[TRV Compass] Traveling to Japan

— Updated on July 26, 2019

0. General

Japan is a country with several islands, located in east of China.  It has very unique country with both modern technologies and old traditions mixed together.  The country is mostly clean and quiet.  If you get a chance, it is a must place to visit in your life time.

I. Transportation
Short Distance

  1. Train / Subway – in major and mid-sized cities, trains and subways would be the most convenient and economic mean of transportation.
  2. Buses – in some cities, buses are also convenient mean of transportaion.
  3. Taxi – in most places, you can catch taxis at train stations, and other major public sites.
    ***When taking taxis in Japan, remember that the taxi driver opens and closes door for you so do not open it by yourself.

Long Distance

  1. Train / Bullet Train – again, it is the most convenient mean of transportation in Japan. As a foreigner tourist, you can get discount on JR trains, too.
  2. Bus – more economical mean of transportation but you may need to speak Japanese to fully understand the system. Your hotel may be able to help you to certain extent but if you are on a budget travel, find a way to take buses.
  3. Airplane – if you are traveling to major cities in Japan then the flights are available.
    Check availability >>> here <<<
  4. Rental Car – high-way toll costs a lot but if you are traveling with your family, then it would be less expensive than taking train. Be sure to get international driving license before you visit Japan.
Get your International Driving License to
drive in Japan:

II. Accommodation

There are international franchise hotels, as well as Japanese hotels available.
One thing to remember is you will be charged for how many people, instead of how many rooms you book.

Surprisingly, internet cafe is one of emergency solutions.
You get your private cell, and you can use shared shower room.
You do not get a bed but you can stay over night with comfort, in case of emergency.

Recommended travel booking in Japan:
You can select English under language drop menu located at the top right corner.
It is recommended because it is probably the largest travel site in Japan for domestic travel.

III. Food

You can eat various food in Japan, from steak house to Indian restaurant.
Unless if you go to authentic Japanese bar, Izakaya, you can order meal without being able to speak Japanese, since menus usually have photo of the meal.

If you have grown up on American continent, you may feel the portion does not fill your stomach. Maybe that is better for your health but if you are eager for more, there are some places that serve more. You just need to look around.

One of the amusement in Japan is convenience store. Their collection of food and dessert would keep you entertained. Be sure to stop by one of the convenience stores.

IV. Safety

Japan is said to be one of the most safe places in the world.
Even so, there are petty crimes, like pick pocketing.
Always be aware of your belongings. Use your common sense!

V. Climate

Japan has four seasons. It depends on where, in Japan, you visit but it can be unbearably hot or cold. Be sure to check the climate before you visit.

You should always check the weather before you go. >>> CHECK WEATHER <<<

VI. Power Plug & Voltage

Power Plug: 1) Type A
(more common)
2) Type B
Voltage: 100V 50/60Hz
Get universal socket
Get step-down converter

VII. Language

In large cities, you may find some people who speak English but other than that, expect to meet nobody who speaks English in Japan. It is strongly recommended to learn Japanese when visiting Japan.

Useful Japanese Phrases When Traveling to Japan – Beginners
Conversational Japanese for Total Beginners

VIII. Currency

National Currency: Japanese Yen

Quick currency conversion:
USD 1 = JPY 100 (actual varies from USD 1 = JPY 80 – 120)

General sense of the cost in the currency
A can of coke: JPY 120
A piece of rice ball in convenience store : JPY 150
A meal in McDonalds: JPY 500
A meal in restaurant: JPY 800 – 3,000 / person
Tips (supermarket / street): (Do not tip in Japan)
Tips (restaurant): (Do not tip in Japan)

IX. Visa Requirement Check

—– Business —– —– Tourist —–

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