Japan has a rich culture, delicious cruise and strong language. Although Japan is an up and coming tourist destination the locals still have a sense of pride when it comes to their culture. When travelling to Japan it’s best to do what the locals tell you, in order to fit in. Here are the top 10 tips on how to avoid looking like a tourist.
Getting your tux or evening dress out is not necessary as local don’t dress up that much but do like to look good and dress up more than most cultures. Many locals were long skirts or lack in the summer instead of shorts. Much of the clothing we may wear on a day to day basis, locals would wear for certain activities. Yoga pants are only worn if you are attending a yoga class. Make sure to bring someone dressier for the evening if you plan to eat in a nice restaurant.
Wear slip-on shoes
It’s very important to pay attention to the shoes you bring. In many restaurants, attractions and hotel rooms you will be asked to remove your shoes on entering. Although in many attractions and restaurants flip flops are a big NO NO! You can save them for the beach or a midnight run to the cabin. Comfy loafers, canvas shoes, ballet flats or slip in trainers see the more practical option when travelling in the city. You will come across the fact many locals do not wear open toe sandals, this is because they can not be worn with socks. Socks are a most in Japan, this is so your not bear footed when entering restaurants and attractions.
Take a seat when eating
Eating at a restaurant is the best thing you can do in Japan. Eating while walking is considered Rude. If your eating on a budget You can get at grocery stores where they have outdoor seating enabling you to eat your bento. you may also be able to find a bench to sit and have your lunch within the city.
Be mindful on trains
There are millions of people who use the train on a daily basis in Japan. being courteous to other passengers is understandable. Avoid eating on the train. Apart from the Shinkansen rides and other special trains where ekiben( train bento) is common, eating on a train in Japan is considered rude. If you do need to eat make sure you eat something that doesn’t smell or leave crumbs. Never leave trash on the train. Avoid taking fall calls on the train, if you do receive a call, tell the caller you’ll call them back or get off at the next stop to finish the phone call.
choose a smaller bag
When walking around the city is advised to choose a smaller bag such as a purse, crossbody bag or a tote bag. Locals don’t tend to use backpacks as they can be bulky and clumsy especially in crowded areas such as trains. If you’d like the ability to use a backpack opt for a more smaller, more stylish one and told it in front of you while riding the train.
Tap for trains
when using the JR Pass Route, you can make riding the trains more of a breeze by using an IC card such as the Suica or Pasmo. These cards are a lot like Londons Oyster card and Hong Kong Octopus card and can be used to tap in and out of the trains. you can fill up your card with money and it can be used to tap into buses and trains, it can also be used for taxis, conbinis and grocery stores.
Learn basic phrases
Knowing the basic Japanese Phrases below will help you get around and make friends, the Locals don’t expect you to be fluent. the Japanese can be shy when speaking English, saying something as little as ” Konnichiwa” really can raise a smile.
Basic Japanese words :
- Ohayou Gozaimasu: Good morning
- Konbanwa: Good evening
- Arigatou Gozaimasu: Thank you
- Sumimasen: Excuse me/I am sorry
- Ikura desu ka? How much is it?
- Wa doko desu ka? Where is…?
Many of the larger stores have started to accept credit cards, however many of the smaller shops still only accept cash. it’s good to remember to carry cash on you. You can withdraw cash from the airport or shops within the city, there are also 24-hour ATMs you can withdraw from (exchange rates will vary day to day).
Stay calm and shop
When you go shopping in Japan you will come to notice it is very different. The staff will call out “Irasshaimase” (welcome). There’s no need to reply to the staff it’s just their way of being polite. In some stores, the staff may follow closely behind you in case you need assistance. Just remember to remain calm, and the staff will be there to help you if needed.
Embrace The crowds
Trains and streets can get crowded in Japan. Come across a crowded train? why not hop on?. Uncomfortablecrowed trains are part of everyday life in Japan. Get ready to embrace the modern day culture of Tokyo. If you keep your bad in front of you, it will be easier to squeeze yourself into the cart. getting a train with a suitcase can be considered rude especially at peak times. When travelling to the airport it’s best to take a taxi. If you would rather skip the crowded trains at rush hour a taxi may also be the best option.
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