The article is about my recent trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan and some of my takeaways about Japan. I was in Japan from 30/9/15 to 15/10/15 and had spent several days in Nagoya, Fukuoka, Osaka, Kyoto & Tokyo.
I had first landed in Narita Airport and first things first, I had to locate the JR Office to exchange my purchase order to a JR Pass for my trains. At the JR office, you are also able to purchase a SUICA (Tokyo’s equivalent of an EZLink card) for other forms of transportation such as bus, subways, etc. I then bought 2 trains tickets, 1 for Narita Express (which would bring you out of Narita and into Tokyo) and 1 for Tokyo to Nagoya since that was my first destination. I was pleasantly surprised by the services on the Narita Express, as it was very tourist friendly and all communication were done in 4 languages (English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese). A word of advice, if your first destination is not Tokyo, I highly recommend making the changing of trains at Shinagawa Station as it is much smaller station than Tokyo Station, as such navigation would be much easier.
For more details for the various destinations, please look out for my other articles which would give more information. Generally, the Japanese are very polite and willing to help if they are able to make out what you are saying, and if they do not know, they would try to find out for you. I am very surprised with this as it is not generally often seen in some countries. Cleanliness is also ranked very high in each place I have seen, although rubbish bins are rarely seen. I believe it is something they are instilled since young and I really respect that. Another aspect which I am very surprised, is the timeliness of their public transport. The punctuality of the public transport is down to the exact second which the public transports will arrive, regardless of it being bus, subway or bullet trains (Shinkansen).
Food wise, all the food were priced I had taken were priced fairly affordably, from SGD$5 a bento from a convenience store to SGD$14 ramen with beer. The common man’s idea is that food is expensive in Japan, but during my travels there, I noticed that if you are able to source for it, there is no such thing as good yet expensive food or bad and cheap food.
Weather wise, it was a comfortable 14 – 20 degrees Celsius, throughout my 16 days in Japan. Only 2 days did it rain, but the rest were sunny days with cold winds. Jackets are recommended if you are susceptible to colds but a windbreaker should suffice.
Shopping wise, most clothes in this season are geared towards winter wear so you may or may not find clothes that would fit the climate in your home country. As such, I did not manage to buy much clothes for myself as Singapore is a hot country, although the clothes did look good.
Travel like an otaku in Japan series:
Article & Photos: Melvyn @ KAvenyou