🎒 How to travel in Japan

- The most efficient and convenient way to get around Japan is by using the extensive and highly reliable public transportation system. - The train network in Japan is renowned for its punctuality and efficiency. It is recommended to utilize the Shinkansen, or bullet train, for long-distance travel between major cities. With speeds of up to 320 km/h, it allows you to reach your destination quickly. - Within cities, the subway systems provide a comprehensive network that connects various neighborhoods and attractions. Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto have particularly well-developed subway systems that make navigating the cities a breeze. - Buses are also a popular mode of transportation, especially for reaching destinations not accessible by train. Local buses within cities and long-distance buses between cities offer options for travel, albeit at a slower pace. - Taxis are widely available in Japan, but they can be relatively expensive compared to public transportation. They are a convenient option for short distances or if you are carrying heavy luggage. - For those who prefer a more scenic mode of travel, ferries are available to reach some of the country's islands or coastal destinations. This is a great way to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery while moving between destinations.

💸 Currency in Japan

The local currency in Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY). To exchange your money, you can visit various financial institutions such as banks, post offices, and currency exchange offices. Banks are often the most reliable and convenient option for currency exchange, and you can find them in major cities and tourist areas. Post offices in Japan also offer currency exchange services, but their availability may vary depending on the location. Additionally, there are currency exchange offices at airports, train stations, and shopping centers, which can be convenient if you need to exchange money outside of regular banking hours. When exchanging currency, it's important to compare rates and fees to ensure you find the best deal.

🙏 What are some cultural etiquette and customs in Japan?

When visiting Japan, it is important to be aware of the unique cultural etiquette and customs. Here are a few key points to keep in mind: - Bowing: Bowing is an important gesture in Japanese culture. It is customary to bow upon greeting someone, expressing gratitude, apologizing, or saying goodbye. The depth of the bow depends on the situation and the relation between the individuals. - Removing shoes: In Japan, it is customary to take off your shoes before entering someone's home, traditional ryokans, some restaurants, and certain sacred places like temples. Look for a designated area or shoe rack to leave your shoes and wear slippers if provided. - Dining etiquette: When dining in Japan, the use of chopsticks is common. Avoid sticking chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice, as this is associated with funeral rituals. Instead, place them on a chopstick rest or the edge of your plate. It is also polite to say "itadakimasu" (I humbly receive) before starting a meal and "gochisosama deshita" (thank you for the meal) after finishing. - Tipping: Unlike many Western countries, tipping is not customary in Japan and can even be considered rude. It is best to show appreciation for good service through your words or by simply saying "thank you" rather than leaving extra money. - Public transportation: Japan has a well-developed public transportation system, and it is important to be mindful of certain etiquette rules. Avoid talking loudly or taking phone calls inside trains or buses. Give up priority seats for elderly, pregnant, or disabled people. Additionally, it is polite to queue in an organized manner while waiting for trains or buses. - Onsen etiquette: Onsens (hot springs) are popular in Japan, but they have specific protocols. Before entering the bathing area, thoroughly wash and rinse your body outside the tub using the available showers and stools. Tattoos are generally not allowed in many traditional onsens due to their association with organized crime, so it's best to inquire beforehand. - Gift-giving: Offering gifts as gestures of gratitude is common in Japan. When presenting a gift, do it with both hands or with your right hand supporting your left forearm. It is polite to receive a gift with both hands, too. Be aware that when giving and receiving gifts, it is customary to show humility and downplay the value of the gift. - Queuing: Japanese society places great importance on order and respect for others. It is crucial to queue patiently and wait for your turn, whether it's at train stations, shops, or even when boarding elevators. These are just a few examples of the cultural etiquette and customs in Japan. By respecting and observing these practices, you will greatly enhance your experience and show appreciation for the country's rich traditions.