Asia

Important things to know before going to Japan

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Temples, sky decks and endless Instagramable landscapes, Japan is most certainly a bucket-list destination. But to make sure you are prepared and ready to have the best time ever, there are a few things to keep in mind.

 

Tipping isn’t a thing.

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pennies.. #japancoins #coins #morningvibes

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In Japan excellent service is expected, so the idea of tipping is pretty much a no go. Avoid the awkwardness and don’t pay more than the set price.

 

Japan hardly has any public bins.

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Lost Vending . . . #lostvendingmachine #lostvending #japanvendingmachine #japanesevendingmachine #japaneselostvendingmachines #japanesevendingmachinesareawesome #japan #vendingfoodmachine #ausome #vendingfood #specialedition #visitjapanau

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Although the country is pretty much spotless, when you are out and about, you won’t often find many places to throw away your rubbish. To save you having to carry around your dirty skewers after eating some delicious yakitori from a food cart, it is a good idea to keep a plastic bag in your backpack. But if you do happen to really need a bin, you are most likely to find them at train stations, next to vending machines or in parks.

 

Keep the Yen handy.

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You don’t want to miss out some tasty market food because you don’t have cash or be stuck in a pickle after being declined at the ATM for some unknown reason (that can happen!). Therefore, it is always recommended to have around 10,000- 150,000 Yen (130- 200 NZD) tucked away in your fanny pack.

 

There is no loud talking on trains or buses.

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#japanmetro #metrojapan #japantrain #japanese #japan #japanwalker #japantravel #traveljapan #traveltojapan

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Public transport as we know it can be extremely noisy. But in Japan, it is expected to travel in silence. Although it is not an official rule, you will get some dirty looks if you decide to answer a phone call or talk loudly with the person next to you.

 

The Metro does not run all night.

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the clouds at the back were very pretty . . . . . #tokyo #tokyolights #iidabashi #iidabashistation #japan #train #japantrainstation #japanphoto #tokyojapan #tokyonights #dusk #sunset #photography #japanphotography #tokyophotography #東京 #飯田橋

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Speaking about trains, it is good to remember that even though Japan is super busy, the metro does not run all the time. Generally, the first subway lines start around 5 am, and the last trains go at about midnight.

 

A few simple phrases will go a long way.

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Yes, some people over there do speak English but don’t expect it. To avoid extra stress and confusion, you’ll want to learn a few key Japanese phrases before heading over there. Some handy phrases are:

 

  • Kon’nichiwa= Hello
  • Arigatōgozaimashita= Thank You
  • Wi-Fi wa arimasu ka? = Do you have wifi?
  • Kura desu ka? = How much is it?
  • Toire wa arimasu ka? = Is there a toilet?
  • Wa Doko Desuka? = where is?
  • E Ikitai Desu… = I want to go to…

 

It will also help to write down your address on a piece of paper in both Japanese and English.

 

Pointing with your finger is a no-no.

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??? #nopointing #sign #finger

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Like many other Asian countries, pointing is considered rude. Instead of using your finger to point out something interesting, use your whole hand.

 

The toilets can be a tad confusing.

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Can we just stop for a moment and appreciate the engineering marvel of Japanese toilets? Heated seats, with built in bidet functionality (with varying degrees of intensity!). I'm sure it can can do other things, like teleport you to other toilets around the country, pay your taxes, or even babysit your children – all at the push of a button – but sadly, I can not read Japanese. If I ever own my own home, this will be the first thing I import. #KooCalleja #japantime #japanesetoilet #toilettime #royalflush #notworthy #neoporcelainthrone #futureisnow

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Dare to flush, and you may face the consequences of a slightly uncomfortable water spray. To avoid this, make sure to carefully look at the pictures or words on the buttons before pressing. You will also often find yourself testing your leg muscles with their common squat toilets.

 

A small nod shows respect.

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In Japan, bowing is somewhat of an art form. This sign of respect ranges from a small nod to a deep bend. Since most Japanese people don't expect foreigners to know the bowing rules, a bow of the head is usually sufficient. #travel #tourguide #touritenerary #japan #touroperator #guidedtours #holiday #dreamholiday #jtbaustralia #japanesecustoms #japaneseculturetips

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Even as a tourist, it is good to show respect. A simple downwards head nod can be used when meeting or thanking someone. And if you find yourself in a more formal occasion, you can use a bow from the waist.

 

Cherry Blossoms aren’t always in bloom.

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Photo @hirokingraphy . . . . Kanagawa Prefecture is within easy reach of Tokyo, making it a popular destination for both visitors and Tokyoites. Yokohama's shopping malls and shiny towers make its skyline one of the most beautiful in Japan, and its past as a trading port gives it an international flair. Further down the coast of Kanagawa, Kamakura is packed with temples, quaint restaurants, and cafes, and the onsen town of Hakone is the place to relax in hot springs and view Mt. Fuji.

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You’ve probably seen plenty of photos of the magnificent Japanese cherry blossoms and are dying to experience them for yourself. But before getting too excited make sure you keep in mind when you are planning to travel to Japan as they are usually only in bloom from around February- April.

 

Don’t get too upset if you miss out, the snow festivals and autumn gardens will surely make up for it.

 

Not everything is allowed to be captured on camera.

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Nothing to report. #sundaybelike #takingabreak #weekend #nophotographyplease #kthxbai

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Naturally being in Japan, you are going to want to take lots of photos. But do keep a lookout for “no flash,” or “no photography” signs in tourist areas, and save the embarrassment of getting in trouble.

 

Japanese people often take off their shoes before going inside.

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Dinner with my love is the ultimate joy. Welcome back ! #sennarisushi #sushidinner #happytime #bestfriend #dinnertime #deliciousfood #chirashi #la#tatamidinner #greatdate

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Don’t be surprised if you are asked to take off your shoes before entering a temple, visiting someone’s house or eating at a restaurant with floor seating. Before going in, there will most likely be shelves filled with shoes, acting as a good reminder to remove them.

 

And that’s about it. Now you’re ready to have a cultural, foodie, sightseeing trip of a lifetime.

 

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