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11 Japan travel tips from people who have actually been there

#11 Japan is far from being cashless yet

The universality of cash in Japan cannot be understated. Travellers who stumbled upon Japan’s lackadaisical efforts towards the idea of virtual money strongly emphasize the need to carry liquid cash while you’re there.

#10 Carry a portable wifi source

It might sound ironical given that Japan is technology advanced, but reasonable wifi sources are very few and mostly even those are available on a subscription basis. You can’t imagine strolling through the incredibly crowded Tokyo trying to decipher Japan’s unique addressing pattern by yourself.

#9 You can absolutely trail around Japan with no knowledge of Japanese

You of course can surprise the natives with one or two essential Japanese phrases but that’s totally up to you. These days even restaurant menus are in english and you can travel fine without having to learn the local language.

#8 There’s more to Japan than Ramen and Sushi.

It’s not your fault. For us Japan always means Pokemon, Naruto, Spiked hairstyles and Ramens. Yes, indulge yourself in the best ramen and sushi you’ll ever have but don’t forget to surprise your scrupulous palates with a cup of Takoyaki or Yakitori. Also make sure you pay the mandatory gourmet visit to Fukuoka.

#7 You don’t need to exploit your wallet for a trip to Japan

Japan’s image as a ridiculously expensive place is no more than a common myth. You might need to scrutinize more if you live in Japan, but for a trip, you should be just fine if you zero in on wallet friendly modes just for commute and stay. For instance, you can go with JR(Japan Rail) pass instead of bullet trains.

#6 And yes, Japan is immaculately kept. And that’s expected from you too, traveller!

Legends say that the gods of Shinto, one of the major religions in Japan, hate filth and the Japanese take it nothing but serious. Another lovely thing is that the indigenous don’t shy away from taking the trash home to dispose. Ironically you wouldn’t find many trash cans here and hence carry a handy bag with you to avoid embarassment.

#5 Don’t stress out trying to ace Japanese cultural etiquettes. Just being sensitive goes a long way

If you bow any less than 30 degrees for showing respect, you are seriously offending them! Come on, I’m just kidding! (:p) Japan is indeed known for its rich cultural etiquettes but no stress on foreigners to show respect exactly the way they do.

Woman serving Chinese tea in a traditional tea ceremony

#4 Don’t tip. Forget what Tarantino taught in Reservoir Dogs while you’re there

Tipping is not just unnecessary, it may even be misconstrued as an insult. Offering an extra something may be translated as “I don’t think you’re paid well”, or “Amazing service, by the way do you get my sarcasm?” You can show appreciations just by a gentle bow or with a simple nod.

#3 Forget wheels for a bit and stroll through the quintessential streets of incredible Japan

A country cannot be best explored if not traversed by at least a bit of aimless wandering. Sometimes serendipity surprises you in ways plans can’t.

#2 Certain free-to-do stuff are as good as the paid ones

Watch Hanabi fireworks, explore the Meiji shrine, indulge in Suntory free brewery tour, visit the Sensoji temple, traverse the country’s tallest peak at mount Fuji, and a lot more, all for FREE!

#1 Follow the RULES, always follow the rules

Make sure you follow very basic rules like:

  • Leaving your shoes outdoors
  • Covering your tattoos(still a taboo in Japan!) while trying out onsens or similar public bath places
  • Never abstaining from a queue
  • Pouring drinks with both the hands
  • Covering yourself before sneezing. Note that the people in Japan wear face masks not due to pollution but to avoid the spread of contagious diseases

There’s more. Do you have any heads up that has been missed out? Let’s get to discussing! Can’t wait? Get in touch with Pickyourtrail to fix the perfect itinerary for a breath-taking trip to Japan.

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