BEFORE YOU GO: JAPAN OVERVIEW

🛂  VISA 
Check here to see if you’ll need a visa.
 💉 VACCINES
Click here to make sure you’ve got the necessary jabs!
  💬 LANGUAGE
National Language is Japanese. Learn common phrases here.
 💰 CURRENCY
Japanese Yen ¥. Code: JPY. Check your exchange here.

IMPORTANT

Applications to use while in Japan:

  • Hyperdia: Japan’s transport app. Filter out Nozomi for bullet trains. Remember to say No to Nozomi. 
  • NHK World TV: An app that provides earthquake and tsunami alerts in English.

Cultural

  • Foreigners are expected to shake hands, however, you can still opt for the traditional greeting of a bow.
  • Remove shoes before entering a home in Japan.
  • Try not to eat on the streets or public areas eg: stations.

Driving?

  • Cars drive on the left side of the road.
  • Foreigners can drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit which needs to be obtained in your home country.

Insurance?

You should always have travel insurance when going overseas. For short trips, I tend to use Tick Insurance (affiliate)– it’s 4/5 stars with feefo and although I’ve never had to claim – it’s super within budget.

English?

You’ll have no trouble reading signs, hearing announcements in English. Culturally, Japanese are quite reserved and will opt to reply in Japanese or write the answer down, even if they understand. Read more on it here.

Tipping?

There is no tipping, in any context. It can be considered insulting if you do.

Transport?

  • Trains + Subway: The most reliable way to travel. Those on a JR will be included in a pass but mostly tickets will be anywhere from 180+ yen.
  • Bullet Trains: All JR trains are included in the JR PASS. I’d suggest using this if you’re going to be taking more than 2 bullet trains. To do a calculation on whether it will be cost effective, check here.
  • Taxis: Easy to get from A > B if needed. Overall public transport should cover you.
  • Scooters: Unlike South East Asia, scooters aren’t very popular and even less so with rentals to tourists.
  • Uber: Uber is only available in Tokyo and is more of a car service.
  • Buses: Not always recommended for short-term stays in larger cities, however, may be easier in Hiroshima.

Water?

Yep! You can drink the tap water here!

Working ATMS.

Cash is extremely prevalent in smaller, family-run shops. Rural areas it can be hard to find a working ATM that accepts non-Japanese cards. Majority of tourist areas will accept a card.

OTHER

📡FREE WIFI
– Major Railway Stations
– Coffee & Fast Food Restaurants
– Tourist Information Desks
🔌 POWER
Two, non-polarised pins.
Voltage: 100 Volts.
They fit into North American Outlets.
🥫 FOOD
– Sushi
– Ramen
– Tempura
– Okonomiyaki
– Shabu Shabu
– Miso Soup
🥃 DRINK
– Green Tea
– Pocari Sweat
– Matcha Latte
– Chuhai (Alc)
– Sake (Alc)
– Beer (Alc)

FUN FACTS

  • Japan is made up of 6,852 Islands
  • Japan is the English name. Nippon is Japanese and means “Sun Origin.”
  • Three-Quarters of Japan’s land is either forest or mountains.
  • Japan sits along the “Pacific Ring of Fire” which means many earthquakes.
  • Mt Fuji is the highest point of Japan, sitting at 3,7776m / 12,388ft.

 

Written by CerealSarah

A 27-year-old whose only direction in life seems to be going around the world.

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