Now that the dream has become reality and the flight has landed, it’s time to make the most of waking up in Japan. The first day of any trip can be disorienting due to unfamiliar sites and the nagging yawn of jet lag. However, the thrill of finally waking up in a dream destination can make these moments some of the most memorable. Consider your typical morning routine and how you may want to make yourself feel at home in Japan. From breakfast and caffeine to finding your bearings and taking your time, the experience of waking up in Japan for the first time is yours to design.

Eat Breakfast Like a Local 

What’s a morning without breakfast? Plan ahead by researching local breakfast spots and kick-start your Japanese journey with an exceptional meal. A traditional Japanese breakfast is a set meal, a concept that meals should be simple and comprised of a soup and side dish. Breakfast often looks like rice with miso soup and a side of ohitashi (boiled vegetables), natto (fermented soybeans), pickles or grilled fish. If pastries are more your speed, stop by a bakery for anpan, a roll filled with sweetened bean paste, or a chocolate cornet, a cone-shaped roll filled with chocolate cream. 

Savor the Sights — From Your Room

Not everyone wants to hit the ground running. If a relaxing morning spent admiring the sights from your hotel room sets a better tone for your first day in Japan, just be sure make it extra cozy by packing a pair of slippers. Ordering room service or packing a light snack for this first morning can afford you time to reflect on the wonder of finally waking up in Japan. Meditation or journaling may be helpful practices as you get into the right headspace for your journey. A slow morning is also a great opportunity to settle in and ensure your plans are organized accordingly. Once you’re ready to step out and face the day, be sure to stop by the concierge and ask for any favorite local recommendations.

Honor Your Typical Caffeine Routine 

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado, a matcha connoisseur or a tea devotee — start your first day in Japan with a cup of whatever usually gets you out the door in the morning. Japan is replete with cafés offering a wide variety of tasty morning teasers, so there is sure to be one nearby that serves your drink of choice. While everyone knows to try green tea at some point in their trip, Royal Milk Tea is also incredibly popular in Japan. Black tea like Assam or Darjeeling is paired with a strong pour of milk and then sweetened to taste. 

Mapping Out Initial Adventures 

Before heading out to tackle that dream itinerary, your first day in Japan is an excellent opportunity to get your bearings. Be sure to save the location of your hotel in a handy place and take some time to explore the area surrounding your accommodations. Make note of landmarks and street names so that making your way back after a long day of adventures is easy. Now you’re ready to tackle that itinerary. It may help to keep your first day or two light so your body can recover from jet lag and get used to the time difference. Good morning, and welcome to Japan. How will you start the day?

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