Japan is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia – it’s in everyone’s must-go-to or bucket list. The mix of modern & tradition is best seen in this country and one of the reasons why people come to visit. Is Japan one of your top travel destinations as well? Are you planning to travel to Japan any time soon this 2020? Here are some helpful travel tips you should know to get the most out of your Japan trip.
How to Reduce your travel costs on airfare
Sometimes planning a trip & making sure it fits your budget can be overwhelming. One of the expenses you will incur is purchasing your flight tickets which can be very expensive. A drastic and smart way to reduce your travel costs is to find inexpensive flights to your travel destination. Search for the best cheap flights to Japan online and check out what online travel booking sites like Traveloka are offering. You will find airlines with flight promos like Jetstar flight sale and score great deals on inexpensive premium service flights. If you feel that you’re never lucky with flight promos, Traveloka also has a travel app you can download to notify you for upcoming flight promos so you won’t miss it. Finding cheap flight tickets to fit your travel budget need not be a headache if you know where to look for the best and the cheapest flight deals online.
Make your mobile phone travel-ready
When traveling to a foreign country, your mobile phone will become your best friend. Make sure to download helpful travel apps to help you navigate around. Before your actual trip make sure to download apps for transportation like maps or local train transport app, translation app, or money converter. It will definitely come in handy when you’re trying to figure out how to get to the next train station or simply tell you how to get to your hotel.
Know your seasons
Japan is one of the top travel destinations all year round. In winter, there are fewer crowds but the temperature can get very low. This is great for people who love the cold weather but can be difficult for those who hate travelling during the colder months. Skiing or snowboarding and seeing a snow-capped Mt. Fuji are your greatest takeaways if you travel during the winter season. If you like a warmer or hotter season, summer in Japan is hot and humid. You do not have to worry about lugging heavy bags of winter clothes. And if you’re planning to climb Mt. Fuji, this is the only season you can do so. The most popular seasons tourists visit Japan are the spring & autumn. They are either there for the gorgeous Sakura or cherry blossoms or the beautiful autumn leaves. It is the ideal weather to go around Japan – it’s not too cold and not too hot either. It can get crowded with tourists during these seasons and hotel rates can go high. So be mindful to book your accommodations early.
Save money with Japan Rail Pass
Best way to go around a new place is to commute around. Japan is best known for its train system. If you’re planning to travel outside Tokyo and go around the rest of the country, purchasing Japan Rail Pass is the smartest way at it. This allows you to travel on any trains, buses, or ferries operated by Japan Rail. It will save you the time of purchasing ticket after ticket every time you cross cities.
Connect for less
Although most hotels have internet connection, you might still need to stay connected while commuting or traveling from one city to another. Plan ahead how you want to be connected. you can purchase a local sim that allows you to send SMS, make calls and get data connection. This is ideal if you’re traveling as a group and that there are high chances of you separating or needing to call each other. Or you can always rent a pocket-wifi either online or at the airport. This is a cheaper alternative with multiple devices connecting to it but can be tricky if you get separated to the one holding or bringing the device. Either way, this is a great way to stay connected while on the road.
Commute like a local
For short-distance trips, it is best that you get a Pasmo or Suica local transport card. These are like the Metro Card of New York, Octopus Card of Hongkong, or Opal Card of Sydney. This allows you to access public transportation saving time figuring out what ticket to purchase at the ticket machines. This will be helpful if you’re travelling in short-distance trains that are not covered by Japan Rail Pass. You can also use it to pay for taxis, purchase in vending machines or at the local convenience stores.
Learn basic Japanese phrases
Although you will find it is easier to converse in English in big cities like Tokyo, it won’t be the same for smaller towns around Japan. You do not have to be fluent or converse in full sentences, few good phrases for respect will always be appreciated. Here are some basic words/phrases that you can use:
- Hai: Yes.
- iie: No.
- Oishi: Delicious
- Arigatou / Arigatou gozaimasu: Thank you / Thank you very much
- Onegai shimasu: Please.
- Konnichiwa: Hello / Good day.
- Ohayō gozaimasu: Good morning.
- Hajimemashite: Nice to meet you (for the first time)
- Moshi moshi: “Hello?” (Greeting on the phone)
- Sumimasen: Excuse me
Be courteous & respectful
Ever wondered why the Japanese bow to each other? Bowing or “ojigi” is a Japanese alternative to a handshake. It is used as a greeting, to show respect, a way to say thank you or to apologize depending on the context. The most commonly used bow is the “eshaku”, it is a light bow by lightly dipping the head forward for a casual bow. When saying thank you to a local who helped you, always bow to show gratitude & respect.
Japan is always a fascinating travel destination. It is traditionally & culturally distinctive with the comforts & convenience of modern technology. No wonder it is on everyone’s travel bucket list!