Avoid the crowds 喧騒から離れ
Morning at Meiji Jingu.
Crowded wharf world.
An unexpected encounter off the beaten track.
Typical Japanese dish of a little-known restaurant.
Daisetsuzan snowy plain.
A bike ride away from the crowd.
Our 5 tips
Recently, with long lines, crowds and the world of bad counter service, overseas traveling can be stressful. Make your stay a serene experience by following our tips and tricks to avoid the crowds.
1. How to choose a schedule
Traveling by train, especially by Shinkansen, remains an great thing to do during your stay in Japan. However, you have no doubtably already seen the "pushers" on station platforms with their immaculate gloves: they do everything they can to fill up passenger trains.
With a little planning, you'll be able to avoid times of high traffic. But if you want to take a Shinkansen, do not panic! There is not usually a "rush hour" and you will still be able to find seats.
Also, be sure to check your calendar and try to not let your trip fall on holidays. Golden Week in late April to early May, and the New Year are the main periods when Japanese people return to their families in their home town, so the Shinkansen tickets are usually sold out, and the platforms are flooded.
2. The early bird gets the adventure
Jet lag might be unavoidable, but we recommend getting up early your first day to get acclimated and to have an unforgettable first day.
Enjoy a quiet and peaceful morning walk in the neighborhood, while tourists are still sleeping and workers are getting ready for the day.
At 9 o'clock, temples and shrines open their doors to the public: be the first to enter and avoid the crowds.
3. Dinner lines
The widespread idea that a long line remains witness to the reputation of a kitchen is certainly true.
However, it does not apply to all the good restaurants! Do your research, and while we don't recommend eating in a completely empty place, be sure to widen your search field to places that are not mentioned in the guidebooks.
Local expats often write articles on their blogs about their favorite places and English teachers will be delighted to share with you their knowledge of the area and good restaurants.
4. Discover the unknown
Japan is a beautiful country. The sprawl of the Tokyo metropolis and the charming streets of Kyoto are definitely worth seeing, but do not forget the mountains of the archipelago, dramatic seascapes and the smaller, quieter cities.
You do not need a private tour guide to visit Hokkaido, which would mean being confronted with crowds, who will go to the hot springs of Sounkyo, to Obihiro and Furano, through the vast flowered plains and snowy landscapes.
5. Prioritize related activities
You can not miss a Japanese festivals but choose a smaller one and less known by tourists.
For example, the modest Tatebayashi Koinobori Festival in Gunma Prefecture, where thousands of carp-shaped banners hang nonchalantly like a cherry tree swaying in the wind.
Another option to escape the crowds in simply enjoying the weather. We recommend a bike ride in the historic village of Asuka in the prefecture of Nara.