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6 Japan Travel Tips You Need Before You Go

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Japan is a popular travel destination for American tourists. In the month of February (2019) alone, 92,700 people traveled from the U.S. to Japan. During that same time, 23,900 Canadians and 47,700 Australians also took trips to Japan. Here is a summary of what you need to know if you want to plan your own trip to this culturally interesting country. While the Japan visa guide by SafeTrip goes into more detail, here are the basic Japan travel tips.

#1 Travel Insurance and Documentation

Firstly, get travel insurance for a trip to Japan. Medical care is expensive, so even a relatively mild illness can result in a big bill. Plus, the cost of medical repatriation from Japan to America starts at around $25,000. Hopefully, you never need to use this type of service. But, when you travel, it is best to prepare for all eventualities, especially if you travel as a family.

American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Japan. All that is required is a full US passport that is valid for 6 months from the date you leave America. It also needs to have 2 blank pages available for the passport control stamps.

#2 Japan Travel Tips about Vaccinations

Most U.S. citizens will already have the vaccinations they need to be able to travel to Japan. But, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor about 6 weeks before your trip. This will enable you to check whether your vaccinations are up to date. If they are not, then you will need a few weeks for the doctor to order them, give them, and let them take effect.

#3 Feeling at Home

Most Japanese have a bit of a passion for all things American. They, like so many in the world, have grown up with U.S. shows, movies and, more recently, food. So, they are usually keen to meet people who are from North America.

You will also find a lot of American-themed bars there. As well as restaurants selling dishes that you are used to eating back at home. So, if you want to eat the same foods as back in your home country while on your business trip or vacation then you won’t have trouble doing so!

As for the next one on this Japan travel tips list, it’s quite a bit different than home and may surprise you. It concerns appliances, such as hair dryers, that you might pack with you on the trip.

#4 Using Your Electrical

You will not need a plug adapter for your electrical appliances. However, the voltages are different. The Japanese system is 100 V and 50/60 Hz, so it’s wise to use a transformer or voltage transformer over there.

#5 Japan Travel Tips: Know the Customs

One or two Japanese customs come as a big surprise to foreigners. For example, tipping is considered rude.

Also, some restaurants will ask you to remove your shoes before entering the dining area. When using the bathroom, you will be expected to don a special pair of shoes too. This is the case whether you are in a public place or in someone’s home.

#6 Communicating While in Japan

In tourist areas, it is relatively easy to find someone who speaks English. But, it’s wise to download a good voice translation app before leaving home.

On a related note, the last of the Japan travel tips is to download an app that enables you to point your camera at a Japanese sign or menu to get some sort of translation. Yes, that technology exists!

Norms of behavior are different in Japan than they are elsewhere. So, if you want to fit in there then you will need to do a little extra research into this matter.

Do you want to go to Japan? If you’ve been there, would you suggest any other travel tips?

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19 Comments

  1. map195 April 28, 2019

    very useful tips

    Reply
    1. Christy B April 28, 2019

      Glad to hear it!

  2. Peggy Woods April 28, 2019

    I may never travel to Japan but I found these tips valuable none-the-less. It is always interesting learning about other people’s cultures.

    Reply
    1. Christy B April 28, 2019

      That’s a big complement, Peggy! Thanks :)

  3. Resa April 28, 2019

    We are considering going to Japan. My N has kin there. The two things in our way right now are the cats, and it is a very long flight. My back won’t hold out, since I got hit by that bicycle a couple of years back. We will need to save a heck of a lot more for a more comfy flight experience in first class.

    Reply
    1. Christy B April 28, 2019

      Between price and discomfort, it makes sense that it’s not a trip from Canada that can just happen on a whim, usually, unfortunately. I hope you two get there one day xx

    2. Resa April 28, 2019

      TY, dear Christy! We are working on it. xx

    3. Christy B May 5, 2019

      Love you, sis!

  4. Rajagopal April 28, 2019

    I have spent a little over a week in Japan about ten years back. Japanese are highly hospitable but a first-timer to the country needs to keep a few things in mind. They do not like loud and boisterous people so the conversing should be in low tone and at a slow pace, as, if you speak fast, they will not understand. Also, exchanging gifts is another integral part of Japanese culture so always carry gifts if you have friends in Japan.

    Reply
    1. Christy B May 5, 2019

      Thank you for sharing more tips for a newcomer in Japan, Raj. I hope your weekend has included all of the following: smiles, relaxation, and family.

  5. Carolyn Page April 29, 2019

    Christy, I spent 5 days in Japan during 2017. It was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever enjoyed. The people were very polite, quiet, and extremely ordered in their comings and goings. I’d return in the wink of an eye; it was that agreeable.
    I would also agree with Rajagopal in that I found the Japanese to be quiet individuals full of grace. Perhaps visitors might consider this and lower their tone when communicating. As the saying goes: When in Rome…….

    Reply
    1. Christy B May 5, 2019

      Communication styles are so important that both you and Raj commented on it, Carolyn! I’m grateful for the added tips for anyone going to Japan for the first time. And I hope you get to return there one day :)

  6. NRI Marriage Bureau April 29, 2019

    Great Post!

    Reply
    1. Christy B May 5, 2019

      Love the encouragement!

  7. Loretta Sayers April 30, 2019

    Good timing. My son will be stationed in Japan in the near future…we are getting ready!

    Reply
    1. Christy B May 5, 2019

      Ohhhh! I hope his transition there is a smooth one. You will miss him, no doubt!

  8. Foreign Love Web May 2, 2019

    This information is helpful.

    Travelers must plan and do necessary things in advance so that they can have zero problems when they go on their trips.

    Reply
    1. Christy B May 5, 2019

      While there are likely still to be obstacles, planning for a move this way can help reduce the number of them or the severity!

  9. David Pflieger May 6, 2019

    I feel as though communication is certainly the most important aspect of traveling to Japan. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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