Guide for First-Timers in Japan

Beautiful Shinjuku
Here it is folks, the entry you’ve all been waiting for: my guide to Japan! And what makes this guide so special? Well to be honest, not much. I know that there are a plethora of resources out there for the do’s and dont’s when you visit the Land of the Rising Sun and this guide isn’t that. I’m not going to teach you about etiquette or how to behave. I’m not going to teach you about how to separate your trash or what to do when you go to pray at temples. I may throw in some phrases that are useful to know but really, I just wanted to write out my perspective on one of my favourite places. So if you want to learn about the things I wished I knew or was glad to know, the places I liked, the places I didn’t, and just any other tidbits of information I deem worthy of sharing, read onwards!

Be warned that this entry is extremely long and image-heavy so peruse at your own risk! To aid in your reading, here is a quick menu with all of the main sections:

  • Before Entering Japan
  • Random Tips While in Japan
  • Food Recommendations
  • Where to Shop
  • Other Things To Do
    If you want to see the full set of photos from Japan, please go here. Be warned that there are A LOT.

    Along the tracks near Shibuya Station
     Before Entering Japan
    One thing about me is that I am a prepper and a planner. I like to be lazy and I like for things to go smoothly. Generally I find that the more preparation I do in advance of something, the lazier I can be when that something rolls around. I find this to be especially true for travel and even more so when it comes to Japan so here are my tips and tricks for things to do before entering the country.

  • Pocket Wifi
  • First on the list is Pocket WiFi! This is something that I wouldn’t be able to survive without but the first time I went to Japan, I wasn’t even aware that existed. Luckily I have family there who picked us up from the airport and my cousin was kind enough to lend us her pocket Wifi for most of the trip.

    Pocket WiFi is just what it sounds like: a portable WiFi network that you can carry around in your pocket. What’s great is that you can rent them in Japan for a very reasonable price. In my experience, most people seem to recommend getting a data SIM card and while this sounds like a great option, it seems to me like it’s much more suitable for a lone traveler. I’ve never gone to Japan by myself so I have no experience with data SIMs but I can tell you all about Pocket WiFi!

    Alley I walked past every day on the way to Shibuya station
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