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    • Tigger_Milne
    • By Tigger_Milne 10th Feb 18, 5:28 AM
    • 2Posts
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    0 WOW
    Traveling to Japan
    • #1
    • 10th Feb 18, 5:28 AM
    0 WOW
    Traveling to Japan 10th Feb 18 at 5:28 AM
    Morning All
    I am traveling around Japan in early April and have the basics covered ie travel insurance, money covered.

    I intend to get a data sim for my phone while I am out there and was hoping if anyone can share any tips on which to use and anything else I should look out for while over there

    Thank you
Page 1
    • Ballard
    • By Ballard 10th Feb 18, 6:17 AM
    • 1,789 Posts
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    • #2
    • 10th Feb 18, 6:17 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 18, 6:17 AM
    Iím afraid that I canít help you with regards to the sim but if you havenít already considered it you should look at the Japan rail pass. Iíve just googled it and itís currently £189 for one week but that gives you unlimited travel on all but the fastest Shinkansen (bullet trains). It has to be purchased before you arrive in Japan.
    I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened it and read it. It said they were suckers.
    • lildoonbuggy
    • By lildoonbuggy 10th Feb 18, 7:37 AM
    • 59 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 18, 7:37 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 18, 7:37 AM
    How long are you going for? Agree on the trains, super efficient and will take you to all the key places - whether that's via bullet train or metro. The advice I would give is allow yourself plenty of time to see things on foot. The people, the food, the sights and the culture are incredible. If you want authentic, cheap food go to the small shabby places with red lanterns (means they sell alcohol), traditional framed huts or those with beer crates as seats.

    If you can, spend at least 1.5 weeks in Tokyo - you still won't see it all. Most people don't speak English, or fear they don't speak it well enough, but are super helpful to the point of seeing a westerner and stopping to help (this is not a scam, they will literally take you on tours if they have time, even though you might be a perfect stranger). Make sure you look up the Japanese word for the main thing you want/are looking for. Stay in a Ryokan, and capsule hotel if you can. Go to the coast and check out the fish markets and ports. Spend time in their temples and ancient gardens. Sing karaoke with the locals. Do not go to places with spruikers out the front - they are expenses and will charge you through the nose for things you haven't ordered. If you can barely find a seat or standing point due to the numbers of locals there, you know you're in the right place.

    While I too know nothing about the simcard situation, if you can't find anything before your trip let yourself relax - there'll be something at the airport. Not sure about WiFi outside of Tokyo, but it's a digital country and very safe so I'm sure you'll be fine.
    • beeg0d
    • By beeg0d 10th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    • 154 Posts
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    • #4
    • 10th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 18, 8:55 AM These are the people i used last tim. They will deliver to your hotel or you can collect from the airport postoffice. I personally prefer going for the wifi router then simcard as it allows you to keep your uk simcard in your phone for emergency use (tourists are only allowed data no voice simcards). There are places in all the international airports that provide these devices so if you dont buy inadvance you should still be able to get one BUT they do tend to be a little more expensive at the airport.

    I agree with ballard the JR rail pass is amazing and pays for itself after just 1 long distance journy and if you goto hiroshima take a side trip to miyajima beautyful island with one of japans most famous temples.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th Feb 18, 11:28 AM
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    • #5
    • 10th Feb 18, 11:28 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 18, 11:28 AM
    I do think you need to tell us how long you're going for, as that will help us to suggest places that would be sensible to go in the time available. For instance, I went for 2 weeks (also in early April) and 1.5 weeks in Tokyo would have been far too much (although I'd agree you wouldn't see it all in that time), I spent 5 days then went to Hiroshima and had the side trip to Miyajima, then travelled to Shikoku for a few days before flying back from Osaka.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 10th Feb 18, 8:21 PM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 4,598 Thanks
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 18, 8:21 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 18, 8:21 PM
    Get a wireless router and make sure you download Google Translate and the Japanese language pack, it can read characters from an image. Truly truly liberating and I checked the translation function with a Japanese colleague and she said it was pretty good.

    Also, get a Passmo/Suica card which is their version of an Oyster card but of wider use than just the Tokyo underground.

    Check the weather and pack layers rather than anything too warm. I've been in both November and January and often found myself in just a thick jumper (whereas at home I'd have been in a jumper, a winter coat and had a hat and gloves on).

    Try and learn a few basic greetings, the word 'sumimasen' covers a multitude of situations (it's kind of excuse me but good for attracting attention). Also try and read up on the cultural dos and don'ts so you aren't surprised.

    ATMs aren't easy to find on the street like we know them but every 7/11 tends to have one inside.
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 10th Feb 18, 8:58 PM
    • 1,180 Posts
    • 803 Thanks
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 18, 8:58 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 18, 8:58 PM
    This is my go-to site for foreign SIMs:
    • Tigger_Milne
    • By Tigger_Milne 11th Feb 18, 8:03 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 8:03 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Feb 18, 8:03 AM
    Thank you all for the information you have supplied
    I am doing a very quick trip and have my transport arranged as I am spending only 11 days in Japan
    Visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima,

    I am sure the time is not long enough to see it all but as it!!!8217;s my first time to Japan wish to visit a fue places to get the feel of the place and I am sure I will return to do the things I missed or did not have time to do

    Once again thank you for the all the tips
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 11th Feb 18, 8:56 PM
    • 3,511 Posts
    • 11,089 Thanks
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 18, 8:56 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Feb 18, 8:56 PM
    Unfortunately I can't help you with internet, for the time we were there we got by on the internet in our hotel only. We would screen shot everything we needed for the day. Yes we did get lost a few times but every time we did we came across things we took photos of that we wouldn't otherwise and even found a fruit and veg stall that sold things cheaper than the stores we had come across before.

    Others say about the rail card, I know you said transport is arranged but the passmo or suica card can work out better value for people not doing long travel. OH and I put 5000• on each of our cards and came home with money on the cards. I only used mine for travel, OH bought a drink from a vending machine with his as well. Their trains are amazing. I'm a wheelchair user and I believe their train service for wheelchair users is far superior to England's.
    The cards can also be used in a lot of konbinis (convenience stores such as 7eleven, Lawson and Family Mart though not all take them, look for the card sign at the check out) and a lot of vending machines have these cards as payment option. It means you have less money on your person. Remember Japan is in the main a cash society. Your debit card or even credit card may not be accepted in most places, 7elevens will usually have a machine though and will accept most cards for cash withdrawal.

    I can only help with Tokyo as they was the only area we went.
    If you are into gaming Akihabara is an amazing place to go. The arcades there were amazing, even the Namco in London couldn't compare.
    Skytree is an experience, yes it is touristy but you'll never forget it. Make sure to do the full experience. Though I am afraid of heights so didn't personally do the glass floor, as it was a feat to get me to the top, my OH did.
    The Shibuya scramble, again touristy, is a sight. While you are there make sure you see the Hachiko statue.
    The Imperial Palace is beautiful, a definite must see.

    As others have said do learn a few set phrases.
    Sorry/excuse me
    Thank you
    How much?
    What is this?
    Where is the nearest train staion/convenience store/ATM

    Things along those lines and expected answers are the very basic you will want to know. I was surprised by how many people did speak English, but we were likely lucky. Even when my Japanese was lacking and their English was also every Japanese person we came across did their best to help us. One man even walked us to where we needed to go as they were worried we wouldn't understand their directions even though they were working when we asked as only person we could find!

    Do look up customs.
    Example - tipping is not done, don't try as it is either seen as insulting as they believe you shouldn't have to pay extra for good service, or it is embarrassing for the person. They will refuse the money.
    Take off shoes in homes, a step area Genkan is an obvious indication to do this.

    Something to definitely keep in mind is that unless stated tax of 8% is usually not included in the price you see, remember to add it on. In convenience stores there will be two numbers. A large stating before tax and a smaller which includes tax.
    29 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
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