Japan Travel Tips
For foreigners, traveling to Japan for the first time must be planned well, since there are salient aspects in Japan, which must given consideration when you’re already there, and these are: obviously, there is a language barrier and this can be pretty intense when you travel to their rural areas where the residents can hardly speak and understand English; their technology is overwhelmingly efficient and fast and you’ll understand this when you ride on their trains or sit on their toilet seats; and, a topmost concern, everything is expensive in Japan, such that their instant ramen may be the only one that you can afford to eat.
In Japan, there is no local calling service using a prepaid SIM card, so it’s better to rent a handy wireless router, which is popularly called pocket Wi-Fi there, that will allow multiple gadgets, such as smart phone, laptop, tablet, etc. to connect at once with unlimited data. Renting can be done through telecom company counters found at most airports or you can try renting online at a Japanese telecom website according to the number of days stay, such that they deliver the device for free at your chosen place of delivery (airport, hotel, office) for free the day before your arrival and include a prepaid envelope for returns.
Since you will be traveling a lot in Japan by train, it is advisable and cost-saving to book for a flat-rate, foreigner-only Japan Rail Pass, which can be procured in the airport at JR train customer counters, and which can be used throughout the JR train network on all four main islands, which comes into two types – the Green Pass (for superior class shinkansen trains) and the Ordinary Pass (economy class trains).
Finding Similarities Between Traveling and Life
For multiple trips on the train at a short distance travel, it’s best to get a transportation card, such as Pasmo or Suica, to save time on buying for individual tickets for each train journey, as well as they are especially handy for transferring trains, and they are available for purchase at train stations, bus stations, and the subway.
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This is the best opportune time to book online for a round trip ticket to Japan, now that Japan’s major carriers offer discounts for foreign travelers, this is due to the tight competition going on among the domestic airlines.
Owing to the distance from Tokyo for both, if there’s a choice, it’s more practical to fly into Haneda airport than Narita airport, since a train ride from Haneda to Tokyo takes approximately 28 minutes, while the train ride from Narita to Tokyo takes approximately an hour.
For first-timers to Japan, having a handy translator, like Google Translate app, may be helpful especially when you have to say something urgent on the spot.