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25 Japan journey ideas for first time guests from Canada

Japan journey ideas for first time guests 

Japan generally is a tradition shock to the senses for first time guests. There’s loads of issues to know earlier than touring to Japan, so right this moment’s weblog publish shares a couple of helpful Japan journey journeys. 

Japan is definitely certainly one of our favorite journey locations on this planet. It’s not like wherever else. The individuals, the meals, the tradition, the quirkiness, the structure, the historical past, the World Heritage Websites.

Merely put, Japan has the whole lot you need in journey vacation spot.

Japan travel tips for families

Japan journey ideas for first timers

To provide you slightly context, the aim for us touring to Japan was to attend the Rugby World Cup. We spent a complete of 15 days in Japan, visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, and Shizuoka.

We visited Japan 10 years in the past, earlier than having children, so this journey included a couple of new locations and actions, like visiting Tokyo Disneyland. Examine our expertise at Tokyo Disney Resort.

On our earlier journey, we visited the aforementioned cities plus Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, Yokohama and Narita Metropolis, which is loads of journey for 2 weeks. An excessive amount of, really. This current journey was a lot slower. We benefit from the slower tempo and discover it’s extra appropriate for household journey.

Extra posts from our journeys to Japan:

This Japan journey weblog shares what it is advisable to know earlier than your Japan trip. We share sensible journey ideas on your first journey to Japan, together with the dos and don’ts for vacationers in Japan. 

1. Money continues to be king in Japan

Surprisingly, money continues to be the popular methodology of fee in Japan.

Most comfort shops, like Household Mart, 7 Eleven and Lawson, settle for debit and bank cards. And most eating places in touristy areas will even settle for bank cards, however many eating places, cafes and outlets nonetheless solely settle for money.

Earlier than you sit down at a restaurant, it’s sensible to ask in the event that they accepts debit or bank cards. If the restaurant does settle for plastic, use your playing cards and save your money for later. You’ll be glad you probably did.

You will see ATM’s scattered all through the cities. They’re comparatively straightforward to seek out. We sometimes obtained money from the ATM’s on the 7 Eleven comfort shops and on the prepare stations. 

Most ATM machines will restrict your withdrawal to 50,000 Yen, which is approx. $600 CAD or $460 USD. We took the max withdrawal every time to keep away from pointless worldwide financial institution cost. Financial institution charges vary from $2 CAD to as excessive as $20 CAD per transaction, plus the ATM price.

It’s sensible to deliver at the least 50,000 Yen with you. Your financial institution might have to order Yen, because it’s not extensively held at Canadian banks, so it’s finest to do that a couple of weeks earlier than your departure date.

Keep away from changing your forex on the airport. The conversion charges are horrible.

2. Soy Sauce is just not extensively used 

Our first lost-in-translation second in Japan occurred at a restaurant after we tried to order soy sauce.

Our boys love white rice. In addition they like to dump soy sauce throughout their rice. We assumed soy sauce was extensively utilized in Japan and that we’d discover it at most eating places.

This was an incorrect assumption. 

Once we ordered soy sauce at a restaurant (to be clear, this was NOT a sushi restaurant), the server seemed very confused. We did the standard hand gestures and talked slower, however she was not selecting up what we had been placing down.

I Googled soy sauce photos on my cellphone and confirmed them to her. She smiled and nodded.

Sure, we did it! We navigated our first awkward language encounter.

Nope. Incorrect once more.

She introduced us Worcestershire shire sauce as an alternative. I assumed the black sauce was soy sauce, so I put it everywhere in the rice. Each boys made humorous faces and mentioned the rice was dangerous. They weren’t impressed.

Confused, I attempted the rice. That is after I realized the error. 

Have you ever ever tried rice with Worcestershire sauce throughout it? It’s actually, actually dangerous. Don’t do it. 

That mentioned, you will see soy sauce at sushi eating places.

We eat sushi on a regular basis in Vancouver. At the least as soon as per week, for years. We thought we knew the right strategy to eat sushi, however we had been flawed. How did we not know this earlier than going going to Japan? 

Right here’s an etiquette information for how you can eat sushi the right method

Apparently, the golden guidelines are: (1) don’t stick your chopsticks upright within the rice; (2) don’t minimize a bit of sushi in half together with your chopsticks; and (3) don’t combine wasabi in your soy sauce.

There are loads of issues to find out about Japanese tradition. Most individuals will forgive foreigners for not figuring out correct Japanese customs and etiquette, as long as you’re respectful, quiet and well mannered.

Associated studying – Fast information to consuming in Japan 

Above – Nigiri sushi at a conveyor finest sushi restaurant in Tokyo.

Japan travel tips how to order food from a vending machine

3. Obtain the Google translate app 

The soy sauce fail talked about above may have simply been prevented.

The reply = Google Translate. 

We will normally navigate language obstacles by studying a couple of fundamental phrases. However right here’s the problem with Japan – we are able to’t learn the characters. We will’t see patterns or memorize phrases as a result of we solely see shapes and features. 

In case you don’t already use Google translate once you journey, you must. 

Once we tweeted about our misplaced in translation second, a couple of individuals despatched us messages saying, “Why aren’t you utilizing Google Translate?” Nice query! We felt slightly dumb.

It’s free, it’s straightforward and it really works like a attraction. In case you’re nervous about visiting Tokyo with out figuring out Japanese, Google Translate will act as your Japan vacationer information.

Obtain the app from Google Play or Apple Retailer.

where to buy Suica cards at train station vending machines in Tokyo Japan

4. Save time – get a Suica Card 

The Suica Card is a pay as you go sensible card that means that you can use most public transport (metro, trains, buses, monorail). Initially, these handy transit playing cards may solely be utilized in Tokyo; nonetheless, Suica playing cards at the moment are usable at most prepare stations in Japan. Utilizing a Suica Card is the easiest way to journey in Tokyo.

Right here’s a map of the place you need to use Suica Playing cards.

You should buy Suica Playing cards at most prepare stations utilizing the digital merchandising machines pictured above. Suica Playing cards will let you keep away from buying tickets from machines earlier than every experience.  

You may as well order Suica Playing cards on-line and have them mailed to your own home previous to your journey. That’s what we did. We had been not sure concerning the course of to buy Suica playing cards at prepare stations, so we determined to get them forward of time, to keep away from confusion.

In hindsight, this was pointless. It’s simply as straightforward to purchase Suica playing cards once you get to Japan.

How one can use Suica Card in Japan

As soon as you buy your Suica Card, and add cash to the cardboard, head to the turnstiles that say IC Card or Suica Card. You merely faucet the Suica Card on the turnstile and go by means of the gate as soon as it opens – see picture under.

If you arrive at your vacation spot, you faucet the cardboard once more to exit the station. Suica mechanically calculates and deducts the fare owed for the journey. 

Issues to find out about Suica Card

  • Costs embody a deposit of 500 yen. The distinction between the grownup’s card and little one’s card is the quantity deducted when utilizing transportation.
  • Suica Playing cards will be loaded as much as a most of 20,000 yen at Automated Ticket Merchandising Machines and Fare Adjustment Machines displaying the Suica mark.
  • Solely yen could also be used to load a card. A bank card can’t be used to load a Suica.
  • Suica card doesn’t work on categorical trains, shinkansen, lengthy distance buses (freeway buses) or airport shuttles.
  • You should utilize your Suica to make purchases onboard trains in addition to from merchandising machines, to lease coin lockers and for spending at comfort shops and eating places.

Credit score supply – the above bullet factors had been copied immediately from the JR East web site.

Kids underneath 5 years previous journey totally free when accompanied by an grownup. 

This isn’t extensively marketed to foreigners. We bought 4 x Suica Playing cards and used them for a couple of days earlier than it was time to reload (we spent 2,000 yen per card – which is about $25 CAD). A pleasant ticket agent on the prepare station knowledgeable us that Connor, who was 5 years previous on the time, was capable of experience totally free.

Kids 6 to 11 years previous pay 50% of the grownup fare. 

how to use Suica card at train stations in Tokyo Japan

Associated – Our expertise at 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

5. You don’t have to get a JR Move

Virtually each Japan journey ideas publish we’ve learn states you must get a Japan Rail Move.

We’re not satisfied the JR Move is a vital buy for first time guests. Whereas the JR Rail Move (Japan Rail Move) does have many advantages, particularly when you plan to cowl loads of floor in a brief time period, it won’t really be the correct match for your Japan journey.

In case you plan to journey gradual and spend time in massive cities, like Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo, it would make extra sense to skip the JR Move and go for a technique prepare tickets. 

For shorter distances, like Kyoto to Osaka, you don’t really have to take the Shinkansen prepare. As an alternative, you’ll be able to take native trains, that are cheaper and never that for much longer. 

Analysis Shinkansen ticket costs right here.

We mapped out our Japan itinerary and priced out every section. Trains are the easiest way to get round Japan, so we did the mathematics and realized it was cheaper for us to buy a technique tickets.

Our Japan journey was 15 days, so we would want to buy the 14 day JR Rail Move. The worth for the 14 day JR Move is $576 per grownup and $288 per little one, as of October 2019. By buying particular person segments, we saved about $100 per grownup and $50 per little one.

Not big financial savings, however sufficient to make us skip the JR Move.

Most of our time was spent visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Kobe, so we used our Suica Card to experience subways and native trains (most subways should not coated by the JR Move). 

In case you’re solely spending one week in Japan, the JR Move would possibly make sense on your Japan trip. 

Analysis the JR Move right here and use the Japan Rail itinerary planner. 

Shinkansen seat reservations

To make Shinkansen seat reservations, which is advisable throughout busy journey instances, you need to see a ticket agent on the prepare station. So, you’re not likely saving time by having the JR Move. 

Now, consider, we had been touring with 2 younger boys, so it’s necessary that our seats are aspect by aspect. In case you’re touring solo otherwise you don’t thoughts sitting alone, you doubtless gained’t want reservations and you’ll wing it. That was not an possibility for us. 

black airport taxi waiting outside at the Tokyo Haneda Airport in Toyko Japan

6. Taxis are costly. Keep away from when you can.

Taxis in Japan are costly. We knew this earlier than arriving, however it nonetheless stunned us after we took an airport taxi from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Sheraton Tokyo Bay Resort at Tokyo Disneyland.

The space from the airport to lodge is 25 km and it takes about half-hour.

After forex conversion from Japanese yen to Canadian greenback, the worth was nearly $100 CAD. That felt costly to us. For perspective, the same distance in Vancouver prices round $50-$60 CAD, relying on site visitors. Vancouver can be an costly metropolis, so it’s a relative comparability.

Now, to present the taxi expertise some credit score, the vehicles are impeccably clear and cozy. Taxi drivers are useful and so they even put on clear white gloves. So, whereas taxis are an costly possibility, they do supply a snug and handy white glove remedy – actually. 

Touring to Tokyo? Learn: How one can spend 3 days in Tokyo

taxi in Tokyo Japan

7. There may be Uber in Japan – however it’s totally different

Sure, Japan has Uber, however it’s largely restricted to massive cities, like Tokyo and Kyoto.

Nonetheless, it’s not extensively utilized by locals as a result of the prepare system is so handy. Most individuals use Uber for airport pickup and dropoff, reasonably than for intercity transportation. 

We took an Uber in Tokyo and Kyoto.

The Uber app syncs identical to it does in North America, so that you don’t want to fret about downloading a distinct app. This implies you’ll be able to enter your vacation spot in English, which avoids confusion and language obstacles (many taxi drivers don’t communicate English).

Uber rides in Japan are principally like taxis. The vehicles really seem like taxis, too.

We like that fares are mechanically paid for with the bank card on our account, so we don’t have to make use of money or look forward to change. Uber fares are usually cheaper than taxis and the app provides a most fare for the journey. We like this function – it provides us peace of thoughts that we’re not being overcharged. 

A draw back to Uber in Japan is that there aren’t as many drivers (when in comparison with North America), so you find yourself ready longer than when you flagged a taxi. In Kyoto, it took 20 minutes for our driver to choose us up. To be honest, it was throughout rush hour and the site visitors was dangerous, however we noticed dozens of taxis go us by whereas we had been ready.

In case you don’t like Uber, otherwise you’re having issues with the app, it’s also possible to use the JapanTaxi App. We’re informed this platform is comparatively new and it connects with a number of taxi corporations. 

Associated – Staying a Tokyo Disney Resort? Learn our evaluation.

Japan travel tips food display bento box and sushi to go at train station

8. Most eating places have plastic meals shows

You don’t have to fret about ordering meals from restaurant menus which might be in Japanese. Most eating places in Japan have plastic replicas of their meals on show, particularly eating places situated close to prepare stations, procuring areas and vacationer zones. 

We love this! It takes away the confusion about what you’re ordering and removes language obstacles. When doubtful, simply level to the dish you need.

Most restaurant menus even have images of the out there dishes. 

Associated – Newbie’s Information to Consuming Meals in Japan

plastic food on display in window of restaurant in Kyoto Japan

Do you have got Japan journey ideas? Depart us a remark under.

grill yakitori meet sticks at market on streets of Tokyo Japan travel tips

9. Don’t stroll and eat in Japan

In Japan, it’s thought of impolite to stroll and eat on the similar time. If you are going to buy meals to go, the expectation is that you’ll NOT stroll down the road whereas consuming your meals.

This is applicable to meals bought at handy shops, like 7 Eleven and Household Mart, in addition to meals bought from avenue distributors or yatai stalls

It’s acceptable to eat on the place of buy (see picture under) or simply exterior the shop. There’s normally a chosen space for consuming. Benches or seats in parks or public areas are usually okay to eat on, however keep away from consuming messy or robust smelling meals.

Consuming on public transit is just not allowed. Don’t be that vacationer. 

Above – a yatai promoting fast bites on the Nishiki Market in Kyoto.

ramen restaurant in Kyoto Japan travel tips for first time visitors

10. Do NOT tip at eating places

One of the frequent questions for first time guests is – do you tip in Japan?

Tipping is just not anticipated in Japan. In some instances, it’s really thought of to be impolite.

We made this error on our first journey to Tokyo. We left a beneficiant tip and the server chased us down the road to present us again our change. He was not impressed, both.

This is likely one of the finest Japan journey ideas we can provide – do NOT tip in Japan.

Associated: 50 Photographs of Kyoto that can encourage you to go to

11. Order your lunch from a merchandising machine

One of many issues we love about Japan is that the whole lot is environment friendly and handy. An ideal instance of this effectivity is the digital merchandising machines situated exterior many eating places.

The contact display machines typically have images of every dish, which is handy and avoids the potential language barrier which will come up when you needed to order from a server who doesn’t communicate English.

The method is straightforward. You choose the meals you need from the contact display machines, pay with money or bank card, seize your receipt and head inside. Your meals is then delivered to your desk or your quantity is named and also you decide it up from the counter. 

When you’re completed consuming, you permit. No want to attend for a server to deliver your invoice. 

Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto Japan travel tips

12. Pack your trash. Rubbish bins are onerous to seek out.

This one nonetheless confuses me. 

How on earth does a rustic not provide rubbish bins in public areas? And, much more baffling, how does Japan keep so clear and rubbish free with out providing rubbish bins?

It is mindless. But, it makes excellent sense. 

Initially, when you’re working towards journey tip #9, you shouldn’t be strolling and consuming, subsequently you shouldn’t have rubbish in public. In case you do deliver snacks and drinks with you, the expectation is that you’ll deliver your rubbish dwelling with you. 

It’s a counter-intuitive method to littering, however it seems to work very effectively in Japan.

With out query, Japan is the cleanest nation we’ve visited.

japan travel tips no smoking in public areas

13. No smoking in public areas

Not solely is Japan the cleanest nation we’ve visited, it’s additionally probably the most smoke free. Most metropolis streets and public areas are designated as smoke free. Even sidewalks haven’t any smoking indicators on them (see picture above – these indicators are present in most closely trafficked areas).

Now, it’s possible you’ll be asking, the place do people who smoke smoke?

There are designated smoking areas scattered all through the town (see picture under). These designated smoking areas are sometimes situated on aspect streets and away from individuals. 

One of the best half about this technique is that individuals really observe the principles and solely smoke in designated areas. Think about that. 

designated smoking areas on street in Kyoto Japan

a row of storage lockers at Tokyo station in Tokyo Japan

14. Practice and subway stations have storage lockers 

Most prepare and subway stations have storage lockers out there for non permanent use.

This turns out to be useful when you plan to do some sightseeing and also you don’t need to drag your baggage round.

For instance – you try of your lodge at 11:00 AM however you continue to need to go to a couple of temples earlier than you catch a prepare. Merely drop off your baggage at these storage lockers and your free to discover with out your baggage. 

The above picture was taken at Tokyo Station. As you’ll be able to see, there’s quite a lot of sizes to select from. You pay for the locker utilizing money or bank card. Worth will depend on the dimensions, however it’s usually round 500 yen.

toilet in japan with control and buttons

15. Japanese bathrooms are fancy

You’ll at all times keep in mind the primary time you attempt a Japanese bathroom.

Japanese bathrooms are subsequent stage, when in comparison with bathrooms in North America. Public washrooms in Japan are additionally very clear and arranged. 

Bogs in Japan sometimes seem like the one pictured above. Bathroom seats are sometimes heated and so they have a management system that means that you can spray water at various speeds.

Some bathrooms even have sounds and music for privateness. I used one which makes a faux flushing sound, so it drowns out the sound of you doing what you are promoting.

hole in the floor toilets in Japan Asia

BUT – Not all bathrooms are excessive tech

We really feel it’s necessary to focus on the different sorts of bathrooms in Japan. Although not as frequent in Japan, it’s possible you’ll come throughout a bathroom that appears just like the one pictured above. 

This hole-in-the-floor bathroom is usually present in Asia. In case your journey to Japan can be the primary time visiting Asia, the sight of this bathroom will little question rattle you.

I keep in mind my first encounter with this bathroom in Thailand. It takes some getting used to.

7 Eleven sandwiches in Tokyo Japan

16. Eat at comfort shops

We hardly ever decide up ready-to-eat meals at comfort shops in Canada, until we’re on a highway journey or there aren’t different meals choices out there. 

Prepared-to-eat meals at comfort shops is frequent in Japan.

Comfort shops even have a wide selection of ready meals, from sandwiches to bento containers to baked items. We regularly grabbed prepackaged sandwiches (image above) and pastries for breakfast every morning. You should buy beer and wine from these comfort shops. Consuming at comfort shops is likely one of the best methods to journey low cost in Japan.

The principle shops in Japan are 7 Eleven, Household Mart and Lawson. Most are open 24 hours.

 Associated – Fast Information to Japanese Delicacies for Vacationers

Japan travel tips for first time visitors to Japan

17. Kimonos in Kyoto is a factor

If you go to Kyoto for this primary time, you will note lots of of individuals sporting kimonos as they wander the previous streets of Gion and Higashiyama.

At first, we assumed it was frequent costume apparel for residents. Nonetheless, we later realized that most individuals had been dressing up in kimonos to take images at conventional Kyoto landmarks, like Kiyomizu-dera, Hōkan-ji Temple and Yasaka Shrine.

Lots of the individuals sporting kimonos should not residents of Kyoto. They’re guests from different Japanese cities or they’re international vacationers. It’s well-liked to lease kimonos and rent a photographer for a couple of hours.

You will see a number of kimono rental shops within the previous Higashiyama District of Kyoto. 

renting kimonos in Kyoto for photography

Have a look at the commercial to the correct. Then, take a look at the girl on the correct. Coincidence? 

18. Toy shops have attention-grabbing figures on show

Alright, let me begin by reminding you that we visited Japan with our two younger boys.

Like most boys, they need toys. They each like Pokemon proper now, in order that they had been consistently looking out for Pokemon playing cards and toys.

As you’d anticipate, we got here throughout a couple of toy shops on this journey to Japan. 

What we didn’t look forward to finding was half-naked stripper dolls on show proper beside the Pokemon toys. A few of these collectible figurines had been fairly provocative, too. 

Now, I don’t need to sound like a prude, however concentrate on this could you resolve to deliver your children to toy shops that promote animated figures. I wasn’t ready for the questions that adopted. 

Japan travel tips posters of animated figures

A few of the figures and posters are fairly suggestive – and disproportionate. 

Flight of beer at Spring Valley Brewery in Kyoto Japan

19. Craft beer is out there, however it’s not well-liked

You will see craft beer in Japan however it’s not as well-liked as North America or Europe. We don’t typically affiliate Japan with craft beer, it’s an ongoing evolution; nonetheless, the scene has skilled progress in recent times.

Whereas exploring Kyoto’s Nishiki Market, we stumbled throughout Spring Valley Brewery. We ordered a flight of beer, pictured above, and it got here with 8 sorts of beer in 4 oz glasses.

Most eating places in Japan serve the massive three – Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo.

We don’t usually drink lagers or pilsners, we favor pale ales. Nonetheless, we regularly discovered ourselves craving a frosty pint of Sapporo throughout our time in Japan. It reminded us of consuming Guinness in Eire – it tastes so significantly better when consumed in its dwelling nation.  

Right here’s an inventory of the very best craft breweries in Japan.

Spring Valley Brewery in Kyoto Japan

Spring Valley Brewery in Kyoto.

Japan travel tips McDonald's menu in Japan

20. McDonald’s menus are principally the identical 

Generally, you simply want an Egg McMuffin for breakfast. Am I proper? 

Our boys love Hen McNuggets and French fries from McDonald’s. After days of making an attempt new meals in Tokyo, unsuccessfully at instances, they had been excited to see the acquainted Golden Arches. 

We like to go to McDonald’s after we journey abroad. Not as a result of we benefit from the meals, however as a result of we prefer to see how McDonald’s has tailored its menu to attraction to native audiences.

The McDonald’s menu in Japan is principally the identical as Canada.

You will see Large Macs, McChicken sandwiches, Egg McMuffins and Hen McNuggets. Nonetheless, it does supply some distinctive sandwiches and burgers. I attempted the Teriyaki Burger and Shrimp Burger. They had been okay. Not nice. The principle distinction is the sauce.

Right here’s an inventory of McDonald’s menu gadgets discovered solely in Japan. I solely noticed a handful of those menu gadgets, so I’m unsure how correct or up-to-date this checklist is. The menu can be regional and seasonal.

McDonald’s is an effective place to get free WiFi in Japan. 

Japan travel tips McDonald's restaurants in Japan

Share YOUR Japan journey ideas within the feedback under.

sign outside Harry hedgehog cafe in Harajuku Tokyo Japan

21. Select your themed cafe properly

Tokyo is understood for it’s uncommon and quirky themed cafes.

Most Japan journey ideas weblog posts will inform you to go to a themed cafe in Tokyo – and we agree. However right here’s the factor – many of those cafes are vacationer traps and so they exploit the individuals and pets concerned.

It’s necessary to do some analysis and select your cafe expertise rigorously. 

We determined to go to the Hedgehog Cafe in Harajuku, Tokyo.

Our oldest boy just lately obtained a hamster, so he was excited to play with hedgehogs. We like that HARRY Hedgehog Cafe has separate resting areas, in order that they’re not being dealt with consistently. It may be worrying for the hedgehogs. This cafe sells the hedgehogs, so its purpose is to additionally discover a dwelling for them.

HARRY hedgehog cafe is situated 2 minutes from the Harajuku Station. It’s on the 4th flooring.

hedgehog cafe in Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Learn extra Japan weblog posts right here.

sleeping on floor at ryokan traditional Japanese inn hotel

22. Keep at a standard Japanese Ryokan 

Staying at a Ryokan is a novel Japanese expertise that first time guests ought to attempt – at the least as soon as.

A ryokan is a standard Japanese inn that sometimes options tatami-matted rooms and communal baths. Principally, the lodge rooms would not have beds. As an alternative, every visitor is supplied a Japanese futon mattress and bedding.

Right here’s a video about how you can make a futon mattress at a standard Japanese Ryokan. 

Our boys had enjoyable sleeping collectively on the tatami-matted flooring. They mentioned it felt like tenting indoors. We’re used to sleeping on a mattress, so our backs had been fairly sore and stiff within the morning. It’s a enjoyable expertise, however after a couple of nights sleeping on the ground, we had been grateful for a mattress.

One other distinctive function of a Ryokan is the shared baths.

This conventional bathtub expertise is sort of totally different from Western tradition. Spoiler alert – you may be bare with different company. You don’t share baths with the other gender (ie. males with males, girls with girls). 

Many Canadians will discover this public nudity to be uncomfortable. What can I say, that’s simply how a few of us are hardwired. 

Communal baths will differ relying on the Ryokan, however sometimes you bathe whereas sitting on a plastic stool. See picture under. After your bathe you’ll be able to soak in shallow scorching tub. Some ryokans even have saunas. 

shared bathroom at ryokan traditional Japanese bath

Above – shared bathtub and bathe at a ryokan lodge in Japan.

rules for using onsen in Japan

23. Cowl up. Tattoos should not effectively acquired.

In case you keep at a ryokan, or go to an onsen (Japanese scorching spring), you’ll doubtless be informed to cowl your tattoos.

In case you’re coated in tattoos, you may be denied entry to the bathtub or onsen. In Japan, tattoos should not socially acceptable and so they’re typically related to criminals and gang members. 

This occurred to us in Kobe Metropolis. The lodge we stayed at has a pleasant spa and bathtub on its prime flooring. 

Once we arrived, we had been handed the letter you see pictured above. In case you take a look at the third merchandise, in the course of ‘forbidden actions’, you’ll learn ‘People with tattoos is just not allowed into the Skyspa’. 

We each have a tattoo, so we requested the entrance desk if had been allowed to make use of the Skyspa. They handed us a stack of bandages and mentioned we needed to cowl our tattoos with the bandages. It appeared extreme, however we adopted the principles and coated up. 

When you’ve got tattoos, maintain this in thoughts when making your journey plans.

eating red octopus on a stick at Nishiki Market in Kyoto Japan

24. You possibly can talk with English 

Opposite to what we learn previous to visiting Japan, most prepare stations, inns and procuring facilities have English indicators. We didn’t have bother navigating Japan with out talking Japanese. 

Japan hosts many world occasions, together with the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, so the nation has tailored to the worldwide language. 

The United Nations World Tourism Group (UNWTO) estimates that over 28.7 million vacationers visited Japan in 2017 (supply). And that quantity is anticipated to rise by 6% annually. 

It’s advisable you be taught a couple of fundamental Japanese phrases. Even when your pronunciation is off, individuals will recognize you making an effort to be taught the language.

When doubtful, revisit #3 on this checklist of Japan journey ideas.


inside Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto Japan

25. Japan could be very protected

Sure, it’s protected to journey to Japan. 

Japan is a superb household journey vacation spot. It’s persistently ranked as one of many most secure nations on this planet. We discovered the individuals of Japan to be very pleasant, respectful and accommodating.

We didn’t really feel unsafe at any level throughout our journey.

How protected is it to journey in Japan?

Japan ranks within the prime 10 within the International Peace Index (supply). Violent crime is uncommon. The overall crime price in Japan is ranked effectively under the nationwide common of the USA. 

In fact, like wherever on this planet, you continue to want to make use of frequent sense. For instance, don’t stroll down darkish alleys in the course of the night time, watch out when taking cash out of ATMs and don’t interact in felony exercise.  

Earlier than you journey to Japan, test journey advisories right here. Japan is vulnerable to typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic exercise, landslides and tsunamis. 

Extra Japan journey ideas you must know 

  • Take off your footwear when getting into a house, lodge room or onsen.
  • Don’t level immediately at individuals – it’s impolite.
  • Wait your flip. Japanese respect the queue. Don’t skip the road.
  • Japanese individuals typically put on paper face masks to maintain them, and also you, wholesome.
  • Don’t be loud in public areas. No speaking on telephones or enjoying music, reveals or video games with out utilizing headphones (see above picture).
  • Be well mannered and respectful to everybody. 
  • When paying for issues, place your cash on the tray as an alternative of handing it on to the cashier.
  • Don’t blow your nostril in public. 
  • Carry a transportable multi charging adaptor with USB shops.
  • Get a transportable Wifi gadget so you’ll be able to keep related throughout your travels.
  • Vacationers should not at all times welcome. Whereas the Japanese are very pleasant and useful in the direction of foreigners, there are some institutions the place vacationer aren’t welcome (eg. high-end eating places in Ginza).
  • Every part is tiny. Resort rooms are tiny (like capsule inns), eating places are tiny, vehicles and vans are tiny – the whole lot in Japan feels smaller. Have you ever heard of the Kei Automotive automobile class?
  • Most traditional lodge rooms have twin beds. Take into account this earlier than reserving your inns. Seek for low cost Japan inns right here.

traveling to Japan things you need to know

Learn extra posts from Japan:

Have you ever visited Japan? What did we miss?

What would you add to those Japan journey ideas?

Share your Japan journey ideas within the feedback part under.

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