Learn a little more about Japan's customs, culture and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as its seasonal weather, geography and luggage delivery options. Many of the questions first time travelers might have are answered here, along with insider tips and practical advice to help you navigate the country with confidence.
Japan's official language is Japanese, but English is generally understood in major cities and designated tourist sites.
All of Japan sits within the same time zone, and no daylight saving is practiced. The country is nine hours ahead of GMT.
Wi-Fi & Connectivity
Wireless hotspots are popping up all over major cities in Japan, so you should never be too far from a Wi-Fi connection.
Plugs & Electricity
Japan uses two flat parallel prong plugs. For guaranteed charging of your electrical necessities, purchase a plug adapter beforehand.
The Japanese yen is used throughout the country and you can exchange foreign currency at the airports and most major banks.
Visitors to Japan are eligible for tax exemption on many consumer goods. The process of receiving your tax back can vary from store to store.
Tipping is not practiced in Japan. In fact, it can cause discomfort and confusion if you do. A service charge is generally added on to the final bill in restaurants.
Even though Japan is a cash-centric country, credit cards are usually accepted in most shops, restaurants and taxis in major cities.
Weather (When to Visit)
The weather in Japan can vary wildly depending on where you are traveling to. Find out the best times to visit and what to pack.
Travelers from 68 countries across the globe can visit Japan for up to 90 days without requiring a visa.
International Tourist Tax
Visitors to Japan pay a 1,000 yen departure tax to expand and enhance the country’s tourist infrastructure—a small tax that will make a significant difference.
Custom & Duty
The Japan Customs official page is your most trustworthy source to answer any questions or queries related to Japanese customs and duty.
IC Travel Cards
Make your journeys as smooth as the public transportation you will ride on by purchasing a chargeable IC travel card.
While bottled water is readily available all over Japan—including in the infinite vending machines—the tap water is perfectly safe to drink.
Luggage Storage & Delivery
If you don't wish to haul your luggage around with you, drop your bags and cases off at the delivery service kiosks located at the airports.
Tips for Budget Travels
To stretch your yen as far as possible, research into discounted travel and accommodation, as well as eating options that won't break the bank.
If you do find yourself in a situation that requires serious help, dial 110 for an urgent call to the police and 119 for fire or ambulance.
Your embassy is there to help and support you if you should need it. Make sure you know how to get in touch.
Customs & Manners
Following a general travelers code of respect for the people you meet and places you visit will stand you in good stead.
Make sure you are aware of the local laws in Japan as ignorance is not accepted as a valid line of defence.
Business Hours & Holidays
Avoid closed doors and fully-booked hotels by finding out the Japanese business hours for major businesses, services, and facilities, and the dates of the major holidays.
Download a selection of apps to make your trip to Japan run even smoother. Choose from a list of all-round, navigation, sightseeing and accommodation applications.
Instead of just an email, send a postcard back home to let friends and family know about your Japanese adventure.
While modern technology enables you to connect with friends and family around the world from the palm of your hand, there still might be times when you need to make use of public telephones.
Online Reservation Sites
Book your stay in Japan through one of these convenient sites offering a wide range of accommodation options.
Traveling with a Disability
At major train stations, airports, and hotels, as well as in most newer shopping centers and theaters in the city, the disabled traveler or wheelchair user should have little trouble getting from place to place.
Traveling with Children
Traveling to Japan with children may seem like a daunting prospect and something best avoided, however, the country is surprisingly accessible.
Japan continues to enhance its hospitality for Muslim travelers through the introduction of Muslim-friendly facilities.