Some ear-plugs, an eye-mask, and skin lotion can also help. Before your flight, sign up with a frequent flier program — many airlines have them, and eventually you can get free flights through them. If your final destination will be in a large or medium size city other than Tokyo or Osaka, you might consider flying via Seoul. If you have to do an overnight near Haneda or Narita Airport, there are inexpensive hotels close by.
All of them have blackout dates but follow the international baggage rules and cost less than half the normal air fare. You must also have a round trip or onward ticket and the passes can only be bought outside of Japan before the start of the international trip. ANA also has an Experience Japan Fare with no blackout dates but 20kg total bag limit and no refund or date change possibility. Some have very cheap international routes to Korea, Taiwan, China, and beyond.
Note however that these very low fares have low to no free bag allowance, and may have no refundability or date changes. If you find you have just too much stuff for you to carry, look into luggage transport services in the Japanese airport, which can deliver your things anywhere in the country at a time you designate for a reasonable fee.
In many cases you are limited to 2 suitcases usual max wt. A small backpack is also allowable. If taking multiple airlines, each may assess its own excess bag charges. If you get a ticket allowing a prior seat assignment, or arrive at the airport check-in counter early enough, you may be able to choose a better seat. One of the best is the exit row behind the emergency door. This allows you to both stretch your legs and try and get some sleep.
Bring lots of deodorant! Likewise typhoon season is mostly around August-Sept. It rarely snows any heavy amount except for the mountains, but the northern part usually has plenty of snow in the winter.
Autumn is by far the best time to visit Japan, as far as the weather goes. For help on getting from Tokyo Narita Airport to the city, click here. You could also take the train. Some may also have nosebleeds for a few days because of the bone-dry air on the aircraft. A saline nasal spray can help prevent and alleviate this.
Taking melatonin at bedtime after arriving may help you put your body clock back in sync. It would be best to keep a light schedule for your first few days. This allows them to conduct financial transactions in your name for you. Inside Japan they have a better exchange rate unless perhaps you are coming from an area with a lot of Japanese tourists or countries with a smaller economy than Japan. The Japanese airport bank may be a bit higher than the rest of Japan but could be better than where you are from see their current rates here or from Mizuho Bank or TCS and decide for yourself.
Aside from these however, other cards will be virtually useless in Japan. Bringing a Pet with You to Japan There have been many requests for info on what needs to be done for taking a dog or cat to Japan. The first step is to have your pet fitted with a microchip for identification.
Then there is a blood test at a Japanese approved lab that shows a serum antibody level of at least 0. At least days but less than 2 years should have elapsed since the blood test upon your arrival in Japan; plus your pet should be given periodic booster shots, and not appear ill when it arrives. You are supposed to notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service at least 40 days prior to your arrival.
More detailed info is provided by the Japanese Quarantine Office so read through it carefully. Also the number of cages per flight may be limited so it would be good to reserve a spot for your pet as soon as possible. People coming from a designated rabies-free area have a bit looser regulations, as well as animals of US military personnel. If you satisfy all the requirements, the quarantine time for your pet will be less than 12 hours — usually far less. But because there is no guarantee, if you try to make a same day connection to another Japanese city, there is a chance that you might miss your flight.
If your pet must be quarantined, the costs are typically yen per day for a private company to hold and feed your pet, which will be done at your port of entry, not your final destination. Failure to follow proper procedures could be financially disastrous since your pet will have to be quarantined up to days.
Your airline may also have other regulations or surcharges such as cage type and weight, especially with regards to taking the pet with you in the cabin PETC or stowing it in the aircraft belly AVIH , so be sure to contact them as early as possible before your flight.
It may cost several hundred dollars to take your pet, plus some airlines have restrictions on taking pets in the summer and if you have multiple same day connections it may not be possible at all. Be aware though that in Japan most apartment owners do NOT allow cats and dogs. Full info is here. Also since November, every time a non-citizen enters Japan, getting fingerprinted and photographed is required. You can apply for a visa in or out of Japan.
If your landing permit expires before the visa is ready, you must leave the country to get the work visa. Most people fly to Korea for this.
Some can work legally in some field entertainer, chef, etc. To get a student visa however, many times the Immigration Dept. Your new cute girlfriend or that cool dude you hang out with will not be acceptable. The only other viable legal options to work in Japan are through a spouse visa by marrying a Japanese, or a dependent visa by being married to a foreigner in Japan who is legally working full time.
Many cheaper regional rail passes also exist. If you are only staying in one area or traveling very slowly, then a regional pass or series of them make be better, and most may be purchased after arriving in Japan, plus given some restrictions multiple passes can be bought. Check the options in the JR Group companies at the bottom of the rail pass page. The links list at the bottom also have a lot of useful information. Japan changed its system somewhat in July , but the card system is essentially the same.
The registration card however now has more data, including biometric data on it, and you need to register at a government office with 14 days of moving into your residence. If you change your residence you must get a certificate of moving out Tenshutsu shomeisho that you need to submit to your new local government office.
Noteworthy changes are that now you are listed like Japanese are, as a basic resident juminhyo. Also changed is the re-entry system for leaving Japan and coming back. You must carry your residence card with you at all times unless you are 15 year old or under and present it to any policeman or immigration officer who requests to see it. Failure to do so may result in a trip to jail or a stiff fine. Legal permanent residents must apply for the new residence card within 3 years from July The others, you had better leave behind.
TV frequencies are different as well — and the US and other country digital broadcasts are not the same. Besides, your suitcase space is precious and you can get a used TV in Japan cheaply. Having a computer with a high speed net connection can be quite a delight though for sending pictures, nearly free phone calls on Skype or Dingtone etc, chatting, hearing radio from back home or seeing the news whenever you want. Many new shows are on the network sites themselves, but geoblocked for users outside America, the UK, etc.
A few other important items on bringing a computer with a non-Japanese OS. If you get Japanese software or hardware with Japanese software to install the drivers it may or may not function properly, and all the dialog windows may look like garbage. In terms of prices, these days many Japanese products are not really cheaper than in North America, but still may be a bargain compared to Europe.
If you buy something in Japan, the manual may only be in Japanese, and the warranty only good in Japan. Buying international models solves those problems but then there are far less savings. You may also need to spend even more for accessories, like software and cables to hook up a digital camera or camcorder to a computer, whereas elsewhere they may be included.
If you are in some isolated area, you can still shop at stores in the cheaper electronics districts online at Kakaku. Japanese still send lots of faxes, and if you think you might be needing to send or receive them, you might look into doing it through e-mail.
The Japanese cell phone system is unique and incompatible with other systems but at the airport you can rent a sim card for your 3G phone and then use it. Ones with unlimited data cost about yen per day. Another option is a disposable sim card, such as by econnect or umobile , but you can only use it for data and not voice calls.
If your phone is not unlocked however, you may need an unlock code when you insert the new sim card. Your provider can help or you can try this site. Japan also has no GSM network, so if your phone only has that you are out of luck. Using your phone for calls and text is one thing, but for data it can get expensive quickly still better than roaming charges to your company back home though.
Watch out for data roaming charges or you could get stuck with a bill of several hundred dollars or worse. All the wi-fi rentals essentially use the same networks to connect, so availability is more or less comparable. Be sure however to check daily data limits and factor in any delivery charges. Choose the price and plan that suits you best. Note that just getting one at the airport may be far more expensive than reserving a unit online ahead of time. For those in Japan looking for a free WiFi hotspot, you may be in for a shock — there are comparatively few.
Starbucks now offers free wi-fi although you have to register and set it up ahead of time , but other places like McDonalds that have the wi-fi service often require a paid contract with a paid service like Wi2 or a Japanese cell phone provider. You may be able to find one though at some hotels or on a site like Freespot. One person collected a list of places in Japan in , and is probably mostly still reliable.
NTT East also offers a free 14 day wi-fi service for the northern half of the country, and JR West provides a free 8 day wi-fi connection at major stations prior registration required. Many cities, subways, and other rail lines are also starting to offer free wi-fi with a large influx of tourists for the Olympics in mind. If you do find a hot spot, be aware that it may not be truly secure and your passwords or financial info could be compromised.
Do not expect fast service with the freebies, however.