I did a lot of research before our Japan holidays. I had to choose places of interest and organise them into an itinerary, work out transportation between destinations and the time it would take to get where we wanted to go. I usually visited the same sites that had become favourites to browse while planning. I love reading blogs to see how a person experienced a place and often read blogs of people travelling in or living in Japan. When planning for my family trip to Japan, I searched for blog posts of people who had traveled their with children.
Here are some site links, I am in no way affiliated with any of these and this is just my opinion on what I found most useful or interesting;
Japan Guide: Japan Guide is extremely useful for planning a trip to Japan. It has information on all destinations and major sites, transport, itinerary guides and so much more.
Hyperdia: A site for searching transport routes and timetables in Japan. It’s easy to use and you can choose the type of transport you want it to show, including only JR trains if you’re using a rail pass.
Google maps: For looking up locations, bus, car and walking routes. I used street view to identify places to help us find our way when going to new accommodations.
Trip Advisor: For reviews on places and accommodation. I frequently visited the Japan forum, to read questions and ask our own. I still visit it on occasion to see what people are asking and read advise from the destination experts. I put my two cents in every now and then, usually when people are asking about traveling with children. I plan to frequent it more and try to help out, as I really appreciated the help I received.
airbnb: A holiday rental site. We booked an apartment in Tokyo for our second Japan trip. There are other holiday rental sites out there but this is just what we went with. It does feel risky booking accommodation from a person you don’t know, make sure to read reviews and communicate with the host. I do like that you don’t pay the host directly like with some other sites.
Japan travel and information blogs
Japan Australia: An Australian now living and working Gifu, Japan. Japan Australia is a well established blog featuring all things Japanese, from travel advise, cultural events and food reviews. This is where Tim read about Burger Kings Black Ninja burger and decided he needed to try it.
Zooming Japan: A great insiders take on traveling in Japan. A German who lived in Japan for about 7 years and manged to visit all 47 Japanese prefectures, many more than once. Zooming Japan offers information on traveling in Japan as well as telling her own experiences.
Jenny’s blog: I came across Jenny’s blog when searching Japan trip blogs. She has many blog posts on her trips to Japan. I went back in her archives and read them. I continued to follow her blog for the posts about Japanese beauty products, Japanese magazines and fashion.
Life in Japan blogs
Living Tall in Japan: Although she no longer lives in Japan, Jamie, a manga artist, has great blog archives about her time working as an assistant mangaka on The Prince Of Tennis.
Texan in Tokyo: Grace is a Texan now living in Japan with her husband Ryosuke. She draws comics, mainly about their daily lives and has produced two comic books. Texan in Tokyo provides an insight into interracial relationships and Grace does a great job in putting her humour into her comics.
Jenna in Japan: Jenna lived in Japan on two separate occasions, teaching English as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT). She blogged about her daily life in Japan, traveling and teaching.
Travel with kids
Walking On Travels: Keryn writes about traveling with her two young boys, sometimes with her husband, sometimes on her own. I came across Walking On Travels due to the posts about the families trip to Japan but it offers lots of tips for traveling with children.
Travel With Bender: A recent find. The Bender family have been constantly traveling around the globe with their two young children. They have top things to do with kids for many countries.
Just One Cookbook: I only recently came across this site that has many Japanese recipes. Namiko also has trip reports from her families Japan holidays.
I will update when I think of any I have forgotten or when I find new ones.