FAQ Japan – Essential Japan FAQs

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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 is working life like in Japan?

From our perspective, it is an interesting and challenging experience, and if you can get used to the culture, hierarchy and language it is even better. Of course, that purely depends on your career choice and the type of company you work for. You can check out an article here about working for a Japanese company. You can also check here about life as an English Teacher or a different point of view working in Corporate Japan.

What are other foreigner’s thoughts on Japan?

We have compiled several interviews over the past several months, which you can read about or watch. You can read about