What to expect when traveling to Tokyo – Few things you should know

If you’re planning on visiting Tokyo anytime soon, then it’s definitely the place to be as per CNN’s latest study on customs and culture in Japan. This is one destination that’s definitely worth a visit with its people and passions absolutely unique to this Asian nation. In fact, the Japan National Tourism Office reported an increase by 21 percent in the visitor arrival numbers in the first half of 2013 as compared to the numbers seen the year before. The renewed surge in visitors has been partly attributed to the successful bid that Tokyo has made for the 2020 Olympics. Of course, there’s also the effort that’s being put in by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bulk up the economy.

Deserted Ginza Tokyo
Image: flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine

Few things you should know before traveling to Tokyo

It’s always good to be equipped with some knowledge about the place you’d be visiting, for then you don’t end up making any unnecessary mistakes when in Tokyo. Read on to find out more.

  1. No tipping here: Understand this for a fact that in Japan attentive service happens to be the norm essentially. You could call it a part of the cultural dedication towards hospitality also known as “omotenashi”. Gratuities aren’t expected and they won’t be accepted either.
  2. Smoke in, drink out: In Japan you’re more likely to be allowed to smoke in an enclosed space. It’s like the smaller and homier bars or restaurants are more smoker-friendly. However, smoking is very much prohibited in the open like on sidewalks, etc. Drinking in public, on the other hand, is a cherished tradition.
  3. Bacon’s always there: A quick vegetarian meal is hard to come by in Tokyo. Yes, Japan most definitely has a long tradition of the “shojin ryori” – a Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Now, this is rather painstakingly prepared, then served on ceramics and lacquerware. However, this one’s definitely expensive plus a time-consuming affair. Now, if you go looking for a vegetable sandwich, you might just have a sneaky slice of ham in it. Hence, make it a point to be extra vigilant and run down a list of every possible animal product that you’d like to avoid.
  4. Do walk right – on the left: Understand that greater Tokyo happens to be one of the most densely populated urban centers in the world with 35 million people. In spite of this, the crowds here are rather orderly. For instance, everyone waits for the light to change before crossing the street. Pedestrians also strictly follow the rule of sticking to the left on wide sidewalks.
  5. A single card for transport: There are rechargeable Pasmo and Suica cards with which you can touch your way in and out for all trains and buses throughout the country. The deposit you make on the card also happens to be refundable, or you could keep it as a souvenir.

Now that you’re aware of certain things you can expect in Tokyo, it’s time get the best travel deals and book your tickets to Tokyo. Go ahead and enjoy your trip.

Author Bio:
This article has been written by Tammy Anderson who’s a dedicated travel blogger. She herself has indulged in a lot of travel to various destinations and knows a lot about places, booking of hotels, getting the best of business class airfare deals, renting a car, so on and so forth.

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