15 “Do’s and Don’ts” When in Japan
Source : tourist-note.com
If you are planning a trip to Japan, you will no doubt be flooded with a wealth of information on the internet and sometimes it can get confusing. Here are some simple “do’s and don’ts” to keep in mind that will help get you started on your trip.
1. DO eat Japanese food
While popular fast food restaurants are available (and they sometimes offer food options specific to Japan), be sure to step outside the box and try some authentic Japanese food. Even if you aren’t very adventurous when it comes to food, you can start out with popular foods like ramen, yakitori and sushi. Don’t travel all the way to Japan without trying some local delicacies!
2. DON’T be scared of the high-tech toilets
When you first see one of these “robot toilets’, you may fear that one of the water jets will somehow spray you in the face. But just pay attention to the pictures on the buttons to figure out what each one does and you will soon see why everyone should have a high-tech toilet!
3. DO try an onsen
There are more the 3,000 hot springs in Japan and a trip to an onsen is a “must”. The water from the natural springs contains minerals that are beneficial for health and the experience in general is very relaxing.
4. DON’T think that spring is the only good time to visit
While spring boasts some awesome activities in Japan, each season has something special to offer and visiting during the off-season will save you money as things are cheaper.
5. DO carry a phrase book
Learning a few basic phrases will definitely be beneficial and the locals will appreciate your effort in learning a little bit of their language. But if you don’t have time to learn any Japanese words before you go, be sure to take along a phrase book. You can also learn some easy Japanese phrases at Tourist Note Japan. Click here to start learning!
6. DO venture outside of Tokyo
Japan has so much to offer and while you will most likely spend some time in Tokyo, try to visit other areas as well if you have time.
7. DON’T wear shoes that are difficult to remove and put on
As you’ll be required to remove your shoes when entering homes (as well as some restaurants and tourist sites), always wear shoes that you can easily take off and put back on.
8. DO check out the vending machines
While in other countries vending machines only offer snacks and drinks, those in Japan offer all kinds of things like hot food, fresh fruit, umbrellas and origami. Food items in Japanese vending machines are restocked frequently for freshness.
9. DO stay at a ryokan
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn with tatami mats and offers a taste of being in an authentic Japanese home. Staying at a ryokan is great if you want to experience Japanese culture and hospitality.
10.DON’T walk on the wrong side of the street
According to the traffic laws in Japan, drivers drive on the left side of the road and pedestrians walk on the right side. But at some stations, pedestrians are asked to walk on the left side. So to be safe, always follow the flow people.
11.DO eat food at convenience stores
While convenience store food in some countries can be over-processed and of low quality, convenience stores in Japan offer fresh foods that are cheaper than what you will find in restaurants.
12.DON’T try to get public transportation after midnight
Public transportation is not available after midnight, so be sure to make transportation plans if you are going to be out late so that you won’t be left stranded. Taxis are expensive in Japan, so only use them when you absolutely have to.
13.DO get a Japanese Rail Pass
These passes will make your trip much easier, as you won’t have to book seats in advance but can just hop on and go. Be sure to get one if you plan on traveling around the country.
14.DO pre-book accommodation
The best places always fill up fast, so it is best to book accommodation early. At traditional ryokans, they like to prepare for their guests in advance, so booking ahead also shows courtesy.
15.DO track your expenses
Spending can easily get out of control if you are not careful, so keep track of what you are spending. There are apps you can download to easily keep track of your expenses.
Written by Simone
Tourist Note JAPAN