Three Survival Tips for Japan

If you have a few solo travel experiences to other destinations under your belt, you can navigate the complexities and craziness of Japan. Of all the countries I have visited, Japan would have to be the only place where it would not be recommended for someone who was travelling solo for the first time.

Go for the Gap

If you see a gap, go for it, especially in Tokyo and Osaka. And especially in the subway. Two of the busiest cities n Japan where life moves at a pace faster than the rest of the country. If you wait, you will never get anywhere. Tokyo is the sister city to Sydney. For those who know how busy and ave survived the crowds in Sydney, stand the best chance of navigating these streets and subway.

Specify Hot or Cold

When ordering tea or coffee – specify if you want hot or cold. Otherwise, if you simply ask for a coffee you will most likely get the iced version. While it is good to try different food and drink when travelling, sometimes it is good to know you will get what you are expecting when you ordering. There are some teas that taste better cold, the oolong iced tea as one example. However, a green tea latte is best when it is hot.

A glass of refreshing Iced Oolong Tea

The Trains Don’t Wait

Travelling by train in Japan is the most efficient and cost effective way of getting around. Everything is done to Japanese precision – especially the trains. The Japanese Rail Pass is your friend, as it can save you hundreds when travelling between cities. However, know your rail network before you travel because Japan operates both public and private lines. The rail pass does not cover private lines. Be sure to pack light and smart because you may have to change trains with short transit times. A large, bulky suitcase will slow you down. Instead opt for a carry on or backpack and rethink what you really need. While there are luggage racks at the end of the train carriage, space is limited and these fill quickly. A carry on or backpack will fit comfortably on the rack above you.

The Shinkansen (bullet train) leaving Shin-Osaka station



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