Today’s post will be very low on pictures because I really want to focus on the tips that I’m giving. Also, I’m going to try to make everything as simple as possible and I will use Tokyo as the starting point. Let’s start.
When you are flying to Tokyo, you have two options. You either fly to Narita airport which is a bit further from Tokyo, or you fly to Haneda airport, only 30 minutes away from the centre. Getting to Tokyo from the airports it’s super easy with trains and obviously, there are cabs as well, which usually operate at a fixed rate when you travel between the airport and a particular district.
Now you will find the public transport confusing. Why is that? It is because there are several different companies that have trains. First, there is the Tokyo Metro, then you have the Toei Subway, then the JR trains (these usually travel outside Tokyo as well), and then you have other railway companies which connect Tokyo with other prefectures. I hope you can see what I meant by confusing. Don’t worry, take a deep breath and make sure you have an app downloaded about the public transport here and get the most important thing that’s going to be your friend while you are here, the Pasmo or Suica card. It doesn’t matter which one you’ll get, but you need one. This card is amazing! You just top it up and you are good to go. By the way, you can also pay with it at vending machines and stores too.
The language barrier
This might shock you but the official language of Japan is……Japanese. I would suggest that you start learning some basic terminologies and sentences because most of the people still don’t speak English. Even if they do understand what you are saying, they will probably reply in Japanese.
Tokyo is filled with restaurants. There are tiny restaurants, international restaurants, restaurants that specialise in a particular type of dish like okonomiyaki etc. One thing to remember, if you see a queue forming at a tiny restaurant, that’s the indicator of good food but usually, those restaurants won’t have an English menu, so get ready.
Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Roppongi, these are the areas where most of the nightlife is. I actually live in Shibuya and I have 5 different bars just around the corner. What I see is that beer and craft beer places are a thing, which is good news if you like beer. For those of you who don’t, there is a plenty of cocktail bars and clubs as well. A word of caution, be careful in Roppongi and Kabukicho. There are some bars that are directly aimed at tourists and they don’t want anything more than you r money. These places will have someone outside trying to be really friendly with you. They will invite you in and if you don’t see any prices on the menu or anywhere, it is better to walk away before you get yourself into trouble. Yes, Japan is a super safe country but that doesn’t mean that there are no bad people here.
Although at most places you can pay by card, I think Japan is still a cash country, so make sure you have some Japanese Yen with you all the time.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do not talk on your phone while traveling on the train
Do not talk very loudly when using public transport
Do not eat and walk at the same time unless it’s ice cream
Do carry a small plastic bag with you, because there will be times when there won’t be any trash can
Do line up while waiting for the train
Do not tip, tipping is not common
Do try to speak Japanese, it’s fun
Do not smoke while you are walking, smoking is only allowed at designated areas
Do remember that you are in a completely different country and try to be open about it
When is the best time to visit Japan
I think Spring would be the greatest just because of the cherry blossoms, but Autumn is nice as well. The big no no is summer. I know, I made that mistake now but never again.
I hope this post clarifies some things about Japan. If you have more questions, do comment and I will answer them.
See you on Saturday,
The Fashion Eclectic.