Travelling Issues: Air ticket, Schedule, Accommodation, Visa, Insurance, FoodOthers


What’s Japan Trip?

Japan Trip is a non-credit field trip organized by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Student Club of Japan and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) JT organizing committee.

The purpose of the trip is to understand public health in Japan and enjoy Japanese culture. This year’s theme is “Factors Behind the Healthy Longevity.”

30-40 students and public health professionals participate every year. Since 2006, more than 100 participants visited and enjoyed Japan.

Is the trip exclusive to HSPH/BUSPH students?

No, it is open to those who are interested in public health in Japan and Japanese culture.

Can I join the Japan Trip with my family/friends?

If your family members or friends are interested in public health issues and can join lectures and discussions, we are welcome!!


I can't go to the information session. Can I obtain information before or after the meeting?

We will update sufficient information in this site. Also, please feel free to contact us.

Air ticket, Schedule

Should I arrange my round-trip air tickets to Japan?

Yes, you need to arrange your round-trip air tickets by yourself. We’ll inform our recommendations later.

Can I return to Boston earlier?

We strongly recommend you to stay until the last day. However, special schedule may be arranged under certain circumstances (e.g. wedding). Please contact us.

Can I stay in Japan after the tour ends?

Yes. But, please be sure that your visa is valid during your stay in Japan.

What are famous sightseeing places in Tokyo, Okinawa, Osaka and Kyoto?

We will compile a Japan Trip’s guide for you, including recommendations of excellent places not many people know about. As for famous places, Japan National Tourist Organization Website would be helpful.

What will we see at the Fish market?

“Tokyo Central Wholesale Market (Tsukiji Market)”, the biggest and busiest markets in the world, handles over 400 different types of seafood, over 2,000 tons a day of marine products ($15 million a day)! It imports from 60 countries on six continents. The Tsukiji morning auction of fish starts at 5:30 a.m. You will watch the fish distributors’ intense bidding. After wandering through the loud, frenetic, and fascinating market, you will taste the freshest and highest quality sushi in Japan.

What will we see at the government visit?

We will visit the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and discuss the challenges of Japan's public health system.


What kind of accommodations will we stay?

Tokyo: Not yet decided.
Okinawa: Not yet decided.
Kyoto: Heian Kaikan Hotel (Room; twin or Japanese style room) or Temple Lodging with morning Zen meditation (optional).

Is it possible to stay at another hotel?

No. The special prices of the Japan Trip include all accommodation fees. You cannot change hotels.

Are we sharing rooms?

Yes, but we will hear your request before assignment.

Visa, Insurance

Do I need a VISA to visit Japan?

Please check at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Website It depends on the country where you are from. Passport holders from certain countries including the U.S. DO NOT need a visa during a specified visa-free period. Travelers from not visa exemption countries need to apply for the appropriate visa or entry permit from the nearest Japanese Embassy.

If I need a visa, how long does it take to get a visa?

Please check Here.

Should I buy travel insurance?

We strongly recommend that you buy your travel insurance.


What do you serve if I am a vegetarian?

First, please tell us what you can or cannot eat as soon as possible. We will do our best, however, please remind that we cannot assure 100% vegetarian foods for all the meals we serve. Anyway, please contact us.

I can’t eat raw fish. What other kinds of Japanese foods are there?

Raw fish is just a part of Japanese foods. There are many other options such as Templa, Noodles, Simmered dishes, Shabu Shabu, Kobe beef and so on... In particular, Tokyo and Kyoto have embraced the culinary traditions of many different countries.


How many Japanese students will be accompanying the participants on the trip?

6 to 10 Japanese students will attend the trip to guide you.

Can I use debit/credit card?

You cannot use debit/credit cards like in the U.S.(usage is very limited) You need to prepare cash for the cost not included in the fee.

What is the weather like?

Here is the data of March weather.

City Tokyo Kyoto/Osaka Okinawa
Max. Temp 13C(55F) 13C(56F) 21C(70F)
Min. Temp 5C(41F) 5C(41F) 16C(61F)
Rainy Days 10d 9d 12d
Rainfall 115mm 100mm 160mm
Sunshine 160h 158h 109h

Spring is famous for cherry-blossom viewing throughout Japan.

Should I bring my formal clothes to attend the activities?

Although we do not think it is necessary to be dressed formally, we suggest business suits in some activities (government visit and tea ceremony). Please no jeans or T-shirts there.


How much does Japan Trip cost?

We’ll inform the details at the information sessions. It depends on this year’s donations, the number of participants, optional tours you choose and the exchange rate. But it is estimated to be between $2,200-3,000 including US-Japan air ticket fee. Sorry for the broad confidential interval.

Approximately how much does airfare cost?

It varies in each travel agency. The best price we know at this moment is around $900~1400 (Boston -Tokyo, Osaka - Boston).

Does the Japan Trip cost include donation to HSPH Student Club of Japan?

No. All your participation fees will be used for your travel expenses. All Japanese students work 100% voluntarily, and they will pay the same fee as participants.