Interview with Thierry Maincent, the chairman of Japan expertise

We’ve all heard the information: Japan has lastly reopened its borders to the world. Within the wake of this announcement, how does the tourism scenario look in Japan and what ought to we count on for 2023?

The scenario appears to be like nice! Demand has been vital, regardless of the excessive costs of air journey. It’s not at pre-pandemic ranges simply but, however that is to be anticipated – folks are inclined to plan forward relating to touring overseas. Almost definitely, the variety of vacationers will proceed to extend because the yr goes on, and I count on the same old peaks throughout the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) and koyo (autumn leaf viewing) seasons. In any case, the folks’s love for Japan hasn’t light in any respect with the wait. If something, it has precipitated them to lengthy for the nation much more.

With journey situations being very a lot the identical as earlier than the pandemic, now’s the right time to go to Japan!

What’s your favourite time for touring to Japan
I’d personally say spring, extra exactly the second half of Might. Not solely is the climate nice, you’re additionally avoiding the crowds of vacationers that come to see the blooming cherry flowers. The times are longer too: even at 7:30 PM, the solar continues to be out.

Relying on what you’re on the lookout for, the opposite three seasons every have their very own allure. Outside fans, as an example, will love summer time, relishing within the alternative to go to Hokkaido’s nationwide parks or the Japanese Alps. Those that take pleasure in milder temperatures will respect autumn, particularly with the attractive sight of red-orange bushes. And Japan’s winters are very underrated. Regardless of the snow, the air is pleasantly dry, and the skies clear and sunny. The various festivals and celebrations which can be held at the moment additionally assist brighten up the times!

Irrespective of which selection you make, although, it’s greatest to keep away from Japan’s nationwide holidays – that’s to say, Shogatsu (the Japanese New Yr), Obon (round July or August) and Golden Week (from April 29 to Might 5). The key sightseeing spots get very crowded, stuffed with locals having fun with their trip.

If a vacationer does resolve to journey at these moments, are there any hidden gems you possibly can suggest
In case you’re touring to Japan for the basic cherry blossom viewing, attempt strolling via the Kamo river banks on a weekday morning. With virtually nobody in sight, you’ll respect the magical sight of the pink bushes all of the extra.

For untouched pure landscapes, head south of Kyushu, to the island of Yakushima, residence to probably the most stunning major forest of Japan. A number of the bushes are greater than 1,000 years previous! Most of the smaller islands are additionally a pleasure to go to, particularly these within the Seto Inland Sea. As an example, Ogijima could be very paying homage to an previous fishing village.

And in case you’re feeling adventurous, you possibly can attempt your hand at climbing to the temple of Ikumo. What awaits on the prime of Mount Engyo is the breathtaking sight of Mount Hakusan and the Sea of Japan. The few individuals who handle to succeed in it can discover themselves warmly welcomed and housed by the meditating monks.

Many individuals are already planning their journey. Are there any cultural variations they need to concentrate on earlier than touring?

The Japanese enormously worth politeness and discretion, and most of the cultural variations vacationers will encounter hinge on these values. As folks will hardly ever get indignant even when offended, one of the simplest ways to study native customs is to watch and imitate. Listed here are a couple of pointers that may assist.

First, guidelines and legal guidelines are strictly adopted in Japan. You received’t discover anybody ignoring pedestrian indicators, even when no vehicles are in sight. Nor will you discover anybody smoking within the streets: particular areas are designated for this goal.

A store proprietor placing their arms within the form of an X means they’re denying entry to you. Don’t take it personally – it’s possible that they contemplate their English inadequate to correctly welcome you. When you have tattoos, although, it will probably assist to put on masking clothes, as uncovered tattoos are related to the Japanese mafia, the yakuza. Keep away from leaving ideas; that is thought of insulting in Japanese tradition.

Littering the streets is frowned upon. Since there aren’t many trash cans within the streets, bringing a small bag in your trash is a good suggestion. Likewise, keep away from consuming your meals on the streets.

Japanese politeness additionally extends to public transportation of every kind. Keep away from speaking loudly or making cellphone calls, and permit passengers to disembark earlier than boarding a prepare.

What about journey necessities
A lot of the journey restrictions that had been in pressure throughout the pandemic have been relaxed. Visa waivers have been reinstated for 68 international locations, together with the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and EU. Vacationers with no less than three COVID pictures are now not required to take a PCR take a look at; these with much less will nonetheless have to current a take a look at consequence obtained inside 72 hours of their departure. You too can save numerous time at border management by pre-registering on the Go to Japan Net service. Final however not least, in case your bank card doesn’t embrace medical insurance that covers medical bills and hospitalization, I strongly urge you to use for a third-party medical insurance.

Do you’ve got any good offers for vacationers on a price range
I contemplate the prepare to be one of the simplest ways to get round Japan. With the Shinkansen bullet trains, you possibly can journey from one finish of the nation to the opposite in only a few hours, and with the common trains, you possibly can simply attain extra distant places whereas having fun with nice panoramic views! These two sorts of trains create a dense community that successfully covers the nation.

Prepare fares shortly add up, although, so in case you suppose you’ll be taking the prepare loads, I like to recommend the Japan Rail Go, which permits for limitless journey on most trains for 1, 2 or 3 weeks. Or, in case you’ll be doing the majority of your sightseeing in a single explicit area, you can look into the Regional Passes. A few of them even present different benefits: the Hakone Free Go, as an example, provides reductions on vacationer points of interest within the space it covers. Japan Rail Go holders may straight board trains with out stopping by the Ticket Workplace, making their journey extra versatile.

Teams of greater than 3 folks also needs to contemplate renting a home. Not solely will the expertise be extra genuine, it’ll even be cheaper than reserving separate resort rooms, particularly in costly cities equivalent to Tokyo.

Japan Expertise is the primary European tour operator to specialize completely in Japan. Are you able to inform us extra about your actions?

We’re a crew of Japan fans that dedicate our time and vitality to selling the nation in a different way, removed from the same old clichés. We attempt to encourage each these planning to journey to Japan and people merely trying to study extra.
For over 40 years, we’ve been devising new, distinctive methods so that you can uncover Japan. Whether or not you’d like to arrange your journey your self, or allow us to deal with all the small print, you’ll discover every part you want on our web site, from info and recommendation to actions and full excursions. And in case you’d like extra personalised recommendation, we’ll gladly welcome you at certainly one of our native places of work in Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin, or Tokyo!

In any case, for us, Japan isn’t only a vacation spot – it’s what drives us each day.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles