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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 lots of issues to know earlier than touring to Japan, so right now’s weblog submit shares a couple of helpful Japan journey journeys. 

Japan is definitely certainly one of our favorite journey locations on the earth. It’s in contrast to wherever else. The folks, the meals, the tradition, the quirkiness, the structure, the historical past, the World Heritage Websites.

Merely put, Japan has all the things you need in journey vacation spot.

Japan travel tips for families

Japan journey ideas for first timers

To offer you a little bit 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 lots of journey for 2 weeks. An excessive amount of, really. This latest 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 you might want to know earlier than your Japan trip. We share sensible journey ideas to 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 technique 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 may 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 smart 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.

One can find ATM’s scattered all through the cities. They’re comparatively simple to seek out. We usually bought money from the ATM’s on the 7 Eleven comfort shops and on the practice 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 payment.

It’s smart to convey a minimum of 50,000 Yen with you. Your financial institution might must order Yen, because it’s not extensively held at Canadian banks, so it’s greatest to do that a couple of weeks earlier than your departure date.

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

2. Soy Sauce just isn’t 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. 

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

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

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

Nope. Improper 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 stated the rice was dangerous. They weren’t impressed.

Confused, I attempted the rice. That is once 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 stated, 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 proper technique to eat sushi, however we had been improper. 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 proper 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 along with your chopsticks; and (3) don’t combine wasabi in your soy sauce.

There are lots of issues to learn about Japanese tradition. Most individuals will forgive foreigners for not understanding 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 greatest 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 averted.

The reply = Google Translate. 

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

For those who don’t already use Google translate if you journey, you must. 

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

It’s free, it’s simple and it really works like a attraction. For those who’re nervous about visiting Tokyo with out understanding 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 lets you use most public transport (metro, trains, buses, monorail). Initially, these handy transit playing cards may solely be utilized in Tokyo; nevertheless, Suica playing cards at the moment are usable at most practice 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 purchase Suica Playing cards at most practice stations utilizing the digital merchandising machines pictured above. Suica Playing cards let you keep away from buying tickets from machines earlier than every trip.  

You can too order Suica Playing cards on-line and have them mailed to your 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 practice stations, so we determined to get them forward of time, to keep away from confusion.

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

The right way to 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 photograph under.

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

Issues to learn about Suica Card

  • Costs embody a deposit of 500 yen. The distinction between the grownup’s card and baby’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 specific trains, shinkansen, lengthy distance buses (freeway buses) or airport shuttles.
  • You should use your Suica to make purchases onboard trains in addition to from merchandising machines, to hire 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.

Youngsters underneath 5 years previous journey at no cost 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 practice station knowledgeable us that Connor, who was 5 years previous on the time, was in a position to trip at no cost.

Youngsters 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 Go

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

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

For those who plan to journey sluggish and spend time in huge cities, like Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo, it’d make extra sense to skip the JR Go and go for a method practice tickets. 

For shorter distances, like Kyoto to Osaka, you don’t really must take the Shinkansen practice. As a substitute, 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 phase. Trains are the easiest way to get round Japan, so we did the mathematics and realized it was cheaper for us to buy a method tickets.

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

Not enormous financial savings, however sufficient to make us skip the JR Go.

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

For those who’re solely spending one week in Japan, the JR Go would possibly make sense to your Japan trip. 

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

Shinkansen seat reservations

To make Shinkansen seat reservations, which is beneficial throughout busy journey occasions, you will need to see a ticket agent on the practice station. So, you’re probably not saving time by having the JR Go. 

Now, take into accout, we had been touring with 2 younger boys, so it’s vital that our seats are aspect by aspect. For those who’re touring solo otherwise you don’t thoughts sitting alone, you doubtless received’t want reservations and you may 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, but it surely nonetheless stunned us after we took an airport taxi from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Sheraton Tokyo Bay Lodge at Tokyo Disneyland.

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

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

Now, to offer 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 therapy – actually. 

Touring to Tokyo? Learn: The right way to spend 3 days in Tokyo

taxi in Tokyo Japan

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

Sure, Japan has Uber, but it surely’s principally restricted to huge cities, like Tokyo and Kyoto.

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

We took an Uber in Tokyo and Kyoto.

The Uber app syncs similar to it does in North America, so that you don’t want to fret about downloading a special 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 converse English).

Uber rides in Japan are mainly like taxis. The vehicles really appear like taxis, too.

We like that fares are routinely paid for with the bank card on our account, so we don’t have to make use of money or anticipate change. Uber fares are usually cheaper than taxis and the app offers a most fare for the journey. We like this function – it offers 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 select us up. To be truthful, it was throughout rush hour and the visitors was dangerous, however we noticed dozens of taxis go us by whereas we had been ready.

For those who don’t like Uber, otherwise you’re having issues with the app, you can even use the JapanTaxi App. We’re advised this platform is comparatively new and it connects with a number of taxi corporations. 

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

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 are in Japanese. Most eating places in Japan have plastic replicas of their meals on show, particularly eating places positioned close to practice stations, purchasing 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 photographs 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 could have 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 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 road distributors or yatai stalls

It’s acceptable to eat on the place of buy (see photograph under) or simply exterior the shop. There’s often a delegated 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 just isn’t 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

Probably the most frequent questions for first time guests is – do you tip in Japan?

Tipping just isn’t anticipated in Japan. In some circumstances, 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 offer us again our change. He was not impressed, both.

This is likely one of the greatest 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 all the things is environment friendly and handy. An ideal instance of this effectivity is the digital merchandising machines positioned exterior many eating places.

The contact display screen machines usually have photographs 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 converse English.

The method is easy. You choose the meals you need from the contact display screen 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 known as and also you choose it up from the counter. 

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

Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto Japan travel tips

12. Pack your trash. Rubbish bins are exhausting 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 unnecessary. But, it makes excellent sense. 

To start with, when you’re working towards journey tip #9, you shouldn’t be strolling and consuming, subsequently you shouldn’t have rubbish in public. For those who do convey snacks and drinks with you, the expectation is that you’ll convey your rubbish dwelling with you. 

It’s a counter-intuitive strategy to littering, but it surely seems to work very nicely 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 don’t have any smoking indicators on them (see photograph above – these indicators are present in most closely trafficked areas).

Now, you could be asking, the place do people who smoke smoke?

There are designated smoking areas scattered all through town (see photograph under). These designated smoking areas are usually positioned on aspect streets and away from folks. 

The most effective half about this method is that folks 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. Prepare and subway stations have storage lockers 

Most practice and subway stations have storage lockers out there for momentary use.

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

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

The above photograph was taken at Tokyo Station. As you’ll be able to see, there’s a wide range of sizes to select from. You pay for the locker utilizing money or bank card. Value relies on the scale, but it surely’s usually round 500 yen.

toilet in japan with control and buttons

15. Japanese bogs are fancy

You’ll all the time bear in mind the primary time you strive a Japanese bathroom.

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

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

Some bogs even have sounds and music for privateness. I used one which makes a pretend flushing sound, so it drowns out the sound of you doing your enterprise.

hole in the floor toilets in Japan Asia

BUT – Not all bogs are excessive tech

We really feel it’s vital to spotlight the different varieties of bogs in Japan. Although not as frequent in Japan, you could come throughout a rest room 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 also be the primary time visiting Asia, the sight of this bathroom will little question rattle you.

I bear 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 not often choose up ready-to-eat meals at comfort shops in Canada, except we’re on a street 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 variety 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 purchase 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 primary 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

Once you go to Kyoto for this primary time, you will notice a whole bunch of individuals sporting kimonos as they wander the previous streets of Gion and Higashiyama.

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

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

One can find a number of kimono rental shops within the previous Higashiyama District of Kyoto. 

renting kimonos in Kyoto for photography

Take a look at the commercial to the best. Then, have a look at the girl on the best. 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, so 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 anticipate 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 determine to convey 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 offered, but it surely’s not fashionable

One can find craft beer in Japan but it surely’s not as fashionable as North America or Europe. We don’t usually affiliate Japan with craft beer, it’s an ongoing evolution; nevertheless, the scene has skilled progress lately.

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 kinds of beer in 4 oz glasses.

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

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

Right here’s a listing of the perfect 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 mainly the identical 

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

Our boys love Rooster McNuggets and French fries from McDonald’s. After days of making an attempt new meals in Tokyo, unsuccessfully at occasions, 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 mainly the identical as Canada.

One can find Huge Macs, McChicken sandwiches, Egg McMuffins and Rooster 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 primary distinction is the sauce.

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

McDonald’s is an efficient 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 thought for it’s uncommon and quirky themed cafes.

Most Japan journey ideas weblog posts will let you know 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 folks and pets concerned.

It’s vital to do some analysis and select your cafe expertise fastidiously. 

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

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

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

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 conventional Japanese Ryokan 

Staying at a Ryokan is a novel Japanese expertise that first time guests ought to strive – a minimum of as soon as.

A ryokan is a conventional Japanese inn that usually options tatami-matted rooms and communal baths. Principally, the resort rooms shouldn’t have beds. As a substitute, 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 conventional Japanese Ryokan. 

Our boys had enjoyable sleeping collectively on the tatami-matted ground. They stated 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 tub expertise is sort of totally different from Western tradition. Spoiler alert – you can be bare with different company. You don’t share baths with the alternative 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 range relying on the Ryokan, however usually you bathe whereas sitting on a plastic stool. See photograph under. After your bathe you’ll be able to soak in shallow sizzling tub. Some ryokans even have saunas. 

shared bathroom at ryokan traditional Japanese bath

Above – shared tub and bathe at a ryokan resort in Japan.

rules for using onsen in Japan

23. Cowl up. Tattoos should not nicely obtained.

For those who keep at a ryokan, or go to an onsen (Japanese sizzling spring), you’ll doubtless be advised to cowl your tattoos.

For those who’re coated in tattoos, you could be denied entry to the bathtub or onsen. In Japan, tattoos should not socially acceptable and so they’re usually related to criminals and gang members. 

This occurred to us in Kobe Metropolis. The resort we stayed at has a pleasant spa and tub on its prime ground. 

After we arrived, we had been handed the letter you see pictured above. For those who have a look at the third merchandise, in the course of ‘forbidden actions’, you’ll learn ‘People with tattoos just isn’t 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 stated 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 may talk with English 

Opposite to what we learn previous to visiting Japan, most practice stations, motels and purchasing facilities have English indicators. We didn’t have hassle 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 predicted to rise by 6% every year. 

It’s beneficial you study a couple of fundamental Japanese phrases. Even when your pronunciation is off, folks will admire you making an effort to study the language.

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


inside Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto Japan

25. Japan may be very secure

Sure, it’s secure to journey to Japan. 

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

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

How secure is it to journey in Japan?

Japan ranks within the prime 10 within the International Peace Index (supply). Violent crime is uncommon. The final crime fee in Japan is ranked nicely under the nationwide common of the US. 

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

Earlier than you journey to Japan, examine 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 sneakers when getting into a house, resort room or onsen.
  • Don’t level immediately at folks – it’s impolite.
  • Wait your flip. Japanese respect the queue. Don’t skip the road.
  • Japanese folks usually 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 photograph).
  • 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. 
  • Convey a transportable multi charging adaptor with USB retailers.
  • Get a transportable Wifi gadget so you’ll be able to keep linked throughout your travels.
  • Vacationers should not all the time 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 little thing is tiny. Lodge rooms are tiny (like capsule motels), eating places are tiny, vehicles and vans are tiny – all the things in Japan feels smaller. Have you ever heard of the Kei Automobile car class?
  • Most traditional resort rooms have twin beds. Contemplate this earlier than reserving your motels. Seek for low-cost Japan motels 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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