What to know before traveling to Japan

What to know before traveling to Japan

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However, citizens of 68 countries can travel to Japan visa-free for 90 days , including those from the United States, Australia, Canada, France , Germany, and Singapore. No visa is required for same-day transit between international flights at the same airport. However, you cannot leave the secure area.

Accommodation and reservations

Unless you reside in Japan, the law requires all hosts, when checking into accommodation, to make a copy of your passport. A helpful tip, especially if you’re traveling in a group, is to show the staff a photocopy of your passport to speed up check-in .

Tatami floor rooms are found in most ryokan

Please keep in mind that especially during national holidays you should book your accommodation in advance and Japan is a predominantly cash using country and many accommodation places do not accept credit cards. We advise you to bring enough cash to be able to pay in advance.

Traveling with children

Very little planning is required for travelers with children to Japan. It is a safe, easy-to-explore and child-friendly destination . It’s no wonder the country is growing in popularity as the ultimate family vacation spot . There are an incredible number of child-friendly activities and tourist attractions.

From visiting the snow monkeys to petting the deer in Nara, taking the bullet train , climbing Mount Fuji or a walk through the Arashiyama bamboo forest. See incredible castles like those in Matsumoto, Hikone, Himeji, and Osaka, or even go to one of Japan’s theme parks, including Fuji-Q Highland, Tokyo Disney & Disney Sea, and Sanrio Puroland (Hello Kitty). Japan truly has something for everyone in the family!

Most museums, amusement parks, amusement parks and trains offer discounted rates for children under 12 years old. Children under 6 usually enter for free. The JR Pass also offers special prices for children .

Buy your Japan Rail Pass

Japan works mainly with cash! While most department stores and hotels accept credit cards, the most common form of payment in Japan is cash. Many businesses like bars, shops, restaurants, supermarkets and cafes don’t accept credit cards and don’t even have the technology to do so. Other companies, although they accept credit cards, will charge a minimum fee for accepting payments with this method.

Japan is an extremely safe place, where it is possible to carry large amounts of yen in your wallet. You can easily find a 7-11 to use an ATM in major cities . However, this might be nearly impossible in smaller towns or more isolated areas. So always be sure to pack plenty of cash, especially when traveling outside major cities.

The Japanese are well known for their outstanding service. However, tipping is not customary in Japan . In fact, it does not exist and can be considered an insult . For example, if you leave a tip in a restaurant, the staff will likely chase you to get your money back. According to them, they don’t need any extra incentive to do their job well. However, some restaurants may add a 10% service charge.

Health in Japan

Japan has an affordable and top-notch healthcare system . There are no significant communicable diseases and health risks are rare. This is also due to Japan’s obsession with cleanliness. Tap water is drinkable everywhere and food hygiene standards are very strict.

Because cities like Tokyo or Osaka are extremely crowded metropolises, where millions of people have already touched everything you touch, the Japanese encourage their visitors to wash their hands with soap all day and as often as possible.

Emergency numbers

In case of an emergency, here are all the important numbers you need to know. You can call using a mobile, landline or pay phone, and they are free.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institutions Information Service provides an emergency translation service by telephone at 03 5285 8185 .

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