What I Learned from My Trip to Japan

In Editorial by Bintoro Adi Guna1 Comment

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Recently, I went on an 11-day vacation to Japan. It was an amazing journey full of unforgettable experiences and a welcome break from the daily grind. While there were a few hiccups along the way, every moment was a valuable learning experience that I’d like to share with you. So, here are some tips and insights from my trip to Japan!

Personally, I love this country and will undoubtedly return!

Watch The Voltage + Connector

Coming from a country with 220V power, I learned that not all my appliances were compatible with Japan’s 110V power setup. Some appliances simply didn’t work! Although most modern gadgets can handle both voltages, it’s always wise to double-check before you pack.

My vacuum pump doesn’t work because it needs 220V of voltage, while Japan only has 110V

The same goes for any electronics you buy in Japan. Ensure they work with your home country’s voltage because plugging a 110V device into a 220V outlet can lead to fire hazard.

However, this tool I bought from Japan is compatible with my country’s 220V since it’s rated to work for 100-240V

A travel adapter can solve your connector problems, but it won’t fix voltage issues. So, make sure you’re prepared to avoid any unwanted surprises.

Keep an Eye on the Queue


The Japanese are very organized and they love to queue. Seriously, they queue for everything—from immigration to restaurants and even trains. Always check for a queue and any nearby signs or instructions before heading somewhere.

If you don’t understand Japanese, Google Translate (preferably offline) will be incredibly helpful.

IC Card is Very Versatile in Japan

Suica is one of many choices of IC card in Japan

One of the most convenient things about traveling in Japan is their IC card (ICOCA, Suica, Pasmo). You can use it for buses, trains, vending machines, and more. Topping it up at train stations is quick and easy. I suggest getting one immediately upon your arrival.

However, I’d advise against buying the Pasmo Passport. It has a short expiry date and is non-refundable, which means any leftover balance is lost. Thankfully, they are phasing it out soon.

IC cards require a 500 JPY deposit, but you can refund the rest. They don’t have an expiry date, making them a better investment since I’m sure many of you will want to revisit Japan in the future.

Less-Touristy Places Also Have Their Own Charm

Here’s a fun fact: my wife and I have low social batteries. We chose Japan for its promise of serenity and stunning scenery while minimizing interaction with others (save for their infamous rush hour). Japanese people are famously individualistic, which suited us perfectly. We felt right at home in general stores where everyone minds their own business. So, if you’re like us, don’t hesitate to explore less-touristy areas! I’m sure you’ll learn something new.

Thrift Stores in Japan may Have Treasures in Them

Off House is one of many thrift stores that have many branches throughout Japan

One unexpected surprise on our trip was discovering Japan’s abundance of thrift stores! Whether you’re hunting for electronic relics, luxury items, or quirky statues, these stores have it all. We found some adorable figures, keychains, and clothes at great prices.

Who knows, maybe you can find some treasure here?

We enjoyed these stores so much (Hard Off, Hobby Off, Home Off) that we decided to make time for them in every region we visited. Some are quite far from city centers, but trust me—it’s worth the trip!

Do What the Japanese Do

These posters are hilarious, but you can immediately understand what they mean, don’t you?

And lastly, just like they say, when in Rome, do what the Romans do. Don’t be an ass: join the queue, politely ask for directions, and respect each other’s privacy. Most of their signs are illustrated so at least you’ll have an idea about what they say. If you still don’t understand, don’t hesitate to use Google Translate!

Please don’t embarrass yourself by doing this…

Well, I guess that’s all for now, Folks. Hopefully, these insights can be useful when you visit Japan. It’s a great country with a mix of technology and tradition; truly something unique. As usual, if you have questions, just ask away in the comments section below! Finally, as usual, thanks for visiting, and see you in the next article! 😀


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