Japan as a Tourist Spot
Here is an article to embrace a little of Japan before you go for a tour.
Every time a traveler or a tourist goes to different places, it is English, the International language, usually used for communication. But in some circumstances, some find it difficult to communicate when in the land of non-English speakers, like Japan.
But there is no need to worry because being one of the best tourist spots in Asia, Japan has guides to aid you.
Though Japanese writings, which others couldn't understand, are all over the place , Japan uses pictogram such as the ones in the comfort rooms to designate for men, ladies, and disabled for easy understanding. They also try to make it easy for the tourists to travel like the prices and telephone numbers are usually written in Western numbers. There are signs such as pedestrian area, no smoking, and cycle lane that are internationally recognized, and directions that are almost always in English. Many of these signage are located high above the street like the fire hydration. Japan has what you call a taxi stand where you can find taxi stances either at hotels, stations, or even streets with the red light being illuminated. When using their subway ticket machinery, you can shift the language into English. Entrances and exits are also numbered and mannered in English as you can see on the map. Their pharmacy, as well, uses the green cross sign.
The Color Coding
The color coding in Japan also makes it easy for the tourists and travelers to know where to go. It is easy to locate the police station, which is reflected by a gold badge. Full car spaces are also indicated in a red script. To avoid rush hours, you can use their subway color coded lines. Japan also has phonecards for color-coded phones. Green ones take coins and cards while green and gold can make international calls.
The Stores and Shops
Most shops open from 10 am to 8 pm. Usually, they are open seven days a week. That includes holidays except for New Year. You can buy drinks to carry with you while roaming around, but tap water in Japan is fine for a drink if you want to save. They have station kiosks where you can get food, drink, and gifts. You can also see 24-hours convenience stores that sell necessities. Moreover, there are traditional hardware stores that sell common high quality tools around Japan. They also sell expensive, yet imported shoes. They have shopping malls with eating places. They use photos to reflect the meals they offer. Also, they sell alcoholic drinks at the liquor store, but you have to be over twenty to buy one. You can find wrapped fruits and vegetables at their supermarkets for convenience. Fishes are sold in cuts, priced by the weights, and are displayed at stores.
Since you are traveling in Japan, it is worth to stay in their traditional Japanese inn called ryokan. Usually, it includes meals being served in the room. There's a maid that caters your needs. They also have a cheaper version called the minshuku. Aside from that, you have the option to stay at capsule hotel which has small cubicles with communal facilities or love hotels which are often clean and luxurious.
Automated Teller Machine is the most common way to cash out, but most of them in Japan only accept Japanese cards. However, there are some in large cities that accept those not coming from Japan. Their banks are usually open at 9 am to 3 pm from Monday to Friday and close on public holidays. There are major branches that cash travelers' cheques, but with fees. You can also get cash advance on major credit cards. Like other countries, they also have consumption tax of every item and service charges in the restaurants.
You have different options for transportation in Japan. You have the taxi, which is the most common one, but less expensive in Japan. There are buses that follow routes with specific fareboard which oblige you to get a ticket with a number. There is also a subway where you can get tickets from the machine. You can also purchase a Japan Rail Pass before your trip and have it exchanged at the JR office to use it on Narita Express. But the most economical of all is the highway bus which connects major and minor cities. Bullet train is also available and is very famous of sticking to their timetable.
Japan National Tourist Organization has a website with important info before you travel. It is advisable to check it out first. TIC (Tourist Information Center) offices also aids tourists by providing maps and brochures in English.