Useful tips for traveling to Japan

Located in Eastern Asia, Japan is known for its modern technology, history, tradition and culture. Japan is an interesting country to visit and has much to offer its visitors, including busy cities, places of interest, coral reefs and ski resorts. To ensure that a visit to this interesting country is successful there are various laws, traditions and expectations that need to be noted.

Mt Fuji
Mt Fuji

Legal Documentation
To enter Japan the visitor needs to be in possession of a passport that is valid for the duration of the stay and although not essential it is advisable to take a copy of any important documents in the event that they are lost or stolen.

Visas are not required for entry into Japan and visitors can stay for an initial period of three months which can be extended to six months.

When departing from Japan there is an airport fee of two hundred Yen.

Health and Safety
Whilst there are no particular health risks associated with Japan, travel insurance is advised particularly to cover lost or stolen items or medical cover.

During the summer and autumn month’s mosquitoes can be a problem but repellents can be purchased either before or during the visit. Although SARS is no longer considered to be a problem some Japanese people continue to protect themselves with face masks when out in the open.

Tokyo Japan
Tokyo

Currency
The currency in Japan is the Yen and there are approximately 82 yens to one US dollar. Money can be changed at the airport, most banks and post office.

Emergency
In the event of emergencies the telephone number for the police is 110, fire and ambulance 119 and the Japan Helpline, at 0120 461 997, provides a 24hour emergency advice in English.

Helpful Tips
Before a visit to Japan it is helpful to learn a few Japanese phrases which will not only assist during the visit but also impress the Japanese. Plus practising eating with chopsticks will avoid embarrassment in restaurants.

When entering a home, business and most hotels it is customary to remove shoes and there is normally a rack near to the entrance with guest slippers and where shoes are stored.

When eating in a restaurant or person’s home a small wet cloth will be given to wipe hands after the meal. It is not acceptable to clean any part of the face with the napkin. Neither is it acceptable to blow your nose in public particularly at the dinner table.

There is no tipping in Japan and to some Japanese it is considered an insult

Japan is a fascinating country that has so much to offer including traditional culture, natural wonders and modern cities. The Japanese people are known for their gracious hospitality and will particularly welcome visitors who are respectful of their customs and traditions.