! So I will be travelling when I am 18 and will probably be going on my own so I was wondering from your experiences with this trip; will I be the only really young person/do other people travel on their own? Another question I have is that it was mentioned that you do a lot of walking, is it hard-core walking or just walkng the streets of the cities and such? Thanks heaps if you get this question and are able to answer!


Hey, I am planning on traveling on my own as well and only just turned 23. I think it’s a mix of ages since I’ve known a few people from 18-28 to go on these. With the walking I don’t think it will be to hard core but by the sounds of it it’s up to you on how much walking on most days!


Hi Bridie, i am also 18 and was worried about the exact same thing! But i have read that there are a wide spread of ages mostly early 20’s.


You can ask your travel agency. They have full knowledge about the country.