What You Need to Know Before Visiting Japan

Japan is a popular vacation destination for a lot of folks. Individuals who like mountain hiking will get a kick from visiting this country given that 80% of its land area is mountainous. If mountain hiking is not your cup of coffee, a visit to Tokyo, renowned as the world’s largest city will thrill you. Apart from the country’s capital, there are other great locations you can visit.

With over 6,800 islands and about 430 being inhabited, there is no shortage of beaches in the country. The country’s culture is also very unique and might be different from what you might be used to. So, before you pack your bags to experience a Japan vacation, there are some things you need to know. Knowing these things will ensure that you don’t act contrary to what’s obtainable, and it will also ensure you have a pleasant experience.

Pack Light

While you might be tempted to pack several bags and suitcases for your vacation, we strongly advise against such action. Having so much luggage might not be ideal given the prevalent use of public transportation in Japan. There usually isn’t enough room on public transport vehicles for so much luggage.

Moreover, most of the hotels in the cities are designed small. This means you might not have the space to keep your bags. Therefore, you need to be prepared for this by packing only essential wear.

Book Your Hotel in Advance and Be Punctual

Book Your Hotel in Advance and Be Punctual

Japan also has busy travel seasons, and during those periods, it can be difficult to find an available hotel room. Even when it’s not travel season, you might still find securing an available room difficult. To avoid this, ensure that you always book a hotel months before your vacation.

Furthermore, you must ensure that you arrive punctually especially if you are booking a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan) or smaller inns. You can click here to learn more about ryokans. These inns have fixed times for checking in. Therefore, if you miss those times, you won’t meet the staff and your room won’t be prepared.

Pack Easy-to-Remove Shoes

When visiting Japan, it’s advisable to go with shoes that can be removed easily. Why is this important you might wonder? Well, the Japanese take off their shoes and wear communal slippers or just their socks when they enter certain buildings. Examples of such buildings include some restaurants, traditional inns, and religious sights.

During your vacation, you’ll have to do the same as a mark of respecting their culture. This means you’ll be removing your shoes a lot. Therefore, having to battle a shoe that’s difficult to remove can become pretty annoying.

Move with Cash

Move with Cash

There are places where you’ll need to make payments in cash as such establishments do not accept credit card payments. If you are making a purchase from an older family business in the city, a rural area, a country ryokan, etc. plastic money won’t cut it. Therefore, to avoid embarrassment, it’s wise to move with cash.

When you’re in an area with an ATM, ensure that you withdraw a substantial amount. This will ensure that you have cash whenever it’s required. Furthermore, when paying, do not hand the money directly to the seller or cashier. Instead, place your card (if accepted) or cash in the register’s small tray; the Japanese consider this manner polite.

Don’t Tip

The Western culture is heavy on tipping. You can visit https://www.cnbc.com/ to learn more about how this came to be. However, the Japanese do not have this custom.

If you try to tip the staff, you might end up embarrassing or flustering them. Therefore, you don’t have to bother about tipping the staff. Businesses in Japan charge flat-rate fees for their services. Some of them add 10% which covers the staff “tips”.

Don’t Eat in Public

The Japanese consider eating in a public area a no-no. This action is all the more frowned upon if you do so while walking. However, you’re allowed to eat a boxed meal (called a bentō) while riding the bullet train or other express trains with limited/reserved seats. You’re also allowed to eat at food vendors in market streets, festivals, and picnics.

The Japanese do not have any qualms about eating ice cream even while walking. This sort of reinforces the popular notion that everyone in the world loves ice cream. Taking sips from a water bottle or any other re-sealable container is also acceptable.

Learn How to Queue

A Japanese queue is one of the most organized things you’ll ever see. Their ability to stay disciplined and organized is reflected in the neat lines in their train stations and everywhere else. So, when you visit the country, learn how to queue properly.

This entire process is made easier if you work with the right tour guide. There are professional tour operators that you can contact around the country. Locate a suitable travel agency or tour operator in Japan to enjoy a more fulfilling time.


Visiting Japan is a wonderful experience for anyone. However, to ensure your visit is pleasant, there are things you must know before you touch down in Japan. This article has discussed 7 things you need to know before you visit Japan.