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Japan travel advice and trip tips

Travel advice Japan (travel tips Japan):

  • Travel by bullet train from city to city: buy a Japan Rail Pass from your country of origin to make it more economic.
  • Carry enough money in local currency, many places do not take credit cards and cash machines do not work with European-type cards. 
  • Stay at a Ryokan at least once in your trip, a great way to experience Japanese culture.
  • Our suggested itinerary around Japan is the the 14 days route. In the Way Away Smart Route, you can find all necessary recommendations to make your trip an unforgettable experience. 

Tipping:

It is not usual to give tips in Japan so for the sake of future generations of travellers, don't be the first to do so!  They can even feel offended. 

Current and plugs:

110V. Adaptor required:

  • two flat vertical male prongs or
  • two flat vertical male prongs and one round prong.
Buy Universal Plug Converter  Enchufe japonés 1 Enchufe japonés 2

Language:

Although few Japanese speak good English, they do everything they can to understand and make themselves understood. For us, however, Japanese seems virtually impossible!

If you are a curious person and you like to learn a little bit about every language whereever you go; we recomend that you to take a diccionary with you. Buy a Japanese mini dictionary: Japanese-English / English-Japanese for £5.24 (by Oxford Dictionaries)

Four basic words are given below for you to try:

  • Konnichiwa = hello
  • Sayonara = goodbye
  • Arigatou = thank you
  • Suimasen = excuse me (to say sorry or to call waiters) 

Cultural considerations:

The Japanese are very pleasant people and behave delicately and gently at all times. When talking to them you should therefore try to follow their customs:

  • Do not raise your voice
  • Avoid excessive gesticulation
  • Give and take things with both hands ... 

Connect to the internet in Japan:

Despite being one of the world's most developed countries, connecting to the internet in Japan can be mission impossible for a foreigner! It is very difficult to find free networks, and you'll have to pay for the internet in most of the hotels. 

Below we indicate the best ways to connect throughout the country:

How to conect for free in different parts of Japan:

  • NTT East offers 14 days of free WIFI in many points of the eastern area of Japan (Tokyo, Hakone, Nikko ...). To access, you better download Navitime app into your smartphone or tablet before coming to Japan. With this application, you will obtain a user name and password to connect to their networks, and you'll be able to find the access points without being connected to internet.
  • In Kyoto, you'll find free WIFI in bus stops, metro stations and 7Eleven shops. To connect yourself, you have to send a blank email to the address that appears in the WIFI logo, and they will send you your username and password.
  • For the rest of the country, you can use Starbucks free WIFI network (there is a store on almost every corner:-). To do this, you have to previously register. And have a drink, of course ...
WIFI Kioto

How to stay 24h connected in Japan:

If you prefer to have internet connection at all times, not depending on finding a free WIFI spot or having to take a cappuccino, it is best that you choose one of the two following alternatives:

  • Rent a wireless router: it is a small mobile router that generates a WIFI network. You will be able to connect all your devices anywhere in the country at any time. They send it to your first hotel and at the end of your trip, you put it in an envelope that they give you and you leave it at the reception of the last hotel to send it back. Several companies do, but we have found the best prices and service in Japan Wireless. For about 7,200Y you can be really well connected in a 15-day trip.
  • Buy a SIM data card (for free devices only): the same companies that rent the routers, sell data SIM cards to connect with your own smartphone. They normally have a data and speed limit, but it is usually something cheaper (about 5GB-6,500Y for 15 days). We found the best prices at eConnectJapan.