As this is my first time to Japan, I have asked many of my friends what should I take? how do I get around? where should I stay? etc.
So I thought I might share what I have learnt so far through getting ready for my trip.
I am travelling to Japan at mid way through September to the start of October, so the weather is just coming out of summer and into autumn/fall.
It is still quite warm averaging 26c but the humidity is starting to drop (which is a good thing).
I am pretty much packing for a summer holiday but also taking something I can wear in case it gets cold at night(from what the weather report currently says minimums are around 20c, so still quite warm at night too).
*Bring easy to slip on and off shoes as most places you will have to remove them before entering*
Even though being in a foreign country where the language isn’t the easiest to work out, I have been told it is very easy to get around.
Trains are always on time and are everywhere, for foreigners it is best to get a JR pass if traveling between cities.
These have to be purchased before you arrive, most countries will have a local office. You don’t get an actual pass but a voucher of purchase which you need to hand in at a JR office for your actual train ticket.
Just make sure you get them on the day you want to use it or specify to the JR employee which date you want to validate your ticket from.
Local city travel is like most other countries with ticket machines which have an English translation button. Another option is a Pasmo or Suica card which you can load yen onto, then just tap and go.
*Japan has different lines, JR is separate to the other two main lines, so make sure to look before you board.
Be also aware of transport etiquette, no loud talking or music as can get quite packed and keep your feet flat on the ground*
Extras to bring.
Hand sanitizer and Tissues: most local bathrooms/toilets don’t have soap or hand drying facilities.
Tote bag: there are bins in major cities but I have been told most locals take their rubbish home and carry a tote bag.
Power Adaptor: A tip from my friend who once lived in Japan; a USA adapter is the same but with an earth pin, this pin can easily be broken off and will not affect your devices. A power board is also good to bring with you for multiple devices.
Medicine: Bring a small bag packed full of essential medicines with you. Unlike Australia and most other countries, it isn’t possible to duck down to the corner store and pick up some paracetamol. There are drug stores in Japan, but if you wake up at an odd hour with a headache or cold, you’ll be helpless until one opens.
Pocket Wifi and Charge Stick: If it is too expensive for data roaming then get a pocket wifi or buy a data sim at the Narita Airport. Google maps will be your best friend or you can opt for a local map too. Charge stick if you are using your phone out on a long day.