Clear sky, cultivate, rainy, read.
- japanese expression
BEFORE YOU GO
- Order your JR Pass well in advance. This is a rail pass that is only available to tourists and can't be purchased while in Japan
- Learn a few Japanese words, especially thank you, excuse me/sorry, hello, and of course, cheers! Kanpai!
WHAT TO PACK
- Comfortable shoes
- Windbreaker or a light, fall jacket
THINGS WE'RE OBSESSED WITH
- That there is a corner store literally on every corner (okay, maybe not every corner, but pretty close)
- How quiet and respectful the Japanese are of others and their surroundings
Coming soon (Need to get out the receipts!)
WHAT WE LEARNED
- We packed way too much and promised ourselves that the next trip we'd do our best with just carry-ons or one regular sized check-in
- Few public bathrooms have hand dryers or paper towels. Everyone carries their own facecloth or small hand towel to use
- No one eats or drinks while walking or in the streets. They either wait until they are on the train or sit down on a bench. Though there are a lot of smokers, you barely see them because they only smoke in designated areas
- You won't find many garbage bins in public; majority of people carry a plastic bag and bring their trash home with them. You'll find them in corner stores and in parts of train stations, but we quickly learned to always have a plastic bag in our backpack and be on the lookout for the rare garbage or recycling bin
THINGS WE DISCOVERED
- A city "Go Pass" that includes many tourist attractions, discounts at restaurants, free access on certain buses, is a great way to discover a city for the first time. We bought one in Osaka which allowed us unlimited travel on their buses, subways, free admission to the Aqua-Liner (An enclosed glass river boat tour at night), discount on admission to Osaka Castle, free admission to their giant Ferris Wheel, etc.
- When in doubt, do as the locals do. Most trains play a recording in multiple languages, so there is really no excuse, asking passengers to be respectful of others by keeping talking to a minimum and low, not to speak on your phone, and that the volume from your earphones aren't bothering the person next to you