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Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

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If you’re traveling to Tokyo, Japan anytime soon, you’re one lucky individual whether you choose economy or business class flights to Japan! It’s a fascinating country, and the culture is intriguing not to mention the breathtaking landscapes and landmarks. You’re likely to feel welcome right off the bat; however, as a first-time traveler there are major dos and don’ts you should know about when it comes to visiting Tokyo. Keep reading to find out what travel tips are most important to your trip.

Bowing

When greeting someone in Japan, bowing is the appropriate gesture. You should bow by bending your upper torso forward at a 15-degree angle. However, when you meet an elder, extend your bow as to show respect. If a native bows to you first, nod your head to replicate the acknowledgment. Japanese don’t always shake hands so don’t let this discourage you. It’s best you wait and see if they offer their hand first before extending yours.

Know the name of your hotel

In case you lose your notes or hotel keycard, you should know how to tell the taxi driver the name of the hotel and the closest subway that will take you to your destination.The English version of the hotel’s name is often not available, so knowing how to say it in the native language will help to get you back to where you need to be.

Never open your own door

Don’t get out of the taxi yourself. Your driver will come around to let you out and open the back door to let you in. It’s best you wait for this courtesy as to not offend the driver.

Put away your phone

It’s bad business to pull out your cell phone while riding on a train or bus in the city. You also should refrain from initiating conversation as well. Natives do their own, quiet thing.

Subway and train hours

The trains and subways close at 12:00 am. If you’re out after midnight, make sure you’re within walking distance to your accommodations or next destination. Taxis are still available but they can be expensive during late hours.

Meal time

Always thank the host with a bow. Do this before and after your meal as it shows good manners.  

It’s cool to slurp there!

Where slurping is rude in the States, it’s a custom in Japan! Notice the room when you eat out and you’ll find this noise to be a welcomed one.

Check, please

When you’ve finished your meal and it’s time to pay, cross your fingers to make the letter “X” and the waiter will take care of the bill.

Learn the language basics

Knowing a few of the key phrases in Japanese will help you communicate with natives. Practice saying, “excuse me,” “thank you,” “hello,” “goodbye,”—terms you may need when interacting with strangers. Oh, and “where’s the bathroom?” is another must-know phrase as you won’t be able to read their locations either.  

A nice way to say “no”

When the Japanese says something is “impossible” or mention something is “difficult,” it’s their way of saying “no.” They do not want to turn you away, however, there are times it’s necessary.  Don’t attempt to force the situation as it could end up being an unfavorable decision.  

Signs in English

Although it’s recommended, you don’t have to know many Japanese phrases as there are enough signs are in English that you can navigate through Tokyo without much difficulty. It’s when you begin to explore outside of the city that you will need to know those important Japanese phrases, as signs in English aren’t are prevalent.

Don’t tip!

In the States, tipping is mandatory, but in Japan it’s refused! Tips are not counted towards a waiter’s salary and the gesture is seen as rude and inappropriate. It doesn’t seem possible but some will get angry if you tip them.

Gifting

Giving a gift is different from tipping and it is generally well accepted. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, bring a gift! If possible, pick this up before you leave and select a gift that has meaning to your hometown.

ATMs

If you find an ATM that takes your card, take note of it because most banks won’t accept your bank card. You can find a post office that has a cash machine you could possibly use.

Suica Cards

If you’re thinking about coming back any time in the future or extending your stay because you got such as great deal on cheap business class flights to Tokyo, you should get a card to store your yen. PASMO cards are accepted so you may want to consider applying for one.  

Keep your passport with you

The passport is the best way of identifying yourself should you need identification. You can expect this to happen so don’t forget it back in the room!

BYOTP

Bring your own toilet paper! The public restrooms in Japan don’t always have them available, so you might want to have some handy when you leave the hotel. If you forget, look for a street vendor as they will offer a pack of tissue to forgetful and unaccustomed tourists.

Take your shoes off

Most of us are aware shoes are a no-no in Japanese places of business and in the home. Make sure you have a clean pair of socks that doesn’t have any holes in them. If you’re not sure when to take them off, just ask.   

Bathroom rules

The Japanese are particular people, so it’s not uncommon to wear different shoes to the bathroom. These shoes are not the same ones you’d wear around the house and are specifically worn to visit the toilet.

Refrain from blowing your nose

If you have the sniffles or a runny nose while you’re visiting Japan, absolutely do not blow your nose in public! Excuse yourself to the bathroom or into another room and quietly blow or wipe your nose.

I hope you enjoyed these top travel tips for travel in Tokyo!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Juliana

    May 30, 2017 at 4:20 AM

    I had no idea about taking your cell phone out in public … oops. Thanks for the tips, hoping to head there later this year for the very first time.

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Travel Tips

Keeping Your Home Safe on a Longer Trip

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There’s something to be said about going on a trip that has you roaming around the world for weeks, even months at a time – but as rewarding as the experience can be, it’s not without its hidden dangers that you’ll want to stay aware of. There are some things you should keep in mind before setting off on a trip like that, especially if it’s your first one, in order to minimize the chances of coming back to trouble.

Upgrade Your Security

If you don’t have adequate security systems throughout your home, now is the time to invest in some. A few cameras and automated locks can be surprisingly cheap, and they can also improve the quality of your life in various ways. A garage door opener from Globalgarage.Org can make it more convenient to get inside without too much hassle for example, even if it doesn’t contribute to the security of your home directly. Some devices can also take pictures and even videos and send them straight to your phone in case they detect activity.

Pipes, Gas Lines – Is Everything in Check?

If you’ll be gone for longer, make sure that you shut off any lines that may cause trouble. It’s also a good idea to leave a faucet running at a drip rate if you’ve got any exposed pipes in the winter, as this will prevent the water from freezing inside the pipes and eventually bursting through them. Gas lines are obviously something you’ll want to shut off first, and the same goes for any other potentially dangerous systems that you’re not going to need while away. It may even be a good idea to shut off the power to your home completely if you don’t have any devices that will need it (e.g. a freezer).

Get a House Sitter

If all else fails, you can always consider hiring someone to take care of your home while you’re away. Plenty of people would be happy to do that for you, and they usually won’t even charge much for the job. They would normally be more than happy to help with clearing out any perishables from your fridge, taking care of your pets and other simple tasks to ensure that your home doesn’t deteriorate in any way while you’re gone. And on the other hand, this will maintain the impression that someone is still living there, which can be a perfect deterrent against burglars.

Treating yourself to a nice, prolonged trip is something everyone should do once in a while. However, it’s not something you should approach without any preparations, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of any potential problem that can come up along the way. Other than that, you should prepare yourself for the time of your life, and make sure to savor every moment. Take plenty of pictures, ensure that you preserve the important moments, and if you find a place that feels like a second home, make sure to come back to it every now and then for a relaxing time.

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Travel Tips

Things To Do While Being Stuck At The Airport

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Traveling and the sense of exploration can make you full of euphoria, but that feeling can start wearing off when things do not go according to plan. Euphoria quickly starts to fade when you find yourself at the airport with hours to go for your delayed flight.

While this is not an ideal scenario by any means, most of us have certainly  gone through it. It can become all the more frustrating if you don’t have a loved one to kill that time with – or at times, gets worse because you have them! Why? Both of you are at each other’s heads because of the stress!

Depending on the quality of the airport, it may even seem like time has stopped and you will be stuck at that airport for what may seem like eternity.

Okay. Maybe it’s not that bad. However, no one can really deny that it is extremely boring and dreadful to be spending that time with nothing to do. This is why, we thought to put together a list of fun activities to delve into if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Find Online Games to Play

If you happen to have a cellphone or laptop handy with you, try finding games on the internet such as online casinos in Canada or casual apps on the App Store.

The most significant advantage of these activities would be that they are not just limited to the airport lobby, but they will be there for your rescue whenever you want to play casino games online or might want to solve that next word puzzle yourself.

Explore the Airport Eateries

Airport cafes and restaurants in Canada have actually grown to be quite sophisticated in the past few years, and you can find all kinds of delicacies from various cuisines to cater that connoisseur in you more often than not.

For instance, the Toronto-Pearson Airport actually has some delicious food to offer along with amenities that are exclusive to the airport, so you can find a place to charge your devices and eat before you get hangry.

Get That Creative Mind to Work

If you do have someone with you, try doing things that you wouldn’t normally do.

Note: We’re not suggesting that you spend a fortune on a flash mob proposal, just something to distract yourself from your present situation.

The activity we are suggesting is rather harmless and only requires your observation skills. Try looking around and find strangers of whom you could create a profile of. You can make it the most ridiculous story ever or make it sound believable, dealer’s choice!

It’s a better route, it’s better than sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself!

Take a Stroll Around the local area

This might seem like a crazy idea, but it actually proves to be logical depending on where you are.

Some of Canada’s busiest airports are fairly close to the most popular destinations in the country. For instance, if you are stuck for hours at Vancouver International Airport, the Vancouver Aquarium and the Granville Island would be at the driving distance of under 30 minutes.

Similarly, if you are at the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, you would find that Old Montreal and Parc Jean-Drapeau are both just 30 minutes’ drive apart from the terminal.

Ask around and see what your options are for recreation in case your flight is delayed for a prolonged period of time.

Forget That Childhood Lesson

Three words: talk to strangers.

It is the most obvious yet the most strangest of advice that you can get in today’s day and age, an era where you find yourself to be “alone” in a place full of people.

Communicating with strangers and sharing your stories sans your social security and credit card information really isn’t that bad and can sometimes bring about experiences of kindness that you won’t forget for a lifetime.

As long as these people aren’t putting off Pennywise type of vibes, you should be fine.

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Travel Tips

5 Tips to Keep in Mind When Enjoying Holidays With Your Spouse

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Holidays are expensive. According to reports, we spend about $1,145 per year on summer vacations. This rounds up to $4,580 for a family of four. This is a lot of money, which is why we need to pay special attention to planning to make sure it is all worth it.

This becomes even more important when you’re going for holidays with your spouse. It is going to be just the two of you and things can get boring if you do not plan your holidays properly.

To make sure things never get boring, given below are five tips to keep in mind when holidaying with your spouse:

  1. Travel With Insurance

Accidents come uninvited even if you are careful. This is why you need to take precautions and opt for travel insurance so that you are financially covered in case something goes wrong when you’re holidaying.

Think about it. There are a lot of risks involved. You or your partner may fall sick. There might be an accident or a theft and other such incidents. In fact, it is believed that you are more likely to fall sick when you’re holidaying than when you’re home due to the change in atmosphere.

This can be a pain without insurance, which is why it is important that you opt for it. You can go for individual insurance plans or couple insurance, whichever you find more affordable.

Other than this, make sure to carry your insurance documents at all hours for security.

  1. Research Various Tourism Places

Make sure to plan in advance and make a list of all the places you can visit with your partner. The internet can be your friend in this regard. There are plans and itineraries available that can help you plan your vacations.

For example, if you are going for seven days, you must divide each day properly. Write what you will day on day 1, i.e: what all places you will visit and how much it will cost you.

Budgeting is very important. Without proper planning, you may run out of cash and get in serious trouble so make sure to create a budget and stick to it.

Some places are cheap while some places are expensive. You need to make a list of places you can easily afford so that there are no issues. Other than this, do not forget the importance of mutual consent.

Both the partners should like the plan. You should not go to a place if your partner is not interested as it may ruin moods and cause trouble. Other than this, consider enjoying partner activities together, such as massages and romantic dinners to come closer to each other.

  1. Book a Couples Resort

There are many advantages of considering couples vacations resorts. They come with a lot of benefits. Firstly, they are designed for couples so you will get great activities to enjoy. Plus, privacy is also well taken care of.

Just find the right resort and you will be able to have great fun.

  1. Advance Booking

The recipe to enjoy holidays is to save as much money as you can on the trip so that you can shop, stay for more days and don’t fall short on anything. One way to save money is to book hotels and air tickets in advance.

According to reports, you can save up to 20% by booking about a month in advance. However, this also depends on the destination and season. A good idea is to visit a travel agent and let him or her help you plan a trip on a budget.

The Verdict

If you want to prevent your holiday experience from getting ruined then make sure you follow these tips

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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