Connect with us

Travel Tips

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

Published

on

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.

DSCF3661

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.

Continue Reading

Travel Tips

How Gaming Inspires Real-World Adventure

Published

on

download 6

Video games have gone well beyond just entertainment; they can now open doors to real-world exploration and adventure too. Their unique ability to take players to new worlds, albeit virtual ones, can motivate players to go out on their own to experience those locations, cultures, and adventures first-hand. A trend that’s gaining popularity with gamers is seeking out these virtual experiences in the real world to bridge the gap between the two realms. After all, they’ve already visited these diverse cultures virtually. In this article, we look at the impact gaming has had on our desire to explore and connect with the world around us.

The Influence of Gaming on Travel Choices

The immersive worlds of video games serve as more than just backdrops for storytelling and gameplay; they can be jumping-off points for real-world exploration. Games like Assassin’s Creed, which explores various historical settings, including cities, landscapes, and cultures in detail, and Yakuza, which unfolds the heart of Tokyo, have piqued the curiosity in gamers, motivating them to explore these destinations themselves.

These games have rich narratives and often take place in authentic settings, giving players a close-up look at the spirit of different locales, from the ancient streets of Rome to the bustling districts of modern-day Japan. This virtual tourism not only enriches the gaming experience but also influences travel choices, as players seek to experience the depth and authenticity of the cultures and places they’ve grown to admire in their digital adventures.

Las Vegas and Online Casinos

download 5

Las Vegas is one of the best examples of how gaming—video games and online casinos—inspires real-world adventure. For those who don’t live in the Southwestern United States, getting to the entertainment capital of the world requires planning and long-distance travel. However, you can find aspects of the city’s glittering appeal in various video games and online platforms that offer a virtual taste of one of the world’s most famous cities.

These digital experiences, from the strategy of blackjack to slot machines’ virtual spins, mirror the excitement of Las Vegas, motivating gamers to experience the city in person. Titles like Fallout: New Vegas and numerous casino-themed games have significantly shaped perceptions, enticing gamers with a virtual Las Vegas adventure to seek the authentic entertainment, sounds, and sights of the Strip, boosting tourism as players pursue the excitement they’ve first encountered online.

From Virtual to Reality: Other Popular Destinations Inspired by Gaming

Within video games, distant and fictional worlds are available for us to explore with the tap of a controller or click of the mouse, which can inspire real-world curiosity among audiences. If a player explores Tokyo through the Persona series, they’ll get a vibrant, stylized glimpse into Japanese culture, fashion, and daily life, which can encourage fans to get out and explore the city’s actual streets, shrines, and districts on their next vacation.

Similarly, the Spider-Man games set in New York City allow players to swing through the different Manhattan boroughs, which can foster a desire to experience the Big Apple’s iconic landmarks in person.  One of the biggest draws of the Assassin’s Creed series is its historical settings that educate players on different eras and locations, including everything from Renaissance Italy to Ancient Egypt, making history accessible and intriguing. These games entertain while at the same time acting as interactive travel guides, encouraging cultural exploration and a deeper appreciation of the history and significance of their real-world counterparts.

The Role of Augmented Reality (AR) Games

Augmented Reality (AR) games, like Pokémon GO, have changed the way we interact with our surroundings, turning boring everyday activities into a backdrop for fun and exciting adventures. AR works by overlaying virtual elements onto the real world and these games encourage players to venture outdoors, explore new locations, and even travel far from home as they try to collect as many Pokémon as they can along the way, making it one of the most unique gaming experiences available. Pokémon GO, in particular, has had a big role in creating community events and gatherings, bringing together players of all ages in public spaces, parks, and landmarks worldwide.

The Pokémon Go phenomenon has gotten people off the couch and engaging in physical activity and exploration while also bringing together communities for a shared adventure among players. Although there hasn’t been another game as successful as Pokémon GO, its success demonstrates the potential to blend virtual gaming experiences with real-world adventures, making the act of exploration both fun and rewarding. Through these interactive experiences, AR games have the power to transform local neighborhoods and distant locales into playgrounds for the imagination, further blurring the lines between the digital and the physical worlds.

 

Continue Reading

Travel Tips

Swiss Serenity: Rejuvenating City Breaks in the Heart of Switzerland

Published

on

word image 10834 4

When we think of Switzerland, our minds often conjure images of breathtaking alpine landscapes, pristine lakes, and charming villages. While these natural wonders are undoubtedly a significant draw for travelers, Switzerland also offers an enticing urban experience that often goes overlooked. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of “Swiss Serenity” and discover how rejuvenating city breaks in the heart of Switzerland, particularly in cities like Zurich, can be a perfect blend of culture, relaxation, and adventure.

Discovering City Breaks in Switzerland

City breaks have gained immense popularity in recent years, providing travelers with the perfect opportunity to explore urban destinations without the long-term commitment of extended vacations. Switzerland, a country often celebrated for its outdoor splendor, may not be the first place that comes to mind for city breaks, but it certainly should be.

The charm of city breaks in Switzerland lies in the seamless fusion of modernity and tradition. You can savor the serenity of the Swiss Alps and still indulge in the cosmopolitan vibes of cities like Zurich. Here’s why city breaks in Switzerland, particularly Zurich, are worth considering.

Zurich: A City Break Gem

City Breaks Switzerland: Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, stands as a testament to the country’s reputation for precision and efficiency. But don’t let the business-oriented facade fool you; Zurich has a lot more to offer than just its financial prowess.

Zurich is a city of contrasts, where the serene waters of Lake Zurich meet the hustle and bustle of a thriving metropolis. The city seamlessly blends its rich history with a vibrant contemporary scene. From the medieval old town with its narrow cobblestone streets to the cutting-edge art galleries and museums, Zurich offers a myriad of experiences for all types of travelers.

Cultural Extravaganza

One of the highlights of a city break in Zurich is the city’s thriving cultural scene. Explore the Kunsthaus Zurich, one of Switzerland’s most important art museums, housing an impressive collection of European and Swiss art. If you’re a fan of contemporary art, don’t miss the renowned Migros Museum of Contemporary Art.

For history buffs, a visit to the Swiss National Museum is a must. Immerse yourself in Switzerland’s history, culture, and traditions through a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibitions.

Relaxation and Serenity

After a day of exploring the city’s cultural offerings, find serenity in Zurich’s green spaces. The beautiful Lake Zurich offers a peaceful retreat, where you can enjoy a leisurely boat ride or simply sit by the shore, soaking in the tranquility. The city’s parks and gardens, such as the Zurich Botanical Garden, are perfect for a rejuvenating escape from the urban hustle.

Culinary Delights

City breaks Zurich wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the city’s culinary delights. Swiss cuisine is a fusion of German, French, and Italian influences, resulting in a delectable array of dishes. From savory fondue and raclette to sweet delights like Swiss chocolate, Zurich offers a gastronomic journey like no other.

Don’t forget to explore the city’s vibrant food scene, with its trendy cafes, gourmet restaurants, and bustling markets. The bustling food markets, such as the Viadukt Markthalle, offer an opportunity to taste fresh, local produce and international delicacies.

Adventure Beyond the City

While Zurich itself is a captivating destination, it also serves as an ideal gateway to explore the rest of Switzerland. Embark on day trips to nearby destinations like Lucerne, Interlaken, or Zermatt to witness the country’s stunning natural beauty. Whether it’s hiking in the Swiss Alps or cruising on Lake Lucerne, these excursions provide a perfect balance between urban exploration and outdoor adventure.

Conclusion: Swiss Serenity Awaits

In conclusion, Swiss Serenity Awaits, beckoning travelers to embark on a journey of discovery and rejuvenation in the heart of Switzerland. While the country’s natural wonders are undoubtedly awe-inspiring, its urban gems, particularly Zurich, offer an experience that is equally captivating.

City breaks in Switzerland provide a unique opportunity to balance the serene beauty of the Swiss Alps with the vibrancy of its cities. Zurich, with its rich cultural scene, tranquil lakeside views, and delectable culinary offerings, epitomizes the perfect fusion of tradition and modernity.

As you explore Zurich’s museums, stroll through its historic streets, and savor its world-class cuisine, you’ll find yourself immersed in a city that effortlessly marries the past and the present. And when you seek respite from the urban bustle, Zurich’s parks and lakeshores provide an oasis of tranquility, allowing you to unwind and recharge your spirit.

So, whether you’re a culture enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply in search of serenity, Switzerland has it all. Swiss Serenity Awaits, inviting you to experience the perfect blend of city breaks and natural beauty in a country that never fails to enchant and rejuvenate. Embrace the Swiss way of life, where precision meets passion, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Your next city break in Switzerland promises to be an unforgettable journey into the heart of serenity and splendor.

 

Continue Reading

Travel Tips

What you need Before Visiting Colombia in 2024

Published

on

buildings 1839647 640

Colombia has always been a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. Each year many people are eager to visit. However, before you plan your trip, it’s important to be aware of the requirements and regulations for visiting the country.

First and foremost, all travelers to Cartagena Colombia safety must have a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your planned date of departure from Colombia. It is also important to check with your country’s embassy in Colombia to see if any additional travel documents are required.

In addition to a valid passport, travelers to Colombia must also have a valid visa. The type of visa required will depend on the purpose of your trip and the length of your stay. Depending on the passport you have there are not many requirements to visit Colombia. Tourist visas are typically valid for 90 days, while business visas are valid for 180 days. If you plan to stay in Colombia for a longer period of time, you will need to apply for a different type of visa.

Before you travel to Colombia, it is also important to have travel insurance. This will help cover any medical expenses or other costs if something unexpected happens during your trip. It’s also a good idea to check if your insurance covers you in Colombia, if not, you may want to consider getting travel insurance specifically for Colombia.

When it comes to vaccinations, it is recommended that travelers to Colombia have their routine vaccinations up to date, such as measles, chickenpox, and the flu. Additionally, it is also recommended that travelers get vaccinated for yellow fever if they plan to visit areas of Colombia where the disease is present.

When it comes to packing, it’s important to be aware of the climate and culture of the country. Colombia is a tropical country, so it’s a good idea to pack lightweight clothing and sunscreen. it’s also important to bring comfortable shoes as you will do a lot of walking.

During your trip, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. It’s a good idea to avoid walking alone at night and to avoid carrying large amounts of money with you. It’s also important to be aware of local laws and customs, and to respect them while you are in the country.

In conclusion, visiting Colombia can be an exciting and enriching experience, but it’s important to be aware of the requirements and regulations for traveling to the country. Make sure you have a valid passport and visa, travel insurance, and vaccinations, and be mindful of your safety and the local laws and customs. With proper planning and preparation, your trip to Colombia can be a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Continue Reading

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...

New on Four Jandals

What Are You Looking For?

Subscribe

See Our Favorite Topics