Travel Tips

Passport and VisaIMG_0018

Any foreign visitors desiring to enter Japan must have a valid passport. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for stay up to 90 days, as long as they do not engage in any remunerative activity. Visa details can be obtained from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official Web Site, http://www.mofa.go.jp/index.html or  from the Japanese Embassy or Consulate.

 

Currency

The Japanese Yen (¥). Notes – ¥500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000. Coins – ¥ 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500. It is generally safe to carry cash in Japan. You can buy yen at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money exchangers. At the international airports, currency exchange counters are usually open during normal office hours. The exchange rate fluctuates daily depending on the money market.

 

Credit Cards

International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Diners Club are acceptable at these major establishments. Major foreign credit, debit and cash cards can be used at some 24,000 Post Office ATMs marked with the “International ATM Service” symbol in locations throughout Japan. International credit cards can also be used for money withdrawal at more than 14,400 7-eleven stores.

 

Banking

Banks are open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays.

 

Electricity

100 volts, 50 cycles, A.C. 15/30 amps. This means that your electrical appliances from the U.S. such as hair dryers will work, but they will run a little slow.

 

Tipping

Individual tipping is not common in Japan, since 10-15% service charge is added to the bill at leading hotels, ryokan and higher class restaurants. No tip is necessary unless you requested some extra special services.

 

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Taxi fares in Tokyo are very expensive; less costly in other cities. In big cities, most taxis have automatic doors. Please stand clear of taxi doors.

 

Water

Tap water is safe to drink.

 

Medical

It is strongly advised that you have adequate to protect you against the unexpected. peaking medical care is obtainable cities however payment in full at time of service. Please be aware that many over-the-counter drugs require a prescription and are slightly different in formula.  You may want to bring a supply with you.  If you take prescription drugs, please bring them in their original bottle or packaging.  Please note that many prescription drugs easily obtainable in the US are not available (with or without a doctor’ prescription) in Japan.  You may want to ask your doctor for an extra supply.

 

Climate

Japan has four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. The country’s four main islands stretch through 25 degrees of longitude and as a result the climate varies from sub-tropical in the south to sub-arctic in the north. Tokyo is hot in the summer (average 80°F) with cool winters (average 41°F). The period of the highest precipitation in most areas is during the rainy season, from mid-June to mid-July.

Clothing

Jackets and sweaters for spring and autumn. Light clothing, short sleeves for summer. Topcoats, wool suits and extra-warm jackets and sweaters for winter. Clean socks are needed, since shoes are customarily removed at certain Japanese restaurants, temples & shrines and private homes.



Lost & Found

If you left your bag or package in a train station or other public area, go to the station master’s office or the nearest police box and ask for English-language assistance. If left in a taxi, go to your hotel’s reception desk. Taxi drivers often bring the belonging back to your hotel.

Comments are closed.