Monday, October 13, 2014

Things to know before going to Japan

Hello everyone :)

Last year I was in Japan for two weeks, so I thought why not to tell you the most important things to know before visiting it.
1) Almost nobody is able to speak English there, maybe some of them are but they´re too shy     and don´t want to make any mistakes. SO MAKE SURE TO KNOW THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENSES IN JAPANESE! IT´S ALSO POLITE
2) Probably your mobile net wont work in Japan so you can´t call someone or write SMS, but since you often get free wlan it´s no problem to stay in contact with other people.
3) Japan is the country of cash. Everybody carries hundert of dollars/euros (of course in yen) around. Only rich people own a credit card because it don´t work everywhere. Also EC cards wont work probably. For drawing out cash from machines I would recommend this card.


I know this is only a swiss card. But make sure that these two signs "Plus" and "Euroserv" are on it.
If not ask your local bank if the signs are just not printed on, on your card.
This card will work in every FamilyMart and they´re everywhere in Japan. It will also work in japanese banks.
4) Clubs, bars and alcohol is for people under 20 years prohibited. They will look closely if you are foreigner.
5) Courtesy is one of the big words in Japan. Make sure to always say "arigatou gozaimasu" and bend your head to thank. If you did something wrong say "sumimasen". It´s also normal to repeat this words serial times.
6) As for courtesy eveything has its order in Japan. on moving stairs all people who don´t walk stand on the same side and they who walk on the other. The side changes from city to city. DO NOT JUMP THE QUEUE! the person who came first walks first in ect.
7) Do not drink or eat while walking around. You will notice that there aren´t many bins outside, bacause nobody needs them on sideways because nobody is eating or drinking there.
8) For travelling just around Tokyo I recommend this Pasmo card.
Normally you always have to buy the exact ticket for your journey. So for example you want to go from Asakusa to Shibuya. You have to buy the ticket for about 160 Yen . When you go in the metro you put this ticket in the barrier to get in and you get your ticket back. And when you arrive you put your ticket again in the barrier to leave. You can only leave on the station for which you payed the ticket previously. So it´s quite easy to mess up.
So with this card you can simply load up some money and then it will automatically draw the amount of your journey when you hold this card on the barrier when you leave the station. You can get it in every station from a machine. You have to pay a little amount for depot but you will get most of the debot back when you give this card back on an office in the station.

9) The app is amazing for travelling in Japan
You can put in your start and destination and it will show you different routes, where you have to change trains and how much it will cost. AND IT WORKS WITHOUT INTERNET
10) If you are planing not just to stay in Tokyo and also to go to Kyoto and Osaka for example I would buy a JAPAN RAIL PASS.
Metro and trains for short dinstances are really cheap. But for long distances you have to take the Shikansen train and this is really expensive. With the rail pass you can travel almost everywhere in Japan for a period of time. BUT YOU HAVE TO BUY IT
11) You don´t need any vaccination for going to Japan.
12) You don´t need a visa if your stay is shorter than three months.
13) You will probabely need an adaptor for your electrical devices. But you can also buy one there, they´re really cheap.
14) Try not to sneeze and blow your nose in public. If you can´t just try to do it unseen.
15) If you go shopping it´s usual that the employees will bring you your clothes to your cabine. Somethimes if there´s a littele carpet on the ground of the cabine you have to take off your shoes. In many shops you are not allowed to try on clothes, also mostly they only have one size.
Usually if you buy something you will get this piece new in package and the one you tried on gets back.
16) FOR VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS. In Japan it´s not usual not to eat meat. So you have to say precisely that you don´t eat meat, fish and chicken. For them meat does not contain fish and chicken. And they put in fish sauce almost in everything.
Say no niku, toriniku, ishiri and no sakana. Only yasai. If you are vegan also say no tamago and no miruku.
Means no meat, chicken, fish sauce and fish, only vegetables. For vegans no eggs and milk.
If you have any questions feel free to ask ;)

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