DiscoverAll the Hacks with Chris HutchinsPlanning the Best Japan Trip Ever with Brandon Presser
Planning the Best Japan Trip Ever with Brandon Presser

Planning the Best Japan Trip Ever with Brandon Presser

Update: 2023-02-08


#101: Travel writer Brandon Presser joins Chris to discuss all things Japan. They cover why they both love the country so much, what makes it worth a visit, where you should go, what you should see and do, and all the incredible foods you should be trying (including their favorite spots to eat at).

Brandon Presser (@brandpress) is a freelance travel writer who has lived in Japan twice, written 3 books on the country and has traveled there in all but one of the last 20 years. Aside from Japan, he's also written 50+ travel guidebooks, contributes to numerous travel publications and recently released his latest book: The Far Land.

Full show notes at:

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Selected Links From The Episode

Brandon Presser: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website 



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Full Show Notes

Introduction (00:00 )

Why Japan? (01:31 )

Japan: Post-pandemic and post-olympics (04:12 )

How to plan for your first visit to Japan (07:50 )

Destinations outside of Tokyo and Kyoto (09:52 )

The best time of year to visit (12:12 )

Is it beneficial to have a guide? Can people get by using English? (13:51 )

Understanding the rating/review system (15:20 )

Japanese people and culture (17:43 )

Culture: Meeting & getting to know the locals (21:49 )

Tokyo: How to geographically think about the city (24:59 )

Transportation and the Suica pre-paid transportation card (29:07 )

Tokyo: What to eat, drink, do (33:21 )

Misnomer: Tokyo is expensive (36:17 )

Dining in Tokyo (36:47 )

Dining etiquette: Tipping (37:57 )

Dining etiquette: Meal times (38:58 )

Segmented dining (40:23 )

Food specialties (41:18 )

Restaurant/bar/cafe recommendations (42:46 )

More things to see and do in Tokyo (49:28 )

Nightlife scene (59:03 )

Is Japan family-friendly? (1:01:13 )

Kyoto (1:04:02 )

What to know about visiting Kyoto (1:07:29 )

Working with high-end travel planners/Access to personalized luxury cultural experiences (1:09:44 )

How the hotel industry has changed due to the pandemic (1:12:57 )

Top things to see and do, and where to stay (1:16:51 )

Kyoto: What to eat, drink, do (1:20:12 )

Specific types of foods to try (1:22:51 )

Other things to see and places to explore in Kyoto (1:24:53 )

Etiquette: Be engaging and show appreciation (1:25:53 )

Beyond Tokyo and Kyoto: Emerging destinations and interesting places (1:27:07 )

Shopping in Japan (1:36:21 )

Osaka (1:36:50 )

Seto Inland Sea (1:38:45 )

Where to find Brandon online (1:40:18 )

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Planning the Best Japan Trip Ever with Brandon Presser

Planning the Best Japan Trip Ever with Brandon Presser

Chris Hutchins