There are a lot of things that can associate you to Japan like their cuisine, the way of living, and technology. It would be a huge mistake if you haven’t researched before traveling to Japan because of the many small things that are important. You would probably spend some time in a larger city where people live really fast and for a foreign person, it is harder to manage.
They are really attached to their culture, so you don’t want to offend them by not knowing certain traditions. A great guide will warn you in advance what you should do and what you shouldn’t. There are a lot of great places you can visit in Japan, but doing your research is the key if you don’t want to waste time.
The first thing to know is about etiquette and rules. It is a country of rules and to make things work you should learn to follow them. They have a specific way of doing almost everything. As a foreigner, you might get a pass, when you don’t understand something, but it is better if you try.
The basic thing you should know is the typical greeting by bowing and the deeper the bow, the more respectful it is. If there is no table, there is a certain way to sit on the tatami mat. The important thing before doing it is to take off your shoes in a certain area of Japan.
If you hand something to someone or they hand you something it will be always with two hands which you should do also. When you are paying something in a store, you will find a money dish where you should put your money and they will place the change in it. If you always happy to help, but you need to approach them because overall they are shy.
In Japan, being on time is very important. You will find that stores close and open promptly at the time posted to the minute. Bullet trains have to run within 15 seconds of their posted schedule otherwise they are not considered on time.
So, if you made a dinner reservation make sure you are on time. Also, if you are early you will probably wait for those couple of minutes until it’s your time to sit. Interesting thing is that often distance isn’t measured in meters or miles but in walking time, so people will advertise that their store is one minute walk from the train station.
Public transportation in Japan is overall amazing. You should be aware of rush hour and the last train. They are usually around midnight and if you miss it you are going to be stuck. If you are taking public transportation, you should know that on the trains and subway, there is little luggage storage. They offer luggage shipping services that essentially you can pay and have your luggage shipped, so you don’t have to carry it always. At some point, train stations can be confusing. There is not Uber there, just taxis, but most useful are trains.
Get more information here: https://www.2aussietravellers.com/top-tips-for-transport-in-japan/
People often think of Japanese food like noodles, sushi, and yakitori, but there is much more to it. Ramen is probably one of those quintessential Japanese dishes. If you are eating ramen, make sure to slurp your noodles because it is considered a compliment to the chef. So, don’t be surprised if you hear locals slurping when they are eating.
Another great meal is don which is rice bowls that have breaded fried pork on top. One of the sweet things they like is pudding and you can find it everywhere. The fruit may seem really expensive, but it is worth it. The strawberries are among sweetest in the world.
Unfortunately, credit is not accepted widely like in other countries. You will find that a lot of stores and restaurants are cash only. Make sure you get some yen, coins, and bills. Many people think that Japan is expensive, but when you know where to look for things it is actually one of the cheapest countries in the developed world. The great thing is that if you get a cheap hotel it doesn’t mean it will be filthy.