Travelling to Japan is a great thrill, so enjoy the journey and look forward to what will be a wonderful life memory.
Here are some handy hints to help you prepare for your Japan Package Tour.
Passport and tourist entry visas
All travelers must have valid passport with a minimum of six months validity remaining. Australian Passport holders visiting Japan as a tourist for a period of less than 90 days do not require a visa to enter Japan and will be issued a temporary entrance visa on the spot.
To those travelling on a non-Australian passport, please contact the Japanese Consulate to make sure a visa to enter Japan is not required.
Season clothing (Tokyo and vicinity)
Spring (Mar.-May): lightweight jackets and sweaters.
Summer (Jun.-Aug.): light clothing, short sleeves.
Autumn (Sep.-Nov.): same as spring.
Winter (Dec.-Feb.): coats, warm jackets and sweaters, thermals.
Good quality socks are recommended as shoes are customarily removed before entering many restaurants and all private homes.
Individual tipping is not common in Japan, since 10 to 15% service charge is added to the bill at leading hotels, ryokan and higher-class restaurants.
No tip is necessary unless you request some special services.
Historically Japan was very much a cash society with foreign tourists preparing large sums of yen cash before any holiday to Japan.
In recent years this has changed rapidly with International credit and debit cards issued by American Express, VISA, Diners Club, MasterCard and JCB readily accepted at a high percentage of restaurants and shops.
Cash is still a necessity for small local restaurants, vending machines and the purchase of local transport costs. Japan Rail now accept credit card as a form of payment for the purchase bullet train tickets as do most taxis.
Foreign issued credit, debit and cash cards can be used at the International ATM machines located in all Japanese Post Offices and 7Eleven convenience stores. These machines will also operate in English and conveniently dispense the local currency.
Manageable medium to large sized suitcases with wheels are highly recommended. As you travel around Japan by bullet train, this sized suitcase can be easily be placed in the compartment above where you sit. For travelers which extra large suitcases, the space between the final set of seats and the end of the carriage needs to be reserved directly with Japan Rail.
Most train stations are have international signs showing the location of the elevators and escalators so carrying luggage up and down staircases should be avoided. For
clients who require assistance with the transport of luggage, Japanese hotels can arrange a luggage sending service called Takyubin at a fee.
The electrical supply in Japan is 110 volts. Most modern electric appliances are dual voltage and will operate in Japan. An adaptor is required to allow your device to charge in a Japanese power point and these can be purchased at any duty free shop or travel shops.
Subject to availability, a hotel will often let you borrow an adaptor.
Food and Drink
Foodies will be very pleased with the many options of delicious food such as sukiyaki, tempura, sushi, shabu-shabu, yakitori, soba, okonomiyaki and much more.
In addition, many restaurants in Japan are brilliant at cooking Italian, French and Chinese food.
Eating out in Japan is much cheaper than here in Australia. Many restaurants display plastic and wax replicas of their dishes in front windows, or provide a English menu with colour photos.
Tap water is safe to drink anywhere in Japan and cool drinks can easily be purchased from vending machines and convenience stores.
Dial 110 for the police
Dial 119 to report a fire or to call an ambulance.
No coins are needed on public phones for these calls.
Other useful telephone numbers are as follows:
AMDA International Medical Information Centre (for medical information and English-speaking doctors and hospitals):
Tokyo Tel.(03) 5285-8088
Kansai Tel.(06) 4395-0555
For Tourist information:
Tokyo: (03) 3201 3331
Kyoto: (075) 371-5649
Travel insurance is an absolute must for Japan. There is little to no crime, but for peace of mind each traveler should be covered by comprehensive travel insurance.
Japan Package Tours is unable to accept any passenger who is not covered by some form of comprehensive travel insurance. Just a simple visit to the doctor in Japan can be a very expensive experience. Please alert us should you require assistance with purchasing a travel insurance policy.