Whether you go there for the rich heritage, the modern technologies, or the mouth-watering cuisine, Japan can certainly give anyone with wanderlust an experience of a lifetime. Make sure you take note of these tips to make the most of your trip:
1. Don’t offer tips to anyone. Any Japanese, even waiters, will get offended if you do this.
2. Try as much Ramen restaurants as you want because #TheRamenisReal in Japan, of course! Travel tip: Download GuruNavi. It’s an app that leads you to the nearest Japanese restaurants from where you are at the moment.
3. Take off your shoes when entering a room made with tatami floors. This is the type of mat made of compressed wood chip boards or foam. Stepping on it with your socks on is okay, too.
4. Visiting a Japanese temple? Put a coin inside the offering box, and don’t forget to fold your hands when praying. Light the incense, and shake it to put out the flame. Do NOT blow it.
5. Mind the signs! Check out the areas if there are posters saying, "No picture taking allowed."—especially in temples! When in doubt, ask the locals.
6. Always stay connected with your crew. Yes, you need time to explore Japan on your own, but keep your communication lines open in case of travel mishaps. Keep your Viber, WhatsApp, or Messenger up and running ALL THE TIME. #clingy
7. Suica cards are everything! It gives you access to the subway, metro, and Japan Rail. Plus, you can use them to buy stuff in convenience stores. Load up, and you’re good to go anywhere!
8. To the left, to the left. Repeat this to yourself when walking, driving, and taking the escalator or elevator.
9. To properly get your bill in a restaurant, put together your two index fingers to form an ‘X’.
10. Download a good Japanese translator app! Instantly translate sentences when talking to locals with Jibbigo. It covers 21 languages and it can easily translate over 40,000 words while you’re on the go.
11. Taking calls or talking loudly while riding public transportation is a no-no, ladies. Apparently, it’s quiet time for the Japanese inside public transpos.
12. Point with an open hand.Pointing with your forefinger is considered rude.
13. Google Finance is your wallet’s BFF! Prices in Japan are higher than other countries like Hong Kong or Thailand. If you’re on a tight budget, let this currency converter help you stick to your limit.
14. Ready your Google Maps! There are a lot of interesting streets in Japan, but if you walk around too much, you might get lost along the way. Make sure you have a good data plan to guide you wherever you go. You can even download an app to check the city’s daily train schedules.
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