Mar 12, 2018
Travel to Japan in 2019
My husband son, and I want to do a 3 week vacation in Japan and need help arranging this. We need someone familiar with Japan and communicated is English. We want to see all of the Must See places in Japan as well as scuba diving. We want to see Mt. Fugi, scuba dive, cherry blossoms and much more - what time of the year is best? We need a travel agent who can help Americans who do not speak the language, but DO NOT want to travel with a group. Thanks for your imput.
Around Mt. Fuji, cherry blossoms will be blooming in the first week of April or so, but later in higher elevations or farther north of course. Spring - in late March and April, is generally good weather (and the only time for the short cherry blossom season...) There are sites that predict when they'll bloom in each region too. Okinawa is probably the best place for scuba diving but I can only go based off of what I've heard as I don't do that myself. I'm sure there are travel agents in the US who specialize in helping with vacations in Japan, maybe even who speak Japanese and can make reservations as needed. I've found using sites like hotels.com in English is no problem for booking Japanese hotels if you want to do that on your own once you have your plan. I'm not sure if you're looking for assistance in Japan as well, but I've met a Japanese woman who speaks English well and helps tourists in the Fukuoka area, so that sort of help is also possible. I'm not sure where you would find someone like that but I'd just search online based on the area you want to go to. If only in some areas, it might be really nice to have a Japanese guide (like a private tour?) for all the logistics and figuring out things that are only in Japanese. Otherwise your experience will be somewhat limited to tourist areas that provide English translations and signs.
Spring time would be the best but it is also very crowded. If you plan on spring then plan early so you can get good rooms for good prices. I use booking.com for rooms most of the time. For travel ideas I use https://www.japan-guide.com. It gives great suggestions of what to do in every area. Okinawa would be the best place for scuba diving. I haven’t done it but I did snorkeling when I visited. I used peach airlines to get a cheap flight down there. I am unfamiliar with travel agencies.
I think that if you're reasonably comfortable traveling in a foreign country, then Japan is pretty easy to plan and navigate solo. I don't even think you necessarily need to enlist the help of a travel agent if you know for the most part what you want to see and do. My favorite spot for viewing Mt. Fuji is the Chureito Pagoda. It's even more beautiful when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Cherry blossoms vary from the top to the bottom of the country as to when they're in bloom - for instance in Okinawa it's around February, but up north in Hokkaido it's late April/early May timeframe, generally. If you're talking about Tokyo, you'll probably find that like helloalissa mentioned, late March/early April is around the timeframe you'd be looking at. Okinawa has lots of great scuba/snorkelling but is about a 3 hour domestic flight from Tokyo. Are you trying to keep your travel within the country fairly centralized, or are you willing to incorporate domestic flights as well?