Learn a few words in Japanese. Excuse Me. Thank you. Please. Yes. No. Can go a long way. Japanese students study English. Anyone college age students and most high school age students will have a working mastery of English. If you are white, they will assume you are an American. They may even want to...
Best answer: Learn a few words in Japanese. Excuse Me. Thank you. Please. Yes. No. Can go a long way. Japanese students study English. Anyone college age students and most high school age students will have a working mastery of English. If you are white, they will assume you are an American. They may even want to practice English with you. Hotels will always have someone on duty that can speak English. If you ever need help, get lost, or are trying to use the subway -- find a college age person and ask for help. There is about a 90% chance they will speak excellent English and they will help you. They may even walk you to the correct subway car to make sure you are taken care of. Japan is very safe. You can drink the water. Personal hygiene is probably better than the US. There is a lot of curiosity towards Americans since you will stand out. If you are 6' or taller and a white male with blonde hair, expect to be stared at. There are a lot of English signs - 7/11, KFC, MacDonald's, Pizza Hut, etc. No tipping in restaurants. Many of the small restaurants have a display of plastic food outside and often there are pictures on the menu. If you are willing to try Japanese food (DO IT), the cooks and wait staff will be helpful and patient. Pointing and maybe asking some questions will get you a long ways. If you are in Tokyo, go to the shopping districts. The electronics stores are pretty wild with a lot of products, displays, and price variety. You can ALWAYS negotiate prices at stores. There is some subtle racism towards Americans. They expect them to be loud and rude when drinking. If you go out, you may have problems with a cab picking you up. Try sake. It will impress people you are with. In Japan, it is polite to pour drinks for another person. You can get into trouble if you go out with a group and they are refilling your glass every time you empty it. Go to a ramen shop and sit at the counter. Slurp the noodles and hold up one of the manga comic books so you don't splash people across from you. Being able to use chopsticks properly will be appreciated. Carry a handkerchief in your pocket. Most of the restaurants don't have napkins.
Ask at the hotel for advice. Go to a tea ceremony. Many department stores have these. Ask for food recommendations. Take a lot of pictures. Be open to trying new things. Walk around the hotel to "get lost" and find interesting places. Have fun.
3 weeks ago