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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!

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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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

NFL Betting Around the World

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With the explosion of legal sports betting across the United States, you can find NFL lines to wager from coast to coast, across the Plains, and in dozens of states in between. The NFL has long been the passion of the country, and now legalized betting on professional football is bigger than ever.

That is also the case across the globe, where sports betting has long been legal, but now betting on American football has become one of the most popular sports in which to place wagers.

The Super Bowl has long been a worldwide favorite. The proposition bets, like the opening coin toss, who scores the first touchdown, and the color of the Gatorade that is dumped on the winning coach, have been popular in the United States for years. But they are now becoming fun and popular, and even lucrative bets, around the world.

But outside that one Sunday in February that is an all-day party celebrating the NFL’s championship game, American football Sundays are big betting days for international sportsbooks.

United Kingdom

Legal sports betting in the United Kingdom doesn’t differ much from what you experience in the United States. In fact many of the same sportsbooks that are operating legally in the U.S. are British-based companies that have been taking legal sports bets on the other side of the Atlantic for years.

When visiting Great Britain you’ll find that the same types of bets you love to play in America are available to wager, including the same point spreads, parlays, propositions, and in-play wagering. Just make sure you know that London is five time zones ahead of New York, so you don’t miss kick off.

You’ll need to visit a local sportsbook in the U.K. or download one of their many legal sports betting mobile apps, where you’ll find the same kind of bonus offers and new registration bonuses that you’re used to seeing in America.

Europe

If you find yourself traveling in Europe and looking to bet on the NFL, almost every country offers NFL betting lines. The sport is most popular in Germany, and the prevalence of betting in the country reflects this.

Italy, France, Spain, Poland, and Sweden and Norway also have thriving NFL fan bases, and sports betting in those countries make it easy for NFL bettors to place their wagers.

Africa

One of the least thought about sports betting markets is Africa. But as tourism to the African continent grows, and more and more countries become tourist hotspots for Americans and Europeans, the more we see Western entertainment options, like legal casinos and sports betting.

While soccer, basketball, and boxing are still king in the sports-crazed continent of Africa, the number of NFL players from Africa has increased NFL betting on the continent. And in countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, it is easy to find sportsbooks offering NFL betting.

Asia

Legal sports betting is limited in Asia, but in places like the Philippines and India, it is big business. All sports are available to wager, including the NFL. Although in India, cricket is what drives the industry. But the NFL has been steadily growing in popularity, and so are its betting options.

Central and South America

Sports betting is legal in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina. And because of an exclusive agreement by the NFL to make Betcris the league’s official betting partner in Latin America, if you are in a country that has sports betting, you will have access to NFL betting that is sanctioned by the league.

That means that the NFL betting in Central and South America is almost identical to what you find in the United States.

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Travel Tips

5 Best Things To Do In Maryland

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One of the smallest states in the United States, Maryland sits peacefully on the Atlantic shore on the historic Chesapeake Bay, near Washington, D.C. Regardless of its size, this beautiful state has a lot to offer—from museums to historic sites, breweries, amusement parks, lakes, thriving wetlands, forested mountains, lakes, and waterfalls to keep you entertained throughout.

The state is quite popular with sailors, beachgoers, and nature lovers due to the vast number of outdoor settings. However, that isn’t to say that Maryland doesn’t appeal to others. Sports betting and gambling are legal in Maryland. Meaning, a lot of people from the neighboring states often enter to visit Maryland sportsbooks and casinos.

After all, you don’t require a huge budget to experience all the fun Maryland has to offer.

If you are planning a trip to this state, here are the top five attractions you shouldn’t miss visiting.

1. National Aquarium

Located in Baltimore, the National Aquarium is a dramatic building that overlooks the Inner Harbor. Inside, you will find the replicates of numerous ecosystems for marine life from across the world. Additionally, the place is also home to birds, mammals, and appropriate plant life.

Though all environments are not underwater, they do share a common link to water. The largest of all the ecosystems here is the five-story Tropical RainForest, where you will get to explore life at various levels—from forest floor to the treetops and from plants to frogs, birds, sloths, and monkeys.

In the Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit are sharks and dolphins alongside other tropical fishes.

2. Ocean City Boardwalk

As the name suggests, this attraction is located in Ocean City. It features nearly 3 miles of exciting pedestrian route lined with various sorts of entertainment for people of all age groups.

You will also be able to find some of the most popular attractions for families in Maryland near the boardwalk, including museums, restaurants, rides, and hotels. So, after enjoying a leisurely stroll, taking in the beautiful beach with soft sands and sparkling waters, consider grabbing an ice cream and finding a place to relax.

If you are traveling with your kids, drop by Timper’s Rides and Amusements and Ripley’s for some added fun.

3. The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum situated in the Mount Vernon Cultural District in Baltimore is a unique cultural landmark. It is also one of the few institutions in the world that stand for a comprehensive history of world art.

The museum features all forms of art from the third millennium B.C. through the early 20th century. The collections are displayed and interpreted spectacularly. However, the museum is best known for its magnificent jewelry, ivories, enamels, bronzes, and illuminated manuscripts.

Furthermore, the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Byzantine antiquities here are immaculate. So are the medieval and Renaissance art collections.

4. Old Town Annapolis and William Paca House

Located between the Town Dock and the Maryland State House are a handful of blocks that feature history and charm. The State House was once the United States Capitol. It is also one of the oldest State House that is still in continuous legislative use.

The William Paca House and Garden are located down the hill. As you make your way there, you will get to explore narrow streets brimming with picture-worthy brick and clapboard buildings. Now, if you are wondering who William Paca is, he was the signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The place was fully refurbished with period antiques and original Paca family items. It features a two-acre garden with a fish-shaped pond, terraces, and a topiary. The house is also an example of how an influential and prosperous Annapolis family looked and felt in the colonial era.

Fort McHenry National Monument

5. Fort McHenry National Monument

The fort was completed in 1803 in an effort to secure the entrance to Baltimore’s busy harbor. In 1814, Fort McHenry withstood a 24-hour bombardment by the British, thereby evolving to be a national icon in the country. However, there is more history to this fort than the bombardment.

The fort once saved Baltimore from occupation. It also acted as a source of inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write The Star-Spangled Banner. He was held a prisoner on a British ship during the attack.

While at Fort McHenry, you can tour the buildings, walk the ramparts, or catch a dramatic multimedia presentation on the fort’s history and the national anthem.

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Travel Tips

Amazing Places to Travel In Pakistan and From Pakistan

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Even though Pakistan is known as a developing country, it holds natural beauty, lush landscapes, and archaeological sites for the truly curious.

Indeed, Pakistan holds potential for tourism. Did you know, According to the International Travel Magazine, Pakistan has been ranked as one of the top tourist attractions in the world in 2020? Yes, over the years, Pakistan has been a famous tourism spot. With that said, there are some places in Pakistan that you must visit.

Pakistan also has quite a bit of economic activity that ranges from fashion to finance and more. The country has quite a bit to offer for tourists that choose to visit it. At the same time, individuals from Pakistan may choose to go to other countries to seek economic opportunity or to merely travel.

If you are looking to travel to Pakistan or travel in and around the country, remember to have knowledge of your airblue flight schedule and other matters. With that being said, here are a few of the places to be aware of when you are looking to travel in and around the growing nation of Pakistan.

Places to Travel In Pakistan

Here are a few places to travel within this South Asian region.

Peshawar

One of the most tremendous cities of Pakistan, Peshawar comes under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The city is known for its historic places and cultural values. The residents of Peshawar are called Pathans and speak the language Pashto. As the largest city in the province, Peshawar has the Mughal mosque.

It is decorated with calligraphy and floral work. Additionally, the Peshawar museum has items from the Mughal era. The museum holds great significance in the eyes of visitors.

Karachi

The next city you must visit in Pakistan is Karachi. The cosmopolitan city is the largest city of Pakistan and ranks 5th globally. Karachi is well-known for being the city of light, its food, and its beaches. The beautiful diversity in architecture speaks volumes about the city itself. From high-rise buildings in Clifton to the fire hall in Saddar, Karachi is a mix of old and modern architecture. It has endless options for entertainment including theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, and museums.

Lahore

The last city we have to think about is Lahore. The second-largest city in Pakistan holds a historical value of more than 1000 years. As one of the most traditional cities in South Asia, Lahore has a population of over 20 million. You shouldn’t miss the shahi qila also referred to as the Lahore Fort. A treat for art lovers, it has palaces, halls, and mosques, and most importantly, the palace of mirrors (Sheesh Mahall).

Fantastic Places to Travel From Pakistan

There are several places you can travel to from Pakistan, but there are some places in the middle east that you shouldn’t miss out on. Let’s take a look at some of the places you can travel to from Pakistan right away! Whether you are going for tourism purposes or for economic purposes, these are some of the best places that you should certainly visit.

Dubai

The first city we have is Dubai. As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a traveler’s dream. It has futuristic architecture, nightlife, attractive destinations, and historic sights. Whether it is a family vacation or a honeymoon, Dubai is a perfect spot to relish the days of your life. Places like the Mall of Emirates, Jumeirah Beach, Burj Khalifa, and Ain Dubai are a delight to visit.

Riyadh

Over the years, Riyadh has become one of the most prosperous cities in the Middle east. From shopping malls, restaurants, and museums, Riyadh has been the number 1 tourist destination. You can go biking in the red dunes, or make your way to the world-class Riyadh zoo. Riyadh is recognized for its outdoor festivals and events.

Jeddah

Jeddah is known for its contemporary skyscrapers and incident villages. As one of the largest cities of Saudi Arabia, Jeddah is an economic hub and a tourist destination. The famous Jeddah sculpture museum is a must-visit. It has the essence of Arabic traditions and monumental art. It has a beautiful floating mosque that you can visit any time of the day or offer prayers. You can visit the souks in Jeddah and learn more about their culture.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

It can be stressful to plan out your vacation or travel plans, ensure to make your flight schedule on time and get to where you need to be. But remember that the whole point of your trip is to relax, meet a certain objective, and be present. Experts would suggest to be mindful and ensure to have a great time as you move around!

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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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