One of the first countries that come to our minds when thinking about Asia is Japan. Well, that’s no wonder since the country is famed and wowed a lot of people around the globe with its unique, strange, and amazing culture and history.
If Japan is next on your travel bucket list, then read on as here are the seven important things that you should know about the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Old and New Versions of Japan
Being fascinated with only modern technological developments of the country, such as bullet trains, vending machines, and toilet seats, will get you great experiences as the modernization of Japan is one-of-a-kind. But believe me that you’ll never get the most out of the country if you’re taking a blind eye to its old and rich culture.
Yes, the first thing that you’ll be imagining about Tokyo is its busy pedestrian lanes, metropolitan streets, and futuristic setups. However, Japan is also known to be paying high respects with its old history and traditions. Visiting Shinto shrines, ryokan inns, and Buddhist monasteries are some of the evidence that the country treats its culture with high regard.
So traveling to Japan is like hitting two birds with one stone as you’ll be experiencing its old and new versions.
Japanese People’s Sense of Duty
Since Japanese people have a strong sense of duty, they are known to be one of the most helpful and polite people around the world. So if you happen to lose your way in Tokyo or other cities, expect that there are locals who are willing to lend their hands to you. There might be a language barrier between you and the locals (English language is not widely spoken in Japan), but that will not be an issue to Japanese people as they will try their best to help you out.
Learn Basic Japanese Phrases
Traveling to other countries is about knowing and experiencing different cultures and traditions. With this, learning basic words and phrases is a must as it gets easier to communicate with the locals whenever you need some help with the directions or just want to make friends with them.
Japan is not an exception to this rule. Since it is known that English is not the country’s native language, tourists who will be visiting the country should learn basic Japanese words and phrases. Learning how to say good morning, thank you, excuse me, and sorry in Japanese will make the locals appreciate you that they’ll be more than willing to extend their help whenever you get lost or confused about their local menus.
The country is known to have one of the lowest rates of petty crime in the world. Many tourists have experienced a safe and secure feeling as they traveled in Japan making them appreciate and love the country more. If you are visiting Japan, you’ll be courageous enough to put your bag down just about anywhere as it will be left untouched. If it happens that your bag or even passport is out of sight, there are police stations and lost and found areas that you could ask about and expect your things to get returned in no time.
Taste the Delectable Local Dishes
Part of traveling in any country or place is to taste the delectable local dishes. Every country offers different and unique flavors and Japan is not an exception to the mouthwatering foods that are prepared meticulously. There are tons of food variations that you could choose from when you visit the Land of the Rising Sun. From the most famous sushi and ramen up to the appetizing okonomiyaki and gyoza, it will surely make your stay in Japan a worthwhile experience. If you also love or are even curious to take a sip on matcha teas, then you’ll never regret going to Japan.
Cash Over Credit Cards
If you’re the type of traveler that only brings a small amount of cash and makes credit cards as your savior whenever you’re running out of cash, then you might experience some inconvenience once you make some purchases in Japan. The country might be known for its outstanding modernization but you’ll be surprised to learn that the traditional payment method is still being practiced by most of its stores, restaurants, and hotels. Foreign cards are also not accepted at most establishments. The only way to get your cards accepted is by transacting it to international banks such as HSBC, or ATMs at 7-Elevens or post offices.
The Strangeness of Japan
Another part of Japanese culture is its strangeness. Many tourists find themselves shocked and amazed by the country’s uniqueness and creativity. The most common thing that you could see in Japan is an area where “otakus” or manga and anime nerds would gather together making you feel that your favorite anime characters are living in the same reality as you. There are also love hotels that specialize in experiencing romantic relationships for a short period of time while maintaining anonymity among their customers.