Your Quick Guide To Travelling to Japan in 2023

Your quick guide to travelling to Japan in 2023.

It's official — Japan is the top destination Singaporeans wish to travel to. And it's no wonder since we've been deprived of its umami goodness and vibrant culture for more than two years. 

But a lot can change in that time. If you're planning a trip and wondering what's new, here's a quick rundown of what you need to know! 

What COVID-19 regulations do I need to follow?

Like most countries, quarantine is no longer required for tourists to enter Japan (hooray!) All you need is a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate that shows you've had 3 doses of vaccine. 

Otherwise, you'll require a negative result of a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure. 

Pro-tip: To breeze through customs smoothly, submit all your documents beforehand at Visit Japan Web. Refer to the Embassy of Japan in Singapore's website for the latest regulation updates. 

What are some new places and events to check out?

1. Universal Studios Japan's (USJ) Super Nintendo World

Universal Studios Japan's Super Nintendo World
Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

 

Calling all Nintendo fans, pay homage to USJ's first Super Nintendo World, which opened in March 2021 in Osaka! With fun rides like Mario Kart and Yoshi's Adventure, as well as interactive mini-games and many other impressive instagrammable backdrops, this place is perfect for families with little ones and ardent fans of Mario. 

Get your tickets to USJ through Klook. If Super Nintendo World is crowded on the day of your visit, you may need an Area Timed Entry Ticker to enter, which you can get through the USJ mobile app

2. The Sapporo Snow Festival (4-11 Feb 2023)

Enjoy snow in Sapporo.
Photo by Denny Ryanto on Unsplash

 

The Sapporo Snow Festival is finally back for the first time in three years! World Heritage sites, manga, sports... You name it, this festival's got it in snow sculptures, making it an ideal event for the whole family. 

You can expect five gigantic snow sculptures and hundreds of brightly lit ones, some reaching up to a staggering 15 metres tall. 

Entering this winter wonderland is free of charge. You can start at Odori Park, which is a ten-minute walk from Sapporo JR Station. 

3. Miyashita Park

Foodies, shoppers and sports junkies, this one's for you! In 2020, this park was revamped to become the trendy shopping complex it is today. 

Not only does it offer many types of branded goods, souvenirs and streetwear, but it also has sports facilities like skating rinks, bouldering walls and a beach volleyball court. 

What's even better is that Shibuya Yokocho, a food alley full of restaurants and bars, is right below the shopping complex! Take a five-minute walk from Shibuya station to get there. 

4. Shibuya Sky

A view of the Shibuya sky. Photo by Weiqi Xiong on Unsplash.
View of the Shibuya sky. Photo via Unsplash.

 

If you'd like a breather, Shibuya Sky's just the place for you! Being the highest point of Shibuya, it offers a breathtaking 360° view of Tokyo. 

Plus, check out the interactive sky gallery that shows the city's view at different times, and unwind at the sofas, cloud hammocks or sky bar on its rooftop. 

Purchase your ticket at their website here

What kind of accommodation should I stay at?

1. Traditional Japanese-style inns

If you want something uniquely Japanese, why not stay at a ryokan or minshuku? You'd get to experience sleeping on a futon bed and staying in a room with a tatami floor. For a luxurious experience, ryokans provide dedicated service and outdoor onsen. However, if you'd fancy getting to know the locals, then minshukus, much like guesthouses, could be a better and more affordable option. 

One cool place to visit is Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan which was remodelled in March 2021. This ryokan is shrouded in the mountains and offers you your very own onsen. 

Stay at Japanese-style inns for that authentic experience
Stay at a Japanese-style inn for that authentic experience. Photo via Unsplash.

 

2. Western-style hotels

Prefer something more modern and in a central location? Western-style hotels would be right up your alley. 

Take The Hotel Higashiyama, which opened in Kyoto this year for example. Its rooms provide the familiar western-style bed, and its prime location and facilities, like the spa, are other huge pluses. 

3. Capsule hotels

Lastly, if you're a solo traveller or working with a tight budget, capsule hotels are a godsend. For a more affordable price, they provide accommodation, showers, and laundry facilities. 

Some even have libraries, like Book and Bed Tokyo, which houses a stunning library of over 4,000 English and Japanese books. 

How can I prepare for surprises?

There's one crucial step left before you're all set: getting travel insurance! After all, the last thing you want is surprises to ruin your carefully thought-out plans. 

Thankfully, TravelEasy covers many unexpected events, like flight delays (which are prone to happen in winter seasons), mishaps during adventurous activities like skiing, and losing your baggage (with up to $500 benefit per item). 

So don't forget this important step of preparation! Click here to protect your holiday plans with TravelEasy

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