Japan is a country that highly values discipline and cleanliness that is why it is so popular for travellers around the world.
A record 24.04 million tourists visited Japan in 2016, an increase of 22% over 2015, the tourism ministry announced.
It was also the first year that the number of foreign tourists to Japan surpassed the 20-million mark, Fuji TV reported.
For first timers, Japan is an intimidating travel location because of customs and beliefs that you should follow and give respect.
But fret not! Here we present to you 5 simple but effective tips you should know if you are travelling to Japan for the first time!
1. Learn some basic Japanese
There is no harm to learn a few basic phrases in Japanese before you go.
Simply knowing “good morning,” “do you speak English?” “what’s your name?” “thank you,” “delicious,” “cute,” and a few more will reward you in ways you cannot imagine.
Some example of basic Japanese phrases:
Ohayou Gozaimasu (おはようございます) – Good Morning
Konnichiwa (こんにちは) – Hello
Konbanwa (こんばんは) – Good Evening
Oyasuminasai (おやすみなさい) – Good Night
Arigatou Gozaimasu (ありがとうございます) – Thank You
Watashi no Namae wa ~ desu. (わたしのなまえは～です。) – My name is ~.
~ e Ikitai Desu. (～へいきたいです。) – I want to go to ~.
~ wa Doko Desuka? (～はどこですか？) – Where is ~?
Ue, Shita, Migi, Hidari (うえ、した、みぎ、ひだり) – Up, Down, Right, Left
~ wo Kudasai. (～をください。) – May I have ~.
Japanese people will definitely appreciate you more when you talk to them in Japanese. https://www.fodors.com/language/japanese/basic-phrases/
2. Dine out at lunch to save money
In Japan, lunch at restaurants is often much much cheaper than dinner. If you want to dine out, opt for the set menus at lunchtime.
Often they are the same as the dinnertime menu but considerably cheaper during the day. So better check it out and you’ll be surprised with the savings you can make.
For people with dietary requirements, here are some tips for eating in Japan:
How to Enjoy Japanese Food with Dietary Requirements – Vegetarians, Pescatarians and More
3. Tipping is not required
In Japan, service-people are paid a living wage. So save your yen for another bowl of Ramen!
Many Japanese believe that good service should be the standard and therefore, tipping is not necessary. However, some staff that work for Japanese tourist companies are accustomed to receiving tips and may be grateful to receive a small gratuity.
If you ever do decide to tip in Japan, do not give cash directly from your pocket or purse. Always place the money in an envelope before you hand it over.
If you are staying in an extremely high-class Ryokan (a traditional Japanese Inn) the tipping etiquette is to leave a small tip in an envelope and never to give the tip directly. Overall, tipping in Japan is not customary. Respect and politeness are expected at all times, and if your tip in Japan is refused, do not to be offended.
4. MOBILE INTERNET CONNECTION IS very important
In Japan you will be using your phone more often than you usually do, using a couple apps or programs to do the translations, Google Maps for GPS-guided directions, Yen conversion, Kanji dictionary and more.
Flexiroam X is the number one solution for your mobile internet connection woes!
When we arrived at the airport, with Flexiroam X we can directly switch between Flexiroam X network and home network to enjoy data roaming while in Japan. But remember you can also use Flexiroam X in over 140 countries around the world.
We can instantly use data roaming on our mobile phones. At any time, check our location and destination, or be assured if there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity even in remote places. Saving the hassle of buying and changing our sim card.
Flexiroam also provides local data plan especially for travellers going to Japan, which is cheaper compared to local sim cards. We are not joking it’s cheap and have longer validity!
You can purchase it via the Flexiroam App, make sure you have the starter pack to get the local data plan.
Download the app here if you don’t have it yet! Click the link below:
5. Shoes on, shoes off. Wear nice socks!
In Japan, as in many Asian countries, it’s customary to take off one’s shoes when entering certain areas of restaurants, and of course someone’s house.
Therefore, it is better to always wear socks that are neat and most importantly free of any holes.
If you are visiting Japan’s historic building, it is also better to wear shoes that can be easily removed as you have to take off and put on your shoes multiple times per day.
It is considered a good manner to turn your shoes to point towards the door after you have removed them.
What are you still waiting? Let’s go to the land of the rising sun!
Follow this simple steps and you’ll have a wonderful experience while staying in Japan!
Wondering which country we will visit next? Stay tuned for our next article!
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