Going to Japan in Early June…

posted 3 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

OMG, I am so jealous!  I love Japan (the language, culture, country, people, etc.) but I have never gotten to go.  DH and I plan to eventually.  So I don’t have any great insider tips.  But I wish you luck!  Have fun!

I can tell you that Japanese culture and their entire way of thinking is very different from American culture.  If you have time, I highly recommend reading Different Game, Different Rules by Haru Yamada.  It is especially insightful for American-Japanese business communications.  http://www.amazon.com/Different-Games-Rules-Americans-Misunderstand/dp/0195154851 

Post # 3
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

This is a great article too (with #1, 7, & 8 being the most useful for you probably): http://www.businessinsider.com/japanese-words-with-no-english-equivalent-2014-4   Japanese has a lot of set phrases that are always said in a certain circumstance.  For example, “Konnichiwa. Namae wa Christy desu. Douzo yoroshiku.” is “Hello, my name is Christy.  It’s nice to meet you.”  This is the best phrase for introducing yourself and you will always shock a Japanese person by saying it.  They don’t expect anyone who is not Japanese to speak Japanese.  If you want to be super polite, you can add “onegaishimasu” to the end.  So it would be: “Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.”

A tip for pronouncing Japanese: all vowels are pure vowels (not dipthongs).  So you pronounce the vowel without moving your lips.

Post # 4
Member
1787 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Stiletto13:  June is the rainy season. Bring clothes for hot and humid weather.  I haven’t been to Akita, but Tokyo definitely gets that hot and swampy feeling. 

Asakusa is good for souvenirs. There’s a street lined with shops of touristy things leading up to the temple. 

I like Meiji Shrine because it’s magically quiet and peaceful despite how close it is to Harajuku. 

Post # 5
Member
357 posts
Helper bee

Ohh when is cherry blossom season? I wonder if you’re able to see it?

I’m very jealous!

Post # 6
Member
1787 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Barely_Blush:  End of March/beginning of April depending on where in Japan.

Post # 8
Member
1787 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Stiletto13:  AC isn’t as common, but it does still exist.  Most stores and trains will have it, especially in Tokyo.  Your hotel might have a slot to put your room key that turns on the AC, and cuts it off when you take the key out to leave the room.  Japan is a weird mix of super technology and the opposite of that (faxes are still a thing here).

Restaurant seating will depend on the restaurant.  Western seating is really common.  Family restaurants like Denny’s will definitely have Western seating (and a menu that looks nothing like an American Denny’s).  Izakaya (Japanese pubs) and small restaurants with regional specialties will be more likely to have tatami floors.  A mix of both kinds of seating is pretty common too.

Post # 9
Member
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Restaurants usually have both seating styles so you can pick. Many public restrooms are squat toilets and are easiest to use wearing a skirt that will let you crouch down. Some don’t provide TP so you should bring some in your purse. I actually liked them better since so many public toilets in the USA get covered in pee from women hovering over them.

http://gogirlguides.com/female-travel/how-to-master-a-squat-toilet/

There is A/C in buildings, but not cranked down as cold as here. They mostly are used as dehumidifiers. 

Depending on where you stay, you might have a bead-pillow. These feel like sleeping on a beanbag, which actually is fine, but takes a little getting used to. It is more comfortable than our pillows when you are sleeping in a warm, humid room. Most big hotels will give both, though. If you need your pillow, bring it! 

For gifts, bring nice food items from your region such as local candies, wrapped cookies, or dried fruits — something that people can enjoy snacking on together without a lot of prep. Like if you are from Vermont, you could bring some maple candy. Special nuts like cashews or pecans can be a real treat since anything imported is way expensive in Japan. If you can, try to find some that are packaged nicely.  

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