10 Tips For Worry–Free Travel in Japan

  • HOW TO
  • Travelling in a foreign country may be rather challenging, especially if you do not speak its language. How to prepare for your trip in Japan and make it smoother than ever?

    1. Rent a pocket WiFi

    Mobile broadband services and plans are quite expensive in Japan. You should purchase or rent the ‘Pocket WiFi’ from the agents at the airport. This device will allow you to connect your laptop, tablets or phones to the internet with unlimited data broadband. It’s very useful since there are not many social WiFi spots in Japan.

    2. Purchase JR pass

    jr-pass

    If you are planning to visit many cities in Japan, the best option to save on the train ticket is purchasing the JR pass. This ticket can only be purchased from outside of Japan, with the customers owning a foreign passport and only short-term visa. There are 3 options: 7 days, 14 days and 21 days.

    After order is placed and the transaction is completed you will receive an ‘Exchange order’ to get your JR pass at almost any of the large stations in Japan. Right at the moment you receive the pass you can start booking for your trains/shinkansen.

    3. Purchase a Suica card/Pasmo card

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    They are the magnet train cards used in Tokyo/Kanto area. You only have to top up your cash into the card and use it instead of purchasing train ticket each time you travel.

    These cards also calculate the train fee automatically. Sometimes they can also be used on a bus. You can purchase them at the stations from the vending machines easily.

    4. Download Hyperdia app

    Taxi fees are insane in Japan, especially from 22pm to 5am. Hyperdia app will tell you the arriving and departing time of the trains, the stations you need to switch at, the walking distances and the fee… for both Shinkansen and the regular trains.

    5. Cheap air tickets

    Domestic airlines always have some sale campaigns and if you are lucky enough you can get a ticket to 5 places in Japan for only 10,000 yen. However, many of them must be purchased from outside of Japan, so you should sign up on their websites in order to receive campaign information.

    6. Arrive at Haneda not Narita

    A train from Haneda to Tokyo only takes 28 minutes and only costs 580 yen, while it takes 58 minutes and 2600 yen to travel to Tokyo from Narita. If possible, fly to Haneda!

    7. Download Google Translate app

    Language will be the barrier when you arrive in Japan. That’s why Google Translate will help you on many occasions when you are trying to understand the conversation or some text.

    8. Print out your hotel’s address in Japanese

    Just in case your phone runs out of battery, or you cannot find your hotel’s address on the taxi’s list, an address printed in Japanese will prevent you from getting lost.

    9. Knowing where to withdraw cash

    Be sure to know your nearest ATM, and make sure that your credit card allows transactions in a foreign country. Cash is more popular in Japan so make sure to have cash at all times.

    10. Convenient stores (konbini)

    You should look for the nearest konbini near your place, since there are many things you can purchase from it, from phone chargers to electrical converters. They also sell movie tickets, and you can also enjoy lots of delicious but cheap food from the konbini, such as fried chicken, takoyaki and onigiri!

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