Vacationing in Japan

  1. I'm going to be vacationing in Japan at the end of the month. :yahoo:Problem is, I've never been there before so I don't know anything about anything. I don't speak any japanese but I am going with a tour group. For any ladies who've been there, any tips that I should know? I'm starting off in Tokyo.

    My big concern is money. Do most businesses take credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex)? Cash only? Exchange rate? I'm so lost.

    What kind of clothes should I pack? Is it going to be extremely sunny? Should I pack an umbrella for light showers?

    Also, do most japanese people understand english?

    It's going to be fun. I'm planning on shopping a lot there. Now I just have to think about what purse to pack. I'm thinking Marc Jacobs Hudson...
  2. Already done. I'm curious about people wearing sunglasses there though. I read that most people won't wear them because traditionally, it's associated with the Japanese mafia. It's going to be hard for me because I always wear sunglasses.
  3. I used to live in Tokyo, and my dad still lives there, so I go back now about 1-2 times a year. If you're going at the end of the month, the rainy season is over and it will be humid and hot! I would pack very light sweaters to wear over tank tops, etc. though as I felt more comfortable wearing that if we went to nicer places (or when I was working there, I didn't really wear sleeveless stuff all that much, but now it's a lot more casual).

    Most places take MC/Visa/AmEx but there are a ton of cash machines around too (Citibank has a lot in Tokyo) if you need to withdraw Japanese yen. If you're going with a tour group, they can probably also help you out with that if you get stuck -- I generally buy stuff with credit cards if I'm at big department stores there, but otherwise it's not uncommon for people to carry around a lot of cash -- I used to walk around with the equivalent of at least US $500 when I was there most times.

    Some Japanese do understand English, esp. if they're in hospitality. But, if you take a taxi, I'd make sure you have the directions/map written in Japanese (I advise all my non-Japanese speaking friends of this). I'd also make sure you know a couple Japanese words before you go -- it helps too if you have a phrase book where the words are written in Japanese characters as well.

    Have a great time!! I wish I could go back this summer . . . (oh, and with regard to the sunglasses, I think you're fine because you're clearly a tourist . . . I'm only half-Japanese and get away with it at touristy places too, although when I was little I used to never wear them while I was there).
  4. Have fun I have never been to Japan but some of my friends have for business or vacation and I have heard amazing things about it. I am sooo jealous!! Take lots of pics:tup:
  5. -Most smaller businesses do not take credit cards espessially in smaller towns. Large stores or international stores do, espessially those in the really touristy areas. But smaller shops that are everywhere, no. Its not uncommon for people to carry a large amount of cash. On average I carry 50,000 yen which is roughly $500 to 100,000 yen which is roughly $1000. The smallest bill is equlivent to $10 to be prepared to use alot of change, something i recently got used to.

    It will be HOT in a month. and HUMID. Sometimes trains and stores will be cold though from blasting aircon, so it would be a good idea to take a THIN long sleeve shirt to put over. You will see alot of people wiping their faces with small towels much like a wash cloth, they sell all kinds of pretty ones here. Seeing people with hand fans are not uncommon, agan you can find those here and ofter are handed out as free advertisements. You can pack an umbrella if you want but they are in almost every store. It does rain.

    Most japanese people DO NOT understand english enough for it to really work. At the same time many are fluent. If you are in big stores or touristy areas, the chance of english speakers and english signs is higher. I basically always asume they dont if I dont know, or ask if they do if i need to do that much talking.

    Shopping in japan=awesome. Any designer purse will do. LV is insanely popular in the tokyo area atleast. dont see them as much as in other countries, but younger people (espessially japanese girls in teens-mid 20s) wear them alot. Always see them in stores. I wear them. I see more women with them than men. If men wear them they are often the very fashionable type, or hosts.
  6. Just another one as you've got very good advice already. Try to learn a few Japanese words. The Japanese really appreciate it when you try to speak their language a little - and you will find when you say a couple of things, they will immediately think you are fluent and probably start to have a conversation with you!!! Just try to focus a bit on the pronounciation of words you learn and they will be really impressed. Have fun!!!
  7. bring your sunglasses (it's summer!), my friends visited japan last winter, they saw many girls wear their sunnies even they're inside of the building! .. bring a dictionary, i think it will be very helpful.. i think shopping for designer items in japan is not worth it.. most of them are much more expensive.. but for window shopping is a must :biggrin: , visit ginza for high-end designer stores, and shibuya & shinjuku for more "affordable" ones hehe..
    don't forget to try the yummy japanese food :smile:
    hope u enjoy your holiday!