Japan is one of the best places for a family or a solo traveler to go on a vacation to. This island nation is full of both nature and cityscapes. The country has everything that most tourists could ask for.
The problem is that for most people, it’s hard to enjoy everything that Japan has to offer. You can visit temples, beaches, restaurants, and so much more! All you need to know is just one search away! The best part is that it’s incredibly easy to stay connected in the country, at least when you’re in the cities.
It would take you days, even weeks to enjoy Japan to the fullest, so instead, we wanted to give you a few tips on how you can make your trip as fulfilling as possible!
Learn Basic Japanese Etiquette
Japan is an incredibly traditional country. They have multiple practices that they consider disrespectful even for tourists. One such thing is their strictness when it comes to the use of chopsticks.
When using chopsticks to eat, there are only two places where you can put it down. Either flat across your bowl or leaning on the chopstick rest. Placing it on other things can be considered disrespectful.
For example, sticking chopsticks straight up your rice bowl and passing food from chopsticks to chopsticks mimic funeral rituals, these are considered disrespectful.
You should also remember to never TIP. They already add the additional fee to the bill. If you want to give a tip, it’s best to place the money in an envelope first. That being said, tipping is not a common practice in Japan.
Learning their etiquette is one of the best ways for you to integrate yourself into their society apart from the second point of this article.
Learn Some Japanese
Most people in the cities will be able to speak in English, so you won’t have a lot of problems as long as you stay within the city.
However, there is so much more to Japan than the city. The provinces are filled with amazing sceneries and landscapes, as well as some hidden gems and restaurants.
Unlike the city, you won’t find a lot of people who know English in the province. Some basic Japanese will help you gather your way in these places.
Interestingly enough, you need to learn just a handful of words to get by. Here are some that we recommend:
“Ohayou Gozaimasu” means Good Morning
“Konnichiwa” means Hello or Good Afternoon
“Sumimasen” means Excuse me or Sorry
“Ikura desu ka?” means How much does this cost? And
“Arigatou Gozaimasu” means Thank you very much
“Onegaishimasu” means Please
These are just six words and phrases that we think will be more than useful for your journey to Japan. Remember that when traveling, the locals are your best friends. They know all the good places and even the ones that aren’t popular mainstream attractions.
Understand your Transport Options
There are four primary transportation options in Japan. You can rely on Taxis, their version of Grab, which is the JapanTaxiApp, the Metro, and the Japan Rail.
Taxis are almost everywhere in big cities like Tokyo and Kyoto. Hotels will be more than happy to hail you a cab. Otherwise getting one is the same as in most countries.
The JapanTaxi App as we’ve said is a lot like Grab or Uber. The problem that you will encounter here is that it has very limited taxi availability. Not all Japanese taxi companies are signed up.
In big cities like Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka have their own metros. These trains are a budget-friendly transportation option. Unlike a lot of other countries, the people who do commute are friendly, but more importantly quiet. The whole train car is usually quiet.
Lastly, one of the most important things that you should have is the JR Pass. The Japan Rail is extremely important especially if you will be moving from one city to another. It’s the best and fastest way in which you can move from one city to another.
Always Bring Extra Cash
Sometimes you’ll just be surprised with what Japan has to offer. You’ll find yourself enjoying different services and products all around. You might even find things that you just want to buy that are out of your budget. In line with that, having a bit of extra cash is good for these surprise expenses!
Japan is one of the best places to visit no matter who you’re going with. Whether it’s beaches, historical sights and temples, and even urban sprawls!
Take into consideration these tips that we’ve shared. Make sure that you stay connected so that you can always look up things that you might suddenly need while you travel to Japan. Going on a vacation can be very frustrating just because there’s so little time to go to so many places. The more you prepare and know about Japan or any other country, the more time you’ll have to explore!