I spent almost a month in Japan. I crossed the island from north to south, from Hokkaido to Ibusuki, I also tried playing at a Japanese online casino, the Japanese site qyto.com/ja/casino/casitabi/ was recommended to me. I have been to many countries, but Japan cannot be compared to any other country. It is original and unique in itself. And this otherness fascinates us the most.
TRANSPORT IN JAPAN – Getting around Japan is quite pleasant. The transport network is very well developed, both trains and buses work without the slightest reservation. If you are staying for a long time, it is worth buying season/weekend tickets.
Moving around the city, using buses, we may come across two options. Either we pay at once for the ride (one ticket price, no matter how many stops we go), or at the entrance we collect a number and at the exit from the bus we pay the amount that is written on our number. Most buses have signs that display the names of the stops in English.
When it comes to transport between cities it is worth buying a JR PASS ticket. The longer the period for which you buy the ticket, the cheaper the price per day (7 days, 14 days, 21 days). Please note that you have to BUY the Japan Air Pass BEFORE you arrive in Japan (it is not possible on the spot) and only tourists can use it. JR Pass is not available to locals. The ticket is valid on almost all JR lines including city and shinkansen lines, as well as many JR bus lines, the JR ferry to Miyajima Island and the Tokyo Monorail. Those with a Japan Rail Pass can book seats on trains for free.
TAXI – I do not recommend taking a taxi in Japan. Taxi rides are very expensive. We used them when there was no way out. For example, for a ride of about 12km we paid 5500Yen.
LANGUAGE – you hear a lot about how poorly Japanese people speak English. There is certainly something in it, because even those who know English, it is difficult to understand because of their accent. Generally in tourist information rather (though not always) someone speaks a foreign language. In small bars, however, I would rather not expect fluency in English. However, it does not change the fact that they are very nice and try to help at every step. Even if they cannot, they will look for someone to help us or with the art of gesticulation they will try to explain and help us.
SAFETY – The Japanese when going to the toilet in a restaurant, leave on the phone, money – and no one will take it away. On trains, where it’s crowded, people fall asleep with their wallet out, their phone in their lap and no one thinks about taking these things. We lost our locker key and a woman ran across the station to give it to us. So we don’t have to be afraid of anything. You can really feel safe there
PHONES – It is commonly said that our phones don’t work in Japan. I will say this, we had two phones with us. One an old solid – it didn’t work. The other some old touchscreen – it worked and you could answer calls, make calls etc.
ATMS AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE – Strictly speaking, you won’t find ATMs, except in shops like 7eleven. There we have ATMs. When it comes to currency exchange, you will not find exchange offices. Banks are an option to exchange cash (but not every bank). When you arrive in town, it is best to go to the tourist information centre and ask which banks handle currency exchange.
ACCOMMODATION IN JAPAN – Although we had grand plans to spend the night in Japan under a tent, the weather and autumn temperatures were not conducive to this. For that, booking.com or Cs was a big help for us. We really had no problem finding free accommodation on CS. However, you have to remember that these are accommodations on the floor and often everyone sleeps in one small room.
EATING – Flavours in Japan are mainly seafood related. The most popular, but not the cheapest, are chain shops like 7-Eleven, Lawson, Family Mart. Here you will find mainly ready-made food, already packed portions to eat. Cheaper food can be bought in large markets (but these are not easy to find). On average, we paid about 1200 Yen for breakfast for two people (about 40 PLN). We bought bread, jam, 2 Chinese soups, Cole and water. Sometimes a ready-made salad. However, you should know that the portions are small and I, for example, did not eat enough. Besides, bread is typically “English”, i.e. toasted. As far as dinners are concerned, the cheapest is in Chinese restaurants. You can eat for as little as 1000Yen, so it is not bad. A good way was to find “pay once, eat as much as you want” pubs. We paid about 1500Yen/person and you could eat salads, pasta, pizza to your heart’s content.
RENTING A CAR – We even made an international driving licence. However, it turned out that it is not respected anyway because there is no translation into Japanese. And the circle is closed. I have heard that some people have managed to rent a car, so you can always try.
- Before entering a Japanese house you have to take off your shoes
- Japanese like gifts, so think of something nicely wrapped as a thank you
- Traffic is left-handed (like in England)
- The sockets are 110V. This is an “American” plug. It has two flat, parallel pins. You can order such plugs online