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Top 10 Things Unique to Japan

Moving to Japan quickly? Maybe youre considering an action or you simply got here. In any case, here are the top 10 things one-of-a-kind to Japan, that you will need ahead to terms with. Some things will be easy and also very easy to adjust to. Nonetheless, others can be a little more difficult and take you months and even years to understand. Right here are our top 10 things to aid prepare you.

1. Japanese-what?

The most noticeable difference in between your country as well as Japan is, obviously, the mother language. In Japan, youll be bordered by Japanese as well as depending on where you live will certainly determine how English pleasant your area is. As an example, bigger cities will certainly hold most of indigenous English speakers, and also foreign chain dining establishments or stores will be a lot more fitting in regards to menus and also personnel. On the other hand, living in even more rural areas or smaller communities will possibly make life a little bit more tough, as well as I would claim interesting to boot.

Certainly being pro-active as well as examining before you show up can only give you a side. With the quantity of resources online, consisting of YouTube, applications, podcasts, and so on you have little excuse. In addition, you can take lessons with a tutor in your home country or online also.

When you get here in Japan the options open up much more, as you will certainly be involved in the Japanese language. Just going out is a chance to experience the native tongue. However, you additionally have cost-free area Japanese program, exclusive tutors, language colleges, homestay programs and even more to sustain you. In addition, you could be inclined to join a meetup occasions or make a language exchange buddy.

Most significantly (self-plug), you can find a variety of lessons on the native language and culture on this website. You can additionally begin with a very first suggested blog post on Japanese.

2. Catch a Train

If you wind up living in Tokyo, Osaka or one more major city, after that your commuting life needs to be reasonably simple enough. Living in the countryside is a whole other ball game, with an auto and possibly a bus, being your just major transport options.

The Tokyo train system is by far one of the most intricate as well as innovative systems on the planet. Particularly, being the biggest city in the world. So applications like JNTO Japan Authorities Traveling Application, Google Maps, Hyperdia and more will take a great deal of the assumption work out of your journey.

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3. WTF? is that an Address?

Probably youre made use of to street names and numbers, well thats not the situation in Japan. Many roads or roadways don’t also have a name. The address system itself is so complicated, also the Japanese can not recognize it half the time.

The address system typically begins with the greatest district initially, normally described as a Prefecture. You then move onto cities or city wards. From there you will certainly move onto the particular city as well as city district number. The adhering to numbers then get more certain, describing the city block and also building number. In some cases you might see a fourth number, this usually represents the apartment or condo or unit number.

For instance, the address of the Tokyo Central Message Workplace is (as per Wikipedia):

Tky-to Ch-ku Yaesu 1-Chme 5-ban 3-g
Tky Ch Ybin-kyoku


Tky-to Ch-ku Yaesu 1-5-3
Tky Ch Ybin-kyoku

The order is turned around when creating in roman letters, to much better fit Western conventions. The style suggested by Japan Blog post is:

Tokyo Central Blog Post Office
5-3, Yaesu 1-Chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 100-8994

4. Money is King

Japan is far from being a cashless society, also by todays standards. The significant retail outlets, supermarkets, convenience stores and also taxi carriers are the main fans of charge card or cashless settlements. Outside of this realm as well as it is much safer to presume cash money is the only payment optin offered. The smaller retail boutiques, bars as well as restaurants will seldom supply this choice.

Banks still bill costs for accepting card repayments, approximately 3%. Plus, seller centers are likewise an additional burden for little businessees. Both of these can reduce into their revenues, therefore for them, there is no motivation to approve cashless or card settlements.

5. Free Wi-fi is restricted

Also in a country which has the credibility of being a technological behemoth, the contrary couldnt be extra from the reality. Wi-fi is still restricted to the weird chain coffee shop, choose dining establishments, convenience stores and some hotspots. The transportation companies have luckily caught on however, so you can locate most terminals and also airport terminals with some kind of net access.

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In any case, its much better as well as more convenient to carry your own mobile wifi or obtain a pre paid simcard for your keep. Have a look at our overview on Wifi areas for even more details.

6. No tipping Duration.

In Japan, there is no tipping culture and there never ever was. Rather, they generally pride themselves on their service levels. So much so, that the deal of a pointer could be thought about an insult.

Generally client service is seen as a privilege. The phrase (Okyakusama wa kamisama desu) holds true in Japanese culture and also the way they think of the client. Its actual significance mentions the consumer is god.

Naturally, there has been the off opportunity where I have actually refused modification from a cabby due to the fact that I hate cash. Additionally, in a bar I will normally get the bartender a drink, thats my method of showing appreciation for bearing with my Aussie BS.

7. Point Cards are a Point

Youd be amazed by the variety of reward systems available in Japan both at shops, restaurants as well as also on-line. The number is past insane, as well as attempting to keep up is a lot more of a headache.

It is not unusual for individuals to hold over 5 different point cards in their handbag or purse as well. Luckily, sellers are capturing on, and apps are gradually making our lives a little bit much more structured.

In any case, you can check out our overview on T-Points as well as T-Point Cards for additional information.

8. Footwear Off

When you go into someones position for the very first time, its normal to take your shoes off regardless of what. I still have not located a place (minus hotels) where this was alright. Also, its generally considered courteous to state (O-Jama shimasu) which converts into Please excuse my intrusion.

You may encounter a comparable guideline in some restaurants, specifically izakayas with a second flooring or more typical eateries. Below you will find tatami floor coverings or flooring, which ought to be treated with treatment. Shoes can quickly damage this type of flooring, and so this another factor to guarantee you take them off.

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9. Smoking cigarettes Areas

For those non-smokers, this may be a bit of an obstacle, especially in dining establishments, bars, clubs and also even the general outdoors. The amount of smokers in Japan is approximated to be around 20 million individuals or around 15% of the total population. Thus, it is still considered among the biggest cigarette markets worldwide. This, although that number has actually remained in constant decline because the 1990s.

Obviously, you are safe in general public locations like retail or chain store, train stations and trains, airports as well as taxis. Yet, with dining establishments, cafes and bars it begins to blur. Starbucks is one coffee chain that has actually outlawed smoking from its premises both within and outdoors. Nevertheless, other Japanese coffee chains often tend to supply separate smoking cigarettes and non-smoking areas. Major Restaurant franchises often tend to comply with the very same concept. On the other hand, bars and Japanese izakayas have a tendency to be a mix of all.

At the end of the day, I would advise you discover these expressions and characters. (Kitsuen) means smoking area and (Kinen) indicates non-smoking area. Particularly in dining establishments you might be asked Kitsuen seki or Kinen seki, the addition of (Seki) simply implies seat. Thus, the team are asking if you would certainly like a smoking or non-smoking seat.

On the various other hand, if you are a cigarette smoker, then this possibly good news because you can enjoy smoking cigarettes in some locations inside.

10. Minimal Rubbish (Trash) Containers

We have previously covered this currently, but its risk-free to state you will hard pressed to locate garbage bins in Japan. The areas where you can usually locate places to get rid of your trash are most corner store and train terminals.


Or else, you are expected to take your trash with you as well as hold onto it until you can deal with it appropriately.

The easiest points to deal with generally are tiny 600ml water bottles or aluminium canisters or containers. If you purchase these from a vending equipment, they typically supply a place to throw away them beside the device.

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