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  • Hey guys! Rachel is joining me today!

  • And we're gonna talk about some tips for travelling in Japan

  • Because Spring and Summer are coming up

  • And I know lots of you guys are gonna come visit here

  • So we thought we would think of some helpful things to tell you

  • to hopefully improve your trip

  • So the first one that we both thought was really important was

  • Get a train card

  • Let me show you mine so you know what I'm talking about

  • I have a sticker over top of mine

  • So you can't really see it

  • But it's a little card like this

  • It's an IC card

  • And you can fill this up with money

  • And just tap it on the gates at the train station

  • and you can go through

  • and it'll automatically take off how much money you need to pay for that trip

  • off of your balance

  • So instead of looking up... Oh I'm in Tokyo and I need to go to Shibuya

  • Ok that's like 170 yen... so I have to buy a 170 yen ticket

  • You don't have to do that

  • You can just keep a balance on your card

  • and just use it without thinking

  • And when it runs out you can fill it up again at the machines

  • It saves so much time and stress

  • It just makes travelling so much easier

  • There are a lot of different brands for them

  • Some of them don't work on every train line

  • Right

  • So if you get yours in Tokyo, it might not work on every train line in every other city

  • And same for train cards from other cities as well

  • And then there are also benefits for some of them

  • Some of them will let you accumulate points

  • So you can save money

  • That's so cool! The ones in Tokyo don't

  • All around it's just very useful and awesome

  • You should get one

  • You can get these at the train machines where you buy tickets

  • There'll be an English button so just push that

  • It's pretty straightforward

  • There are a lot of helpful apps you can get if you're gonna be in Japan

  • One of them would be a train app

  • It's kind of like a life saver

  • Very recommended!

  • When you're travelling from one place to another

  • The app will automatically calculate the quickest route, the cheapest route

  • So you don't have to go look at maps yourself

  • Maps suck, the train maps suck here

  • They're really confusing

  • If you get this app you can be like "I'm in Tokyo right now, and I wanna go here!"

  • And then you can choose what you want

  • If you want the cheapest route or the fastest route

  • There's English ones, and there's Japanese ones

  • I use the Japanese version

  • So I say Tokyo at the top, Shibuya at the bottom

  • So the station in the middle here is the station you need to transfer at

  • So it tells you you have 4 minutes to get to your transfer spot

  • Just very helpful!

  • Something that may not be common sense in a lot of countries these days

  • Japan is a cash society

  • So you kinda need to have cash here when you go around

  • A lot of stores don't take credit cards

  • Especially if they're smaller or not in a big city

  • Or if you're paying for admission to something

  • Like a shrine, it probably won't take a credit card

  • I would say about 70% of the places I go don't accept credit cards

  • Even ones that you would really think would

  • Like a big department store or something

  • You'll be surprised, so always have cash on you for sure

  • So Tokyo has 2 main airports

  • Narita and Haneda airport

  • Narita airport is actually located in Chiba prefecture

  • Which is the prefecture beside Tokyo

  • And it takes quite a while to get into Tokyo from Narita airport

  • So if possible...

  • It's kinda rare because most planes do go to Narita

  • if you're coming from outside of Japan

  • But if you can get a flight that comes into Haneda, I'd say go with that one

  • It's a lot easier

  • You'll be able to get into downtown Tokyo a lot quicker

  • Always go for Haneda if you can

  • A cool thing about Japan is that there's basically no tipping here

  • So you don't have to worry when you go to a restaurant, you don't leave a tip

  • You don't leave a tip for taxi drivers or... anything

  • I can't think of any instance where you would be expected to leave a tip

  • I've never been in a situation where I've had to leave a tip here

  • So don't worry about it! Hair dressers, taxis, pizza man

  • Nothing, literally. Just remember no tipping in Japan!

  • And you'll be fine

  • Even if you feel like you wanna leave a tip, I don't think you should

  • Even if you feel like "This person was really awesome, I wanna give them a bonus!"

  • They'll just feel awkward

  • And they'll come running outside to give it back to you

  • So it's probably better not to do it even if you really want to

  • Because they just don't really understand the tipping culture here

  • They assume you lost it or something

  • And I think they feel really weird about trying to keep it

  • Exactly, even if you try to explain to them

  • If you just say thank you, you are above most customers

  • That's so true!

  • No one says thank you so they'll really appreciate that

  • I find that really awkward

  • When you're in the grocery store and they ring in your groceries and hand them to you

  • or give you your change or something

  • Most people just take it

  • And I'm always like ah, thank you!

  • So seriously, if you just say arigatou gozaimasu everytime something happens

  • They're happy

  • They'll know that you appreciate their service

  • This'll probably be a really helpful one for lots of you guys

  • I know that it's come in very handy for me

  • Google Translate!

  • I know it has a horrible reputation, and you guys are all thinking but it sucks!

  • and it translates things horribly!

  • It really does.

  • But there is one function on it that is very awesome and very accurate

  • That is the camera function

  • If you open up Google translate

  • You will see a little camera picture here

  • And if you click the camera

  • It will turn into a camera, and you can find some kanji

  • Let's find some kanji that we can't read

  • Oh yeah there we go!

  • So you're in the toy store, and you're wondering what the heck this is

  • So what you do is take a picture of the Japanese writing on the box

  • And it will pick up any kanji that it sees in the picture

  • and you can just highlight with your finger the ones that you want it to read

  • And it will give you the English for it! Refridgerator!

  • Isn't that so cool?

  • With old school kanji apps you had to write them out with your finger while looking at it

  • or you had to look through a list of kanji to find the correct one

  • But with this all you have to do is take a picture

  • So cool!

  • Yeah it's very very awesome I use this all the time

  • Really reccomend that not only for kanji, but if you can't read hiragana or katakana

  • It will translate that for you as well

  • So download Google translate and use the camera function

  • So there are 3 potential problems you could run into with bathrooms here

  • The most common is that they don't have soap when you're washing your hands

  • So I always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer around with me

  • because I get sick really easily

  • So I always wanna wash my hands

  • Especially before I eat

  • #2 is they might not have a way to dry your hands

  • That's also very common

  • So some people carry handkerchiefs around with them

  • Like old times, handkerchiefs

  • Or like a little face cloth

  • So you can dry your hands after you use the bathroom

  • You'll see that facecloths are sold EVERYWHERE

  • And you're probably wondering WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FACE CLOTHS

  • It's because people keep them in their bags so they can dry their hands

  • I don't I'm not that crazy, I just...

  • That works too

  • And the third problem, which is quite rare but does happen occasionally

  • There are some toilets that don't have toilet paper

  • Oh I've never come across one of those

  • I've come across 2 so far

  • Yikes

  • I think one was in the Nagoya subway station

  • I think they had a problem with people stealing the toilet paper

  • So they got rid of it

  • They might have it now, it was a long time ago

  • Another one was in Akita prefecture

  • We were driving around the backroads and found an outhouse at the bus stop, and there was no toilet paper

  • Not like they ran outta toilet paper, there was no place to put toilet paper

  • But that's not very common

  • But just in case, bring tissues or something

  • But the hand thing is very common

  • You'll very rarely see paper towels

  • and sometimes you'll see the hand driers

  • Okay one thing that is shopping related

  • If you're going to try on clothes, most likely you will have to take your shoes off

  • before entering the change room

  • You'll be able to tell if you need to

  • because they'll have a little step up to go into the change room

  • If there's a step, that always means you need to take your shoes off

  • It's usually carpeted too

  • Yeah there'll be a carpet

  • If it looks nice and clean, you probably need to take your shoes off

  • If they just have a curtain around an area

  • And it's just the same type of flooring going all the way through

  • then you might be okay leaving your shoes on

  • But I'd say most often you need to take them off

  • So if you're unsure, maybe just look at someone and point at your shoes

  • They'll probably know what you're asking

  • I'm sure that lots of people ask that

  • If you're unsure I would say to take them off to be safe

  • One other thing about changing rooms

  • is you'll find this little white face mask thingy inside of your changing room

  • That is to put over your face if you're going to try a shirt on

  • so that your makeup doesn't rub off on the shirt

  • So it's just like a white bag thing that you put over your face

  • It feels so dumb

  • I know!! (sometimes I don't do it...)

  • You put it on your head and then you put your shirt on

  • So that you don't get the makeup on it

  • That's pretty cool, it's annoying as hell, but it's cool

  • So that's what that is!

  • So I don't actually go to clubs or anything so I haven't experienced this myself

  • But word on the street! The cool people say!

  • If you are walking along a street full of host clubs, kyabakura etc

  • So like Roppongi, or Shinjuku... Kabukicho

  • If they have people on the street who are trying to pull you into the club

  • then that is supposed to be like not a good place to go into

  • It's not the same if a host is out on the street trying to attract customers

  • But if someone is actually trying to pull you in

  • Then a lot of those are kinda scammy

  • Like they will give you a really high cover charge, like $100

  • And then they'll force you to pay it before you can leave

  • So be kinda careful if you're gonna go to a place like that

  • Maybe try to go with friends who have been there before

  • Try to find a place that has a good reputation

  • Yeah, good reviews online or something

  • Don't go randomly into clubs because some of them are pretty pricey

  • Okay this should probably be #1

  • Conbinis in Japan are the best thing ever!!!

  • Conbini is short for convenience store

  • Because it's convenient!

  • But like SUPER convenient! Not like convenience stores back in Canada that suck

  • Japanese convenience stores have everything! Literally everything.

  • Snacks, clothing...

  • If you like spilled some food on your shirt and you need a new shirt

  • they sell tank tops or collared shirts

  • They even sell hair dye!

  • Because if Japanese people have coloured hair and they have to run to an interview or something

  • or a business meeting that popped up and they need to colour their hair back to the original colour

  • they'll sell black hair dye in the convenience store

  • You can mail packages!

  • Yeah! They have a post service

  • You can buy concert tickets

  • You can pay your bills at convenience stores

  • It's ridiculous, you can do anything

  • Honestly just think of something you need to do, you can probably do it there

  • 7-11, Sunkus, Family Mart... Lawson

  • They're all good! Everybody has their favourite conbini

  • LIke 7-11 has the best desserts, or Lawson has the best fried food

  • Family Mart fried chicken~~

  • Each one kinda has it's own specialty

  • but they're all really good