Things I (or really we) learned from traveling in Japan

  • Eating while walking is simply unacceptable
  • Tossing trash even an used tissue is impossible in public—you pretty much have toss where you’re staying
  • No unified public systen exists in Tokyo
  • Yes, there are young men who are obsessed with looking upskirts
  • Japanese hopsitality is amazing—even when you’re late—although it’s hard to tell if they’re upset
  • Causing a scene in a public place doesn’t exist—although if you see another Asian person do it, it’s likely that person is from mainland China
  • It appears that the most common tourist in Japan is from mainland China
  • But English is still the common language that one uses
  • If you do go to a local (aka not tourist friendly) restaurant in Japan, be prepared to be surprised by unexpected unspoken rules of dining and eating
  • It’s colder than you think in Sapporo in February
  • Food is truly amazing anywhere, even in the malls
  • Skiing/snowboarding in Niseko is really amazing due to the fresh powder, but be prepared for below freezing temperatures and low visibility
  • And amazing, because you have ramen and soak in onsen afterwards!
  • Read a lot and watch videos about onsens before going to an onsen so you can get accustomed to best practices and Japanese customs—aka nudity, bathing, noise
  • Tokyo subway stations, especially the central ones like Shinjuku, are super hard to navigate, but even a local is likely to get lost
  • Not all Japanese know where about all the trendy places, but then again, do the locals know about them in your hometown?
  • Being expected to take off shoes indoors…is so so great! Mostly because I am Asian and everything is built for that
  • Japanese-style rooms aren’t too bad even though you’re nearly sleeping on the floor
  • Why the US doesn’t have bidets everywhere is a mystery
  • Crime is nonexistent in Japan—it just is
  • Even if you’re American-born, unlike other Asian countries, the locals can’t tell that you’re American-born, they will assume that you’re a local—very weird to me!
  • Pocket wifi is the bomb! Better than sim card
  • But it’s a lie that they work everywhere, because I went through a whole process of where the signal suddenly went out for an hour along the coast of Hokkaido
  • Eat sashimi as often as possible—it’s so plentiful, high quality, and cheap! (Although I do harbor some guilt about overfishing)
  • Get the supermarket sushi!
  • Buy Japanese snacks, but don’t share them with your coworkers (just only a select few), because it’s actually super expensive and…so tasty…do you really want to give $5 to each person in the office?
  • Eat the cheese tart, because it really is that good
  • Double check all your addresses for restaurants, because you may go to the wrong location
  • Use Yahoo maps, not Google maps—as of 2019, Japan is the only country that uses Yahoo maps and the information on Google maps is not that great
  • Everything is popular in Japan, so reservations and tickets are necessary. For some restaurants, some museums, exhibitions, etc. It’s awful.
  • Better the hotel concierge, the better they will be in getting you hotel reservations
  • Bring extra duffel bags (or buy one at Don Quijote) for goodies
  • Bring your passport so that you can get a tax-free rebate when spending more than $50 USD
  • So organize your shopping so that you do it all at once
  • Cash is king
  • Hot vending machines (for hot drinks) are underrated outside Japan
  • No paper towels in restrooms, get used to the Dyson air dryers or bring your own hanky/tissues

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *