Japan and China are equally fascinating to visitors from the West, as the culture here is so different from everything we know. These fast-paced nations are equal parts ancient and modern, with ornate temples inhabiting the same block as shops selling futuristic technology and robe-clad monks checking their smartphones on public transport.
If you are looking for an adventure that will take you out of your comfort zone and will expose you to something exciting, new and different, Japan and China are the ideal destination. You’ll have so many opportunities to sample new and exciting cuisine, see centuries old ancient wonders, admire impressive modern technology, learn about complex traditional cultural rituals and so much more.
To find out more about our tour experiences in Japan and China, please contact us today.
When to Go
Japan has four distinct seasons and the best times to visit are the late spring (from March to May) and the late autumn (from September to November). During this time the weather will be pleasant, there will be little rain and the skies will be clear. In the spring you can enjoy the lovely cherry blossoms and in the autumn the leaves turn a stunning array of colours.
When it comes to visiting China, most say that the best time is in the early Autumn, such as in October. During this time the weather will be warm and dry but the tourist attractions will not be too crowded. Also, the fall foliage will make exploring nature even more spectacular. Avoid visiting during the summer months of June and August, which is the hottest and busiest time.
What to Do
Walk along the top of the Great Wall of China, admiring this monumental feat of construction. Taste Peking Duck in Beijing, dim sum in Hong Kong, sushi in Tokyo and Buddhist vegetarian cuisine in Kyoto.
Take a walk along the legendary 2000 year old Great Wall in China, one of the most significant and impressive monuments of Chinese civilisation. Take a cruise down the Yangtze River on a luxurious cruise ship and enjoy modern facilities and delicious food.
Admire the incredible Terracotta Army at Xi’an, a collection of more than 8,000 individually carved sculptures depicting soldiers, horses and chariots that were created and buried with First Emperor of China Qin Shi Huang to accompany him in death. Then, get a taste of the fantastic shopping of modern China at the gleaming shopping malls of Hong Kong.
Escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo at the Meiji Shrine, which feels like a forest retreat in the middle of the city. Visit the strange and fascinating “Cat Island” of Tashirojima in Japan, where cats outnumber people and are thought to bring luck and good fortune. Soak in the soothing waters of a Japanese onsen – a relaxing hot thermal bath. Experience the excitement and energy of an authentic sumo wrestling tournament. Check out the impressive Osaka Aquarium, which was voted the best aquarium in Asia on Tripadvisor.
Don’t miss Nara Park, which is home to the famous Todaiji temple but is also well known for the many thousands of deer that wander freely throughout the grounds. Also, check out the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, a stunning natural geothermal pool surrounded by icy mountains where Japanese macaques (aka snow monkeys) lounge in a very human-like way in the steaming waters.
No matter what you want to do on your adventure in Japan and China, we can arrange the trip of a lifetime for you.
Our packages are all inclusive, so every detail is taken care of and any experience you want to have while travelling in Japan and China can be easily arranged – just let us know!
Important Travel Information
For most visitors to Japan, including citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and the UK, the only document that is necessary for entering Japan for a stay of up to 90 days is a passport. You may be asked to show that you have an onward or return ticket booked.
Most travellers to China will need a visit, which will need to be obtained from a Chinese consulate or embassy before departure. Getting a tourist visa does not require an invitation, as you would if you had a working or business visa. The typical tourist visa is valid for a visit of 30 days and it will need to be used within three months of when it is issued.
Health and Safety
Japan has a high quality health care system but the medical fees can be high, so it is important to make sure that you have good travel insurance for your trip. The food hygiene standards and high and the water from the tap is safe to drink. Petty crime is quite rare in Japan, but it is still a good idea to be aware of your possessions as you would in any destination.
In China the main concern is scams, as there are many businesses that attempt to sell counterfeit brand name items. When you see a brand name luxury item for sale, be aware that it might not be authentic. Another major danger in China is traffic, as the roads can be very busy and the motorist don’t always follow the rules. Don’t expect cars to stop for you at intersections and be very careful when crossing the street.
The CDC recommends that before you visit Japan you get up to date with your Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations. If you plan to visit rural areas in Japan or will be spending a lot of time outdoors, you might also want to be vaccinated for Japanese Encephalitis. If you will be doing any activities that will put you at risk for contact with bats, such as adventure travel and caving, it is recommended that you have a rabies vaccine.
Before visiting China, the CDC recommends that you are vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid as well as Hepatitis B and Japanese Encephalitis. A Rabies vaccine is also recommended if you will be involved in outdoor activities such as hiking or caving.
The currency of Japan is the yen and you can obtain yen at foreign exchange banks as well as other authorised money exchangers. The preferred payment in Japan is often cash, especially when the transactions are small. It is generally considered rude to use a large bill to pay for small items, so keep some change with you.
Although credit cards and debit cards are widely used in the big cities, cash is often the only way to pay at small restaurants, shops and tourist sites. You might find that some ATMs in Japan do not accept cards issued outside of the country, so your best bet is to look for ATMs in post offices and 7-11 convenience stores. Also, many ATMs in Japan will be out of service at night or on the weekend.
In China the currency is the yuan, also known as the renminbi. You might hear it referred to as “kwai” which is the equivalent of “bucks” in the USA. Cash is commonly used in China and credit cards are usually only accepted in large stores, hotels, restaurants or malls. ATMs can be found almost anywhere and they will accept international cards as long as they are part of the main networks such as Cirrus, Interac, Visa and Mastercard. Also, it is important to know that there is no tipping in China. It will not be expected and if you do tip they might turn it down as it can be perceived as condescending.