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Travel Tips for Japan You Must Know

March 5, 2018

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Hello everyone! And welcome to a non-food related video. What’s this?! Yes, a video that we hope you find helpful for your trip to Japan, so here are some travel tips we want to share with you, in case you ever do fly to this side of the world.

So, in the video we taught you where to find bathrooms, chargers, and free wifi, along with the importance of Google Maps in Japan, and how you should approach Tokyo Station, which I really hope some people living in Japan agree with us on. I’ve never spoken with anyone about it, but we’ve both just always been flustered whenever we had to take a Shinkansen from Tokyo Station. Here are some more tips we’d like to share:

More Travel Tips for Japan

Luggage on Shinkansen – We usually like to buy our tickets for the back of the cart. Why? Because there’s usually a gap of space between the end seats and the wall, and that gap is big enough for the luggage we bring. Some of you might be annoyed with that seat because it’s by the door to exit the cart as well, so it might open and close a lot and disturb you, but it doesn’t bother us. Easy access to our luggage matters.

Reservations – if you’re planning a trip to Japan, and you have some places you know you want to go, try to reserve those many months in advance. If you’re looking for a high end sushi experience, it’s really tough to just walk in and get one. You can’t just go to the Ghibli Museum. Some themed cafes you can’t just walk up to either. Figure out what you want to do as soon as you book your flight, and then see if you can book seats for the things you would like to experience here in Japan.

Itinerary Planning – just from a personal recommendation, I gotta say, I don’t like the itineraries I see some people plan. Just, whoa, too overwhelming. I see people plan to visit six different places per day, to run to this place and then go to that place. Chill out. Tokyo is immensely rewarding for just wandering around. Plan some time to go to a random subway stop, and spend a few hours walking around. Go to a bar with a menu you can’t read, from a shop sign you don’t understand. Leave yourself open to exploring. It’s my favorite way to experience Japan.

Apple Maps Sucks – I’ve deleted it from my phone. I’ve entered addresses into it before and followed it and ended up half an hour away from where I needed to be. And the whole time Martina was like “are you sure” and I’m like “yeah it says so here in the app” and then we ended up in the middle of the suburbs far from where we’re supposed to go SCREW YOU APPLE MAPS. We’ve never had that issue with Google Maps.

Choose Your Airport Wisely – Narita and Haneda are the two major airports you can fly into, and both offer different benefits. We fly into Haneda mostly because it’s a lot closer to our house than Narita. So, if you know where you will be staying, choose the airport that’s closest to you. After a long international flight, sitting on a bus for an extra hour that you could have shaved off will be annoying. So, look into that.

And that’s it for now! If you’ve got other questions, we’d love to hear them, and maybe we can make a video out of it in the future. Otherwise, if you’re looking for something a little more silly, you can check out the bloopers below!

Side note, that Starbucks skit was filmed in the summer, which is why you don’t see any of my new tattoos on my arms. We’ve had that footage for a while. We just didn’t know what to do with it. We have a bunch of footage that we don’t know what to do with…

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Travel Tips for Japan You Must Know

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  1. Great video! I agree with a lot of the tips in this video – especially the train etiquette and the dispose of your stuff in the restaurant, cafe etc if you can because good luck finding a garbage can.

    Another tip I have for travellers, if you plan to do a lot of travelling via Shinkansen get the JR Rail Pass if you can. I cannot stress enough how it is worth the price if you use it correctly and the JR site has a tool to help you determine if it is worth it. To give you a little idea of how expensive Shinkansen tickets are for residents I bought a one way ticket from Kyoto to Shin-Yokohama station (which is like a stop before Tokyo) it cost 122,00¥ which is roughly 122$ a 7 day rail pass is 29,110¥ or just under 300$ for a week of travel on almost all JR trains – including certain Shinkansen, local train lines around Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto basically anywhere that has a JR line and even on ferry boats. Making a trip to Hiroshima and want to check out Miyajima Island? Have the JR rail pass and you can skip the ferry boat fees.

    These passes are only valid for non-residents – so if you are just in Japan to travel I highly recommend. I have used one as a tourist and now that I am a resident I am sad that I haven’t found an equivalent for residents.

    7 months ago
  2. Hey guys! I’ve been a YouTube lurker for quite some time, and have been waiting for an appropriate video to comment on (got backlogged and missed some better opportunities).
    I love your ‘edutainment’ videos about Japan! I have been planning to visit for years, and have finally just booked a trip to Tokyo for late May (EDS Awareness month!). 
    Speaking of which…I also very much appreciate your videos about dealing with chronic/invisible illness (how I found you in the first place). I also have HEDS (and various comorbidities), and it took a lifetime (over 30 years) of garbage doctor visits to finally be diagnosed about 5 years ago by a Geneticist. I was also recently approved for disability, so part of the backpay I waited 3.5 years for…is funding my dream trip!
    I am excited and apprehensive, as my longest flight thus far was 8hrs, so this main 14hr flight will definitely be a challenge for me, but luckily I’ll have my awesome husband to lean on (literally!).

    Martina, don’t worry, I’m not gonna ask to meet up…Just know that there will be a fellow zebra hobbling around Tokyo :)
    Keep up the great work guys!!!

    7 months ago
  3. Hey! This post is super helpful! :D Thank you so much for the info.
    Also,I heard that Haneda is a really interesting and fun place to visit, so I booked my return flight for there so I could check it out. You said you guys use it a lot, so do you find it fun?? I hope that’s not a weird question lol but the 20+ hr flight from Tokyo back to Canada is a pain and it would be nice to have a silver lining ( ̄▼ ̄)

    7 months ago
    • Ahhh, airports aren’t something I’d ever thought of as fun. We just pop in an out in as little time as possible. I heard there’s lots to do there, though!

      7 months ago
      • Probably, with the amount of flying you do! I guess I’ll find out when I go there ^♡^

        7 months ago
        • There are a few cool shops and stuff in the international terminal in Haneda. Like souvenir stores, character good stores etc, but those are before security – so if you get there early drop off your bags and explore. After security there are a few duty free stores and a couple of restaurants – and the food options are pretty good all things considered. Where in Canada are you flying from? If it’s the GTA Air Canada offers direct flights from Pearson to Haneda and back – if you ever plan on going back to Japan myself and everyone I know prefers that flight.

          7 months ago
        • Thank you so much ! I live in New Brunswick and all the flights have a minimum of two stops ;;

          7 months ago
  4. I LOVE soggy fries from McD’s!

    7 months ago
  5. Ahaha this was your funniest video in a long time thanks for this, I’ll definitely use these tips whenever I go to Tokyo!

    7 months ago
  6. Hello Simon and Martina. I’m planning to visit Japan next year (probably in April) but I’m travelling alone so I have zero experience going to a totally different country (I’m from El Salvador, small but really beautiful country), and the only countries I have visited are Guatemala, Honduras and México(this was the only place that I went by myself), and all of them are spanish speaking countries, so going so far from here, facing language obstacles it just scares me and I don’t think I’m confident enough to go just by myself to Japan. So I was planning to go on a 1 or 2 weeks Guided Tour and I was wondering if you know some companies that offers this kind of service? OH!!! I want to tell you that your youtube channel is AMAZING; I’ve been watching your videos since you were in South Korea and now that you share all the interesting videos from Japan I made up my mind and I’m really want to go to Japan.

    7 months ago
  7. Hello Sitina,

    My name is Stefan and I live in San Francisco, CA. I would like to first express my appreciation for the content you create. My partner and I along with my buddy and his gal will be going to Japan in next month for the cherry blossom festival and if it wasn’t for you, this trip may never have happened. I was wondering if you could make a list of all the various restaurants you’ve been to and recommended in Tokyo so we can plan accordingly. I’ve already stressed the importance of Coco Curry and Saitamaya, but I know there is plenty more for us to taste and would love to see a Tokyo food mix video of all your various adventures so far.

    In any case, thank you for all of your hard work and passion for culinary delights. I look forward to your future videos.

    Best regards,
    Stefan

    6 months ago
  8. You guys are already lifesavers and I haven’t even got to Tokyo yet (a whole year to go… yeesh, is it too early to be counting the days? >.>)

    6 months ago
  9. Oh my god I feel like such a dumbass. I went to Japan summer ’16 and I had a weird health thing going on at the time where I needed to drink alot of water all the time and I was constantly looking for somewhere to use the bathroom and I never realized they had them in convenience stores. That said, I did realize that alot of the train stations have bathrooms. They were also very clean.

    7 months ago
  10. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hahahaha! Simon *KNEW* we all couldn’t resist checking out the bento first! I really like the back-handed way you guys have of presenting information, it’s actually easier to remember than just a straight-forward dry informational video. Lots of cool train footage….. I think that this video was very helpful but I’m kind of surprised that you didn’t show how to find an elevator at a station, since you were there already. I did like all the wide landscape(?) shots of you guys moving around, it really helped to show the areas better. I have no idea if the extra bits are just video you don’t have a home for but they are awesome. I feel so TOTALLY levelled up XD………………………. And here, I know that the Olympics are over now but I saw this clip and totally thought of Martina, hope it brings you a smile and lets you know that there are more Canadians like you than you think ;) Others will enjoy it too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4MpQAAlGrA

    7 months ago
    • Oh yeah, soggy fries are the best! XD The fatter, the better! (soggy fries are slightly damp and the salt sticks better too!)

      7 months ago
  11. Do you have a recommendation on the best way to get cash? Get Yen in your home country? Convert cash at the airport? Withdraw from an ATM that allows foreign debit cards?

    5 months ago
  12. Wow Martina, it’s clearly visible that you lost a lot of weight. I know you cannot work out, so you must stick to strict diet. I HATE dieting. Working out is the only thing that I enjoy when losing weight. If it was just diet I would never make it. So I’m really impressed.

    7 months ago