Japan is not a country where you just go and wing it. If you are a first-time visitor, the language barrier can be bothersome, the prices too high, and the technology too overwhelming. Before you go on a trip to Japan, you need to prepare yourself. Here are some tips that will help to make your trip much easier:
Rent a Wireless Router
Getting your hands on a prepaid SIM card that has local calling services is not easy. You would be better off renting a pocket router, which transmits a wireless signal. Doing so allows you to connect multiple gadgets – tablet, laptop, and phone – to unthrottled data at the same time.
You can then use this wireless connection to make cheap local calls through Skype. If you are wondering where you will get the device, you can rent yours from any telecom company counter once you get to the airport in Japan.
The rail system in Japan can be confusing because different companies run different lines. You need to get a rechargeable plastic card for your public transport needs. One card can work on most public transport, including buses, trains, and subways.
If you do not want to navigate the tricky transport system, you should consider signing up for tour packages such as tours of Japan. Failure to do this could mean that you will find yourself on the wrong train by mistake.
Learn Some Japanese Words
The people in Japan do not speak much English, which means that you should learn a few Japanese phrases for communication purposes. You do not want to go into a restaurant where you cannot communicate your order effectively. Make sure that you learn some basic phrases in Japanese to make your trip more enjoyable.
Once you learn some phrases, you need to make sure that you pronounce them correctly. No matter how good you think your Japanese is, it will not matter if you get the pronunciation of words wrong.
Learn How to Bow
You need to teach yourself how to bow unless you want people to think that you are rude. If a resident of Japan bows, you need to reciprocate the gesture. Nothing bad will happen if you refuse to bow, but you will be dishonoring their culture.
As a foreigner, you need to follow the lead of the locals and do as they are doing. Although stressing too much about the rules will ruin your trip, you should try to be respectful.
Finding an ATM that accepts foreign cards in Tokyo alone is hard. This means that you should come with as much cash as possible. You should bring your local currency and exchange it at the airport. If your cash runs out, you need to have a way to withdraw. You should double check that your card is activated for withdrawing cash in foreign countries.
Take Shoes off
If you are heading to a temple, shrine, or friend’s house, you will have to remove your shoes at the entrance. If you have to use the bathroom, you can always ask for bathroom slippers. Make sure that you wear a clean pair of socks to avoid embarrassment.
In some restaurants and shops, you also have to remove your shoes because it is culturally appropriate to do so. The good news is that there are slippers at the door, so you do not have to walk with socks only.
If you follow the above tips, you will have a good time in Japan. If you are a first-time Japan visitor, you should consider signing up for tour packages.