Sakura season in Japan is the most beautiful time to visit (late March to mid April)! If you can’t make it during this time, I recommend visiting during the Fall when the leaves starts to change colors. Before visiting Japan I had so many questions about the culture, food, subway system, etc.. I’ve compiled a few tips and everything you need to know before your visit. Hope this helps, because I know it would have helped me!
The subway system as you can see is overwhelming and confusing. The best tip I can give you is to get a map from your hotel and always ask the front desk the best way to get to your destination. Each station will have a guide to help with any questions, so don’t be afraid to ask! You’ll notice people waiting in a line before hopping onto the subway and make sure to notice which way others are walking up and down the stairs. Don’t be rude, no talking in the subway.
Every subway is huge!! You’ll get lost plenty of times! Try to get lost in the basement food hall because you won’t regret it (food everywhere). Most stations will also have big department stores attached, so do some shopping. =)
Rent Portable Wifi
You won’t regret it! The connection worked great everywhere, I never had a problem with the connection and it lasted 10 hours! Save the battery and turn it off when it’s not needed. Its lightweight and about the size of an iPhone 6s (Thank you Kollecting Koordinates for giving me the idea on adding a tip about the connection and size).
You can find the rental area at any Japan airport. It’s $10 a day and can be returned at any airport. Return the portable wifi before checking in and going through security.
JR Pass is highly recommended for foreigners. It can be used throughout Japan which is beneficial if you plan to go to multiple locations. There are 3 options: 7, 14 or 21 day passes. A 7 day pass costs $264.
Tipping Is Not Expected
There is no tipping in Japan and in most cases you will pay for your bill by the door to check out.
Other Helpful Tips
Wear comfortable shoes! I repeat wear comfortable shoes!!! There’s a lot of walking and you will be glad to have your most comfortable sneakers on.
You will notice that Japan is super clean and no trash anywhere! There is also no trash bins!! I had to hold my trash until I found a convenient store or stuff my trash in my bag.
Always carry cash for all the quick snacks you will be purchasing.
Japan uses the same electric plugs as the USA so don’t worry about a converter or adapter. The hotel will always have them available if needed.
Download the best travel apps before your trip to Japan.
Buy all of the snacks you can!