Preparations before leaving
Here is a brief article that reviews preparations « before leaving for Japan ». Even if we had approached this theme, here is the practical side because we are in the Japanese capital since this morning ! So some little tricks can alleviate the legitimate tiredness after 12 hours of plane from Paris.
Passport or visa
A valid passport is required. French citizens (but also Belgian and Canadian) will have a temporary residence visa, valid for 90 days, automatically issued on arrival in Japan.
Return to the center of Tokyo from the airport
It takes 60 to 90 minutes to travel between Narita Airport and central Tokyo, a 30-40 minutes drive from Haneda Airport. Volunteers (blue knit) will help you with information !
– the train or subway (ex Narita Rail express line / platform 1 / for the Asakusa district); The tickets of the express are bought at level minus 1.
– the limousine bus (shuttle that joins most hotels) / voucher to order before the trip like the JR Pass
Cash or credit card payment
Go with Yen (change possible at CDG Roissy airport but limited amount); Even if CB is usual in Tokyo, as soon as we arrived at the airport cash was needed !
In Japan: one withdraws Yen in a ATM machine or in a bureau de change, with his credit card. Limit often to ¥ 50,000 (~ € 413.40) with exchange fees but cheaper than at the airport (6% against 8%). Attention the MasterCard sometimes poses problems of accounting with the ATM (prefer the VISA) !
For example, take the tram ticket (1,400 yen) to the Asakusa district (orange line) where our hotel is located. And for the midday meal: ramen (400 yen = 3 €) !
JR pass ou Japan Rail Pass
Reserved for foreign visitors, the JR pass allows you to travel by train for a package to choose between 7, 15 or 21 days. It is ordered on site by internet, a voucher is sent to your home worldwide.
When we have decided to use this means of transport (Shinkansen = TGV), we activate the pass in one of the JR Travel Service Center (major railway stations and international airports Narita, Haneda and Kansai).
During the withdrawal, the desired start date of use is to be noted and can be deferred. For example, as we stay 3 days in Tokyo, we will start this pass on the scheduled date for Kanasawa, our next stop !
Pocket wifi essential
Even if the hotels (or some public spaces) allow the Internet connection, in the street to move by the Net becomes so easy with this pocket wifi. Not to mention useful information for the entire stay !
To be ordered before the trip and pick up the pocket router at the « Post office » of the desired airport. We picked it up on the 4th floor of Marita this morning.
In addition, several devices can be connected at the same time. Phew … because its price is consistent (111 € in 2019).
SIM phone cards are available in railway stations, mini-markets … for a price of 500 yen. From abroad, the code for Japan is 00 81 followed by the number of the correspondent (between 9 and 10 digits). On our side, we privilege Whapsap, free communication by the Net.
No vaccination required. And the water tap is drinkable.
Level of care in Japan is totally correct, but insurance is desirable for all trips. As well as a small pharmacy case, as usual.
A « translator » application to load on your phone. French Japanese, for us! Because the further one gets away from the capital, the more the linguistic spaces are moving away, it seems. The disadvantage is the need for an internet terminal, but with pocket wifi, everything will be fine!
Guide in books, each his style fighter or hotel … there is something for all tastes!
If you have questions about « preparations in Japan », do not hesitate … we are there!