Japan Travel Tips

Visa

Generally, visitors to Japan need to get a visa unless they come from those countries enjoying visa waiver, including all EU countries, Australia, Canada, US, Thailand, Malaysia, Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, etc. The allowed stay length varies depending on the tourists’ nationality. Those who come from other countries need to get a visa in advance from the diplomatic missions of Japan or via travel agents.

Currency

You can exchange money in international airports, banks and grand hotels, and do not forget to bring your passport or personal identity documents.

Credit Cards: Almost all international credit cards can be used, such as AMERICAN EXPRESS, VISA, DINERS and MASTER cards.

Accommodation  

Japanese hotels generally have four types, including western hotels, Japanese inn with tatami, temple houses, and family hotels. If you want to experience the customs, you can choose tatami hotels which are small but exquisite. Room charges usually refer to the cost of a single bed, not the cost of a whole room. You can enjoy two free meals made of local food materials. Tap water is relatively clean, but only water marked with “drinkable” can be drunk directly. You’d better bring toothbrushes, toothpastes, and slippers because most hotels do not provide these necessities.

Shopping

Japan is a shopping paradise. You can go shopping in the major cities. Major department stores include Takashima, Isetan, Marui, PARCO, Mitsukoshi, Seibu, Tobu, and Hankyu. Major household article shops are LOFT, Tokyu Hands, and MUJI. The most famous cosmeceutical stores are scattered all over the streets.

You can buy cosmetics, digital products, and small appliances. The sale season is a great chance for shopping. From December to January, late February to late March, and late July to late August, you can buy many products at a low price.

Tax Refund

In large shopping malls and stores labeled with “Tax Free”, you will be exempted from the consumption tax of 8% if your expenditure reaches a certain amount. The airport cannot deal with tax refund.

Duty-free goods must be carried away within 30 days, including food, medicine, and cosmetics. The goods should be packaged well and not used.

Gratuity

Japanese do not have the habit of giving a tip, but an extra charge of 10% to 15% of the total expense may be asked in some hotels and fine restaurants as the service fee.

Communication

3G mobile phones can be used there. Japan does not use GSM network. You need to open the international roaming service ahead of schedule. In addition, you can rent a mobile phone at the airport, usually 250 yen/day. For foreign travelers, the Japanese B-mobile phone network card is currently the most cost-efficient mobile network program with unlimited bandwidth, 2,980 yen / month.

You can purchase a 1,000 yen prepaid calling card from vending machines, kiosks or convenience stores. It is possible to find public telephones marked with “DDD and IDD calls” in airports, stations, post offices, senior hotels and other major public facilities.

Power

The voltage in Japan is 110V. Most sockets are with two holes, so if you have electronic products with three-pin plug, you need to prepare a socket adapter.

Festivals

Japan has many traditional festivals. You can attend the activities and enjoy the local customs and culture.
Name
 Date
 Activities
New Year's Day
 January 1st
 Visit shrines, friends, eat delicious dishes
Hina Matsuri (Girls Day)
 March 3rd
 Decorate houses with dolls in traditional court dress and peach flowers
Cherry Blossom Festival
 March 15th-April     15th
 Appreciate cherry blossom

Do’s and Don’ts

1. Take off your shoes before getting in a house or temple.
2. 4, 9, and 13 are unlucky numbers because their pronunciations are similar to “die” and “bitter” in Japanese. Hotels do not use them as room number or floor number.
3. Do not take a picture of three since it’s deemed bad to the middle person in their culture.
4. Please keep quiet in public places such as trains and trams so as not to disturb the people around.
5. Picked-up wallet and other property must be handed over to the police; otherwise it will constitute a crime.

Business Hours

Banks: 9:00-15:00
Post Offices: 9:00-17:00
Department Stores: 10:00-19:30
Museums and Galleries: 10:00-17:00

Important Numbers

Country Code: 0081
Police: 110
Ambulance & Fire Police: 119
Travel Hotline: 0081-3-35034400

Directory Enquiries: 104


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