Beautiful and atmospheric, Japan stimulates the imagination and captures the heart, it’s very easy to fall in love with it and want to return as often as possible. It is a country that is not afraid of innovation and progress, but is also very attached to its culture and traditions, of which it is proud. Temples, shrines, intimate gardens and traditional customs coexist here alongside modern skyscrapers, futuristic architecture, superfast trains and eccentric pop culture. There’s a big range of online casino games to choose. Since the advent of bitcoin, there has been a huge selection of bitcoin casino Japan with the ability to play for bitcoin. Japan is full of contradictions yet harmonious; overwhelming yet soothing. Japan is a country of contrasts.
Japan for the first time! How to prepare for your first trip?
Your first trip to Japan, although an ideal holiday destination, requires some preparation so that the clash with Japanese culture does not come as a shock. However, you only need to know a few basic facts to make your trip enjoyable and bring back great memories. Learn some valuable tips that will ensure you are prepared for your Japanese adventure.
Minimise cultural and language barriers
Japan is a country with a culture and language completely different from ours. Many tourists say that it was the clash with this otherness that they found the most difficult aspect of the trip.
Language – before you leave, try to learn and memorise basic phrases in Japanese. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will learn to communicate fluently in a completely foreign language. However, knowing basic phrases such as good morning or thank you will immediately win you the sympathy of the Japanese, who appreciate such efforts. In big cities and major tourist destinations, English is common and you can easily communicate in this language, but in the countryside it will be much more difficult. Even if you intend to have a conversation in English, it is always a good idea to speak in Japanese first to break the ice. Fortunately, the Japanese are extremely friendly and helpful, so even without knowing Japanese you will manage perfectly.
Map – before you go buy a bilingual map where the names of locations are given in Japanese and English. With such a map you can easily explain where you want to go and ask for directions. You can also download one of the offline applications and maps available on the market to your phone.
Dictionary – invest in a handy dictionary. The Japanese language writing system consists of three types of characters: the hiragana syllabary and katakana syllabary, which are simplified phonetic alphabets for local and foreign words, and the kanji, which consists of over 40,000 logographic symbols. These characters form a large part of communication in Japanese, so it’s a good idea to have a kanji dictionary on hand to help you make contact. If you don’t want to use the paper version but will have your phone or other internet-enabled device with you, go to jisho.org, where you can type words in English to get their translation into kanji and look up the meaning of specific characters. Since the number of kanji characters is limited, individual words are formed by combining several symbols and the sounds assigned to them. For Japanese, many words that sound identical to foreigners have completely different meanings, so there are sometimes funny or awkward confusions about this.
Print out important addresses in Japanese – this includes especially the address of the hotel you are staying at, but also the places you intend to visit. If you find that you need to ask someone for directions, this will ensure that you have the correct address written down and that you get to the right place.
Print out and carry a card with important information – your mother tongue and any foreign languages you speak, your blood group, any illnesses you have and any medication you are taking. Of course, no one assumes that anything bad will happen to you while you are travelling, but accidents do happen sometimes, and in the event of a life or health emergency, this information can speed up the necessary help considerably.
Master the art of the bow – the Japanese attach great importance to showing their interlocutors proper respect. One expression of Japanese politeness is the bow, which differs depending on the addressee – a subordinate bows differently to a superior, a man to a woman, etc. Europeans will not master this difficult art on their first trip to Japan, but before leaving, it is worth practising the basic version, which is enough to show respect for Japanese culture and customs. The standard bow is appropriate in almost any situation, whether it’s to say hello or goodbye, to ask for directions or to thank for help. Remember that if someone bows to you, you should always bow back, failure to respond is considered an insult. The basic version of the bow is simply to bow your head slightly forward with your torso at an angle of about 30-45 degrees with your arms folded as in prayer or loosely at your sides.
Pack appropriate clothing – despite appearances, the Japanese are quite conservative when it comes to clothing. If you’re going to see the sights, you can wear comfortable and loose clothing, but if you want to match the style of the locals, opt for more formal clothes. Whatever the circumstances, avoid clothes that are frayed, sloppy or expose too much flesh. Interestingly, the jeans we love are not very popular in Japan. I mean sure, you’ll see youngsters on the street wearing denim trousers or skirts, but most people dress more formally. If you can’t imagine a holiday without your favourite pair of jeans or shorts, just remember not to wear them when you go to a restaurant or visit a temple. The Japanese tend to dress in basic colours such as black, blue, grey and white as they don’t like to stand out from the crowd. Therefore, when going to Japan, opt for muted colours and avoid too flashy clothes and decorations.