FAQ Japan – Essential Explore Japan FAQs

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This is our growing FAQ list of questions and answers that will continue to evolve as the site grows. We encourage you to post any questions you have in our comments section, and we will answer them as soon as we can. Furthermore, we recommend you check back daily for regular updates.

On this page we cover the following questions:

  1. Why Travel to Japan?
  2. Do I need Japanese in Japan?
  3. Do I need a SIM Card or Wifi in Japan?
  4. What are some interesting places I can check out?
  5. Travelling to Tokyo – Haneda or Narita Airport?
  6. Do I Need a JR Rail Pass?
  7. Is Japan safe?
  8. Is Japan Really Like what we see in Anime?
  9. What is Special about Japanese Culture or Customs?
  10. Do I need to use Chopsticks in every Japanese restaurant?
  11. What is the MariCar Experience Really Like?
  12. How is the TeamLabs Digital Museum?
  13. How can I visit Tokyo Disney?
  14. I heard there are All you can eat and drink restaurants in Japan?
  15. What are Some of the Major Festivals in Japan?
  16. What are the Tallest Structures I can enjoy in Japan?
  17. What is it like Watching a Movie in Japan?
  18. What do I do in case of a Medical Emergency?
  19. What should I do in the Event of an Earthquake?
  20. What do I do with spare change in Japan?

Why Travel to Japan?

This may seem like an obvious answer, but actually, there is probably more to Japan than you will find in any article or travel brochure. So much so, that we have made a whole website about it. Check out our views, which only really scratch the surface as to why you should consider Japan as a travel destination.

You may also want to look at our guide on the Top 10 things which we think are unique to this country.

Do I need Japanese in Japan?

Yes, we think this is a given, as with any foreign country whose mother language is not English. We have several guides to help prepare you for the initial start, where you can begin with our Japanese Basics post. Alternatively, you may wish to check out our Japanese Tips section for something more specific.

Do I need a SIM Card or Wifi in Japan?

We think it is a very good idea to have some kind of internet access. Whether it be via Wifi or via the use of a SIM Card. Having internet access can be beneficial in many ways, including helping to navigate the country or complex public transport system. You can also use it to check all kinds of information about Japan online. It may also be crucial for you to access your internet banking or emails.

What are some interesting places I can check out?

There are many things to do in Japan, and they can be classified by theme, season or region. We recommend you start looking at our Places of Interest section for a start and to help give you further ideas.

Some of the best views can be found in Japan, so we recommend you check out our 4 best views in Japan post.

Furthermore, we have city guides on major cities in Japan, including:

Travelling to Tokyo – Haneda or Narita Airport?

Generally speaking, Narita hosts most of Tokyo International Passengers, whereas Haneda services mostly domestic flights. However, we recommend you check out our detailed comparison here.

Do I Need a JR Rail Pass?

The JR Rail Pass is definitely excellent value, especially for those who want to travel across the main island of Japan, or who plan to use the Skinkansen (bullet train) network extensively. Especially, we recommend you buy it before you depart for extra savings on the cost of your pass.

You should check out our page that examines the reasons why you should buy the JR Rail Pass.

Is Japan safe?

Japan is one of the safest counties in the world, with the lowest crime rate. In addition, you have more than a 90% chance of getting your lost phone back, if you happen to lose it on a wild rampage. What’s not to love 🙂

In any case, we recommend you check our guide about 10 things to be wary of in Japan. You may also be interested in Japan’s top 10 predators which inhabit the country.

Is Japan Really Like what we see in Anime?

This gets thrown around a lot. Many people move to Japan thinking it’s gonna be a wonderland, by having fun and experiencing what we see in Japanese animations. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, people are prone to overwork, crowded trains during peak hour will crush your very soul and the language is a huge challenge in itself. Ok, that’s going overboard, but like every country, it isn’t perfect.

What is Special about Japanese Culture or Customs?

There is no doubt Japan is very distinct in its cultural aspects and specific customs. To help you initially adjust you can check out our initial guide for first-timers. Alternatively, if you have experienced Japan more than once you may want to check out our second part of the guide which goes into further details.

Do I need to use Chopsticks in every Japanese restaurant?

The short answer is no, you do not have to use them in all the restaurants. In addition, if you really feel you have trouble with chopsticks, ask the staff for a spoon or fork, they usually have these available in most restaurants, cafes, izakayas and other eateries.

You can even request these, or you may automatically receive one. Especially, when you buy Obento (boxed meal) from the train station, convenience store or Obento store.

What is the MariCar Experience Really Like?

MariCar is a fun and highly popular activity that is available across the major cities of Japan. For more insight into the experience and our account from the Shibuya route check out our article.

How is the TeamLabs Digital Museum?

The exhibition itself is a really impressive and unique display of technology and art, culminating into a single display. We recommend you check out our article and the accompanying video.

How can I visit Tokyo Disney?

Disney is one of the major theme parks and tourist attractions, with their land, sea and resorts all part of the experience. You can find further information and detailed insight into visiting Tokyo Disney Land in our post.

I heard there are All you can eat and drink restaurants in Japan?

That’s right, you can find these kinds of restaurants, izakayas, bars and more which offer at least all you can drink and also all you can eat packages. For more information and an introduction to some major eateries read here.

What are Some of the Major Festivals in Japan?

Festivals change like the seasons in Japan and are very distinct based on the climate, landscape and nature itself.

For instance, in spring you have the amazing Cherry Blossom season. This is typically referred to as the 桜 (さくら or sakura) or 花見 (はなみ or hanami) season. Plus feel free to check out our top 10 best sports in Tokyo guide for viewing in Japan’s largest city. Alternatively, you can check the top 10 spots in Traditional Kyoto too.

In late Spring, Golden Week is a period of national holidays that occurs between the end of April and early May. International Travel prices tend to spike during this period, as do domestic travel options.

In Summer, Obon is generally a holiday, but also an important family tradition.

In Autumn, you can enjoy the 紅葉 (もみじor momiji) meaning the changing colour of the red and brown leaves. Mostly these can be found in the nature reserves and mountainous areas of Japan.

Finally, in winter the Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most popular attractions in the latter months. Usually occurring in the first weekend of February each year.

What are the Tallest Structures I can enjoy in Japan?

Naturally, the tallest structure and tower in Japan is Tokyo Skytree, standing at 634 metres. The tallest building in Japan is Abeno Harukas, situated in central Japan in the Kansai district. The second tallest building is Landmark Tower, located in Yokohama.

What is it like Watching a Movie in Japan?

Movies in Japan are an entirely different experience. The crowds are completely quiet throughout the film, and they sit there like that until the final credits roll. For any humorous moments, the most you will hear is a smirk or mutter. They really are that quiet and that you could call it ‘Omotenashi’.

To get further information on the Cinema scene in Japan, here is a guide that explores some of the major options available.

Japan typically gets most movies late too, so you may be interested in our post that explains the reasons for the delay.

What do I do in case of a Medical Emergency?

For those living in Tokyo, we have provided a guide for some English Medical Services we have received in Japan. We recommend you consult this guide first.

What should I do in the Event of an Earthquake?

Earthquakes can be a scary thing, and something that you least expect or know what you should do when they do occur. However, don’t panic, as we have a guide here about what you should do in the event it does occur.

What do I do with spare change in Japan?

For the higher value coins, 10 yen and above can be used in most machines. This includes vending machines, train ticket machines and IC Charging spots and ticket dispensers inside many restaurants.

For the smaller value coins, 1 and 5 yen, these are good to keep handy for exact change. For example, buying anything from a shop or store, especially convenience stores. The other way you can put them to good use is at the Pocket Change stations found at airports, information centres and other key spots.

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