Essential Travel Tips for Japan

Essential Travel Tips for Japan

With the Tokyo Olympics and the Rugby World Cup approaching, we felt it was only necessary to make a comprehensive list of the essential travel tips for Japan that you really should know. Hopefully, by following these recommendations, you can not only have an enjoyable time in Japan, but it will help you get a better insight into Japanese society and the day to day life of several million people.

1. Don’t be overly loud in public places

Train Station

Japan is a pretty quiet place, and can be especially quiet in public places such as shrines, temples, or trains. Trains in general are one of the quietest places to go, even during rush hour, there will hardly be anyone talking on them (with the exception of school kids). It’s important that if you do want to talk to someone, that you do it in a quiet and respectable tone as to not disturb even just people who talk a lot louder than the social norm, making everyone in the tight space a part of their conversation.

2. Don’t expect everyone to speak English

The first language of Japan is Japanese (duh) so don’t just randomly start talking to someone in English and expect for them to understand. Although many people have learned it in school, their skills are likely to still be very limited. Some of the locals might even be afraid to talk to you – just because they don’t know any English. There are even bars and restaurants which have a ban on foreigners, not because the owners are racist, but they don’t have any English skills or English materials at their establishment, and therefore will not be able to serve you.

If you want to speak to a local in English, it would be best to ask this in Japanese first.

‘Sumimasen. Eigo Hanasemasu ka?’ which translates to – Excuse me, do you speak English?

To which they can reply with ‘Hai’ or ‘Hai, Eigo Hanasemasu’ which means Yes, I do. Or they could reply with ‘iie’ or ‘Gomenasai, Eigo hanasemasen’ which means I don’t.

If they don’t speak english, then it would be polite to say ‘Ah, sumimasen‘, bow, and walk away.

3.Don’t cross the road whenever you feel like it.

Although in big cities, people walk in the middle of the side streets where cars are infrequent, however, On streets where a crosswalk is located, people don’t cross unless the crosswalk has the little green person has been illuminated – even in the dead of night when no cars around. This is a fine example of the order of Japanese society, and the values of the culture. Although there is no real punishment for crossing whenever or where ever you please, it’s still not accepted in Japanese culture.

4. Stop to eat/drink.

Probably the hardest thing to find in Japanese cities and rural areas alike are public garbage bins. If your out on the streets, you will usually only find garbage bins at convenience stores or in public toilets – and recycling bins out front vending machines as well. But the reason why it’s so hard to find them outside their set places is because it’s to discourage littering funny enough.

People in Japan know that they can eat and drink at the convenience store and dispose of their packaging there. It is also considered to be rude to eat/drink and walk because people will get the suspicion that you will litter.

So if you get some food from the convenience store, eat it there, or eat it when you are back in your hotel room, apartment or house.

Are you planning a trip to Japan soon? Then you really should consider purchasing a JR Rail Pass, especially if you are planning on hitting all the major Tourist cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Sapporo.

The JR Rail Pass makes getting around the country easy, and can save you several hundreds in travel expenses. All you need to do is just show your pass at the ticket gate, and you have access to any and all JR rail lines across the country, and not just the standard commuter trains, but luxury trains, and even the world famous Shikansen (Bullet Train). A JR Rail Pass is an essential item for any visitor to Japan. Buy your pass today by clicking here now!