Japan is a whirlwind of activities which can be great for touring but may also be slightly intimidating and overwhelming. When travelling to Japan, it’s best to have a game plan.
Make the most of your trip with these top ten tips:
1. Take your mobile phone but leave your SIM behind. There is free Wi-Fi everywhere so you can use the internet wherever you are. You can also buy “pocket Wi-Fi” for approximately $3 per day.
2. Get familiar with the train system. All trains run on time. If it is early, it is not your train.
3. Forty minutes of travel may seem like a lot but it’s really not. Stay in one hotel and travel for the day rather than move hotels every few days.
4. The transport system is amazing. Don’t be afraid to catch two or three trains to get to somewhere. If you miss a train or make a wrong move, in most cases it doesn’t take much to get back on the right track as trains come every few minutes.
5. When on trains, ensure you all hop on and off at the same time. Hold hands with the kids to make sure you stay together.
6. Communicating in Japan can be difficult, but as they say, communication is only seven per cent verbal, 55 per cent body language and 38 per cent tone of voice. Stick to a handshake or a slight bow upon meeting, with little or no eye contact.
7. Silence is a natural and expected form of non-verbal communication. Do not feel the need to chatter.
8. Don’t show affection in public, such as hugging or shoulder slapping. Touching or standing too close to a Japanese person, and prolonged eye contact are also considered rude.
9. Stop for meals. It is also considered rude to eat while on the go. Take the time to stop, sit down and eat rather than eating on the trains or while you walk among the crowds.
10. Take good walking shoes for the entire family and make sure the kids have broken their shoes in before you go. You will walk a lot!