“Japan is the most intoxicating place for me. The Japanese culture fascinates me: the food, the dress, the manners and the traditions. It’s the travel experience that has moved me the most.” Roman Coppola

Japan will always hold a special place in our hearts. It is where we first learned to lean into our love of international travel as a family, it’s where we learned to immerse ourselves in another culture, and it is where we learned to slow down and to not just appreciate, but to revel in the details.

When you think about Japan, bustling cities such as Tokyo or Osaka may spring to mind. Maybe you think about high tech electronics or the Shinkansen (bullet train). What sticks with us, however, is the harmony that saturates the culture there. People learn to live smoothly in crowded spaces with others and respect the incredible natural beauty of the country.

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Tips on Japan/

  • Public transportation is king. No where on earth is a train system as efficient, clean, or punctual. Google Maps is the best app we found to manage your transfers and train arrival/departure times. Trains are punctual TO. THE. MINUTE. We still joke about how one of the major train companies took out a full story page in a newspaper to apologize for a train leaving 25 seconds EARLY.
  • The only downside of the train system is that it can be expensive. If you are visiting Japan for a few weeks and planning to move around the country your best bet is to use the JR Rail pass. It will get you a pass for unlimited rides (including some Shinkansen trips) at a set price. It doesn’t take too many longer rides to more than make up for the cost.
  • Restaurant efficiency has also been mastered. When you sit down, many restaurants have a wireless button the table that you press when you are ready to order. Once your food comes, they will bring a final receipt and place it in a special holder. If you order more food, they will replace it with the updated receipt. When you are ready to leave, just pick up your receipt and pay at the front counter. No wasted time, at all. Tipping is neither expected or customary.