Japan: A Curated Guide

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About This Guide

24,000 words; 100 original photographs; 1 opinionated writer – welcome to Abraham's curated guide to visiting Japan!

There are thousands of websites about visiting Japan: some good, some bad; some accurate, some not. The quantity of information is overwhelming, and the advice is hit-or-miss.

That's why you need this guide. I tell you exactly what to do, and when; where to go, and how – and also, what not to do; which sights are skippable; how to manage your time effectively.  Follow my suggestions, and I promise you, you will have an enjoyable and rewarding vacation.

This is not a copy-and-paste guide. The content is unique, and every single recommendation is drawn from my personal experience. I spent many years living in Japan, and have visited many times since then; this guide is the result!

What’s Included

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • Detailed daily itineraries and scheduling notes to ensure you use your time in Japan well: 14 comprehensive daily plans for a 2-week trip, plus 8 bonus plans for you to explore.
  • Rich and in-depth descriptions for all the places you should visit: 20 Tokyo neighbourhoods and teasers for 16 more; 15 Kyoto attractions and 12 bonus sights in Kyoto; 4 short trips from Tokyo, 3 Kyoto excursions, and 6 more destinations in Honshu.
  • Hundreds of insider suggestions to make your journey extra enjoyable, based on my many years of living in and visiting Japan.
  • Dozens of specific personal recommendations for attractions, activities, restaurants and shops.
  • Over a hundred original photographs, to show you the beauty and vibrancy of Japan.
  • Digressions on Japan’s history, culture, society and more; ideas for what to read and watch, eat and drink, experience and enjoy.

Here are some free sample pages for you to check out!

Who This Guide Is For

Anyone going to Japan, for the first time or the fifth, who wants to:

  • Make the best possible use of their time, money and attention
  • See all the key sights while avoiding large crowds and long waits
  • Explore less famous but equally rewarding attractions
  • Immerse themselves in Japanese history & culture, art & architecture, design & technology
  • Enjoy the best of Japan's food & drink, shopping & souvenirs, experiences & adventures

A Flavour of Japan

Here are just a few of the topics I cover:

  • Dozens of destinations: lots of Tokyo and Kyoto, but also Kanazawa, Nikko, Mitake, Hakone, Kamakura, Osaka, Koya-san, Nara, Okayama, Naoshima, Matsumoto and many more wonderful places to visit.
  • All about transport: JR passes, IC cards, reservations at the green window, subway networks, local transport, airport transfers, coin lockers, connections and more.
  • All about accommodation: minshuku, ryokan, inns and hostels, Airbnbs and hotels.
  • Practical logistics: SIM cards, convenience stores and vending machines, language and translation, safety and security, beating the crowds.
  • Japan's many cuisines, how to dine well in Japan, restaurant tips and etiquette, Japan for vegetarians.
  • Shopping in Japan: fabric town, book town, kitchen town, electric town. How to buy a Japanese knife. The best places for souvenirs, arts & crafts, foodstuffs and much more.
  • Unique experiences: a fire ceremony in Monzen-nakacho, dining on a river-top platform in Kibune, sulphur eggs in Hakone, beaches and bamboo groves and the Buddha at Kamakura, night walks in Fushimi.
  • What to buy in Kappabashi, where to eat in Tsukiji, how to get lost in Shinjuku, when to meditate at Ryoanji – and so much more!

About The Author

Hi, I'm Abraham. I lived and worked in Japan for many years, during which time I travelled extensively all over the country. And I’ve visited Japan a dozen or so times after I moved away.

This guide is the distillation of all I've learned over more than 25 years as a resident, business visitor, and tourist. I did the hard work so you don't have to!

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Japan: A Curated Guide

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