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Travel Guide: Graduation Trip to Japan

Congratulations, Graduate! Celebrate your accomplishment with a trip to Japan, and check out our recommendations that will guide you through this adventure.

By Enrique Aguilar

It’s a liberating feeling knowing that your days in school are over and you can finally focus on new horizons. After spending so much time in school pursuing a degree, you may have underestimated the toll it took on your time and personal life. After so many hours of studying and all-nighters, you deserve to take a step back and enjoy your time before beginning your professional career. One great way to do so is by booking a trip somewhere new and getting away for a few weeks.

With so many places to visit, one destination that will truly send you into a new world is Japan. Experience world-famous cityscapes, incredible cuisine, and vibrant culture. The beauty of Japan not only comes from its modern way of life but also the traditions that keep it one of the most pleasing countries to visit. One cannot imagine the possibilities there are when taking a graduation trip to Japan.

Check out one of our sample registries for inspiration on how to create a custom registry for your upcoming celebration!

Your Guide to Japan: What to Do in Japan for a Week or Two

People in Japan
Photo Credit: Enrique

How long should you stay in Japan?

If you decide on wanting to visit Japan, the first question that may come to mind is how long you want your trip to be. Longer trips are preferable because they allow you to experience more without feeling the pressure to rush the time.

Although Japan may seem small on the map, there are several cities and regions offering something different. To ensure your vacation is spent well without the stress of counting down days, we recommend visiting for at least 2 weeks.

Keep in mind that you spent years in school working tirelessly towards your degree. Give yourself some time to fully enjoy yourself and explore new experiences on your graduation vacation.

japan at night.png
Photo Credit: Enrique

Things to Consider When Planning a Trip to Japan

A wonderful aspect of visiting a new country is immersing yourself into the culture and expecting the unexpected. With Japan being on the other side of the globe, you can expect noticeable differences in culture, language, and of course communication styles. If you’re not familiar with the Japanese language, you may want to practice a few basic phrases and words to ensure you’re able to get help when needed.

In Japanese culture formalities are very important. Respecting the norms in Japan goes a long way. Especially when it comes to transportation and eating etiquettes, you’ll want to read about the best practices before visiting.

Top Places to Visit for Your First Time in Japan


downtown tokyo
Photo Credit: Enrique

Explore days in Tokyo. For years, this city has grown into a megacenter for anime fans, foodies, and skyscraper lovers. Tokyo is known to have a mix of traditional cultural activities, but also gives visitors unique experiences that only Japan has to offer.

We recommend staying here for the longest, as you’ll find most of Japan’s famous attractions located around this region. For those who are eager to try new things, the city is stacked with hidden gems everywhere you go.

One of the most exciting neighborhoods to visit would be Harajuku. This colorful neighborhood is known for:

  • Trendy stores
  • Retro thrift shops
  • Anime themed cafes

You can also find some of Japan’s more famous street foods, such as their delicious candied strawberries. If you’re lucky to get there early in the day, also be sure to check out the Shiba Cafe, where you can play with the cutest puppies and give yourself a much-needed serotonin boost.

If you’re a shopaholic, Shinjuku is the best place to shop in Tokyo. Known for high-end fashion stores and bright-lighted billboards, you’ll be amazed at how much you can find here. Test your luck with the claw machine and score a prize at one of the many arcade centers scattered within the city.

If you get hungry, don’t be shy to enter any of the local restaurants that can be found in almost every street. We highly recommend making a trip to try out conveyor belt sushi. Known also as revolving sushi, you get the chance to pick out different pieces of sushi as it comes by around you. Just lift up any plate and start to dig in!


Osaka in Japan
Photo Credit: Enrique

A hot spot for street food and over-the-top restaurant signs; Osaka is perfect for adventure seekers. Visit the heart of the city and you'll find a beautiful waterway that winds for miles past glittering neon signs. Snap some photos in front of the iconic Glico Running Man for an awesome memory.

For a quick snack, walk over to any of the food stands with a giant octopus in front and try the tasty takoyaki. Afterward, try to book a karaoke room and party all night with your friends or family! There is no such thing as a dull moment when visiting this cutting-edge metropolis.

Calling all Mario fans! If you have time during your trip to Osaka, make sure to get tickets for Universal Studios Japan. What makes this location special is that it’s home to the original Super Nintendo World. Some highlights include:

  • Yoshi’s Adventure
  • Nintendo Souvenirs
  • Chef Toad’s Cafe
  • Mario Kart Go! Ride

Every detail takes inspiration from classic Mario games and brings it into life for you to enjoy. This section of the park is first-come, first-serve, so we recommend getting there earlier than later!


Photo Credit: Enrique

Step back in time and witness the beauty of Japanese traditions and architecture. Kyoto is a lovely city filled with so much history and artistic flavor. You’ll find temples that date hundreds of years old and museums showcasing fascinating Japanese art pieces, along with cherry blossoms that bring so much beauty to this city.

Make sure to plan a day to visit Kiyomizu-Dera and explore the stores lined along the hills. Here you should also try some of Kyoto’s famous matcha from one of the many local dessert shops.

If you’re a big Studio Ghibli fanatic, you can head over to the Ghibli Studios Gift Shop where you can buy character-inspired souvenirs to take back home with you as a graduation present.

Another great way to get immersed in the culture is by visiting a local izakaya. Similar to a typical pub, this unique dining experience offers tasty snacks where locals come by to eat and drink all night long. It is a wonderful place to meet other locals and possibly make some new international friends!

How much is a trip to japan?

japanese lanterns.png
Photo Credit: Enrique

As far as cost, Japan is not as expensive as some may think. With the US Dollar being stronger than the Yen at the moment, you can find yourself paying less for meals and activities than you would back home. Plan on spending at least 10,000 Yen a day (~75 US Dollars) if you decide to explore all day and take part in different activities.

Depending on how long your trip is, you’ll also have to find accommodation for the different areas you plan on staying. Make sure to decide on how many days you want to explore in each area of Japan and book in advance. Some areas like Tokyo can be pricier than smaller cities like Kyoto.

The most expensive aspect of booking a trip to Japan is usually the flight. For those living in non-coastal regions, a round trip flight can cost up to around $1600. However, if you’re able to book in advance, flights have been seen to cost as low as $631. Sign up for airline price alerts and watch for any deals that may occur.

japanese signs
Photo Credit: Enrique

Celebrate Your Graduation and Plan Your Japan Trip Today!

It’s time to step out into the world and experience all it has to offer. With your degree now secured and the freedom to explore, you deserve everything the future holds for you. Hopefully, that includes spending a few weeks traveling across Japan, trying out new foods, and really appreciating your achievement.

Does this sound like a place you'd like to explore? When you book with Celebration Wishes Travel, you can rest assured that every single detail of your trip will be handled with care. Fill out our interest form to learn more today!

Create your own graduation trip travel registry and welcome this new chapter in your life with open arms.

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