With a population of slightly over than 9.2 million, Japan is known to have some of the most breathtakingly beautiful towns. Japan also has a history and culture steeped in intricate traditions and is the home to both the art of karaoke and Pikachu. Japan’s cherry blossom season is simply spectacular. In early spring cherry blossom are a must-see in all parts of Japan. There is a wide array of things to see and do in Japan, so whether you will be travelling there for business or leisure, here are a few tips that will help you have as close as possible to a perfect trip:
- Learn some basic Japanese words/ phrases
Greeting local residents in their basic tongue anywhere in the world is such a wonderful way to demonstrate respect, so memorize a few words/phrases and possible answers to basic questions in Japanese. You can take it a step further by learning to read menus in Japanese. This will make ordering food quite easy when dining out.
- Buy a 4G sim card for your phone
This is the best way to avoid data roaming charges whole staying connected to friends and family back home. Even though you can access free WIFI in many hotels and other public places such as major department stores, having a 4G sim card will allow you to use your GPS without fear of getting lost.
- Know what to pack for your trip
The items of clothing you take to Japan all depends on the season within which you plan to visit the country. Additionally, if you intend on taking part in hiking activities, please ensure that the proper footwear is taken along. Despite the warm summer season for instance, it would be a good idea to pack layers of clothing should you decide to take a trip to the alpine region of the country. Some must haves to bring are a small umbrella, power adaptors, battery packs, travel documents and a neck pillow for the long flight.
- Learn the cultural dos and don’ts
You are encouraged to do the proper research on Japanese etiquette because such is quite unique. For instance, it would be a good idea to learn how to use chopsticks correctly as well as why you need to take along a pair of socks or slip on shoes with you and how you are expected to behave on public transportation. Knowing these things will result in you not offending anyone
- Use Google maps to plan your journey
This is the best app to complete the details in your travel plans to Japan. Here, you will get the requisite information on alternative travel routes, available modes of transportation and the cost associated with each.
- Take enough JPY with you
Before landing in Japan, acquire some Japanese yen which will allow you to make purchasing easy. You can also get this money at the foreign exchange kiosk at the airport. Should you decide to use your credit card in Japan, it is highly recommended that you pay in JPY rather than your home currency, as you are guaranteed to receive a better exchange rate.
- Buy tickets ahead of time for popular events/places
Try not to take chances when you want to enjoy a popular activity or event. To avoid missing out, pre purchase your tickets especially for theme parks and popular restaurants.
Japan has a very long history of over 2,000 years. While Japan had diplomatic relationships with China as early as in 7th century, it was in the 16th century that Japan became known to the Western world. The etymology of Japan is the old Chinese word, “Zu-pang” which means where the sun rises and it was Marco Polo who brought the name of Japan to Europe. It was in 1543 that the first European people came to Japan accidentally due to a maritime mishap. Japan started diplomatic relationships with Europe then but in the 17th century, the Japanese government took so-called isolation policy and isolated itself from the rest of the world. Japanese history makes the country of Japan so unique and different from the rest of the world. Although a large number of tourists visit Japan today and it may be a popular travel destination, if you are interested in visiting a place that is completely different from the rest of the world, Japan will be your first choice.
Do not forget to learn a bit of its unique history before travelling.