Unique culture, landscapes, exotic food, and nightlife are a few of the many things that will make you want to visit Japan once in life. But whenever you’re planning a trip abroad, you need to know a little bit about the place and what to expect. These not only keep you well-equipped but also ensure a safe and happy trip. Here, we will give you a guide that helps all first time travelers in Japan.
Tips for first time travelers in Japan
Find out all the stuff to know before traveling to Japan:
1. Buy a wallet that can save lots of coins
Considering the fact that you won’t make most expenses with your credit card, you will need adequate cash. We would want you to carry a wallet that stores many coins due to this reason.
Japan is still a very cash-based society and they use a lot of coins. Their smallest denomination on a note is 1000 yen, which is equal to $8. So, for things that cost less, you need to pay in coins.
They have coins for 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 yen. Keep a wallet handy that stores a lot of coins else you might miss out some cheap thrills!
2. Buy a rental SIM or pocket Wi-Fi
You might easily navigate the well-traveled places anywhere in Japan. But to navigate to lesser-known places and to stay connected with people, you must take a SIM card on rent or use a pocket Wi-Fi device.
Apart from being a call away during emergencies and navigating unknown roads, you’d also want to update your Instagram with travel posts. Of course, you can’t miss out on the food pictures and picturesque view.
You will get several service counters giving you a rental SIM or Wi-Fi service. But you can also avail this from the vending machine at the Narita Airport. Just make sure you know which SIM card size suits your cellphone.
3. Keep hand wipes handy
One downside about most restrooms in Japan is that they don’t keep paper towels and electric hand dryers. Japanese people tend to keep a handkerchief in their bags or carry wipes. You can carry a small towel from the hotel or even buy cute ones that sell in Japan as souvenirs.
You can also encounter restrooms that have don’t hand soaps, especially when going to the rural areas. It is better to carry a hand sanitizer and ensure you’re hygienic all the time.
You can simply carry a pack of tissues with you as well because some places might charge for toiler paper. Just make sure there’s nothing coming your way when its about sanitation and good hygiene.
4. Use luggage forwarding services
You might have heard about the famous bullet train in Japan called Shinkansen. It is not only known because it takes you from one place to another in a jiffy but also because of its cleanliness. It is always punctual but they have limited luggage space. You only have access to narrow overhead racks and empty spaces behind the last seats of each car.
If you’re traveling with many pieces of luggage, you should refrain using this transport. It is also a hassle to carry heavy luggage across the stations.
5. Carry a bag to store trash
Japan has literally no trash cans in the public spaces. It is good to carry a plastic bag where you can stash the trash until you find a trash can. You can find it in a convenience store or at the train stations.
You need to throw garbage separated by category. So make sure you known where you put what. For example, there will be a garbage can for plastic, one for metals, and so on.
6. Rent bicycles
Transportation within Japan might seem expensive to some. The best way to go around the places you visit is on a bicycle. If you plan to visit Kyoto, you must rent a bike and go across the areas of Sagano and Arashiyma. They give you a breathtaking view during the spring and fall seasons.
7. Select comfortable shoes
To explore most of Japan, you will have to do a little bit of walking. Even if you want to wear shoes that match your outfit, you need to make sure that they are comfortable. A lot of people trek through the Torii of Fushimi Inari Shrine, so you will need to have the right kind of shoes that helps your journey.
8. Avoid schedule overload
First time travelers in Japan must understand the concept of ‘less is more’. You need to plan your days so that you enjoy your time in every place you go and not check your watch every five seconds so that you don’t run behind schedule. You need to plan your breaks, meals, and give yourself time to relax. Japan is not one of those places where you plan a hectic trip. In fact, many people just come and visit Tokyo on their first trip and return back when they want to go to other places.
9. Know survival Japanese
Unlike many other countries over the world, Japanese people don’t prioritize English as their first language. It is usually their second language in school and not everyone is proficient in English. You need to do a lot of catching up when it comes to communicating with people. First time travelers in Japan who are coming here to stay or study will have to pick up the language in order to survive.
10. Be warm
Japanese people are extremely warm and courteous. They will treat you with extreme respect and expect the same in return. People still bow in front of each other to show respect and greet. You will often hear them say words that mean ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’. It says a lot about their culture and how you reciprocate will reflect yours.
These hacks are going to help you a lot on your first trip to Japan. If you have still not got your tickets and hotels booked, it is time you check the best time to visit and plan you’re itinerary right away.