Japan

Guide to Christmas at Universal Studios Japan

“NO LIMIT! Christmas” is a holiday event at Universal Studios Japan from mid-November through early January. The holiday festivities include a stage show, record-setting tree, decorations in Super Nintendo World, and more. This guide shares our tips for USJ’s winter entertainment, plus our experience and photos. Dates have not yet been set for Christmas 2023 […]

Kiyomizudera Temple Fall Foliage Evening Illumination

In autumn, vibrant fall colors are illuminated at Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto, Japan for a special night lighting. We’ve done the event multiple times, and share info, our experiences, and tips we’ve learned during visits to see the 1,000+ maple trees that form a veritable sea of red koyo along the temple’s hillside. (Updated November […]

When Will Japan Reopen for Individual Tourists?

When will Japan lift its travel ban and reopen for international individual travelers? Will borders open as normal in Fall 2022? These are questions among those planning trips to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc. We monitor foreign visitor advisories, news, and more for answers. (Updated October 1, 2022.) The good news is that we now have an […]

Japan Reopening to Individual Tourists: Rules & FAQ

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Japan will continue to reopen its border to foreign travelers. Starting on October 11, 2022, Japan will resume visa-free travel and accepting individual tourists. Japan will also lift the cap on daily arrivals, which is currently set at 50,000 per day. Kishida’s announcement was brief, and did not include any other details […]

Japan Reopening to Individual Tourists!

For nearly two years, we’ve been chronicling every update to Japan’s border closure in When Will Japan Reopen for Individual Tourists? We have great news: Japan will finally reopen to individual travel in October 2022! During a press conference in New York after his appearance at the U.N. (and before a speech at the New York Stock Exchange), Prime Minister […]

Unguided Tours to Japan – Reopening Phase Rules

Japan is further relaxing its border restrictions, including opening to “unguided tour groups” or “non-escorted visitors on package tours.” In this post, we’ll discuss the details of the latest reopening step, info about new guidelines for self-guided groups, and more. (Updated September 5, 2022.) In this latest step towards fully reopening, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio […]

Rules for Monitored Tour Groups in Japan

Japan’s tourism ministry has released guidelines for tourists and travel agencies that will run monitored tours as part of the country’s very limited resumption of group tourism. This post will cover the preposterous proposals, and offer commentary about what’s motivating these rules. First, basic background about the monitored tours that’ll begin on June 10, 2022 […]

Japan Reopening for Guided Tours

For over the past year, we’ve been chronicling every little update to Japan’s border closure in When Will Japan Reopen for Travel? Well, that’ll happen in June 2022…but with the colossal asterisk that Japan will only accept guided tour groups. It’s not quite time to retire that post, but this is technically a reopening to some degree. […]

10 Hidden Gem Kyoto Photography Spots

One of the dirty secrets of Kyoto photography is that the reality of what you’ll end up shooting is rarely the serene, uncrowded temples and peaceful landscapes you see in marketing photos. To the contrary, most images of Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kiyomizudera, Yasaka, and other locations are taken incredibly early in the morning […]

Guide to Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Sensoji Temple is one of the most popular free things to do in Tokyo, Japan. Due to it being one of the city’s most iconic and significant sites, Senso-ji can be very crowded. This info guide provides tips & tricks for visiting, a unique aerial view, and photos of Asakusa Kannon Temple. (Updated August 9, 2021.) If […]