Japan is a very different country, form being on the other side of the world to the Japanese characters that seems to make no sense. As if the difficult communication were not enough, when eating, instead of cutlery, the sticks are famous that challenge people’s coordination. The truth is that, beyond the first impact of communication and food, Japan is a very easy country to travel. Public transport works well, people are polite, and it is an organized place, very safe and full of things to explore. Here are some tips to make your visit Japan trip more enjoyable and full of good memories.
RATE THE JR PASS
Japan’s train system works very well and takes you pretty much everywhere. There is a pass called JR Pass that entitles you to unlimited use of trains, subways, buses and ferries on the JR line, the largest in the country, in addition to some flights. There are some exceptions, see conditions on the Japan Rail Pass website.
YOU WON’T JUST EAT FISH
If you think you are going to live on sushi and sashimi in Japan, forget it. The fish and seafood are present, that is true, but there is also a lot of meat, vegetables and pasta. Highlighting some of the delicacies you will like – rice with curry, rice with egg and sauce, Chinese dumpling with whatever you like, octopus dumplings, cooked meat that you prepare it at the table, beef or chicken over rice, Japanese-style pancake, ramen, etc.
KNOW HOW TO LIVE COLLECTIVELY
One of the things that impress every one most about Japan is the sense of collective they live in. Respect and concern for others makes the country organized, clean and safe. The entire East has a great cultural heritage that is very different from the West, which is glaring in the eyes of those who do not know or are not used to it. Preserving traditions is something very important in Japan.
DON’T EXPECT FLUENT ENGLISH FROM THE JAPANESE
One thing is for sure. Most of them speak and understand very little English. Those who know have a bad pronunciation that is difficult to understand. When in doubt, ask. The Japanese are very helpful and always try to help, even if they do not speak the same language as you. However, do not expect them to take the initiative and offer you help willingly. The Japanese are the least outgoing people in the world.
The Japanese are the biggest fans of vending machines. There are vending machines everywhere and with just about everything – drinks, snacks, soups, ice cream, fresh vegetables, books, cigarettes, toys, amulets, umbrellas, bowling shoe rentals, bicycle rentals and there are even machines in sex shops that sell pornography. Some restaurants replace the waiter who takes orders with a machine, such as at the Yokohama Ramen Museum.
BATHROOMS IN JAPAN
Going to the bathroom in Japan is an interesting experience, so be sure to choose which ones you go to. They can be technological or traditionally oriental. Technological models are in exquisite places such as shopping malls, restaurants, departments, etc. The models vary a lot, there are those that keep the seat warm in the winter, those that lift and lower the toilet lid by themselves, those that have so many buttons that you do not know how to flush, etc.