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  • So last time we talked about preparing for Japan, and this time we're going to

  • take with you to Japan, which is going to include the best way to exchange money,

  • what kind of clothes you should bring, toiletries, food, and gifts.

  • Now of course before you can go to japan the most important thing you need is your

  • passport, because you can't get into the country without it.

  • Now if you're going to be studying abroad or if

  • you're going to be working in japan also need a visa

  • but your place employment or your school will take care of that for you so

  • you don't even have to worry about it.

  • If you just want to visit Japan,

  • if you're one of 36 different countries you can participate in the

  • Visa Waiver Program which means you don't need a visa at all.

  • All you have to do is just arrive in Japan with your passport and a flight ticket

  • out of japan within those 90 or three months,

  • and that's all you need.

  • Now technically they want you to prove that you have enough money to survive in

  • Japan for the amount of time that you're going to be there.

  • They don't usually check but as long as you have some credit cards you should be ok.

  • But you're not going to japan without money anyway so what's the best way to

  • get your money there?

  • You can take cash to Japan and exchange it at the airport or large post offices or

  • some banks,

  • but if you do that they're gonna give you a really crappy exchange rate and you're

  • gonna be really disappointed.

  • You can take travelers cheques which are safer than cash,

  • and they'll give you a slightly less crappy exchange rate,

  • but it'll still be kinda crappy. And you have to exchange travelers cheques at a

  • post office or the airport.

  • You can't use them at any stores in Japan or anything like that.

  • Now what most people do is they withdraw money from their credit cards

  • at ATMs in Japan.

  • Now not all credit cards can do this and not all ATMs accept this so make sure

  • you do your research before you come to Japan without any cash at all.

  • The ATMs in 7/11 convenience stores are probably your best bet for this

  • because they accept most major credit cards. Keep in mind that your credit

  • card might charge you a fee for this, though.

  • The way I personally exchange money is by withdrawing money from an ATM with

  • a Capital One Bank debit card. It may not be the best way but it's the best way

  • I know how, because it charges no foreign transaction fees,

  • no fees for using an ATM and if the ATM itself charges you a fee it even

  • reimburses a set amount of that every month.

  • And the 1% fee charged by Mastercard itself-- Capital One eats that fee for you

  • and that makes it the only bank that does not.

  • So you essentially get to exchange money for no fees at all: it's free.

  • If you're paying attention though you'll realize

  • that I didn't say anything about the exchange rate that Capital One uses.

  • And that's where things get tricky because it's difficult to pin down what

  • the exact difference is between the actual exchange rate

  • and the exchange rate that you receive is.

  • Some companies hide fees by adjusting exchange rates, so how does Capital One's

  • exchange rate compare?

  • Well, this morning I took out \10,000 from my account which withdrew $124.89.

  • According to Google at that time,

  • \10,000 was worth $123.35, or the difference of $1.54.

  • At the same time according to x-rates.com,

  • \10,000 was worth $124.56 or the difference of 33 cents.

  • So all in all it doesn't look like Capital One is hiding much in fees

  • in their exchange rate, if any at all.

  • I do recommending your own research before making any decisions about money, though

  • because for one companies change their policies all the time and what

  • might be true now might not be true later.

  • As for what kind of clothes you should bring, it

  • really depends on what time of the year it is, where

  • in Japan you're going and how much you wanna conform to local standards.

  • If you're going to be in central Japan around Tokyo, Nagoya or Osaka

  • then in the winner at the coldest it gets maybe a little below freezing

  • but in the summer it gets to be upper 20s or a little over 30, or

  • 80s - 90s Fahrenheit.

  • But more than that it's humid! It's extremely humid in Japan.

  • It's so bad that sometimes you can be outside for just a couple minutes and

  • then you'll be drenched in sweat.

  • But what's even worse than that is

  • Japan likes to keep their buildings really cold

  • so once you go inside you need a jacket even though you were sweating outside.

  • As for what Japanese people actually wear,

  • well I've linked to a really great resource for fashion in men and women

  • down below.

  • In general Japanese people love layers and loose fitting clothing.

  • Guys whatever you wear you're probably going to be fine

  • so I'm not gonna spend too much time talking about that,

  • but for ladies there are a couple different

  • standards that most Japanese women tend to abide by.

  • Japan is a leg country!

  • It's acceptable to show off as much leg as you want here.

  • Miniskirts? No problem at all!

  • They frequently wearing leggings or tights underneath those as well,

  • and sometimes even the type that stops at your upper thigh--

  • those are acceptable as well.

  • However Japanese women are very conservative

  • when it comes to the chest area-- they don't show anything at all.

  • If you want to be really safe I would keep it just a couple inches below your

  • collar bone.

  • There are of course exceptions, and as a foreigner you won't be held to the same

  • standards anyway.

  • However, as a woman with a low-cut shirt you will be making a lot of

  • Japanese boys blush. People will stare.

  • Some people will stare openly, others will wait until you pass or turn away but

  • they will stare.

  • No matter how much you like attention, eventually you'll want them to stop

  • staring, so make sure you at least bring something that's appropriate!

  • In general there are a few things that Japanese people don't usually wear as well,

  • such as sweats, hoodies, or t-shirts of any kind that

  • advertise your favorite band tv show, anime... whatever.

  • An exception to this would be Disney or Ghibli, though as a guy you're probably

  • not going to want to wear those things anyway.

  • They do have lots of shirts with English lettering on them so that's fine,

  • but if you have something with Japanese characters on it don't bring it because

  • they would not wear that here.

  • They do wear crocs, though.

  • And now for toiletries!

  • In the interest of saving time I've sped up the video, but if you wanna see a

  • picture more clearly you can just pause it. This is the deodorant section for men,

  • which is tiny and inefficient.

  • For women have a much greater variety but it's a bit expensive and you're

  • probably better off just bringing a stick from home.

  • Men, you're definitely going to want to bring some from home, too.

  • They have the major foreign brands for shaving needs as well, like Gilette and

  • Venus. The price for those isn't too far off from America,

  • but with the exchange rate it's probably cheaper to bring your own refills.

  • Foreign shampoo brands include Herbal Essences, Vidal Sassoon, Pantene,

  • Dove, and Lux.

  • The bags on the bottom are for refills. As for lotions, cleansers, body washes etc

  • they have all of that and more, though it seems like they don't really

  • have shower gel. So if you use that then you might want to bring some.

  • Ladies for your feminine hygiene products they have all the regulars though tampons

  • are really pricey so you might want to bring some from home.

  • To save on space just take them out of the box when you pack them.

  • Panty liners and pads are really reasonably priced.

  • I also recommend bringing your own pillow if you're picky about those types

  • of things.

  • If you stay in a dorm in Japan chances are that provide you with a pillow that's full

  • of these hard plastic bean/bead type things which is not very comfortable at all.

  • I usually take my pillow as a carry-on on the plane,

  • and then you can use it to sleep on the plane as well.

  • If you get airline that's picky they might tell you combine it with your carry-on

  • item or your purse,

  • so just bring a large bag and you can stick all of that in there together

  • while you're going through the line, and then take it back on the plane,

  • that's fine.

  • For electronics Japan has two-prong sockets and lower voltage the most

  • countries,

  • so if you're coming from America the only kind of adapter you need

  • is one that takes a three-prong plug to a two-prong plug.

  • You don't need anything for voltage.

  • For food, they do have stores that sell international food here,

  • but it's ridiculously expensive.

  • For a box of cake mix that might cost $1 in America, it could cost you $8 or $10 here.

  • They have a small variety of nuts but they're very expensive

  • and if you like pecans you can only get them in the international food store.

  • If you bake it's really difficult to find powdered sugar here and chocolate

  • chips and other toppings are not only extremely expensive

  • but, the package sizes are extremely small.

  • I've seen nutella here as well but the jar was also really tiny and it was

  • expensive.

  • The cereal selection here is really small, too.

  • They have a couple bran types, and then frosted, corn, or chocolate flakes or

  • crispies,

  • as well as a few types of mixed cereals that have nuts and fruits

  • that are really good but they're really expensive. You can get pancake mix, though.

  • In general if there's a food that you love and

  • you're allowed to bring it across borders, so not meat of vegetables,

  • then you might as well just go ahead and bring it.

  • And of course if you're coming to Japan you should bring gifts!

  • Gift-giving is an important part of the culture here and you'll give them to your

  • co-workers, your host family, people who invite you over to their home...

  • Chances are you'll end up giving a gift to to someone, so bring a couple small