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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

4 Spectacular Western Australia Road Trips

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Western Australia is a huge region that covers nearly a third of the country as a whole. While a big proportion of the population is concentrated in located in the southwest, there are plenty of great road trip opportunities throughout the area – especially if you are looking to get off the beaten path. So, in this blog post, we will cover just a few ideas that could take you on the journey of a lifetime.

The Kimberley

Let’s start off in the northwest corner of the country around the iconic Kimberley region between Broome and Kununurra. Highway 1 will take you to places including Purnululu – otherwise known as the Bungle Bungles – as well as historic outback communities and the largest man-made body of water in the world, Lake Argyle. Otherwise, you could take the road less travelled along the Gibb, where it is certainly worth taking the detour up to the Mitchell Plateau, famous for its cascading waterfalls.

Grand Central Road

If you are looking for an authentic outback adventure, a trip along the Grand Central Road could well be the option for you. This red-dirt highway takes in some of the most celebrated attractions in the region including Alice Springs, Uluru and the WA goldfields. For people with plenty of time on their hands, you have the opportunity to travel from the far north-east of the country all the way to the far south-west. There are various campsites along the way that give you the opportunity to really appreciate this sparse, yet beautiful landscape.

Coral Coast

Starting in the remote and bustling city of Perth, you can spend a couple of days taking in this pleasant city before looking at car hire options to take you along the beautiful Coral Coast. The Pinnacles Desert near Cervantes is a must-see attraction for its famous limestone spires. A couple of the other magical experiences which you can enjoy along the way include feeding wild dolphins at Monkey Mia, snorkelling around the coral of Ningaloo Reef and hiking in Kalbarri.

The Great Southwest Edge

The final road trip idea that we are going to discuss is situated in the far southwest of the region, where you will find some of the whitest sand and bluest water in the whole of Australia. Don’t miss out on whale-watching at Point Ann or seeing the wildflowers of Fitzgerald River National Park. When you are ready to take a break and relax, head over to the Margaret River region where you can enjoy some of the nation’s finest wines.

Western Australia is far too big a region to enjoy on a single trip, but each one of these four road trip options is worth embarking on during your time here. Whether you are looking for a remote adventure or a comfortable drive along the coast, you have a myriad of options in front of you. Enjoy!

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Travel Tips

What To Look For In A Holiday Home

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Travelling is something we all love to do, but making it more approachable is something we desperately need to start introducing in the modern world. And one great way to do that is to invest in a holiday home. A holiday home is something a lot of people consider, and it’s something a lot of people never end up seriously looking into. Yet, it’s a lot easier to find a place of your own when you’re abroad than the majority of people think!

Yes it’s a huge investment, but it’s a good place to escape to whenever you need to, and you can rent it out when you aren’t using it. Turning your travelling lifestyle into a money maker: sounds like a good idea already, doesn’t it? So if you’re big on the nomadic side of a lifestyle, this is something to start seriously considering, and this post is here to help. Below are the tips you need to look for in a holiday home.

First of All, You Don’t Even Have to Buy!

The good thing about travelling is that you get to choose how to do it. If you’re off on a cycle tour, all the luck is with you. If you’re looking to stay in a Greek resort for an entire week, all the best! Yet, when it comes to making these activities more of a permanent arrangement, of course it’s going to get expensive. But there’s ways around that to make sure you can achieve the travelling lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

If actually investing at least $100,000 in a home away from home, when you’re already needing to pay for that, is daunting, you always have the ability to rent a place of your own in multiple countries across the globe. For example, there’s plenty of property for rent in Singapore going right now, and you could be the lucky tenant for a month or so in one of the most culturally diverse hotspots of the world.

Finding a Good Location (it can be hard!)

Location is everything, and if you don’t have a house in a sort after area, you’re not going to have offers flooding through your door when it comes to renting the place out. Similarly, whilst you might enjoy the countryside in the great unknown of another country, it’s going to be hard to see all the sites you want in the inner city and around the towns.

So you want your new holiday home to be within a couple of miles or so of the nearest big town, and you want it to have a good view across the hills, streets, or fields in between here and there. When something is picturesque, possible tenants take much more of an interest in it. Not to mention the amount of land there is to explore at their own pleasure!

Countries like that of Bulgaria, full of history and culture and a stepping point to the East and Asia, is a great place to try and set down roots. The same goes for Greece, with its economy at a turning point and looking for investors 24/7. If you find a place with high demand and low prices, it’s usually going to have a lot more substance to it than the usual hotspots. Give these nations a look first before looking for places within Europe or the Americas.

Is it Close to the Beach?

The beach is symbolic for holidays. If property is close to a beachy area, or has a sandy surrounding, you’re going to love your new location! Being able to skip down to the beach in a minute or so when it’s sunny is something we all dream of doing when we’re at home; it’s time to live those dreams!

A beach house is something a lot of people want but not many people deserve, so make sure you’re getting your foot on the ladder with such an exclusive prospect! You’ll be able to rent the place out at much higher rates when you’re back at home, getting back into the daily grind of being away from the view you love so much.

Does it Have a Good Connection to the Outside World?

Your new home amenities are going to matter more than ever, so if you don’t have a reliable water source or your wifi keeps dropping, it’s not going to be much of a holiday home. You want to be able to relax in it, and you want to be able to rent it out to others to make sure they can relax as well. If it’s not a comfortable experience, people aren’t going to come back, and you’re going to lose money.

Services need to be close by your new location. People like plumbers and electricians should be practically on call when you need them, and a supermarket or convenience store should be a couple of streets away at most. This is what matters more than having a reliable wifi signal, as you can’t simply build a new shop right next door! Even if you haven’t found a place that has the best signal around, you can invest in boosters for very little extra to make sure you’re getting web pages loaded when you need them and videos streamed without a hint of buffering. It simply makes your new house a lot more desirable at the end of the day, for you and others.

Holiday homes are a huge investment, so never rush into buying one when it comes to organising another trip. A weekend in Paris after only a half hour of planning is fine, but when you’re splashing out thousands, you’re going to need to put some serious thought in. Make sure you’re looking at the countries that have the greatest amount of tourism to them; not only are they good place to come back to each summer when you need a break, but they have the most visitors to make your bucks back with!

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Travel Tips

Stranded at the Airport? Tips to Solve Your Travel Woes

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There are few words that generate as much dread and frustration in an airport situation than the terms “delayed” and “canceled”. As wonderful as the travel experience can be, airplanes, just like any other machine can be prone to errors, malfunctions, and issues that are beyond your control. This means that the more often you fly, the more likely it is that you’ll end up dealing with the stress of a sudden delay.

Regardless of if your issue is with bad weather or a sudden technological fault at your local airport, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong and force you to spend more unwanted time at the departing terminal. When this happens, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for the worst.

While the following tips might not stop delays from happening entirely, they will help to ensure that you get through the experience with as much poise as possible.

1.     Have the Right Items in Your Carry-On

When a flight is delayed, there’s no saying how long you might end up being stranded within your terminal. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that you have the right items on hand. For instance, snacks, an empty water bottle, and a few toiletries like toothbrush and toothpaste can be a great way to keep your trip on track.

Additionally, it’s worth making sure that you have the extra resources you need to keep your devices topped up and full of charge too. For instance, you can always buy an extra battery for your phone and tablet in case you can’t fight through the crowds of other angry customers at your airport all trying to use the same outlets.

2.     Know Your Rights

Depending on where you’re flying to, and where you’re traveling from, your rights for compensation might be different. It’s worth figuring out what you might be eligible for as early as possible, and which rules you need to follow to ensure that you don’t give up your chances for a refund by accident.

If you’re not sure what the guidelines are for your specific airport and airline, you can always do a quick search online to find out more about your route. Alternatively, try speaking to the airline itself and asking them what they’re going to do to make up for the trouble that they’ve caused you.

3.     Stay in Touch

While it’s important to make sure that you can keep in touch with your loved ones, and the people who are expecting you on the other end of your delayed flight, it’s also crucial to keep talking to your airline too. A long queue at the counter will usually mean that it’s tough to speak to someone about your issues in person, but you can always make a phone call or talk to a brand on social media if you want to get a response fast.

The social media platform has become a powerful way for customers to reach out to businesses when they have a complaint because the things you post can have a negative impact on a company’s reputation if they go unanswered for too long.

4.     Get Some Rest When You Can

Although sleeping might be the last thing on your mind when you’re dealing with the stress of a flight delay, it’s important to remember that the more rest you can get, the more your health will be protected as you struggle through the complications of waiting for your new flight. Sleeping in airports isn’t much fun, so it’s a good idea to see whether you can afford to spend a few hours in the VIP suite instead of simply snoozing at the gateway.

On the other hand, consider asking your airline if they’ll pay for you to freshen up at a hotel – particularly if your flight delay stretches out throughout the night and you have children to think about.

5.     Be Patient and Polite

Finally, a flight delay or cancellation is unlikely to leave you in a good mood, but it’s important to stay as calm and collected as possible. Flight delays are a huge inconvenience for passengers, but they’re not the fault of the people that you’re going to be yelling at when you’re trying to find a new seat at the airport.

The airline workers are there to help, and they didn’t cause your situation, so be kind and patient with them while they struggle to sever you and all the other unhappy customers around you.

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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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