3 Things You Ought To Know Before Travelling to Japan
Japan is one of the few countries in the world with an incredible history set on a rich cultural background. Its cutting-edge technological advancement interspersed with a very friendly local population makes it a popular tourist destination. Just like before visiting any other country however, there are some things you should know before boarding a plane to Japan or buying a Japanese rail pass.
Prices are often shown Without Tax
Most people have a habit of throwing items in the shopping cart and paying the amount indicated on the shelf at the cashier in a supermarket. When in Japan, you will have to forget that ideology. VAT is 8%, and most shopping outlets often indicate the product prices without the VAT. You can navigate around this problem by calculating and adding the VAT personally before going to the cashier only to be shocked by the new higher price tally especially after excitement of the low marked prices. If you can’t calculate the VAT by yourself or are uncertain whether it is included in the stipulated price, you can always ask a store attendant about the tax policy before proceeding to the cashier.
Basic Japanese Language goes a Long Way
When you visit a new place, you are bound to experience a new culture illustrated by fashion and mostly by language. English may be widely known all across the world, but a not many Japanese are fluent in English. Considering that you will need help from the airport to your hotel and navigation around the place you are visiting, English alone will not be enough. Strive to learn even the basic phrases such as ‘Konnichiwa’ and ‘arigato’, which mean ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ respectively. It is the perfect way to blend in with the locals and can get you some good friends. Also, it lowers your chances of being swindled or scammed by unscrupulous vendors. Japan may be safer as opposed to most Asian countries, but that knowledge goes a long way to helping you enjoy your stay.
Be wary of the high season
We all want to visit a place and be able to benefit from the tranquility that a new environment brings as opposed to our busy schedule back at home. If you do not wish to have a workday experience with people thronging train stations and hotels, then you should probably avoid the Japanese high seasons. These include the New Year Holiday, Summer Vacation (August), and the Golden Week (the last week of April to the first week of May). You can still go if that is the only time you will be available to make the trip, but you should probably book some things such as a hotel in advance. However, the number of people in some of the leading city hubs are almost double during these times and so are the prices.
Japan is full of civilized people, delicious food, and stunning landscapes. Ancient shrines and temples are responsible for thousands of tourists every year, and the ripe business ventures here attract hundreds of entrepreneurs on a monthly basis. However, don’t book the next flight to Japan without following the tips mentioned above. Seeing how big it is, you might end up getting confused when you could be appreciating the spectacle that is Japan.