Journey Into Japan - 2019
Behind the tourist façade
Getting ready -

There are lots of details to cover to prepare for this trip ...

Gathering information to base later decisions on:

  • Determine what kind of insurance, if any, you want to purchase. Our discussion about insurance can provide some suggestions; areas to consider:
    • Trip cancellation or delay
    • Baggage loss
    • Accidental death
    • Flight accident
    • Medical coverage
    • Emergency medical evacuation

  • Find out what kind of insurance you already have. Again, the discussion about insurance can provide some insights.
    • Current medical insurance
    • Home or renters insurance
    • Travel related organizations you belong to (or might consider joining) such as AAA
    • Credit card(s) you will be using
    • Note: if you pay for the trip with cash, you can save money, but you will not get credit card coverage

  • Investigate various sources for insurance purchase; again, our discussion about insurance can provide some suggestions. This way, you should have a plan ready for when you actually put money down for the trip.

  • If you will be bringing a cellphone, smartphone, iPhone, pad, tablet, etc. check with your provider about coverage in Japan. (See the Frequently asked questions page and follow the link for 'How do I call japan, and how can I call the States from Japan?')

Paperwork and payments

  • Provide two copies of your passport inside front 2 pages; we will use this information for proper spelling of your name on all tickets and other documents.

  • U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Japan. If you are traveling using a passport from a country other than the U.S., be sure to confirm if you need a visa to visit Japan. If you require a visa and do not get it, you will be denied boarding on departure and your funds will be forfeit.

  • Consult with your doctor or other medical provider: ensure you have enough medications for the trip; good to have a signed letter with authorization / description of all drugs you will be taking.

  • Provide emergency contact information (names, phone numbers, and email addresses) to the trip leaders.

  • Consider creating an account with the STEPS program and enrolling this trip with them; this makes it easier to replace a lost passport as well as allowing you to get alerts from the Embassy.

  • Plan for your payment schedule: transfer funds to different accounts if necessary. If paying by check or cash, ensure amount available.

  • Sign any necessary release / permissions documents. (See the Checklist page.)

Other preparation

  • Practice Japanese using the language pages on the website

  • Ensure your carry on luggage is in good shape

  • If you will be bringing any electrical items that have three-prong plugs, purchase an adapter that can take your three-prong plug in and use a two-prong plug at the other end

  • Plan your wardrobe: make any necessary purchases to supplement what you already have in place

  • Especially prepare footware: if you will be buying new shoes, allow time to break them in

  • Plan for reading: there will be long plane flights and long train rides.

  • Start walking, building up stamina.