Travel Tips Before Your Visit to Japan

By Phin Upham

Japan is one of the most amazing countries on the planet when it comes to sights and attractions. It has something for everyone: amusement parks, bars and clubs, arcades and memorabilia shops, designer districts and more. Nearly anything you want can be found in Japan. There is also a rich culture full of history almost everywhere you look. Tokyo and Kyoto are both old cities that have a connection to the modern, and the result can feel surreal. If you’re planning a vacation to this wonderful little island, no matter where you stay, you should follow this advice to get the most out of your stay.

Buy a Japan Rail Pass

While the pass can be expensive, it will save you a great deal of money and hassle when you visit Japan. The Japan Rail Pass is designed for foreigners to travel through the island of Japan on the trains in the Japan Rail consortium. It doesn’t include subways, but you can get to and from Kyoto and you can use the Yamanote Line (which is crucial in Tokyo).

Learn a Bit of Japanese

If you can speak even a little Japanese, the natives will be a lot more receptive to you and you’ll have more unique experiences. It’s true that some Japanese do speak English, but most struggle beyond basic words related to their jobs. If you speak a bit of Japanese, you’ll find a lot of them to be more receptive to you and more willing to try out their English.

Things to Be Aware of

Japanese bathrooms can include squat toilets, and some restrooms don’t have paper towels or toilet paper. You’ll need to grab some from a 7-11 (which is one of the most useful stores in Japan, foreigner or not).

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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