Travel tips.
I have been in the tourism industry for 10 years.
My wife has been in it for 20 years.
We have had the same questions asked many many times.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions.

-Where is the best place to withdraw cash with a credit card?

Post office or Seven Eleven.
These two are the best places to withdraw cash.

-Electric plugs don't fit in Japan. Where can I get adaptors?
Most of the major electronics stores would have them.
Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera, Edion, etc.

-What is the best way to get around Kyoto?

In Kyoto, the best way to get around the city is by the city bus.
We only have two subway lines, but tons of bus lines.
It is quite complex, like subway of Osaka or Tokyo.
However, if you get used to it, it is the best way to get around the city fast and cheap.
220yen per ride, for the most part of the city.
You can also purchase one day bus pass for 500yen. Please buy it at the bus ticket office in front of JR Kyoto trains station.
This is how you use the bus system in Kyoto

-I did't get JR rail pass. Any cheaper ways to travel without Shinkansen(bullet train)?

JR pass is quite a good deal.
When I go visit my family in Tokyo(from Kyoto), it costs me more than 25,000yen for a round trip.
Local train is almost not a option.
Not only it takes 8-9 hours, but with many transfers.

One option is to take a night bus.
There is nothing more safe than Shinkansen.
There are occasionally, accidents with busses.
However, quite cheap.
At round 4,000-7,000yen one way, you can travel from Kyoto to Tokyo.
You will also be saving on accommodation fee, if you are a on tight budget.

However, JR pass seems to be a really good deal.
It's a pity I cannot buy it.

-Is it worth it to try "fugu(puffer fish)"?

II like fugu. I eat it almost every year. Winter time is seasonal.
From my standpoint, I cannot recomend it to you, just in case something happens.
Fugu poison is deadly.

However, more people die from eating rice cake(choking) than eating fugu.

-I am visiting a Japanese frind. What should I bring for a gift?

In Japan, we have this omiyage(souvinir) culture.
Buying gifts to eachother all the time.

Therfore, for every city that you visit, you can find it's local omiyage.
For example:
Kyoto- yatsuhashi, pickles, sake, green tea kit kat, kogetsu
Tokyo- hiyoko sabre, Tokyo banana(not so good)
Nagoya- miso candy, miso kit kat
Osaka- okonomiyaki/takoyaki flavoured snacks
Hokkaido- shiroi koibito
Hiroshima- momiji manju
Nagasaki- kasutera, chanpon, ikkokko, kankoro-mochi
Sendai- beef tongue

Make sure you buy a gift that is special to that region.
For example, I live in Kyoto, so if I visit Tokyo, I would bring Yatsuhashi.
*If you are visiting someone in Tokyo and buying him/her a box of Tokyo banana is a big mistake!


You will see 20 of shelves like this.

-Where to throw away trash? I dont see trash cans.

You put the trash in your pocket.
Please hold on to them until you reach your hotel or eat or drink at restaurant or cafe.

If its a small thing, you can thow it away at a convenience store.

-Why are there so many red buckets in front of houses?

To put out fire.
Of course, a bucket of water cannot put out a fire.
However, it is a bucket to show that the house is cautious.

Especially in the old neighborhoods, houses are wooden made.
If one catches on fire, the next house is in danger.

It is maybe a pose, but it is good to be cautious.

-Japanese people are so kind and polite. Do you ever get mad?

Yes we do.
We just do not show our anger to strangers(rarely).
Please be careful.

-What is an average income?

I am not sure about average, but usually for a standard businessman to higher paid businessman,
20's - 3,000,000yen to 6,000,000per year
30's - 5,000,000yen to 10,000,000yen a year
40's - 7,000,000yen to 15,000,000yen a year
50's and 60's - 8,000,000yen to 50,000,000 a year



(tour, workshop, etc.)

(temple, shrine, etc.)

(kaiseki, bars, etc.)

(knife, kimono, etc)

Travel tips
(transport, manner, etc)