Cut & Paste Japan Trip Planning

Nov 4th, 2008 | By | Category: Regional Travel Resources

Nihon Sun Japan Mosaic Don’t lug around that heavy guidebook as you make your way around Japan.  Let’s be honest, many of the available guidebooks offer a lot of great information and can inspire you to do and see things that you may not have otherwise thought of and that’s a great thing.  But they also include a lot of information on places and sights that may not interest you at all and why would you want to carry all of that extraneous information around with you?

I am not suggesting that you throw away your guidebook – use it as a resource, along with others, to create yourself a personal “cut & paste” guidebook that is relevant to your interests and the goals that you have for your trip.  Start by going through your guidebook and highlighting or flagging items of interest – must see sights, restaurants, museums and potential accommodations.  That’s a great start but you aren’t finished yet – now it’s time to set aside your traditional guidebook and look to some other resources for information.

One often overlooked way to prepare for a trip to Japan, or anywhere else for that matter, is to read about it in advance of your trip.  But do yourself a favor and don’t limit yourself to travel articles and reviews – read about some of the events in Japan’s long history, read local newspapers and magazines, and even pick up a novel written by a Japanese author.  By reading about Japan you will gain a better understanding of this country and it’s people and your trip will be enhanced immeasurably.  You will notice and understand many little things that you might have otherwise overlooked and these little things will make for great travel memories.

Browse through the new, but constantly expanding Japan Reading Room or look through the Japan related books featured at The Nihon Sun to find some great Japan reading material and print, cut, paste, rip and tear out pages from some of the following resources (and your traditional guidebook) to create a highly personal and relevant “cut & paste” guidebook for YOUR trip to Japan.

The Nihon Sun Japan: A Closer Look series:

      Japan Tourism Websites

      • Read Traveling to Japan? Look Beyond The Usual to find links to tourism websites from the different regions of Japan.
      • Yokoso Japan! is Japan’s official tourism website.  Get travel planning tips and information about sightseeing destinations and the history and culture of Japan.

      Japan in Traditional Media

      Regional Magazines in Japan


      Work in Japan

      • WWOOF Japan – work exchange program in Japan. (Tip from Honor at Tokyotopia, an ever growing repository for all things Tokyo related)
      • JET Program – Teach English in Japan

      Blogs and Other Online Resources

      You probably will invest a fair amount of money to get yourself to Japan and it only makes sense to take some time and use a variety of resources to plan your perfect trip. Subscribe to The Nihon Sun and some of the resources above to create that one of a kind, personal, “cut & paste” guidebook to Japan – the investment in time will ensure a great return on the money you spent to get here.

      Can you suggest other Japan Trip planning resources?  Leave them in the comments and together we will create a comprehensive guide so everyone can make the most of their trip.

      Image Credit: Personal Collection

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      1. you mustn’t forget. at the end of the trip, you’ll have a perfect souvenir for the coffee table. your guidebook!

      2. that is a great post, it will help me a lot with my trip to Japan ^^

      3. Great post on Japan! A nice country!

      4. This is a great list of resources, and especially topical as I am planning a trip to Japan at the moment.

        I totally agree with the idea of looking beyond the guidebook to get a better idea about the culture you are visiting. It’s so easy to forget about it until the last minute, and then just dive into your guidebook on the plane. But you’re right that you can get much more out of the trip with some background.

      5. Me again… if you plan to travel by train the Japan Rail site is useful for timetables and where to buy a Japan Rail pass in your country (you can only buy them outside Japan)

        the timetables probably won’t be the most interesting part of your souvenir guidebook though…

      6. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment.

        Japan rail is a great site for trip planning and transportation is in the works as a future post so stay tuned.

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