3 tips for getting around Japan

  • HOW TO
  • Who could resist the lush beauty of Japan’s scenic landscapes and cities? Tourists, all over the world, want to get lost in Japan’s many Zen gardens and stunning temples. The country’s beautiful sceneries and natural landscapes are just some of the reasons why visitors love Japan. Because when you are there, the people’s pleasing and respectful nature is even more admirable.

    But before visiting Japan, here are some basic things every traveler should know for a more enjoyable Japan experience.

    1. Mobile and Internet Connection

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    Visitors can purchase a data-only SIM card which they can use for a limited time or a limited capacity or rent a mobile-phone, sim-card or portable wi-fi. You can purchase a data SIM card online to be delivered to your hotel or purchase it from mobile stores. Insert it in your mobile device and you are good to go. Bear in mind that in order to use the card, your mobile device should be Unlocked or Sim Lock Free. Recently the main stations and train lines of Tokyo have free wi-fi available. There are also plenty of free Japan wi-fi applications for smartphones, so make sure to download them before leaving your hotel!

    2. Transportation

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    Transportation in Japan can be terribly expensive. So, when touring around the city, instead of hopping on the first taxi you come across, spend some time learning the country’s transit system. Download or purchase a transit map and learn to commute using trains. The station’s ticket machines usually have a “switch-to-English” option for easy purchase. And some special tickets are available for short-term visitors with foreign passports.

    3. Getting Around

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    Getting around the cities on your own may pose as a challenge. Some of the signs around the streets are only in Japanese; not written in Romanji (the English transcription) but in Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji. So get an English map and do not forget to learn some basic Japanese phrases to help you around. Japanese love it when foreigners try to converse with them in Japanese language. Remember to use the phrases such as “Sumimasen.. kore wa doko desuka?” which means “Excuse me, where is this?” and always end your conversations with a bow and “Arigato gozaimas”, which means thank you.

    It is true that Japan is a challenging country to visit, so few days before you travel make a research on the places you want to visit, use your mobile phone and data connection for Google maps and Google translate. Explore and get lost in the beauty of the Land of the Rising Sun.