Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tips for Visiting Japan

While I'm in no way an expert I thought I would share some tips and tricks from what worked for me.. Do you have any suggestions?

General Knowledge

  • Look up places/attractions you'll visit and others in the area so you kinda know what's going on
  • Have an emergency plan to get home- like seeing if any train stations are near by your locations and how to get there.
  • Don't trust that your internet and/or Google maps will work. Take notes, pictures, or screenshots of important info or routes.
  • Be flexible: life (and shit) happens.
  • Universal Studios: use the single rider line when possible, it can really knock down your wait times.
  • Many places and (Tokyo) JR train stations will have stamps to collect. There's often paper on hand but I had backups just in case.
  • Be brave and try new foods... like pizza with ham and corn that looked like Hawaiian pizza.
  • Y300 seems to be a typical "snack" price like cookies and mochi
  • Many bathrooms won't have towels to dry your hands so carry hand sanitizer or hand towels (that are for sale everywhere. It took me forever to figure out why they were everywhere...)
  • No tips/gratuities are required at restaurants.
  • Good stores: Daiso (dollar store), Don Quijote (everything and more store), Book Off! (used books with an English section)
  • Get a metro card (IC card) so you don't have to figure out fares on the transit; instead you just tap and go. Pasmo and Suica are big names. You can also use them at some stores and vending machines,
  • Tokyo trains will have screens above their doors you can watch to say the station name in English and also how far away the next stops are.
  • Train signs will have English on them though you make have to wait for them to change from Japanese.
  • Use Google map between locations you want to visit, it may not be as far away to walk as you'd think.

Disney-related Tips

  • Know that even on slow days it's probably going to be busier than the American parks
  • Choose your "must dos" and try to do those first
  • Grab the English and Japanese maps and Today sheets.
    • Use the Japanese map to point and ask for directions if needed.
  • Use the TDR Wait Time Check app for wait times, restaurant menus, play plots and more.
  • Bring a water bottle to fill at the park. They have bottle-sized fountains near the restaurants.
  • Bringing food: you're not supposed to but I saw people that had clearly brought in food. They don't do an in-depth bag check so I guess it's up to you.
  • Even if you won't entirely understand the plays they're worth it
  • Plan for rough weather
  • You can walk from the Maihama station to either of the parks but DisneySea is a bit further away than Disneyland so you may want to take the monorail.
    • Plus, the monorail has Mickey-shaped windows and hand-holds!
  • Eat at "off" lunch times to avoid some of the crowds.

Japanese Language

  • Excuse me- sounds like sue-me-ma-sen
    • Use this to get through crowds or to get someone attention to ask them a question.
  • Yes- sounds like hi
  • No- sounds like ee-ay
  • Thank you- sounds like arr-ee-gat-oo
  • Hello- sounds like kon-ee-chee-wah

See my individual posts about my April 2017 trip here:

Helpful Websites

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