You need to book your travel and accommodations in advance and book any ticketed attractions as far ahead as possible. Japan has a population of more than 123 million people, and it can feel like almost everyone is traveling during Golden Week, taking advantage of a rare stretch of holiday time. If you plan to visit Japan's biggest tourist attractions—such as the temples of Kyoto and famed cherry blossom spots—expect to find many other travelers doing the same.
As with anywhere else in the world, and similar to travel surges during Thanksgiving and Christmas, finding Golden Week travel deals are few and far between. Peak season means higher prices. However, if you make early reservations, you may be able to find some deals (or at least have more time to plan for the financial hit), but you should expect that many hotels and flights may be more expensive during Golden Week. If you plan to travel between cities, consider purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, which offers unlimited travel on JR trains, including Shinkansen, to help save money on transportation costs.
To avoid the biggest crowds at major attractions, visit early in the morning or later in the evening. Finally, always opt for skip-the-line tickets if you're able.