Traveling to Japan for the first time is an exciting experience, especially if you know what to expect. Here are some things to keep in mind, from taking off your shoes to dealing with the language barrier.
Do not stand on the wrong side of the escalator
When you are visiting Japan, make sure you are not standing on the wrong side of the escalator. Several campaigns have been run in the country to promote proper escalator usage. In the most basic sense, you should stand on the left side of the escalator, but there are other rules to consider.
Among the most notable of these is the “keep the way open” rule, which is common in urban regions throughout Japan. While it may sound silly, it’s actually a very good practice. This means that you should keep the side of the escalator next to you free of anything. For example, you should put your suitcase on the step above or below it, rather than in front.
You should also remember that in Tokyo, you should stand on the left side of a escalator. However, you’ll also find people standing on the right side. Generally, these are merchants who want to pass you on the right.
Take off your shoes
If you are planning a trip to Japan, then you may have questions about how to get the most out of your travels. While there is no magic bullet, there are a few things you can do to make your travels go as smoothly as possible. These include packing, observing customs, and making sure you’re prepared for the unexpected.
One of the easiest ways to get a feel for the Japanese culture is to observe other people. They tend to be very patient and don’t usually get impatient. When you’re visiting a home, be sure to remove your footwear. It’s a good idea to bring along a plastic shoe-horn to make this process easier.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to take your shoes off when you go to a shrine. This is a rule of thumb, though there are some exceptions.
Taking your shoes off when eating at a restaurant is also a good idea. In many cases, restaurants will provide you with slippers to keep your feet dry.
Get a ryokan
A ryokan is a Japanese inn that offers the best services and hospitality. Ryokans are located in most tourist locations in Japan. It’s a unique experience and most people love it. You can stay in a ryokan for the night, but if you’re planning a longer trip, consider staying in one for a few days.
One of the major benefits of a ryokan is that it provides a taste of Japanese culture. Ryokans offer multi-course meals called kaiseki. The food is usually prepared with local ingredients. Guests can also enjoy traditional breakfast, such as gozen. If you are visiting Japan for the first time, a ryokan is a good option. These accommodations are usually a lot less expensive than hotels and they provide the comfort and convenience of a hotel, while still providing the hospitality of a traditional Japanese inn. There are many different ryokans to choose from, and each has its own unique set of features and services.
Deal with the language barrier
Dealing with the language barrier when traveling to Japan for the first time can be a bit intimidating. Having a local guide can be helpful and can help you make connections with locals. If you want to get around easily, you should learn how to communicate in Japanese.
If you’re unsure about how to communicate with Japanese people, consider these tips:
Be patient. Japanese people are often very happy to host tourists. However, they may not know how to answer your simple questions. Instead, you can ask for assistance and be prepared to wait a few seconds.
Use facial expressions. A smile is one of the best ways to break the ice. You can also enunciate words carefully and use hand gestures to communicate. When you are greeted by a Japanese person, be sure to greet them with a smile and a small bow. This goes a long way in Japan.
Do not talk in a loud voice. Some Japanese people find this rude. They are not used to hearing foreign voices.