Jan 23, 2018
Planning advice for travel in Japan
Planning on visiting Japan soon? Read this post and perhaps you will able to come up with a good game plan before, and during, your trip in Japan.
My first and foremost important pointer to make for you is know the place you are going to. Yes! We all know you're planning to go to Japan, but where exactly in Japan? Japan has many things to offer and it will help you to be specific as to where and what you are going to be up to before going to Japan because this will save you a lot of time. Do you want to go back in time, or experience the outer space feeling? Or do you want to get lost in a busy shopping district or to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Perhaps you would prefer to witness the colorful shows in a Disney-themed Park? C'mon guys, be specific!
After deciding on where you want to go, the next thing to do is learn the basic routes and means of transportation to, and around, the area. This will help you to reduce the amount of time spent travelling around and getting confused in train station when going to specific destination. There are lots of websites wherein you can browse for the best route going to Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, Disney Park, Universal Studios Japan, Akihabara or just about any point in Japan for that matter. I do recommend the use of HyperDia (www.hyperdia.com) in browsing where you can find the best train route for you, because it will display everything you need from the time of arrival or departure up to the fare amount you're going to spent. There are other websites, applications and services that you can use such as Google Maps, the Japan Rail Pass homepage, the websites of Osaka's Kansai Airport or Itami Airport (when going to Kansai area) and many more. The bottom line is -- you need to plan and be resourceful when it comes to this matter.
Now that you know where are you going and what the possible routes are, now the third thing to consider will be your travel budgets. You must consider everything here as a trip to Japan can potentially swallow budgets. You need to search for your hotel, your destination costs, ticket for entrance to an attraction or even your simple meals during your stay. Japan will give you everything you want to go to or to experience but be sure you have the cash! Just be mindful in budgeting for your accommodation / apartment / hotel in which you will stay. You can search at "Booking.com" or "Airbnb" for some budget-friendly accommodations. You accommodation in Japan doesn't have to be that expensive because, one way or another, your stay in Japan will be surely be spent outside your hotel / room as you will be out strolling around and exploring Japan for sure.
Last thing you need to consider, and what I think could be the most important, is the language barrier. Japanese people are known for their unique kindness but it would be prudent bear in mind that many Japanese cannot speak Engish (or other languages) and nor should they be expected to. So, be sure to have an extra language pack for you will be tested in your inter-personal communication skills during your travels in Japan!. You may try to bring some gadgets like iPads, cellphones or electronic dictionaries to ease your difficulties. And don't be shy to ask for help if you need to. Many Japanese will be so glad to help you in your needs. I have here some easy translations that you can use during your travels in Japan.
1. Konnichiwa (Hello) - most probably you know this word. So I'll skip this one.
2. Sumimasen (Excume me, sorry) - like any other languages around the globe being polite is a must. So, the traveler must know this word -- using "Excuse me." before asking a question or for help in Japan will be your ticket in being a polite person asking for some help.
But sometimes you may also use this word in making an apology for something you didn't intentionally want to do. So try to memorize this one.
3. _____ wa doko desu ka? (Where is ____?) - Getting lost or you don't know where the place is? Why not ask someone near you. Just use this one. Fill the blank with the place you're looking for.
4. Arigatou gozaimasu (Thank you) - after getting some help or favor it is very much appreciated if you will give that person a nice and warming thank you. You also probably know this word because it is one of the most widespread of Japanese terms. Using "arigatou" is also okay, but remember being polite says something so don't forget the "gozaimasu" part, too. Just try to memorize ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU.
So, I hope you learned something about planning for your travels in Japan. And if you do visit Japan, please share your thoughts about your stay.
Arriving in Japan safely, thank you to Japan Airlines.
My first visit in Japan
Trying out some food in Japan
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