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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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Japan

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.

Packing List for Japan Tokyo Travel TV Host Shares Her Fashion Tips

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.

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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!

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Get Peace of Mind When You Pre-Book Transportation

Avatar of Warrren Hamels

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Traveling is extremely fun, right? It helps you go to different destinations and enables you to have exposure to new people, cultures, and ideas. Many people travel with others so they can genuinely get a taste of life and share their experiences in real time with other people.

Remember that life is all about the experiences that you have and the memories that you make as these provide you with a life that is well lived.

Indeed, remember that your travel experiences, and other memories that you make are essential aspects of life because it gives your life a bit more flavor. You can feel a certain thrill when you are transferring from one airport to the other. It can give you joy because you are moving and being more free instead of being confined to one location.

Now, when it comes to a life well-lived, it certainly takes some effort. Most individuals find that they must be intentional about what they are trying to do to have the most opportunities in life.

This is certainly true for the traveler. The best travelers know that traveling is far from easy if you do not have the right amount of preparation.

Remember that it takes quite a bit of work to have a wonderful trip. It can be fun to have surprises, but it is best to have pleasant surprises. Here is what you need to know to have a pleasant trip.

Pre-Book a Transfer From Any Spanish Airport

If you find yourself in Spain, then you would want to make sure that you utilize the right modes of transportation to make sure that you get to your destination with ease. Thankfully, the beautiful country has great service providers that will make your travel life easier in this regard.

Remember that effective service providers will provide a taxi or a minibus. These service options are useful because they can cater to your various needs. For instance, if you have a large party, a minibus would be wonderful. If you have a small group of people, then a simple taxi would suffice.

These different options enable you to meet your needs regardless of the size of your overall party.

More Benefits in Pre-Booking Your Transfers

There are other benefits to pre-booking your airport transfers. Whether you are going to Barcelona City or to Madrid City, it is important to note the various benefits of working with the right transportation firm.

Now that you are aware of the options that you can choose with preeminent services, other benefits include locking in a price, minimizing wait times at the airport, and having a pleasant experience with a wonderful driver.

Instead of having to worry about the price and about cancellation options, or if someone will show up on time, working with a wonderful firm like Solhop enables you to have total peace of mind when it comes to your transfers.

You can also ensure that you will drive in style with the options available to you from the different cars on offer.

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Have Fun On Your Trip

Now that you have your transportation squared away, remember that you are on a trip and remember to have fun. Whether you are traveling from the United States of America or from other places in Europe, you can be sure to have a bit of fun in Spain!

 

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Europe

Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence

Whether you spend a half-day or full day in Pisa, we recommend that you Train to Pisa from Florence. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to get there.

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train to pisa

Traveling by train is one of the best ways to see the beautiful countryside of Italy. The train from Florence to Pisa takes about an hour, and the journey is stunning. The route takes you past vineyards and medieval villages, through tunnels and over bridges, with breathtaking views of the Tuscan hillsides. You can even see the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the train approaches the station.

Woman traveling by train looking out of window

Upon arrival in Pisa, you can explore the historic center and visit the famous cathedral, before enjoying a leisurely lunch overlooking the River Arno. With its stunning scenery and convenient location, a train trip from Florence to Pisa is a great way to spend a day in Italy.

Leaning tower of Pisa, HDR, Italy

How to get to Pisa from Florence

You have a couple of different options for your own half-day trip to Pisa from Florence depending on how you like to travel. But if you are like us and enjoy travelling around Italy by public transport, then you will definitely want to train to Pisa from Florence.

Train to Pisa from Florence

Florence and Pisa are less than 100 km apart and the easiest way is to train to Pisa from Florence. The entire trip one-way takes approximately an hour depending on your route with no transfers.

Trains leave from Florence S.M.Novella for Pisa Centrale a few times every hour. The closest train station to the leaning tower of Pisa is Pisa San Rossore, but it’s not worth the extra time or transfer required. Pisa itself is small and it takes less than 30 minutes to walk to the leaning tower from Pisa Centrale.

Plus you get to explore more of the city such as the River Arno lined with beautiful stately homes.

Pisa River, train from pisa to florence

If you want to book online then a one-way ticket by train to Pisa from Florence will cost from €7.80 (US$10.40) in 2nd class. It is important to make sure that when you are searching online via the Italian train booking site, Trenitalia, you search for “Firenze” rather than Florence.

The train schedules are very easy to understand so we recommend booking your ticket from the self-service machines on the train platform. The return journey is just as easy in reverse. Just watch that you don’t miss the last train around 10pm most days and carry cash with you for the ticket.

Finally, validate your ticket before boarding the train. We forgot a couple of times but used the typical “I’m a stupid tourist” line to get out of any fines.

Bus to Pisa from Florence

Another option is to catch the bus to Pisa from Florence.

There are two main bus companies, Terravision and Autostradale, run regular buses to and from Pisa Airport and Florence Airport into the Florence city centre, they don’t actually go into Pisa itself. The train to Pisa from Florence is so reliable, fast, and cheap, that you may not want to consider this option.

However, there are some advantages to taking the bus. You will see a lot more scenery from the window of the bus, and it’s definitely cheaper; sometimes you can find fares as low as 4 Euros, especially on Fridays.

Travel Guide to visiting Pisa from Florence

Driving to Pisa from Florence

If you have hired a car or scooter in Tuscany then you might look at driving to Pisa from Florence. However, even though the distance is less than 100km, the trip will still take approximately 1 hour.

Aside from the fact that the train to Pisa from Florence typically takes less time than driving, you also have to avoid the crazy Italian drivers. Not to mention trying to find a carpark in two of the most popular cities in Italy. Impossible.

Travel to Pisa from Florence by train, Leaning tower of Pisa HDR

Guided Tour to Pisa from Florence

If you have been enjoying the sunset in Florence and all the city has to offer then you might want to take in a guided tour to Pisa from Florence. Not only do you get a great guide to learn all about the history of the area, you also don’t have to worry about getting to Pisa from Florence.

You might want to check out this guided tour around Pisa or get a little bit more adventurous and try out a segway tour in Pisa. Perfect for the family and it will keep the kids entertained between stops.

If you have a whole day, and haven’t managed to fit in a hike around Cinque Terre, then we recommend looking into the Pisa and Cinque Terre day tour. Lasting roughly 12 hours, you will travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, with a 2 hour stop in Pisa to see all the main sights.

We also reckon guides help you get the best photos, as they have seen all the poses.

Adela funny jumping Pisa

Tell us below if you have taken any funny photos in Pisa!

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Travel Tips

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Yacht

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Spending time on a yacht is a great way to relax. You can cruise, do water sports, try your luck in fishing, or you can even entertain guests on your yacht. However, a yacht is still a significant investment, so you must learn as much as possible before buying one.

If you are pondering buying a yacht, there are several things that you need to know. You should ask yourself what type of yacht you want to buy and what type best suits your needs.

Aside from this, you also need to determine your budget for purchasing a yacht. Boating safety courses and trial runs are also essential to ensure your safety while on your chosen yacht.

What Do You Want In A Yacht?

 

When buying a yacht, you must ask yourself, “What do I want in a yacht?” Do you want the yacht to be big? Do you want to use the yacht for fishing?

Answering the questions about the yacht you want can help you determine your priorities in buying a yacht. Take, for example, if you want to utilize your yacht for watersports. Certain types of yachts cater to watersports, like wakeboarding and wake surfing.

Another popular way to spend time on your yacht is an overnight cruise. If you want to do this, you should consider the size of the yacht you want to buy. Can it accommodate passengers sleeping onboard?

Questions like these can help determine if you need different amenities in a yacht, like cabins, cooktops, and relaxation areas.

How Much is Your Budget?

Now that you have determined what you seek in a yacht, it is crucial to set a comfortable price for your pockets. When buying a yacht, you can get carried away by all the types and models available.

It might be tempting to go above your budget when buying a yacht, especially when so many options are available. However, it is vital to research yacht prices on manufacturer websites, as well as sites of brokers and dealers.

After all, it is necessary to keep the costs of maintaining a yacht in mind. Some costs of owning a yacht include insurance, repairs, fuel, and general upkeep.

Determining your budget for the yacht and sticking to it can make the most out of your yacht purchase.

Where Do You Buy A Yacht?

Since a yacht is a significant investment, going to a trusted and reliable dealer is your best bet. You can visit websites or written material to gather information about a prospective dealer.

Seasoned dealers need to know your lifestyle to determine what type of yacht suits you best. They can ask questions about your boating preferences, whom you boat with, and other similar queries. They use this information to match you to the yacht that best fulfills your needs at the right price.

Should You Try the Yacht Before You Buy It?

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Try and test the yacht that piques your interest as much as possible. If you know a yacht owner with a model you are interested in, you could ask to check the yacht out. Doing this helps you assess the amenities and features of the yacht before you make the big purchase.

Boat shows, if available, are also good ways to see and assess the yacht of your choice. Well-known brands do these shows, allowing you to see and experience the yacht.

What About Your Safety?

Some places require a recreational boat license for you to sail on your yacht. However, you can easily avail classes to sharpen your boating skills. These can help you learn how to sail on a boat and some basic safety measures while on your yacht.

You can look for information on the official website of your local or national maritime safety authority.

How Do You Buy A Yacht?

Buying a yacht might seem like a long, detailed process, but it is pretty straightforward. First, you need to find out what you want in a yacht. In other words, determine your purpose for buying a yacht.

The next step is to set a clear budget and the amenities and size of the yacht you want to buy.

Conclusion

Sailing on a yacht is not a simple task, so acquire all the necessary documents to operate a yacht. The necessary paperwork can include a boating license, boating safety courses, and other relevant documents.

Test the yacht before you commit to it, and make sure that you are comfortable with it before purchasing it. You can attend boat shows and dealer demos or ask someone with a similar yacht to let you assess their yacht.

Lastly, find a yacht dealer that wants the best for you. Finding the best dealer can make your yacht buying process much more manageable. Reliable dealers will keep your budget and goals in mind while matching you to the yacht of your dreams!

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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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