People from around the world see Japan as one of the most amazing, beautiful, and culture-rich countries. With their mouth-watering food and hospitable citizens, the country continues to attract more tourists from then until now.
Why should you prepare before going to the land of the rising sun? First, there are some activities that Japan does differently compared to most countries. Second, it’s better to have a piece of common knowledge about a place before visiting.
This article shows you the things you should know before visiting Japan.
Pay Respect To The Country’s Manners
As mentioned, Japan is a culture-rich country, which means that there are particular manners from before that they strongly believe in until this day. Showing politeness is a big thing for locals, so it’s best to show respect. The following are basic manners to take note of and follow:
- When eating, get your plate. Never eat directly from the dish because it’s considered rude.
- In gatherings, pour drinks on everyone’s glasses except yours. Let others do it for you.
- If you see provided slippers in a restaurant’s bathroom, use it, especially if they have traditional Japanese flooring.
- The locals see the chopsticks as a cultural item, so be careful when using them to play or point at things.
- Do not point. Instead, open your hand and show the direction while speaking.
- Oshibori is a moist towel (either hot or cold) you should use before meals. Never use it on the face or throughout the eating session like a napkin.
- Do not leave tips at restaurants. They find it rude and confusing.
- It’s polite to slurp when eating because chef’s take it as a compliment and indication that their meals are delicious.
- It’s okay to dress up when visiting attractions such as The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. You may also use costumes and Harry potter green eyes make up to blend in.
You’ll Need To Prepare Financially
Japan is an expensive place to visit compared to other countries in Asia. If you want to have a comfortable stay, make sure you financially prepare for the trip. Take note that the following are approximations and do not include transportation fees. The prices are subject to changes.
Finding a place to stay is an adventure itself because Japan has a lot to offer. Tourists should always be open to trying different places to stay in because each one has a unique experience to provide its clients.
- Hostels: prices range from 2,500 to 4,000 JPY ($20 to $35) per room.
- Capsule hotels: prices range from 3,000 to 5,000 JPY ($25 to $50) per room. The rooms are small and mostly accommodate only one person.
- Budget hotels: these places give you more personal space and may cost approximately 8,500 JPY ($75) for two rooms.
- Rentals/private homes: usually priced at 8,800 JPY ($75)
- Traditional bed and breakfast: pricier compared to the suggestions mentioned earlier but will also give you an authentic and unforgettable Japanese experience.
However, take note that prices vary from city to city. The central city (Tokyo) is undoubtedly more expensive than the others.
Means Of Transportation
Overall, traveling by train is the easiest route, but it’s also the most costly. If you’re coming from Osaka and you plan to visit Tokyo, expect to spend approximately 20,000 JPY ($165). Major cities of Japan offer a train ticket you can use over and over in a day and will only cost you 600-800 JPY ($5 to $7). If you prefer to tour the city by bus, the cost may reach up to 2,500 JPY ($20).
If you want to avail discounts and spend less on transportation, get yourself a Japan Rail Pass. These passes last for 1 to 3 weeks and offer free transit on JR lines. Nowadays, tourists can buy the passes upon entry to Japan, but it’s better to purchase earlier and online to avail of a 20% discount.
Choose The Budget-Friendly Route
When you first think about it, visiting Japan can put a hole in your pocket, but there are other small ways you can save money.
- Ride the bus instead: staying more than a day in Japan means you can change your usual route of transportation. The prices differ significantly.
- Obtain a JR pass: if you still want a convenient but affordable means of traveling, then get a JR pass for trains. It’s a bit more expensive than buses, but it’s a cheaper option.
- Cook meals: if you’re living at rentals for the duration of your stay, cooking can save a lot of expenses. All it takes is a trip to the local market.
- Eat at 7-Eleven: on the other hand, if you chose to stay at hostels or capsule hotels, this convenience store has ready-made meals that the locals love, such as sandwiches, fruits, sushi, and many more.
- Schedule food purchases at night: according to Japan’s law, all supermarkets should have discounts on fresh food which can reach up to 50%.
Learn The Essential But Short Phrases
Before traveling, always make sure to learn even a few words so that you won’t have a hard time asking for something you need when you get there. A common mistake most tourists make is thinking that all countries understand English, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Here are the most useful phrases you can use:
Thank you= Arigato
Thank you very much= Domo Arigato
How much?= Ikura
Where is ___?= Doko Desu ka ___?
Have you ever visited Japan? If so, or even if not yet, why not keep a record of all the places you visited by coloring your own unique map, printed on canvas? 😉
About the Author Lydia Lee
Lydia is a fashion blogger. She works at a Tech company and writes as a freelancer for several fashion magazines both local and international. She has a pet terrier named Fugui. Follow her on Twitter!