Where to Stay
In my experience Agoda is best for booking hotels in Japan, with free cancellations and they’ll price match if you see a better rate elsewhere. For recommendations on specific areas to stay in, visit the individual host city pages here
Search Agoda for the best deals on hotels in Tokyo
Airbnb is also a great option in Japan, in fact in Japan it seems to work particularly well – most hosts arrange self-checkin & checkout systems, allowing you to arrive & leave flexibly without needing to meet someone for the keys (the key’s often left in a lockbox for you). The wifi is always super-fast, and I’ve never had an Airbnb nightmare in Japan (have had a few elsewhere). There was a crackdown in 2017 with the introduction of new regulations requiring Airbnb hosts to have a specific licence (with some regional variations in the details) which led to a collapse in the number of listings available and accordingly a jump in prices, with a lot of travellers reporting that their reservations were suddenly cancelled as a result. It was all a bit of a mess at first, but the situation has calmed down now and you can be confident that any listings remaining on there at this point are legit. Prices have gone up but then so have minimum standards, and Airbnb is still my usual go to for accommodation in Japan.
New users can get a $35 discount from their first Airbnb rental through Rugby Guide Japan, simply click below and sign up.
The JR Pass is usually the way to go, basically if you’re doing anything more than a Tokyo-Kyoto roundtrip it’ll work out cheaper to get the pass. Click the banner to order now and save 40 dollars, or see my JR Pass page here for more details:
Use Skyscanner to search for international flights to Japan, also good for checking the domestic routes:
Data SIMs are easy enough to get your hands on in Japan, but if you want to have full cellphone service with your own number then a Mobal SIM is the way to go, see here. The other option is to rent a portable WiFi device, see here and here. For more detail on all these options see my page here.
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I was amazed at first when readers started asking how they could make a donation to say thanks for the information they’d found useful on my sites. But it does happen from time to time so if that’s you, you can do so here:
World Nomads offer comprehensive and flexible insurance policies and they’ll even sell you a policy if you’re already overseas (most travel insurers won’t do so). Get a quote here: