Here’s a light version of the tips from Chapter 15 of More Japan for Less. Each one can make a difference in your Japan vacation. These are the kinds of things that people say, “I wish I’d known this before my trip.” Now, you’ll know before you go!

1.Get personally involved in trip planning. Even if you choose to take a tour. Learn as much as you can before you go.

2.Learn a little about the Japanese people, their history, and their traditions.

3.Decide what specific sights or activities are most important to you.

4.Pay attention to how possible travel dates may be impacted by cost and weather. Avoid peak summer months.

5.Use multiple travel websites and compare rates with the hotel’s website. For air, use websites such as and

6.Book early. Rooms have been filling up very quickly, even months in advance.

7.Carry the right credit and debit cards.

8.Carry a real guidebook or downloaded eBook.

9.Decide which Rail Pass best suits your needs. If you choose a JR pass, buy it in the US before you leave.

10.Keep average lodging costs low by staying at business hotels.

11.Rent a portable WiFi hotspot in advance. Pick it up at the airport.

12.Pack light and take comfortable shoes. There’s no avoiding a lot of walking.

13.Prepare a preflight checklist.

14.Eat like the Japanese. Avoid Western food until you come home!

15.Save time and money with public transit.

16. Renting a car is not recommended. Use public transportation instead.

17.Try taking a local tour or use volunteer guides.

18.Don’t miss the trees for the forest! Try to notice the small differences all around you.

19.Visit official tourist information offices. Lots of helpful information is available.

20.Look for discount coupons or regional passes.

21.Consider buying trip insurance. And you existing health insurance probably won’t work outside of the US.

22.Do your purchase list homework in advance. Electronics and cameras may be cheaper at home and have a better warranty.