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Practical information about Japan

Practical information about Japan
Practical information about Japan

Practical information about Japan


Best time to travel

Japan has four seasons, just like the UK. The four seasons fall at the same times as ours. The Japanese are incredibly proud of their four seasons, and an astonishing number of them are convinced that it is a particular Japanese phenomenon. Most of Japan also has a temperate climate.

Japan’s four seasons:

  • Spring extends from March to the end of May, and it is one of the best times to visit Japan. Temperatures are pleasant without being hot, and there is little rain. Over three weeks in March and April, the cherry trees blossom. This is called Sakura and it is the highlight of the year and a time of great festivity for the Japanese. Read more in our guide to the cherry blossom in Japan. The daytime temperature in spring ranges from 10 to 20 degrees, so there may be days when you need a jacket and others when you can manage without. There may also be some showers during the spring.
  • Summer, which runs from June to the end of August, is the hottest and wettest time of the year in Japan. July and August are particularly hot and humid, while the rainy season (tsuyu) starts as early as June. The rainy season varies in length and intensity from year to year. Daytime temperatures in summer are generally between 20–25 and 32 degrees, but temperatures of 30–35 degrees are not unusual. The typhoon season stretches from May to September, with the greatest risk of typhoons in August, though mostly in southern Japan.
  • Autumn extends from September to the end of November, when temperatures are pleasant, and the high humidity of the summer has dropped significantly. The daytime temperatures in the autumn are generally between 15 and 25 degrees, and the maple trees’ autumn colours emerge, giving the landscape a completely different and varied character than in the other seasons.
  • Winter extends from December to February, and the Japanese Alps and the island of Hokkaido get lots of snow and frost. The towns and cities on the Pacific coast, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Osaka rarely experience snow and frost. The daytime temperatures are around 10 degrees, while the nights are somewhat colder with temperatures down around the freezing point.


Japan is a large country that stretches a great distance from north to south and from east to west. So the climate also varies in the different cities as the weather statistics below show.

Weather statistics for Tokyo: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 8 9 12 17 21 24 28 29 26 20 15 11
Average minimum temperature 2 2 5 10 14 18 22 23 20 15 9 4
Rainfall mm 43 58 94 119 132 182 128 147 181 158 84 44
Weather statistics for Kyoto: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 8 9 13 19 24 27 31 33 28 22 17 11
Average minimum temperature 1 2 4 9 14 19 23 24 20 13 8 3
Rainfall mm 50 80 120 130 160 240 230 130 220 100 80 50
Weather statistics for Osaka: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 9 9 13 19 24 28 31 33 29 23 17 12
Average minimum temperature 3 3 6 11 16 20 24 25 21 15 10 5
Rainfall mm 50 70 110 130 150 230 140 90 170 110 70 30
Weather statistics for Hiroshima: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 10 11 14 20 24 27 31 32 29 23 17 12
Average minimum temperature 2 2 5 10 15 19 24 25 21 14 8 4
Rainfall mm 45 67 124 142 178 147 259 111 170 88 68 41
Weather statistics for Kanazawa: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Average maximum temperature 7 7 11 17 22 25 29 31 27 21 16 10
Average minimum temperature 1 1 3 8 13 18 22 24 20 13 8 3
Rainfall mm 270 172 159 137 155 185 232 139 225 177 265 282

Passport & visa

As a British citizen, you must be in possession of a valid British passport. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

British citizens are not required to have a visa to enter Japan.

Click here to check the visa regulations on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

Travel documents

Prior to your departure, you can download our App here to find your travel documents and the contact details for TourCompass and our local partners.

We recommend that you download the WhatsApp app to your smartphone and add the phone numbers of our business partners. You can send messages and call them for free using the app when you have a Wi-Fi connection.


We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic for information about vaccinations. You can also read more about the rules regarding travel vaccinations here.

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another country where yellow fever is present. Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. Your vaccination certificate should therefore always be carried with you in your hand luggage when you travel.

There is currently no Covid-19 vaccination requirement for entry into Japan. These rules may, however, change at short notice. It is your responsibility to check these rules before departure.

Please note that certain Covid-19 rules may apply at the stopover airports on your way to/from Japan. It is also your responsibility to check this before departure.

You’re always very welcome to contact us if you have any questions about this.

Travel terms and conditions

Please read our general travel terms and conditions carefully, as these are part of the agreement terms for tours purchased at TourCompass. Tours purchased from us are covered under the “Package Travel Act”.

Click here to read our travel terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it.
Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate click here.

Travel insurance

We always advise you to obtain comprehensive travel insurance when heading off on your dream holiday. It is also highly recommended to acquire cancellation insurance for extra protection. 

Click here to proceed to our page on insurance, where you can read more about our recommendations.


Currency, price level & tipping

The Japanese currency is called the Yen (JPY). The current exchange rate of the Yen can be found here.

The Japanese prefer to pay and receive payment in cash. We therefore recommend that you change your money to Yen before travelling to Japan.

Visa and Mastercard are far from used everywhere. International credit cards are only accepted at international stores in cities.

Cash machines are found in a lot of places, but you can only withdraw cash using a Japanese credit card. To withdraw cash using an international credit card, you will need to visit the kiosk chains Lawson and 7-Eleven, where there are cash machines that accept international credit cards. You will find stores from these two chains in almost all towns and cities.

If you bring US dollars and euros in cash, you can go to a tourist information office as most of them have foreign exchange machines.

Tipping is not the done thing in Japan. If you leave money on the table at a restaurant when you go, the waiter will probably run after you to give it back. In Japan, however, it is the norm to give small, beautifully wrapped gifts. If you want to please your guide or maid, you can buy a small symbolic gift, such as a small cake or a couple of pieces of Japanese candy in a package and write a small card to thank them for the good service. And finally, remember that it’s the symbolism of the gift and not the size of the gift that matters.

Food & allergies

At the vast majority of our destinations, we are able to take allergies, as well as allergens or preferences into account when it comes to food, however it is important that you inform us of this when you book the tour.

Telephones, Wi-Fi & electricity

Telephones & Wi-Fi:

It’s expensive to use data and roaming abroad if it’s not already included in your mobile subscription. Contact your mobile company to find out what services are included in your subscription and what prices apply to you when travelling abroad.

If data and roaming are not included in your mobile subscription when travelling abroad, we recommend that you use Wi-Fi when you’re at your hotel or restaurants. That way, you can call and write home free of charge via various services such as Facetime, Messenger and WhatsApp. Otherwise, it is also possible to buy a local SIM card including data on your arrival.



The voltage in Japan is 100V. We recommend that you bring an adapter with you, as the Japanese plugs have two flat pins.

What to pack

Make sure you pack all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, vaccination cards, travel documents, insurance documents, credit cards, money, computers, mobile phones and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

Bringing plant products into the UK

Visitors are not permitted to bring plants, seeds, fruit and other plant products into the UK from their travels outside the UK, unless they are accompanied by a plant health (phytosanitary) certificate. These rules also apply to small quantities of plants and plant products.

Read more about the rules here.

Travellers with impaired mobility

Please note that this tour is not generally suitable for people with impaired mobility. Please contact us for information about your options in relation to your specific needs.


Airline tickets

Most airlines have electronic tickets (e-tickets).

It is important that you check your name for spelling errors, as the name on the reservation must be exactly as it appears on your passport. If your name needs to be corrected, please contact us as soon as possible. Please note that this may incur a fee from the airline.

Seat reservation

The airline will assign you a seat on the plane at check-in. If you have specific wishes regarding where you sit on the plane, you can make a seat reservation yourself on the airline’s website or in their app. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation.

It varies when airlines open for seat reservations, but as a general rule, you can book seats from the time of booking and up to 48 hours before departure.

We also point out that the airline has complete control over all seats on the plane and that they are therefore entitled to make changes to the reservation at any time.
If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will assign you a seat at check-in.


Your passport and your booking reference, which appears on your itinerary, are required to check in.

We recommend that you download the airline’s app on your phone. In the app, there is an option for online check-in, which typically opens 24 to 48 hours before departure. The app also allows you to stay informed of any flight changes and other important information about your flight.

Please note that the flight times may have changed in relation to those listed on the travel itinerary you received when you booked your holiday. It is always the flight times in the airline’s app or on the airline’s website that apply.

At the airport

We recommend that you arrive at the airport to check in at least two hours before departure. It is a good idea to check the airport’s website for the latest updates.


We use many different airlines for our destinations. You can check the exact rules for hand luggage and checked baggage on the airline’s website or in their app.

Delayed baggage

If your baggage is delayed, please contact the staff in the baggage reclaim area to report your missing baggage.

It is important that you have your baggage receipt when completing your PIR (Property Irregularity Report).

Please note that you must not leave the baggage area at the airport until you have completed the report.

In the event of delayed baggage, we ask you to contact our partner, who will ensure that your guide/driver waits for you.

Flight delays or cancellations

Should any changes occur in connection with your flight reservation before departure, we will of course contact you to let you know.

Should your flight be delayed after check-in, the airline is responsible for rebooking your flight. They will typically book the next possible flight and arrange any meals and accommodation if necessary.

Our partner checks for any changes in arrival times and will naturally still wait for you, even if your flight is delayed.

If, due to a delay or cancellation, the airline books you on another flight number after you have arrived at the airport, please contact us on TourCompass’ emergency number.


Immigration & Customs


When you arrive at your final destination, you will go through immigration, where your passport and any entry documents and visas are checked. In many places, you will be required to provide fingerprints, and a photo of your face will also be taken for biometric recognition. You may also be asked questions about your travel plans in the country and possibly where you are staying.


Once you’ve cleared immigration and picked up your luggage, you will head through customs. If you have nothing to declare, you can go through “nothing to declare”. If, on the other hand, you have something to declare, it is important that you go through “declare”. It’s your own responsibility to check the customs regulations that apply in the country you are travelling to.


On your arrival in Japan, the following will happen:

Kyoto and Tokyo – the heart and brain of Japan: Your welcome guide will be waiting for you out in the arrivals hall, holding up a sign with your name on it. He or she will accompany you to the transfer bus, which will drive you to your hotel in Kyoto. In the unlikely event that you cannot find your guide, you should head to Terminal 1F and find the South Yasaka Kanku Shuttle desk. If it takes more than 60 minutes from the time you land until you’re in the arrivals hall, please contact our partner on their emergency number and they will arrange a new transfer for you.

The highlights of Japan: Your welcome guide will be waiting for you out in the arrivals hall, holding up a sign with your name on it. He or she will accompany you to the transfer bus, which will drive you to your hotel in Osaka. In the unlikely event that you cannot find your guide, you should head to Terminal 1F and find the South Yasaka Kanku Shuttle desk. If it takes more than 60 minutes from the time you land until you’re in the arrivals hall, please contact our partner on their emergency number and they will arrange a new transfer for you.

The best of Japan: In the arrivals hall, your driver will be waiting with a Green Tomato or Cherry Tomato sign. The driver will accompany you to the transfer bus and take you to your hotel in Tokyo. If it takes more than 90 minutes from when you land until you reach the arrivals hall, your transfer driver will no longer be waiting, and you will therefore have to contact our partner on their emergency number, and they will arrange a new transfer for you.

Hotel check-in and check-out

Normal check-in is typically from 2 pm, and, therefore, you cannot count on getting your room earlier. If you’d like to check in early, this can be arranged for a fee when you book the tour.

When you check in, the receptionist will generally register your credit card and may reserve an amount. This is not an additional fee, but customary at hotels to ensure payment of any consumption from the minibar and the like. When you check out, the amount will be automatically released if you have not made use of this.

It is very normal for hotels to take a copy of your passport. In some places, this is a requirement of the local authorities.

Check-out is normally by 10 am. If you’re not travelling until the afternoon or evening, you can have your luggage stored until it’s time to leave. If you would like a late check-out instead, this can be arranged for a fee when you book the tour.

Type of tour and transport

Our tours to Japan are individual tours, however excursions and transfers take place in international groups of 1–14 people and with TourCompass’ own guests only.
Most optional tours take place with TourCompass’ own guests, however some may also take place with people other than TourCompass’ own guests. This will be noted in the description.

In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, blocked roads or otherwise, it may be necessary to change the order of sightseeing tours and attractions in your itinerary.


Travel card/IC Card

During 2024, Japan will begin phasing out the physical travel card known as the IC Card. In future, they will be electronic and will have to be downloaded via the app store.

Search for the “Suica” app or access the app via one of the links below, depending on whether you have an Apple phone or an Android phone:



Please note that for 2024, we have obtained enough physical IC Cards for those on “The highlights of Japan” and “Kyoto and Tokyo – the heart and brain of Japan” tours. If you are on “The best of Japan” tour, it would be a good idea to download the app, as you can use it to travel by train, metro, bus, etc. on the days you have on your own. It’s not a requirement, just a recommendation. The travel card can also be used in shops and vending machines to pay for goods.

We recommend downloading the app from home. Your guide at the destination will let you know how the card works and how to top it up.

From 2025, the physical travel card will be completely phased out.

Need for help during the tour?

We have a 24-hour emergency hotline so that you can always get in touch with us should anything unforeseen occur during your tour. You will also be sent the telephone numbers and emergency telephone numbers of our partners at the destination. In some cases, it may be easiest and fastest to contact our partners due to time differences, if, for example, you find yourself in a situation where your pick-up for an excursion or transfer is more than 15 minutes delayed.



We rely on happy travellers, and we would therefore very much like to hear from you after your return home. Send us an email at or call us on tel.: 01279704135.

Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

Opening hours
Monday-Thursday 9-15
Friday 9-13