yay! i finally had been to Japan! Tokyo in particular. and of course, before going there i did some research on where to go to, what to expect, etc. honestly, i got a little scared as readings said that the subway is confusing and there's not much english.
okay, subway is confusing at first but after 2 days, you'll be fine. and just have a map with you. hehe. and english? trust me! Japanese are like the kindest people. i guess i'll have another post dedicated to that. so no problem even if there's a language barrier.
since we received a lot of help from the Japanese, i am now writing this post to help those who are planning to go to Japan. well, these are the things that helped us in Tokyo.
1. Download Google map on your phone
Google map had been our bestfriend. we would rely on it too much. it tells us what train to ride and the time the train leaves and what platform. see! you won't be confused with the subway if you have this. hahaha.
but don't really trust the travel time for walking, i guess they timed those who walk really really fast. and i get lost with the walking directions. hehehe
2. Rent pocket wifi
first tip is to use google map. and if you are to use it, you would need an internet. you'll not always have an internet, so it'll be great if you rent one. another helpful thing in our travel. and it's not expensive.
i rented from this site: http://www.globaladvancedcomm.com/pocketwifi.html.and it was an easy process, i got mine from the post office in the airport and just mailed it there to return.
3. Get a PASMOcard
if you'll just be in Tokyo, this would save you time and also some Yen. yes, you get a little discount if you use PASMO than buy a ticket every single time you ride the subway. yes, you save time since you just tap and tap your card. and you can also use it on vendo machines!
and you can have it personalized!
4. Learn the word "Sumimasen"
it means Excuse Me. this is the first word you'll say to the Japanese if you'll ask for directions or call their attention to order, etc etc.
and it's like most of the foreigners i encountered during the trip who would pass by would say Sumimasen instead of excuse me.
5. Bring power bank
let me repeat it. you will be using google map on your phone, you will be using wifi. and i'm sure you will be using your phone's camera a lot.
so what does this mean?
low batt. solution: bring a power bank. what i have is a cheap power bank since i just use it rarely in the Philippines. but in Japan, i used it everyday. and it gave my phone a longer life even just a little
6. You can also learn the sentence: "____ doko desu-ka?" (pronounced as ____ doko des ka)
this means "Where is ____?"
this is just an option so you can also ask those who can't speak english. what i did sometimes was show a picture then say "doko desu-ka?". then the way was shown to me!
just a warning though. some gets excited that they would suddenly speak in straight fast japanese. so either you say, "sorry no Japanese" or if they show the way with hands i say "left then right?" also with hand gestures. then they'll know i don't speak in japanese. hehe.
if the direction is complicated and they can't speak english at all, just follow the first part of the directions then look for another person to ask. hehe
7. Wear comfortable shoes
i know it's good to be fashionable when traveling especially with all the OOTD posts that we see in sns. but trust me, if you're like us who would like to visit as many places as you can in your first trip to tokyo, you would walk a lot. as in a lot! so better to wear comfortable shoes. and guess what? sneakers and rubber shoes sell cheaper in japan! that's what i found out in our trip. you can buy a lot! :)
and a note to smokers, there are vending machines selling cigarettes but you cannot buy from those. to buy cigarettes from these, you would need a Japanese ID card.
well, that's it. i hope it would help you a lot in enjoying your trip to Tokyo. =)