If you’re headed to Japan, here are 10 tips for traveling to Japan. Japan has a rich history and a unique culture. Tradition and respect are two important elements of Japanese culture. With a little bit of planning and these tips, you can have a great trip to Japan and enjoy experiencing a different culture.
- Traveler’s checks. Here’s your money tip: Before leaving home, get some traveler’s checks. Once you get to Japan, many currency exchange locations give a better exchange rate for checks rather than cash.
- Cell phones. If you plan to travel in Japan for more than two weeks, invest in local service. For a quick visit, you can use your 3G mobile phone in Japan, but check with your provider for rates.
- Tours. For your first trip to Japan, it’s a good idea to join a tour for a portion of your trip. It’s a good way to see the country without doing a lot of leg work and planning.
- Tips. While traveling in Japan, you don’t need to tip for taxi service or meals. A service fee is already included in your bill for meals.
- Bowing. When you’re traveling to Japan for business, be ready to bow. It’s customary for businessmen to bow when greeting each other. Here’s a tip: If someone bows when you’re introduced, you should bow, too.
- Shoes. If you’re invited into a Japanese home, be prepared to take off your shoes as soon as you enter the home. The homeowner will provide slippers for you to wear while you’re in their home.
- Hot springs. Relaxing in hot springs is a Japanese custom. Usually hot springs are separated into male and female areas and guests are expected to enter the springs nude. If you have a tattoo, you may not be allowed to enter. It’s a good idea to call ahead and find out a specific spring’s policy if your tattoos are too big to easily cover with a bandage.
- PDA. Generally, Japanese culture is more reserved than American culture when it comes to public displays of affection. If you’re traveling with your partner, avoid kissing in public.
- Chopsticks. When you’re eating family style, use the wide end of your chopsticks to pick your piece and transfer it to your personal plate. Then flip them around and use the skinny end to put the food in your mouth.
- Hot towels. If someone offers you a hot towel at the start of a meal, it should only be used to clean your hands.This is not your chance to get a sponge bath before you eat! After wiping your hands, fold the towel and set it aside.
Now that you have some tips for making the most out of a trip to Japan, it’s time to pack your bags and buy some tickets! Japan is known for being welcoming to guests from around the world, so what are you waiting for?