Traditional national festivals ('matsuri'), celebrated throughout the country include:
3 or 4 February - Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival)
3 March - Hina-Matsuri (Doll Festival)
8 April - Hana-Matsuri (Floral Festival)
7 July - Tanabata (Star Festival)
Around 13-15 July - O-Bon (Lantern Festival)
15 November - Shichi-Go-San (Children's Shrine-Visiting Day)
For more details and a comprehensive listing of regional festivals throughout the year or during your proposed travel dates, visit the Japan National Tourism Organization website: www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/festivals/
Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.
Passports must be valid for the duration of your stay. No additional validity is required.
The unit of currency is the yen (¥). Coins are available in denominations of ¥1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 and bank notes in denominations of ¥1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000.
ATMs can be found in all cities, large towns and resorts, and international withdrawals are straightforward via an English-language interface. Many, however, are closed at night and at weekends. Some ATMs do not accept Mastercard, Maestro and Cirrus cards issued outside of Japan. Check with your card issuer before you travel. You should also notify your bank that you are going to use your card overseas, since many banks will block a card suddenly used abroad, suspecting fraud.
Cash and EFTPOS
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at hotels, shops, bus and train stations and travel agencies, but may not be accepted in smaller shops, restaurants and bars, and outside the major cities.
Living costs in Japan and especially in Tokyo are famous for being among the world's highest, but prices have dropped significantly in the last decade as both the economy and the value of the yen has declined. There are plenty of restaurants where you can have a full meal for under ¥1,000, and mid-range restaurants offer meals at around ¥3,000, though there is no upper price limit when it comes to fine dining. Electronic goods including cameras and computers are relatively inexpensive at stores like Yamada Denki, Yodobashi Camera, Sakuraya and Bic Camera, and in discount shopping areas like Akihabara in Tokyo.