Avoid These 11 Common Mistakes When Traveling in Japan

Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion in Kyoto Japan

Ah, Japan! It’s a treasure trove of culture and history, with tons of unique experiences for tourists to indulge in. But, let’s be honest, not everything is a bed of roses. Some experiences might leave you with a “why did I do that?” feeling. And, thanks to the internet, you can now read about all the hilarious and regretful tales of travelers who have been there, done that, and wish they hadn’t!

1. Avoid Traveling During Typhoon Season

Category 5 super typhoon approaching the coast. The eye of the hurricane. View from outer space Some elements of this image furnished by NASA
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Typhoon season in Japan typically occurs from May to October, with the peak season falling between August and September. Typhoons can really put a damper on travel plans! Flights and trains can be canceled during typhoons. Try to plan your Japan trip outside of these months.

2. Simply Depressing: Going to the Animal Cafes

Owl Cafe in Tokyo
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While they may sound amazingly cute in theory, several travelers expressed feeling depressed after visiting the various animal cafes that Japan offers. The owl cafe was the main culprit, which was described as “incredibly depressing and awful.” However, many had a positive experience visiting the country’s cat cafes.

3. Awkward Mishap: Boarding the Wrong Train Car in a Hurry

Woman only train car in Japan
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Picture being in a hurry to catch a train in Japan and accidentally getting on the Women Only car. Now, imagine doing that as a 34-year-old male with a beard and tattoos. Talk about feeling awkward and embarrassed! This traveler quickly apologized and switched cars at the next stop, but those two minutes felt like an eternity.

4. Beat the Crowds: Tips for Enjoying Popular Tourist Spots

Japan Kyoto Fushimiku tons of crowds
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Traveling to Japan is a dream for many, but beware of midday crowds at popular tourist spots like Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama bamboo grove. A seasoned tourist learned this the hard way and found themselves lost in a sea of people, unable to enjoy the serene surroundings. Early morning or evening visits are recommended to avoid crowds. Also, don’t feel pressured to check off every tourist attraction; skipping something that doesn’t interest you is okay.

5. Overhyped Waste: The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo

Robot Restaurant in Tokyo
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In Tokyo, the Robot Restaurant is marketed as a must-see attraction, but according to one wanderer, it is a waste of time and money. The performances could be better, the food is overpriced, and the seating could be more comfortable. Stay away from the hype, and spend your time and money on better experiences in Tokyo.

6. Avoiding Temple Overload: Communicating Interests to Your Guide

Temple in Nara Japan
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Visiting temples in Japan sounds like a great idea until you realize you’re feeling burnt out after only three of them. One traveler regrets not communicating their limitations and interests to their tour guide beforehand, resulting in temple overload. Lesson learned: be clear about what you want to see and do to avoid disappointment.

7. Scam Alert: Beware of Fake Monks

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A common scam in Japan involves a supposed monk handing out bracelets of wooden beads and asking for donations. One traveler fell for it, feeling pressured when the monk wouldn’t take the bracelet back and donated 2000 yen. Later on, they realized they had been scammed and regretted falling for it. Beware of scams, and always be cautious.

8. Unpleasant Zoo Experience: Ueno Zoo Might Disappoint

Ueno zoo in tokyo - panda eating bamboo while girls take photos with their cell phones
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Despite the hype surrounding the Ueno Zoo in Japan, someone found the experience unpleasant and depressing due to the strong smell in the area. They advise others to skip this attraction and find other things to do in Japan.

9. Beyond Tourist Hotspots: Trying Unique Japanese Dishes

Image credit: Shutterstock
Image credit: Shutterstock

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, it’s easy to become obsessed with finding the “best” version of popular Japanese dishes like ramen or okonomiyaki. But the commenter regrets missing out on unique and lesser-known dishes in favor of chasing the highest-rated spots. Lesson learned: take a chance to try something new and discover culinary delights beyond the tourist hotspots.

10. Timing Matters: Visiting Tokyo’s Skytree

Tokyo Sky tree
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The Skytree in Tokyo may look cool, but one visitor regrets visiting it during their trip. Poor crowd control during spring break resulted in an overcrowded and disappointing experience. Staggering admittance times like Tokyo Tower could have made a difference. Waiting in line to get down from the 450-meter deck took longer than enjoying the view. Lesson learned: be mindful of peak times and crowd control.

11. Overrated Nightlife: Roppongi for Tourists?

Roppongi at night
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Roppongi in Tokyo is known for its nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment. However, an individual found it overrated and not worth the visit. They found nothing particularly interesting about the area and felt it mostly catered to tourists. Lesson learned: feel free to visit only some popular spots and be open to discovering hidden gems.

Source: Reddit

12 Dos and Don’ts to Know Before Visiting Japan, According to Locals

Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion in Kyoto Japan
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Welcome, fellow wanderers and cultural adventurers! As you embark on your global gallivanting escapades, remember this golden rule: what’s perfectly acceptable in one country might send the locals running for cover in another! It’s like the international version of accidentally wearing socks with sandals. So, before you set sail on your voyage toward the land of the rising sun, let’s take a delightful detour through the delightful dos and don’ts of Japan. Buckle up because this rollercoaster ride of cultural enlightenment is about to begin!

Read more: 12 Dos and Don’ts to Know Before Visiting Japan, According to Locals

22 Things That Surprised Me About Japan (as an American)

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22 interesting things that surprised an American about living in Japan.

Read more: 22 Things That Surprised Me About Japan (as an American)

15 Things to Know Before Traveling to Japan

full length of young girl travel photographer walking along the bamboo walls of japanese style wooden house with trees and graden inside. woman backpacker on street road in town city kyoto japan.
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Japan has a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and modern cities. Recently on a platform, people have shared some valuable tips and insights on traveling to Japan.

Read more: 15 Things to Know Before Traveling to Japan

My Top 10 Favorite Things I Did in Japan

Mount fuji climb
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“What was your favorite experience in Japan?” I’ve been getting this question quite frequently recently. Which really isn’t very easy to answer. There are a million things I loved about Japan…so, I figured it would be a bit easier to break it down into tours and places I visited in this post.

Read more: My Top 10 Favorite Things I Did in Japan

10 Best Shoes to Wear on a City Vacation with Tons of Walking

low angle and full length asian girl backpacker is gazing into the distance while wandering around at Yasaka dori near Hokanji Temple in Kyoto, japan at dusk.
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If you’re planning a trip, you’re probably wondering what shoes to pack. You want to ensure your feet are comfortable and supported with all the walking you’ll do. Recently, on a platform, people shared their favorite shoes for exploring the city. From running shoes to combat boots, discover some of the finest footwear options to adorn while gallivanting on city vacations.

Read more: 10 Best Shoes to Wear on a City Vacation with Tons of Walking