Kyoto, Japan
The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes
The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Okinawa, Japan
Ryukyu Dances: Centuries old. In No Hurry.
The Ryukyu kingdom prospered until the XNUMXth century as a trading post for the China and Japan. From the cultural aesthetics developed by its courtly aristocracy, several styles of slow dance were counted.
Miyajima, Japan
Shintoism and Buddhism with the Tide
Visitors to the Tori of Itsukushima admire one of the three most revered scenery in Japan. On the island of Miyajima, Japanese religiosity blends with Nature and is renewed with the flow of the Seto Inland Sea.
Iriomote, Japan
The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote
Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Nikko, Japan
The Tokugawa Shogun Final Procession
In 1600, Ieyasu Tokugawa inaugurated a shogunate that united Japan for 250 years. In her honor, Nikko re-enacts the general's medieval relocation to Toshogu's grandiose mausoleum every year.
Nara, Japan
The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism
Nara has long since ceased to be the capital and its Todai-ji temple has been demoted. But the Great Hall remains the largest ancient wooden building in the world. And it houses the greatest bronze Vairocana Buddha.
Takayama, Japan
From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida
In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Okinawa, Japan
The Little Empire of the Sun
Risen from the devastation caused by World War II, Okinawa has regained the heritage of its secular Ryukyu civilization. Today, this archipelago south of Kyushu is home to a Japan on the shore, anchored by a turquoise Pacific ocean and bathed in a peculiar Japanese tropicalism.
Kyoto, Japan
An Almost Lost Millennial Japan
Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
Ogimashi, Japan
A Village Faithful to the A
Ogimashi reveals a fascinating heritage of Japanese adaptability. Located in one of the most snowy places on Earth, this village has perfected houses with real anti-collapse structures.
Magome-Tsumago, Japan
Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan
In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.
The Beverage Machines Empire
There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Tokyo, Japan
Pachinko: The Video Addiction That Depresses Japan
It started as a toy, but the Japanese appetite for profit quickly turned pachinko into a national obsession. Today, there are 30 million Japanese surrendered to these alienating gaming machines.
Hiroshima, Japan
Hiroshima: a City Yielded to Peace
On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima succumbed to the explosion of the first atomic bomb used in war. 70 years later, the city fights for the memory of the tragedy and for nuclear weapons to be eradicated by 2020.
Tokyo, Japan
Disposable Purrs
Tokyo is the largest of the metropolises but, in its tiny apartments, there is no place for pets. Japanese entrepreneurs detected the gap and launched "catteries" in which the feline affections are paid by the hour.
Tokyo, Japan
The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness
In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
Tokyo, Japan
The Emperor Without Empire
After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo's fashion
In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Kyoto, Japan
A Combustible Faith
During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Ogimashi, Japan
An Historical-Virtual Japan
"Higurashi no Naku Koro never” was a highly successful Japanese animation and computer game series. In Ogimashi, Shirakawa-Go village, we live with a group of kigurumi of their characters.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Maiko during cultural show in Nara, Geisha, Nara, Japan
Kyoto, Japan

Survival: The Last Geisha Art

There have been almost 100 but times have changed and geishas are on the brink of extinction. Today, the few that remain are forced to give in to Japan's less subtle and elegant modernity.
Saphire Cabin, Purikura, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Japanese Style Passaport-Type Photography

In the late 80s, two Japanese multinationals already saw conventional photo booths as museum pieces. They turned them into revolutionary machines and Japan surrendered to the Purikura phenomenon.
Kongobuji Temple
Mount Koya, Japan

Halfway to Nirvana

According to some doctrines of Buddhism, it takes several lifetimes to attain enlightenment. The shingon branch claims that you can do it in one. From Mount Koya, it can be even easier.
Bride gets in car, traditional wedding, Meiji temple, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

A Matchmaking Sanctuary

Tokyo's Meiji Temple was erected to honor the deified spirits of one of the most influential couples in Japanese history. Over time, it specialized in celebrating traditional weddings.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Glass Bottom Boats, Kabira Bay, Ishigaki
Ishigaki, Japan

The Exotic Japanese Tropics

Ishigaki is one of the last islands in the stepping stone that stretches between Honshu and Taiwan. Ishigakijima is home to some of the most amazing beaches and coastal scenery in these parts of the Pacific Ocean. More and more Japanese who visit them enjoy them with little or no bathing.
Nigatsu Temple, Nara, Japan
Nara, Japan

Buddhism vs Modernism: The Double Face of Nara

In the 74th century AD Nara was the Japanese capital. During XNUMX years of this period, emperors erected temples and shrines in honor of the Budismo, the newly arrived religion from across the Sea of ​​Japan. Today, only these same monuments, secular spirituality and deer-filled parks protect the city from the inexorable encirclement of urbanity.
Nikko, Japan

Nikko, Toshogu: the Shrine and Mausoleum of the Tokugawa Shogun

A unavoidable historical and architectural treasure of Japan, Nikko's Toshogu Shrine honors the most important Japanese shogun, mentor of the Japanese nation: Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

Osaka's Urban-Jovial Japan

Japan's third most populous city and one of the oldest, Osaka doesn't waste too much time on formalities and ceremonies. The capital of the Kansai region is famous for its outgoing people always ready to celebrate life.


How to go


Portuguese citizens do not need a visa for tourist visits for up to 90 days. Brazilian citizens must apply for a visa at the nearest Japanese embassy.


Japan does not require visitors to have vaccinations or record-worthy procedures. As you will soon see, the Japanese have public and personal care almost obsessed with hygiene and health.

For more information on traveling health, see the Health Portal of the Ministry of Health and Tropical and Traveler Medicine Clinic. In FitForTravel find country-specific health and disease prevention advice (in English).


Fly to Tokyo, Kansai or Osaka with the TAP (tel.: 707 205 700) and the JAL, via Madrid or Barcelona from €800. 

The most important and convenient airports for traveling to Japan are:

Honshu Island: ​Narita (Tokyo), Kansai, near Osaka but serving the entire region including Kyoto. 

Other important international airports in Honshu are Nagoya, north of Osaka, Niigata and Sendai, in the north of Honshu island, south of Honshu is also served by Hiroshima. 

Hokkaido: Sapporo.

Kyushu: Fukuoka and Hiroshima. 

Okinawa Archipelago (in the sub-tropical zone of Japan) : Naha 

Must Do's

  • Hokkaido: Shiretoko National Park; Daisetsu-Zan National Park; icebreaker trip on the sea of ​​Okhotsk from Abashiri​; ski resorts; ​Akan National Park
  • Honshu: Tokyo; Mount Fuji; Nikko; Takayama and Shirakawa Go; Nagano; Koya San; Nara​; Kyoto, Osaka​; Hiroshima and Miyajima
  • Kyushu: Nagasaki; Kokura; Beppu, Fukuoka
  • Yakushima Island
  • Okinawa​; Ishigaki and Iriomote
  • Autumn Scenarios (except sub-tropical Japan)
  • Sumo Tournament
  • Cultural and religious festivals


Despite being formed by a group of main and other secondary islands and a large part of the country being occupied by mountains, super-technological Japan has developed an almost perfect transport network with prices in line with the quality.


The country is served by internal flights JAL (Japan Airlines), ANA (All Nippon Airways) to almost all major cities which are generally relatively high priced. The low-cost company skymark operates the cheapest flights to and from cities on all the islands of the Japanese archipelago

Japan Air Pass

There is also the Japan Airpass, from the ANA / Star Alliance company, which includes 5 internal flights at a discount and can be purchased by visitors arriving in Japan on an international flight ANA.


The most practical and economical way to travel in Japan is a combination of train and subway (in cities) which are almost always connected to the main airports. In addition to being sophisticated and even luxurious (it even has its own hostesses), the bullet train Shinkansen It is considered faster and more practical than the plane, for trips of less than 600 km, but it is also not exactly cheap and must be booked well in advance, especially during the Japanese holiday periods, when places are sold out in a short time.

There are 4 types of Shinkansen with different services and prices:

Kodama – stops at more stations

Hikari – stops only in major cities

Tsubame – serves the island of Kyushu

Nozomi – The fastest of all and also the most expensive

The most accessible rail journeys are those made by trains that are slower and stop more often. Except for the cases of smaller stations in less developed areas of the country, there are often elevators and escalators that avoid greater efforts with heavy luggage.

Japan Rail Pass

The national railway company JR (Japan Railways) has created a series of rail passes (7,14 or 21 days in 1st or 2nd class) with different characteristics that also include bus and ferry sections. These passes allow you to substantially reduce the cost of train travel and pass through stations without stopping to buy tickets. Just show the passes to employees on tourniquets. If you have bulky luggage, these employees will open a wider door to facilitate your passage. O JR Pass it is not valid on any metro system in the country.


Japan's largest metro systems are Tokyo, followed by Osaka. Many other cities have their own less comprehensive systems. In the main ones there are signs in English (or, at least, Latin alphabet), also in ticket machines. The organization of the line systems – usually by color – the maps of the stations and exits and the sophistication implemented by the companies that manage them allow most visitors to get away from it without major problems, almost without having to question the station employees. These only very rarely speak English.

Subway trips can be paid for with individual tickets or with electronic charging cards/chips read by turnstiles. There are almost always elevators and escalators that avoid greater efforts with heavy luggage.

Public transport systems interrupt their service around midnight or 1 am and resume at 5 am.


Hiring a car is justified just to visit the attractions in the rural or natural hinterland probably less traveled by train and buses.

The lowest price (eg for a Mazda Demi 1.3 petrol; 5 seats) is around €44 for 12 hours with insurance included. You must add to this expense between €22 to €45 of petrol per day depending on the kilometers you travel. Also note that most cars have automatic gears and right-hand drive. Driving is on the left.

All of this is complex at first, but once you've gotten used to it, driving in Japan is extremely easy and safe.


Long Distance Buses: The Japanese railway system is so extensive and functional that the need to resort to this solution is rare. In any case, the vehicles and service are little different from what exists in the West.

Urban buses: stations are almost always close to train stations and may have different payment systems including depositing coins in a box next to the driver when entering from the front. Or take tickets from a machine. In this case, there must be a number on the ticket, which must be compared with the one on the front panel, together with the number of the station at which you leave to determine the amount you must leave in the same type of box, next to the driver.

When to go

The best times to visit Japan are spring and autumn, when temperatures are milder. Early summer (May and June) brings heavy monsoon rains – tsuyu. The following months are pleasant on the mountain but very humid in the flat areas. Autumn has the added advantage of providing a fabulous reddish-yellow natural landscape that precedes leaf fall. From mid-December to March, it is most likely to find a snowy landscape with temperatures that can drop well below zero degrees, especially on the island of Hokkaido and in the higher altitude villages of the Japanese mountains.

Money and costs

The local currency is the Yen (JPY). You will find ATMs all over the country, until some time ago, only a few strategically placed at airports, train stations, metro and post offices allowed withdrawals with foreign credit cards, but this restriction has been decreasing over the years. Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world, even more so when the Yen enters periods of appreciation against most currencies. Expect to spend an absolute minimum of €80 per day, this staying in a capsule hotel or simple guest-house dormitory in the biggest cities, dining at the most popular restaurant chains like Yoshinoya – very famous among young foreign visitors – or shopping food in supermarkets. 

This value increases exponentially each time you have to fly, travel by train or ferry or pay admission to any attraction.


The most affordable stays are booked at backpacker guest houses and capsule hotels, costing from €30 per night per person. International Youth Hostels are usually very well equipped but relatively more expensive, on average €60 to €90 per person per night.


A half liter of water costs around €1. A full meal can cost between €8 for a ramen dish at the Yoshinoya chain and many hundreds of euros at the best Japanese restaurants. pre-cooked meals bento cheaper ones can be bought at supermarkets and convenience stores, but are usually impregnated with preservatives.


Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world when it comes to Internet access. You'll find it everywhere, in most situations, free and with great browsing speed. In big cities, many residents and business owners leave their supposedly private networks open and, as if that wasn't enough, the hotspots Free abound.

If you don't get free access, Internet cafes are a way of life in Japan. Some people even sleep in them in folding armchairs, with easy access to drinks and food served by machines. They can also read manga books or dedicate themselves to video games to pass the time. The cost of staying at these Internet Cafés is around €3 per hour. Some establishments run promotions to attract customers for the night time. 

Another solution is SIM cards with Internet access that can be obtained from any number of companies or other devices that ensure Wi-Fi wherever you go and, in Japan, you will find many more than conventional ones pens (USB sticks). Any communications store will have the most revolutionary technological solutions. The trickiest thing will be getting more in-depth explanations in English.