The special sauce of the best travel blogs is a clever perspective on unique experiences. You don’t want to just describe a trip you took. Instead, you want to uncover how the trip made you feel. The best travel writing hits at something deep in the human condition about wonder, novelty and the slim veil of otherness. The best travel blogging is no different. By combining your natural flair for storytelling with stories of your experiences traveling, you can explore the emotive landscape in with invigorating perspective. Plus, it’s nice to get away. If you’re travel blogging Japan, here’s some tips for your survival.
Traveling to Japan is a topic worthy of its own post, but here’s a brief discussion of some must-know tips.
You’ll find plenty of museums, shrines and parks that don’t charge admission, helping keep your budget in check. There’s an astonishing amount to do in the country, so plan carefully to fit everything in. We’d strongly recommend theming your activities in some way. For example, if you plan to write a series about spirituality in Japan, focus on visiting shrines and experiencing local spiritual customs.
Traveling Throughout Japan
Traveling through Japan can be outrageously expensive. While there, you’ll want to rely on the Japan Rail’s ultrafast bullet trains to wiz you around the country. Buying a rail pass online before you arrive can save you about 20%. One-, two- and three-week passes are available which allow free travel on JR lines for the duration. Most major cities offer day passes for their buses and subways, which cost around 1000 JPY for 24-hour access. If you’re looking to save money on travel, consider traveling between cities by bus.
If you’re looking to sleep on the cheap, you can find accommodation in Japanese hostels for between 2,500 and 4,000 JPY for dorm room-style beds. If you’re traveling solo and want a little privacy, check out Japan’s unique capsule hotels, which run between 3,000 and 5,500 JPY. A double room at a budget hotel costs about 8,500 JPY, and Airbnb rooms run between 3,000 JPY for a shared room and 9,000 JPY for a private apartment.
1oo Japanese Yen (JPY) is roughly equivalent to one United States Dollar (USD), but check conversion rates before leaving. You’ll also want to figure out the rates for your credit card company and ATM cards. You can continue to use those cards overseas, but you might incur significant percentage fees for converting currency on the spot. If it makes sense to convert cash, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do that.
Staying Connected in Japan
Japan offers unparalleled opportunities for connectivity, making it easier to do work from the road.
Using Free Wi-Fi
A strong Wi-Fi connection is mandatory for blogging, so take care of it in advance. Here’s how to stay connected to Wi-Fi in Japan.
Most Japanese hotels offer free Wi-Fi (unlike the paid Wi-Fi in the West), but make sure that your accommodations offer it before booking. Airbnb Japan also offers a free Wi-Fi hub with many of their rentals.
To easily connect to the hundreds of thousands of free Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, use an app like Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi. This smartphone app unifies the login process for thousands of hot spots, letting you seamlessly move between free Wi-Fi services without constantly agreeing to terms and logging in to services.
Getting Cell Phone Coverage
Japan is known by many as the home of next year’s cellular technology. You don’t want to end up in Japan paying outrageous roaming fees to your home provider, but you don’t want to go without a mobile either. Split the difference by renting a phone from a Japanese Internet company and get unlimited access to Wi-Fi in addition to cellular coverage. Additionally, you can typically tether your phone to your computer as well, providing Wi-Fi coverage everywhere you go.
Japan is a fascinating culture, with a universal reverence for man and god alike. There’s opportunities aplenty to find the novel, odd and meaningful throughout the country, and more than enough to write about. If you can fit a trip like this in your wallet, you shouldn’t miss it.