Visiting Japan may vary depending on the time of year but there are five things that will always be necessary for you to take into account. Long ago, I wrote a post titled ‘Tips to travel alone‘ with various tips that can also help you when traveling in general but what I tell you below is exclusive to Japan.
- Language: It is not necessary to learn Japanese to visit Tokyo or very touristy places as there will always be a translation that can help you, which is that minimum you must know English to be able to understand and to give you to understand. Personally, I do not know much Japanese more than a phrase or words commonly used but it is because English has helped me. If you want to learn or improve your English or Japanese, I recommend that you use LingQ. Visit the following links to get started: English or Japanese.
- Food: Do not limit yourself, in Japan there is a wide variety of dishes for all tastes because if you do not like sushi, you can opt for ramen or even kobe meat, which is one of the most expensive meats in the world. But, what I recommend is to try everything even once because appearances deceive as the natto. Other things I recommend you eat are gyozas, takoyaki, okonomiyaki and all kinds of ramen because there are many types.
- Money: This can be very different depending on your bank when you bring a credit or debit card since the commission charged may vary. Many ATMs charge commissions but the one I found the best is the 7-11 that does not charge the commission more than your bank. On the other hand, it is always good to bring cash because many restaurants and tourist places do not accept cards. An extra tip, when you take the Suica or Pasmo card for transportation, every trip you can get 5 yen or cheaper, it’s not much but if you plan to ride in metro or train, it’s convenient.
- Rules: Japan is a country like no other and to maintain its uniqueness, we must know what is owed and not done. It may vary depending on the city you visit but there are several similar ones, but the most important ones are: standing by the electric stairs, not eating in the streets and not using the cell phone or talking loudly on the train or subway. As for restaurants, do not take your food or drinks from the outside as it is very offensive to the chef and neither should you use two pairs of chopsticks on one dish at the same time.
- Tours: There are many places to visit in Japan but I recommend you come with an itinerary that has happened to me that I am distracted seeing various scenarios instead of focusing on museums or temples. Some examples of more tourist places to visit are Mt. Fuji, Gold Temple in Kyoto and there are others much less touristy but they are popular as the smallest stairs in the world. It is better to buy tours in packages to make it cheaper and for that it is Viator that if you are interested you can see them in the following link: 10 Best Tours of Japan.
So, this was my list of things to keep in mind when visiting Japan. The good thing about this country is that all the people are very friendly and will help you if you ask cordially. Many have said it and it is true that it is very safe and after living here for a year, I have realized that respect is a very appreciated and widespread value. So, all you have to worry about is to visit all the places you planned to come.
If you have any doubt or comment, do not hesitate to leave it in this post and I will answer it as soon as possible. Also, I would like to know if you have already been in Japan to visit or if you have plans to come and you never know, maybe on one of those visits, until we can find.