India to Japan-Complete Travel Guide

Japan is on bucket list of many Indian tourists. Japan has unique culture, great technology prowess, landscape and experience not easily possible elsewhere. However, given the distance from India, higher flight ticket costs and higher cost of living in Japan, a trip to Japan needs proper planning to save as much as possible and optimize your itinerary to make the most of it in least possible amount.

This post offers one stop listing of all my blog posts related to Japan and helps you plan your visit to Osaka, Tokyo and nearby places. I had over a dozen different posts covering various aspects of traveling to Japan but since Google search shows only one or two results per domain, I was kind of forced to do one post which will serve as master post for Japan travel guide, providing links to all other posts and answers to key questions tourists visiting or planning a visit to Japan may have.

Quick Summary of my Japan Blog Posts
Before visiting Japan
(Planning tips)
Places to visit in Japan
(Detailed Reviews)
Places to Stay & Eat
Other useful Japan Blog posts
Flying to Japan- from airlineblog.in
(Airlines, cheap tickets, tips)
Similar destinations/Alternate options
Cheapest ticket I have seen: Rs 16400 Chennai-Osaka return on Air Asia sometime in 2017 during a sale.

Normal/low fare: Around 22000-24000 INR return (low cost airlines), 32-38k full service airlines (Srilankan, ANA).

60k+ is on the higher side, wait for better rates

Major airlines flying to Japan from India- Air Asia, Srilankan (Tokyo only), JAL and ANA, Singapore Airlines, Cathay
Coming soon
1) Bali Indonesia detailed Guide
2) Melaka, Malaysia detailed Guide
3) Macau travel guide
4) Brunei Travel Guide
5) Vietnam Travel Guide
6) Myanmar Travel Guide
7) Phuket Travel guide


India to Japan visit FAQs
1. How many days should I plan for Japan visit?
A: 7 days minimum to get a good feel of the country with at least 2-3 days in big cities like Tokyo, Osaka/Kyoto etc. 10-14 if possible, for a more leisurely, detailed exploration. More at your discretion.

2. What are the major attractions to visit/Things to do while in Japan?
Check this post for detailed answer. Quick answer: Don't miss bullet train experience, Mount Fuji, Shibuya Crossing, few major castles visit- Himeji, Osaka etc, Sumo fighting if possible, few unique experiences like Nara deer park, Nikko heritage site near Tokyo etc

3. How to get around in Japan?
Bullet train with JR Pass for most intercity commutes, trains as much as possible for within city commute. Buses & cabs if there's no train coverage.

4. How much should we budget for visiting Japan?
Japan is a relatively expensive country to visit.

Here's a rough estimate:
Air fare from India: Between INR 20000-50000 per person return (more than that, I would say avoid)
JR Pass: Around 18000 for a week per person
Stay- budget/capsule hotels: Around INR 1500 per person per night
Stay- mid range hotels: Around INR 4000-5000 per room per night
Meals: One proper meals will cost around 1500-2000 Yen or 1000-1200 rupees
Local activities, transport, entry fees: Factor 2000 Rs per person per day, can be done for less also
Visa: Approx 600 Rs+ Agency fees if applicable

This sums up to approx 70000 per person per week to 1.2 lakh INR depending on how well you manage your flight ticket and how luxurious you want your stay to be. Not buying JR Pass, staying with friends if possible, managing with cheaper food etc are an option that could save you a bit but with their own pros and cons.

I've done a 6 day trip to Japan in 2016 for about 77000 INR, but this was with cheap capsule hostel stay, 20000 return ticket on airasia and other cost cutting measures. But I did buy JR Pass, managed to explore lots of things From Osaka to Hiroshima to Tokyo to Kyoto.

5. Best time to visit Japan
Japan can be visited year around. Peak winter can be possibly avoiding, unless you'd like to try skiing.

Cherry blossom is a popular time to visit Japan- season varies each year.
Fiji mountain trekking is also open during select months only

2020 Olympics season in Japan can also possibly be avoided if you're going as tourist- as all hotels will be booked and everything will be crowded and expensive.

6. Where to plan our stay in Japan/Which city to Book flight to?
Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Tokyo (Haneda and Narita) are two major gateways to Japan. You can enter via Osaka, return via Tokyo- it will eliminate the need to go back to Osaka just for return flight.

Some airlines also fly to less popular airports- Fukuoka, Sapporo etc- if flights are cheap or it suits your itinerary you can fly in or out of these airports too.

Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka are three major cities you can possibly book hotels and plan to explore nearby places. But if you can plan well, you can stay in less popular cities- it will be cheaper

7. Things to keep in mind/special tips for visiting Japan
- Japan is very particular about timing. If you've committed to meet someone at a given time, don't be late.
- JR Pass need to be bought before visiting Japan. Make a decision before your trip

8. Availability of Indian vegetarian food in Japan
There're several Indian restaurants and veg places in major cities, so managing at least one veg meal per day won't be a problem.

I managed with coffee, bun, banana and apple when I couldn't get proper veg food. Use HappyCow app to locate veg restaurants near you.

9. Extending your trip from Japan
If you have more time, you can extend your trip to other countries nearby- South Korea or China.

Coming up- Similar guide posts for other destinations.
Booking.com

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