A beautiful blending of ancient tradition, modern charm and magnificent natural vistas, Japan is an immensely fascinating destination that captivates the wandering soul.
The expanse of the country's natural perfection, from vast mountains and roaring waterfalls to secluded lakes and manicured gardens, is absolutely incredible. Its cosmopolitan cities are spotlessly clean, friendly, safe and increasingly high-tech.
The Japanese themselves have an eye for beauty and deep-held beliefs that integrate perfection into the very fabric of their culture. So much so that in fact, Japan is often lauded as one of the world's most adorable countries. And given that people from many countries get to experience Japan with no visa for up to 90 days, you won't have to look far to see why.
You may feel ready for Japan's unique culture and sensational cuisine, but do you really know what to expect from a journey here? Here are a few interesting facts about the country that might surprise you.
1. Wear shoes you can easily slip on and off
Japan has countless places where you'll need to remove your shoes when you enter. This is done to maintain good hygiene and to safeguard the delicate tatami mats that the Japanese often use as flooring. You'll have to take off your shoes whenever you enter houses, shrines and traditional restaurants, inns and stores. So make sure you're not wearing shoes that take up a lot of time to wear or remove because you never know how many times you'll have to take them off throughout the day. It might also be a good idea to always remember to wear good socks when you're headed out for the duration of your stay in the country.
2. It's not as pricey as you might think
The country is known for being too expensive, but this doesn't really have to be true. It's all a matter of knowing where to look. If you head out into the street without doing your research, then you're just not going to know how to eat, stay and travel well while not going over-budget. A little way off from the main streets, you'll find cheap but delicious sushi, plenty of street stalls and decently-priced noodle restaurants. And as long as you're not after exuberant luxury stays, you'll also find many budget hotels and hostels where you can stay without breaking the bank.
3. Carry cash with you
Japan may be a thoroughly tech-dependent country with a convenience-driven population, but you'll still find yourself in places where you'll need to pay with cash. So if you're planning to pay your way around the country with only credit cards, you might find yourself a little limited, especially in rural areas with smaller businesses. Also, remember that not all Japanese ATMs will accept foreign bank cards, so you'll need to get cash from ATMs found at places like 7-11 convenience stores and post offices.
4. It's easy to travel around
Getting around Japan is easy and you don't need to know Japanese to make it any better. The country's excellent subway networks put most other countries to shame with perfect punctuality, cleanliness and low costs. It's the same with intercity and regional transport services. The high-speed rail network can cost a little more, but you'll be able to reach your destination before you know it and enjoy stunning views along the way. If your adventures are going to keep you travelling extensively, you might even consider purchasing a Japanese rail card so you can use the country's bullet train network to save time and money.
Enjoy your trip to Japan! Want to know more about travel? Check out:
About the author: Colton Davis is a consultant and digital content creator.
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