Travel Advice: Useful Travel Tips in Japan.


Security and safety issues:

There is a low threat of terrorist, political or social unrest within the confines of Japan, with the crime rate been very-low compared to other developed countries. However, there is a zero tolerance policy with regards to illegal drugs, either of consumption or possession.

Be aware that Japan does not support the International child custody policy of the Hague Convention, and most likely, Japanese Family Law is not closely comparable with other western counterparts. Furthermore, to be taken under custody within the grounds of any affiliation toward a crime, the suspect can be detained for 23 days, without being formally charged and bail is seldom granted for foreigners.

Valid visa, passports, and necessary paper works must be held by persons at all times. Travel insurance is highly recommended, with medical treatment of any kind, requiring a full payment afterwards.

Although it is safe to walk at night, it is advised that necessary caution be taken at all times, or the equivalent amount of precaution that is taken within ones home country.

Natural Disasters:

As Japan has a high statistical rate of earthquake and tremors, as well as typhoons, and depending on varying factors Tsunamis, precaution at all times, and been aware of emergency procedures and warnings will become necessary.

If a traveler intends to stay within a specific location for a set period of time, it is suggested that the traveler becomes familiar with the evacuation procedures of that district, and to follow all necessary instructions. Evacuation areas are most likely to be Schools and open grounds.

Etiquette:

Japanese society is based upon secular and communal principles; therefore a hierarchal system of social communication and etiquette becomes necessary and a part of everyday life. Although foreigners are treated with high regard, it is essential to follow and respect social customs and local laws, to repay any form of hospitality that is granted.

The following video is a educational video made for the Tokyo Orientation Seminar for the JET programme



Greeting

To greet someone, bowing from the waist is the norm. The degree to which to bow, depends on how respected and what social level that person is. For example, you would bow deeper for your employer then to your work colleagues.

Table etiquette

Primarily, you allow the host, unless asked to start the meal. Do not drag the dish you wish to eat, merely take it at an angle with your chopstick, (do not poke), and always decide what you would like to take, prior to the outward movement.

Space

Personal space is a very important aspect of an individual in Japan. Although in circumstances such as a crowded subway train, it cannot be helped. However, when bowing or greeting, it is necessary to be at least a 3-4 feet away. Allocating personal space is important, such as sitting on the train, you seat is the allocated area of the place you sit in. Speaking loudly, especially on the train or public transport is, in particular a answering your mobile phone, and speaking loudly is a taboo.

By observing the above video, it may help to understand the visual acts and consequences of them that is to emphasis the notion of Japanese etiquette.

General Tips:

If you intend to travel Japan, it is important to plan your trip, with regards to public transport, in particular the train, it is unnecessary to wait or presume that is it going to be late, unless other information states otherwise. Public transport is reliable to the minute of departure and arrival.

Photocopying important information and safe-keeping the originals in another location, allows for precautions to be made, in the case of theft or other situations.

The internet in Japan is very reliable; gathering information such as the train timetables, weather, or any kind of travel information is kept up to date by the minute.

Prior to the trip, it is important that you become familiar with the standards and guidelines depicted in the national foreign affairs department website, of your affiliated country.

Useful Information

Japan Event Calender
YouTube - Visit Japan Channel
Weather, Climate & Earthquakes
Latest weather related news and climate, weather and earthquake information.

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