Before setting off on your Japan adventure tour, there are a few things that are good to know. Here at The Dragon Trip, we have put together a list of useful tips to help with your trip preparation and to make sure you have the best time possible!
- Wear layers so that you can prepare for any weather changes. Have a read of this blog post for our tips about the seasons in Tokyo
- People with tattoos cannot enter an Onsen (hot springs). If you have a small tattoo, please bring plasters to cover them if you wish to enter. Unfortunely, people with large tattoos will not be permitted to use onsens. Check this out to find out more about travelling in Japan with tattoos.
- Bring slip-on shoes like sandals, flip flops or sliders (there is a lot of taking your shoes on/off in Japan)
- Take your shoes off whenever entering a living room, this is class etiquette across Japan
- Never walk with outdoor shoes on a tatami mat (wooden mats)
- There is a laundry option in hostels everywhere (if you are on our trip, do it in Kyoto as this is where you have the longest time)!
Eating & Drinking
- A great way to stick to a budget while you travel in Japan is to grab food at supermarkets like 7-Eleven, especially ones near train stations (Kyoto, Hiroshima). They have good eating options including sushi and bento boxes which are perfect for a quick pit stop
- You can drink the tap water in Japan, so a great travel tip is to refill water bottles! Don’t buy convenience store water as this is relatively expensive
- Be adventurous with food – there are so many great restaurants, which can seat 4 or 5 people and have English menus, so go out and explore!
- For expert travel advice on what to eat in Japan, have a read of our Vegan and Vegetarian guide and the top 10 foods to try in Osaka
- Trains and metros in the big cities can be confusing, so perhaps try using a great app called Hyperdia (can’t be used offline)
- A lot of the Japanese population speak English, especially when it comes to the younger generations. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or directs. Be polite and you’ll find help!
- Generally, travelling in Japan is very safe, but always be careful when doing activities such as hikes (uneven ground) and at the fish market (indoor traffic!) Responsible backpacking is key, so make smart choices when you’re choosing things to do (and what to wear when doing them)
- The small copper coin with a hole in it without no number is the 5 yen coin
- Watch out for cover charges in bars!
- Currency: 1 yen = 1US$cent (subject to exchange rate). To keep your trip to your budget, use xe.com to convert a price before you buy something
- ATMs in 7-Eleven usually accept visa/master cards- a lot of other ATMs don’t. Just be wary of overseas usage charges that your bank might input, they might catch you out
- An expert travel tip in for your time spent Japan is to never tip. It can be seen as rude and isn’t really a part of Japanese culture. In most cases, a service charge will probably have been added to your bill already
- Prepare for your trip in advance by packing an American style adaptor with you (the one with two flat pins)
- The country calling code is +81
- Important emergency service numbers are: Police 110 Fire/Ambulance:119 but hopefully you won’t need those!
- Always be polite 🙂