Things to know before you visit Japan
Japan is quite unique and different from any other countries in the world at many aspects. Some of Japanese tradition, culture and manner are quite shocking that give many tourists a huge culture shock.
Everything is pretty tiny in Japan. It’s because of two reasons.
One, Japanese people are not so big generally. Second, the size of the country.
The western travellers , experience difficulties while in Japan with the size matter such as hitting a ceiling, fitting on a public transport seat or sometimes you can also be taller than your bed.
Smoking in most of public space (inside/outside) is prohibited in Japan.
If you are a smoker, you may find difficulties finding a smoking space on the streets or outside of buildings.
But quite many restaurants, cafe and bars allow you to smoke inside.
So it seems like it’s more difficult to find a place to smoke outside than inside.
which may be quite annoying for non-smokers when someone smokes while eating in a restaurant!
You will find general politeness of Japanese people everywhere.
Are they really always nice and polite or Is it because they hide their true feelings?
The answer is both.
But the most important thing is that they will surely make you feel happy and appreciate to their politeness.
This is one of the strong reasons for many foreigners to fall in love with Japan.
seafood in Japan
Many people have a strong image about Japanese food as ONLY SEAFOOD.
Yes, people do eat a lot of seafood in Japan, and the quality of seafood products are in fact superb that every tourists should definitely try.
However, one of the biggest food attractions in Japan is Wagyu Beef.
If you are seeking for good beef steaks, Japan might be the perfect place to enjoy high-quality branded Wagyu Beef such as Kobe Beef.
Also Western food is becoming more common for young people and you will find many international cuisine restaurants.
Japan is quite unique and different from any other countries in the world . Few Japanese traditions and manner are quite peculiar that may give tourists a huge culture shock.
This is something Japan should be proud of. Japan has high-tech electric toilets everywhere with automatic opening covers,
many function buttons,warm seats and very clean.
I genuinely think that there is nowhere else you can find better toilets outside Japan.
Foreign travellers are often so impressed by it and many of them end up with purchasing one for back home, then live happily ever after!
There are only few people in Japan who speak English . But, it is still hard in Japan to find people who speak English or English signs including food menus, transportation, and in general.
And this issue become much bigger when you go to countrysides in Japan.
But don’t be too concerned about it cos most of Japanese people are kind and helpful, and usually try their best to explain things to you.
You can either keep a translator with you on your way , otherwise you may get to learn Japanese.
When you departure from your country to Narita Airport, you may think you will be landing in Tokyo.
However, the Japan’s biggest international airport, Tokyo Narita Airport is not located in the capital city.
Well, it’s tricky because it is known as Tokyo Airport, but Narita Airport is actually located in Chiba Prefecture which is next to Tokyo.
You have to travel over 1 hour to reach the centre of Tokyo. It’s slightly annoying.
There is another international airport called Haneda Airport, and this one is actually located in Tokyo and very accessible.
Haneda Airport serves not as many international flights as Narita Airport, however, more international flights are becoming available at Haneda Airport lately.
IN Japan you have to Bring Cash
Various established stores, restaurants, and other businesses commonly accept debit and credit cards, Japan is still largely a cash-based society.
This means smaller stores will not accept cards and you will have to have money ready. It is advised to take cash with you, but if you run out, don’t worry.
ATMs at convenience stores, including Seven Eleven, Lawson, and Family Mart, will usually take international cards.
Keep in mind that you will have to pay with cash when buying public transportation, including subway tickets, trains, and buses.
You can use a card to pay for Shinkansen tickets but it is advised to talk to someone at the ticket counter.
In Japan Shoes – off & On
It is custom to take off your shoes when entering homes in Japan.
There are several more cases when you must also take off your shoes, including when entering temples, shrines, and even certain restaurants.
Due to this, it is recommended to bring footwear you can easily remove and put back on.
Slip-on sneakers are very convenient and a practical choice for all types of weather.
Most establishments will have signs or give instructions on when to take off your shoes, but in general, you should also remove your shoes when walking on tatami mats in a traditional-style Japanese room.
No tips in Japan!
Japan is renowned for its superior hospitality and customer service, present everywhere, from convenience stores to traditional Japanese inns.
However, this high-quality service is free. You do not need to tip at restaurants, hotel employees, or other workers who help you during your journey.
Wages and prices reflect the service component in Japan so you don’t need to worry. If you give a tip, be prepared to be turned down!
Please be aware that certain fine dining restaurants, however, may add an additional service charge onto your bill at the end.