Of course you need a passport.
If you don't have it, please contact the following agency in United States.
If you aren't US citizen, contact your local Foreign administrate office.
Disembarkation / Embarkation card
This is a card you need to fill in before entering Japan.
Normally this document will be handed out to you from a flight attendant
when you abroad.
Card (2) will be attached to your passport and used when you will leave
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Here is a calendar for this year for planners to Japan this year.
*August 9th is National holiday observance which are maked
up for overlap of holiday on Sunday.
*February 24 and May 6th are National holiday observance which are
maked up for overlap of holiday on Sunday.
*May 6th, August 12 and November 4 are National holiday observance which are
maked up for overlap of holiday on Sunday.
Temperature and weather are the most important items to check before traveling.
In Japan we have one time standard.
And no "day light saving" time.
Time Difference international
This table shows the Time Difference from Japan to your country.
In the case of Boston, it says -14 hour.
In Japan Noon =>
In Boston Noon -14 becomes
10 o'clock in the evening on previous night.
All area in Japan, Electric Voltage is 100 Volt.
Eastern Area of Japan
100 Volt 50 Hertz
Western Area of Japan
100 Volt 60 Hertz
If your country's voltage is 120 Volt, your hair dryer can be used
in both area but less power.
If you have a dryer with voltage change switch(115 <-> 230),
it is what you need to bring.
All tap water is safe to drink in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama and everywhere
Restaurants serve you a glass of water or a cup of tea promptly.
This is free of charge and safe.
Surprisingly, Bureau of Wayerworks of Tokyo Metropolitan Government sells
bottled water of tap water. in plastic bottle.
Some of Chinese restaurant charge you for tea.
Radio in Japan
If you want to listen to the English Radio station,
AFN Pacific (American Forces Network) AM 810 k Hz.
This station is for US Army/Navy around Tokyo area.
Now you can listen to this station on your smart phone.
InterFM FM 89.7 M Hz.
International FM station for international people has changed the frequency.
Kind of public Radio for foreign people various news, information and music
with various language.
Television in Japan
- NHK (Nihon Hoso Kyoukai) is the best source to find waht's oging on in Japan.
The broadcasting area is nationwide.
The channel number is normally 01 or 02.
- CNN is the second choice for you to get right information.
You can watch it at hotel and various place
Also podcasting is available.
Telephone call to your country costs a lot.
Why don't you bring a card which is issued by your telephone company with
If you are from US, AT&T or MCI card will be good to carry.
You just call an operator and tell them you want to have an international
They will send the telephone card and let your know the special access
phone number to be able to make a direct call to your home country.
In the case of AT&T, it is 0039-111
If you are staying in a hotel, dial '0' to connect it to outside line.
You have another option to save money to call out.
ATT Pre-paid card
You can call from pay phones, home phones, office phones,mobile phones
and hotel phones using AT&T pre-paid card.
Same rates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Why don't you call AT&T before your departure?
Prepaid cell phone is available for travelers to Japan.
It would be better to make an advanced reservation.
Public phone requires coin, 10 Yen, 100 Yen, or a telephone card, prepaid
plastic money - only good for telephone.
Some telephone can only accept a telephone card.
Recently so many cell phones are used in Japan and the number of the public
phones is decirease dramatically.
Correct Call for Domestic
Dial Information in English by Nippon Telephone & Telegram
Monday - Friday
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you have a trouble on phone, you can ask AT&T to help you as an
It costs you 4.5 Dollars/minutes.
There are many Internet access points in Japan.
Still you feel stressed a lot.
Here is a guide to get a prepaid SIM.
Accommodations (Hotels etc.)
There are several types of Accommodation facility in Japan.
You can select your favorite type of facilities when you make a reservation.
When you make a reservation, you had better to check all facilities in
See following chart for your reference:
There is no definition of each facility and equipment. The following chart
is my guts feeling for your reference.
You can enjoy your staying with comfortable feeling because everything
is similar to the Continental level hotels.
All clerk can speak English and you don' t feel any difference from English
Following is the example of famous hotel chains in Japan..
Make a reservation in Tokyo now?
Business hotel (hotels for the lower budget business man)
Someone call the bath equipment in business hotel as a "Yellow submarine"
You know the submarine equipment are well designed compactly.
The size of room starts from 100 sq feet or 6 m x m
Larger cities than middle size have business hotels.
Minsyuku follows the Youth hostel price-wise.
Family operates a lodging using their house.
It is tough to find the English speaker at a Minsyuku.
If you want to stay in a Minsyuku, you had better to know some Katakoto
Japanese (simple communication level Japanese).
Bath is shared with all guests so you have to use the bath with other guests.
Some Minshukus have coin operated air-conditioners. They require 100 Yen
for one hour of operation.
No bed is available.
A room has Tatami mattress, typical Japanese flooring covered with straws
Here Tatami mattress is a woven rush.
It is very popular in Japanese houses.
Lower budget Minsyuku have no air-conditioners
Meals are served in the dining room which has Tatami mattresses flooring.
You need to knee and sit down on Zabuton cushions.
The rest-room is shared with other guests also.
A room has 6-10 Tatami mattresses, a low table and 4-6 Zabuton mattress.
When you are going to sleep, you need to pull the Futon from the closet
and arrange it to fit into your room.
Also Pension is operated by a family but the house is normally rebuilt
to accept guests.
There are various types of rooms.
- Two beds
- Three beds
- Two Futon
- Three Futon
You can specify the type of room like above in addition to the selection
of with bath and powder room.
The meal is served in the dinning room.
An owner of a Pension might be able to speak English. You had better to
ask it when you make reservation.
Typical Japanese inn
Facility of Ryokan is similar to Kanko Hotel but they have more heritage
Youth hostel is the cheapest facility of lodging.
The manner of using youth hostel is universal.
There are 350 youth hostels in various locations in Japan.
You can make a reservation of Youth Hostel in Japan from a office in your
The cost of youth hostel is around 3000 Yen and around 4500 Yen if two meals are included.
Bathing in Japan
It used to be public bath in town.The bath tub/shower in the house wasn't so popular in Japan until 20 years.
At least one or two Sentos were in a town and it was the community place
for people.The number of Sento decreased dramatically by increasing of home shower
equipment.The Sentos are changing their style from public bath to Hot Spring facilities
The long Chimney is a symbol of Sento facility.There are two entrances for men and women in front of Sento.Take off your shoes and put your shoes in to a shoes locker.A person at entrance is called "Bandai" requests you to pay a
Around 300 yen is a fee to take a bath.Then you will find open free space that is supposed to take your clothes
off.There are shelves and lockers for your clothes.
You can put your clothes into a locker and keep the key on your wrist to
the bathroom.Take a towel with you to wash your body.
The second room has one or two bath tabs and faucets.One thing you have to notice is not to wash your body in the tub.We will share same water with other peoples.The bathtub is to dip your body for soaking.Put towel on your head to avoid to put it into bathtub sanitarily.You wash your body in front of faucet then rinse.
Hot springs (Onsen)
Also vending machines are available in many hotels.
If your hotel doesn't have a room service, it should have vending machines
You can buy any beverage of variety of selections, juice, green tea, oolong
tea, beer, etc.
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