The 3 Most Important Things to Remember When Visiting Japan

Despite not being part of the otaku subculture, I have spent a lot of time in Japan. It is one of my favorite countries to visit, and over time I have learned a lot of things that will help one make the most out of their stay in this small, but very beautiful and culture-rich country. Here are a few practical things you might want to keep in mind:

 

Get a JR Pass

 

If you ever plan on staying in the country for more than a week and visiting different places, you could save a lot of money and headache if you get a Japan Rail Pass. It’s going to cost roughly $250, but this gives foreigners access to any JR line in the country for a whole week. This includes several of their high speed trains.

JR Rail

 

Cash is Important

 

Japan is very big on cash. Many establishments that you would normally expect to take credit cards, such as food places, sometimes don’t. I have even visited a McDonald’s that doesn’t take credit. And of course, many of them post signs outside (in English) that they don’t accept cards, so it’s not like you’ll be blindsided.

 

Learn a Little Bit of Japanese

 

Learning a new language is a tall order, and the Japanese are very modest and will try to converse in English if they know that you don’t speak their language, but English is not as widely spoken in the country compared to, say, the Philippines. You should at least learn how to ask if they can speak English (Eigo o hanashimasu ka?) if they reply with “iie” (no),. then you’ll save a lot of time going back and forth.