In this page:
Entry Requirements |
Organizing Your Trip |
Living Conditions |
Organizing Your Trip
Means of Transport Recommended in Town
The bigger towns have a well-developed metro system and taxis are available everywhere. Taxi lights show green when they are free, and red when they are not. Most taxi drivers do not speak English. Ask the hotel to write the address in Japanese.
The metros of Tokyo and Osaka are among the most extensive in the world. In the ranking of the 10 best metro systems in the world, Tokyo’s is in 5th position. Destinations and information are written both in Japanese and in English.
- Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Tokyo metro
Map of the Osaka metro
Transportation From Airport to City Centre:
Traveling By Yourself
The road network is good and modern throughout the country. The roads are safe. But tolls on motorways are expensive, traffic conditions on the roads are congested and car rental prices are high. It is particularly recommended that people who do not have an excellent knowledge of Japanese do not go out on the roads by themselves, given that all road signs are in Japanese.
- Road Maps
Map of Japan
- Find an Itinerary
Live search maps
Different Forms of Tourism
Castles, a reminder of the establishment of the central power until the 15th century. Destroyed en masse at the time of the Meiji and during the Second World War, about a dozen can still be visited.
Many festivals take place throughout the year (festival of the tombs, cherry blossom festival). Open air museums offer visits of the different Japanese architectural styles.
Many Japanese-style gardens, among which the most outstanding are Konrokuen at Kanazawa, Katsura Villa at Kyoto. Some Japanese sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website to see which they are.
Many temples and tombs. Each city has them. Some of them are really magnificent. Among the temples: Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera and Sanjusangendo at Kytoto, Todaiji and Horyuji at Nara. Among the tombs: the one at Ise, Nikko Toshogu at Nikko, Itsukushima at Miyajima.
Hot springs flow all over the country. There are many spas.
Click here to be informed on the Japanese most beautiful beaches as a selection of the Ministry of land, Infrastructure and Transport.
- Winter Sports
The 500 national ski resorts have plentiful, good snow, superb countryside and hot water springs to relax in.
- Outdoor Activities
Rambling, Diving, Bicycle touring, Golf
Japan is known worldwide for its original mode with its Japanese creators, European brands (Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.), department stores (Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, etc.)
Time Difference and Climate
- Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Tokyo (GMT+9)
- Summer Time Period
Map of the Time Zone
- Type of Climate
The rainy season lasts from June to mid-July and the summer is damp and humid. The Typhoon season lasts from August to September. The temperature can rise to 38°C (100°F) in summer and drop to under 5°C in winter. The climate can vary noticeably from one island to another. Autumn is undoubtedly the best time to visit Japan.
- For Further Information
Japan Meteorological Agency
Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall
- Food Specialties
Most Japanese dishes are served in bowls (Domburi) with rice on top and meat, vegetables etc underneath: Oyakodom (eggs and chicken), Katsudom (fried pork chops), Gyudom (beef and eggs), Unadom (grilled eels), Chukadon and Tendon (seafood and vegetables).
Japanese cooking is also composed of salads (Gomaae), a wide variety of fish and seafood eaten raw (Sashimi and Sushi), seaweed, noodles (Soba), soups, meat grilled on skewers and cheese.
They also have some items of Chinese cooking such as steamed fritters or fruit.
Tea is most widely drunk but it is also possible to find alcoholic drinks: beer, Happoshu (a by-product of beer, less strong in taste but with the same alcohol content), Nihonshu or Sake (spirit made from rice), Japanese wine, products made from plums, imported international wines.
- Dietary Restrictions
- Domestic Currency
- ISO Code
- To Obtain Domestic Currency
It may be useful to arrive in the country with some Yen in your pocket. But rather than going to a bureau de change, which can be expensive, or using travelers checks which sometimes require a long time to cash, it is better to withdraw Yen directly from banks ATMs.
- Possible Means of Payment
Payment is usually in cash. A credit card is also useful, but is only taken in the larger establishments. ATMs are easily accessible all day long. There are plenty of them in airports and town centers.
- Official Language
- Other Languages Spoken
Korean and Chinese.
- Business Language
English is moreover the foreign language which is the most usually spoken. However the Japanese, including the business leaders, sometimes only have basic English. Businessmen often read English better than they can speak it.
- Getting Some Knowledge
The Travlang website gives you some typical phrases to learn in Japanese.
- Free Translation Tools
Babel Fish Translation : translation of text and web pages
Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC Server : on-line dictionary
jisho.org : on-line dictionary
yomoyomo.jp : free service which adds phonetics to any Japanese site
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Last Updates: October 2014