Japan

From Eco Friendly Travels


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Eco-friendly travel guide to Japan advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Japan, Asia.


  • Air quality: 2 / 5
  • Bus connections: 4 / 5
  • Train connections: 4 / 5
  • Hitchhiking: 3.5 / 5
  • National parks: 5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 5/ 5
  • Locals' English level: 3 / 5
  • Safety: 4 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$50 - $120
  • Budget per day: US$100 - $200

Responsible Travel

Japan is an island country in East Asia and currently ranks as the world’s eleventh most populous country. It has a vast economy, which can be linked with the various infrastructures in the country.

Worldwide, people link many electronic appliance productions to Japan, and it is not surprising that foreigners troop into the country.

We can say that there is a perfect balance between the reasons why people travel to Japan. Some foreigners are in the country for business purposes, while others are there for leisure. If you do not know, there are many fun things to do in Japan.

Traveling responsibly to Japan includes studying the different seasons and choosing which is perfect for you. One can say that the seasons are usually extreme, so you should be well-prepared before going to the country.

The secret to enjoying yourself in Japan is to have an open mind as they have an exciting culture which leaves people smiling, and you would also learn a lot.


Air Quality and Pollution

Since Japan ranks as a highly populated country, it is not surprising that the air quality is low. The pollution factors are sometimes from humans and other times from industrial activities.

Studies have shown that it gets worse during the winter season, as polluted air masses from China also comes into the country. You should know that China is also a populated country, and it shares borders with Japan.

It is not that Japan’s government is not doing anything to combat air pollution, as different laws and regulations have been put in place. However, it has not been helpful so far, and one can trace it to the non-compliance of the masses.

Foreigners are always advised to be well-protected when in Japan, so it will not be wrong if you walk around with a nose mask. Knowing that air quality is low in Japan always comes in handy to not be taken unawares.

With time, people are hopeful that the measures put in place will help increase the country’s air quality.


Respect the Culture

Japanese people may be simple and easy-going, but you should never take their simplicity for granted. Thus, there are specific ways you should act so that you will come off as respectful as it is also the only way that you can get equal respect from them.

It is expected that you keep it low when on a train. This is not to say that you cannot be chatty or try to be friendly with those near you, but your voice should not be so high that people sitting far away would hear your conversation. The goal is to have etiquette at all times.

When you are out for drinks with any of the locals, it will not be wrong if you help to pour the drinks. The people see it as a friendly gesture and will want to get along with you. They will also pour yours in return.

The locals also take it as disrespectful for people to blow their noses in public, so you should refrain from such an act.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Here are some of the top places in Japan you should visit if you want to have a perfect feel of the country:

Mount Fuji (Island of Honshū): It should not be heard that you left Japan without visiting the country’s highest mountain. It serves as a perfect location for hiking, and the views from the peak are stunning. Many people love to watch the sunrise and sunset at the people and usually describe it as beautiful. It is also the second-highest volcano located on an island in Asia and the seventh-highest peak of an island on Earth.

• Kinkaku-Ji (Kyoto): Some people see it as an accomplishment to visit a UNESCO World Heritage site, and this place serves as one of it. If you are in Kyoto, you should visit it as it is one of the famous buildings. The gold temple always has people turning back for a second look, so you should check it out. You can also get Japanese tea within it.

• Arashiyama (Kyoto): If you would love to see monkeys while in Japan, you should visit this place. It is a bamboo forest with beautiful scenery. There is also a river that soothes the mind when you walk around it.

• Imperial Palace (Tokyo): Although it is the residence of the emperor of Japan, it is open to the public for tours, so you should grab the opportunity when in Japan. You should know that it is a large space since it is one of Japan’s biggest castles. Exploring this place is always fulfilling, especially for those who want to snoop and know more about the country.

• Shirakawa-go: You should not be surprised that this is also one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites in Japan, as it has outstanding huts. This historic village is known for its Gassho houses or huts, which you will not see in other areas. It is one of the best places to visit and have a unique experience when in Japan.

• Universal Studios Japan (Osaka): You already know that it is always fun at any universal studio theme park, so you need to add visiting this place to your list of things to do in Japan. The happiness in the air is always contagious, and you will not regret your visit.

• Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo): It is another theme park in Japan and offers many activities for people to do. Some people may not finish exploring the park in a day and wish for more days. It gives room for interaction and networking as well.

• Nijō Castle (Kyoto): It is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan and allows you to appreciate its lush vegetation. It could be that you have never been to a castle before, and this is your opportunity. Both the exterior and interior of this building will leave you in awe.

• Lake Ashi (Honshū): If you love to go on boat rides to cruise, you should visit this place before leaving Japan. You get to see the area from another angle and meet new people. The rides are always fun.

• Mount Takao (Tokyo): One outstanding feature about this mountain is that there is a cable car, so you will get a fantastic view while exploring. It has a beautiful environment and also has hiking trails.


Explore

What do you do when in a new country? The right is to explore as it has different cities that offer various tourist attractions, and it keeps a tourist captivated.

You should know that top countries in the world always ensure to utilize tourism to build their economy, and Japan is one of these countries. Since it gets a high inflow of foreigners, it is only wise that they will milk the industry.

Thus, you will see different sites as they strive to ensure that foreigners are always entertained in one way or another. The goal is for you to have a nice while getting involved in whatever reason made you visit the city.

Most foreigners usually have a high energy bar once in a new country, and we hope that you have the same as well, as that is the only way you can have a swell time. We would help with a list of places to explore in Japan.


City Parks

One of the ways you can explore Japan is to check out the different city parks. Some of them are:

• Nakajima Park (Sapporo): One of the best times to visit this park is during the fall. The beauty and colorfulness of the environment will leave you dazed, becoming a perfect picture taking location in the city. It gives a certain kind of peace that cannot be explained, and we know that you will enjoy it.

• Yoyogi Park (Tokyo): Due to the relaxing nature of this place, it is not surprising that people turn it into an event center. It is very spacious, and people can also cycle there. It is close to the city center, so navigation is more effortless. If you ever want to unwind from the stress of the day, you should relax at this park.

• Nakanoshima Rose Garden (Osaka): Have you ever been to a rose garden? If yes, you know that it is a beautiful sight, and something you would not want to miss. This park was the first public park in Osaka and gains popularity daily.


National Parks

You can also decide to visit some of the national parks. They are:

• Yakushima National Park (Yakushima): Many people usually have good commendations concerning this park, especially as some national parks in other societies are not well maintained. You will always see this place in a new state, and it is usually not overcrowded. The serenity is blissful, allowing you to hike and engage in other activities. It is a great place to explore, and you get to see monkeys and deer that are not dangerous.

• Hakusan National Park (Honshū): You will not regret visiting this place during the falls, as it has a colorful and outstanding nature. The environs help you to appreciate nature better, and the view is always fantastic. It is one of the top national parks in the country and a place that every tourist must visit.

• Ogasawara National Park (Ogasawara Islands): The people on this island are always welcoming to foreigners, so you are sure to have a lovely experience while exploring the islands. The tour guides have a certain warmness, and you will be impressed by the overall environment.


Beaches

You will see the beaches in abundance while in Japan. Some of them to explore are:

• Furuzamami Beach (Zamami): It is a beautiful sandy beach that puts a smile on your face whenever you visit it. One outstanding feature of this beach is its unique array of fishes. People take turns guessing what type of fishes they can see while relaxing. If you know how to swim, do not hesitate to take a chance. However, it would be best if you are on the lookout for the fishes. The experience at this beach is always pleasant, and you will see people wanting to return.

• Kondoi Beach (Taketomi): If you love to ride bikes on a beach, you are in luck as this beach is spacious, so you can do it. You are wondering where to get a bike? There are bike rental shops on the beach. The clearwater is always relaxing, and you will see people mixing and interacting. Being on this beach helps one to forget about their worries, and the aura is always positive.


Landmarks

Landmarks are also not left out of things to see and explore in Japan. Some of them are:

• Tokyo Skytree (Tokyo): As the name implies, it is a tall structure that you can see from anywhere in the city. It gives an awesome people of the town, and you can even see mount fuji from this place. People say that you should visit this place if you want to get a 360 view of Tokyo. You will also see a gift shop that allows you to buy local souvenirs.

• Osaka Castle (Osaka): History says that this place played a significant role in Japan’s unification during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. It is always noticeable due to its unique architectural structure, so it classifies as one of the country’s landmarks. Asides from being a castle, it also has a park for relaxation and a museum where you can get more stories about the country. It is one of the top places to explore in Japan.


Museums

Our list of places to explore in Japan will not be complete if you do not add the museums. Thus, some of the museums in the country are:

• Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima): People say that they are usually teary whenever they visit this museum as it effectively captures moments that once brought pain to Japan. The exhibits seem so real, and it makes people appreciate this museum more. It is one of the top museums in the country.

• Nezu Museum (Tokyo): Since it was formerly an institute of fine arts, you are sure to see different mind-blowing exhibitions. The museum houses the private collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art of Nezu Kaichirō. The location of this place is also strategic as it close to this city center, making it more appealing. We are sure that you will not regret visiting it.

• Teshima Art Museum (Tonosho): You should not expect to see artworks at this museum, as the building itself is the art. However, we are sure that you will appreciate it as the building and environment are fantastic.


Eat

People say that you need to act like a Roman when in Rome, so you know that you need to familiarize yourself with how people do things in Japan. One of the ways to ensure you mingle with the locals is by eating traditional Japanese meals. One cannot deny that these meals are usually tasty, and there are different options to try.

Almost everyone worldwide is familiar with sushi, and it is one Japanese accent. It is one of those meals you will get in the country, and we know that you will be comfortable eating it. Miso soup can also not be left out of the list of top Japanese meals to try. Some people say that drinking this soup helps relive the body of stress, and it will be right if you try to verify the claims.

Another traditional Japanese food to try is Onigiri, and it is a form of rice balls that differs by having sweet and savory fillings within it. We enjoy that you will enjoy trying out all the tasty options.

If you are thinking of where you can eat these traditional meals, the best place is at a local restaurant. It is best not to look down on any of the traditional restaurants while in Japan as they are your best bet to getting local meals that are well-prepared.

You will see these restaurants in different parts of any Japanese city, and you can easily walk into them and check through their recipe for what you desire. If it is a case where you do not understand the menu or there are many appealing options, you can ask a local to be your guide, or a restaurant staff will recommend some options.

Typically, foreigners will first pick a meal they have previously heard of or discussed with someone before getting comfortable to try new options. The highlight of some tourist visits is trying out the various Japanese meals at different traditional local restaurants.

While people are trying to check out the different local restaurants in Japan, foreign vegans are curious to know if there is an option for them as they would prefer to eat at a vegetarian restaurant. Thus, they ask questions to know if Japan is vegan-friendly. The locals of this country love to describe the meals as vegan-friendly as most Japanese foods are suitable for vegetarians. However, there are also vegan restaurants in different parts of the country.

Although it may not be easy to find these restaurants as it would be easier to see other places, it does not mean that they do not exist. Your best option is to ask a local for a guide to any of the nearest vegetarian restaurants, and we are sure that you would see one.

The idea is to ensure that everyone can enjoy the traditional local meals, so these restaurants also include the vegetarian option. We know that these restaurants will impress and blow your mind, so you should visit them. If you would love to do the same, nothing is stopping you from visiting these places.

You should know that Japan has many things to eat, and street food is another option on the list. These are meals that you can get from little shops on the streets, and they are usually enjoyable. Some people prefer to call them quick-meals, as you can eat it while walking or at-a-go. Whatever the case might be, foreigners should also be open-minded to trying the different available street foods in Japan.

Do you love eating cotton candy? If yes, you should try the Japanese option called wataame. Tourists tend to enjoy it a lot, and they lose track of how many they purchase. You can also get Crepes as street food in Japan. Although it was not originally a Japanese meal, it has been fully adopted, and people enjoy it every day.

Ikayaki refers to grilled squid, and it is one of the street foods available in Japan. If it is something you fancy, you should also try it.


Drink

We also get questions about the available drinks in the country as people want something to accompany while eating. You should know that you will see various vending machines in Japan, and that is because coffee is one of the famous local drinks. There are different coffee varieties, and trying them out will not be a bad option.

If you love to take a beer, but you are not a big fan of alcohol, you can also get non-alcoholic beers in the country. Amazake refers to sweet fermented rice, and it is also a typical drink in the country. Some people may be skeptical about trying it but would always have a change of mind later. You should not leave Japan without taking it.

There is also a drink in Japan called Genmaicha. It is a combination of green tea mixed with roasted brown rice. The result is usually exceptional, which is why many people love it. You can also get soy and aloe vera drinks in varieties while in Japan.


Tap-water

We also get questions concerning the state of tap water in Japan, as it is something that every foreigner would contact one point. People are curious to know if it is drinkable or not.

Although there is low air quality in Japan, you should know that there is an exception concerning tap water. You can drink tap water in Japan without having any adverse effects.

Japan has a reliable national water infrastructure, so people drink directly from the taps. It is left to you if you prefer buying bottled water or want to go the extra mile of boiling your water before drinking.

Understandably, people have different preferences, so it is your choice. However, Japan promises portable tap water for drinking, cooking, brushing, and any other thing you desire.

People hope that the standard does not drop along the years as portable tap water is not something that many countries can boast about. We applaud Japan for it.


Activities

It could be that you love to fish, or you enjoy riding on water. It could also be that you like a combination of both and would not mind fishing while kayaking. All these are achievable, as they are outdoor activities in Japan.

The first fear will be thinking if there are water bodies in the country to ensure that this is feasible. You should have no worries, as the salt lakes in Japan do justice to ensure that these activities are doable.

Some people may not have experience in any of these activities, but the interest is there. In such cases, they are looking for people who would teach them. It could be that you are in such a category, and this is your dilemma. It is best if you do not have any worries as the locals and other foreigners would be glad to lend a helping hand, especially if it helps establish networks and build a stronger connection. Thus, we can say that fishing and kayaking promote friendships in Japan.

It will be wrong for us to mention the activities done in Japan without saying yoga. If you want to rate countries that famous practice yoga, Japan would rank high on the list. You should know that yoga has become a household activity in the country, and more than half of the population know how to engage in it.

Are you wondering why people engage in yoga? The top reason is for relaxation. People see yoga as a way of relieving stress, and it has validated this claim over the years. Thus, people are happy while doing it and recommend it for other people to practice.

In Japan, some people say that they engage in yoga to lose weight, while others say that it is now their hobby. Whatever the case might be, yoga is an enjoyable activity, and it will not be wrong if you join others to engage in it and keep busy while in the country.


Accommodation

Do you have a place to stay when in Japan? If no, why have you not started making plans for it yet? Many foreigners make one mistake to assume that there is time before traveling, and they keep everything for the last minute. It results in them not making adequate preparations, and it may leave the person stranded on getting to their destination city.

If you have decided that it is Japan you want to visit, you need to start researching the types of available accommodation to help you make plans. It could be that you are traveling in a group, so you need to pick one that suits everyone’s needs.

It could also be that your budget does not tally with some of the accommodation options, so you need to check for the one that goes with your accommodation budget. These details may seem insignificant, but you will later realize that it is crucial and should never be sidelined.


Green Hotels

We assume that you would already know what to expect at a green hotel, as it is eco-friendly, with facilities that add, instead of subtracting from the environment. Some people might be in shock or doubt the possibility of this. However, allow us to tell you that there are eco-friendly hotels in different countries, and Japan is not an exception.

It is already on the minds some people’s minds that they must stay in a green hotel, and this is what they begin to search for in their destination country. It is best to know that the number of green hotels in Japan does not match up to the number of regular hotels, but you would see a good number of them, so we can say that you are covered.

The fairness of the prices depends on your budget as it might be favorable for some people, while others may complain about it. The best thing is for you to research and know if it is something that you can afford. If it is, you should go for it.


Hostels and Guest Houses

If you are not looking for extravagance in accommodation options, one of the best places to stay in Japan is at a guest house or hostel. They are cheaper than some other accommodation options, and their environment is usually conducive.

You should know that many of the hostels in Japan have helpful and knowledgeable staff who can answer any of your questions. The goal is to have a swell time in the country, and they are available to help you achieve the aim. One cannot deny that many of the available hostels and guest houses in Japan are clean, so there is no difference when it concerns lodging, especially as they have facilities to make life comfortable.

When you research the different hostels and guest houses, we are sure that you will see the one that suits your choice so that you can pick one. You could use the location or price as your consideration when selecting the best option. The ball is in your court, but we know that you will enjoy your stay in the country when you lodge at any of these places.


Apartments

We know that some people are used to staying in apartments when in a new country and expect to get the same when in Japan. However, it is right for you to know that your expectations would not turn out the same way you think.

It is not that there are no apartments for rent in Japan, but most of the apartments are small, which is different from what you will find in other countries. Some locals are also reluctant about renting out apartments to foreigners, so you might have a hard time getting one.

Once everything is settled, you can have your apartment and enjoy a comfortable in Japan. Some people say that staying in an apartment is more expensive than any other accommodation option, and it is sometimes true.

However, it makes up for it in the various facilities. We are sure that you would appreciate the relaxed feeling you will get from staying alone in such a conducive environment.


Couchsurfing

Although Japanese people are friendly, it is not always instantaneous as they wish to observe the foreigner before lending a helping hand. However, some do not mind and are always ready to host a foreigner in their homes. This is where the idea of Couchsurfing comes to play.

Some people are happy about it because they would not spend money on any accommodation option, giving them to save and enjoy while in the country.

However, you will not enjoy or be happy if you are not ready to understand the local, you should know that individual differences will come to play, so there should be a common ground. The goal is to ensure that there is mutual respect and understanding in whatever happens.

Once a local see that you are putting in the effort to ensure that you both are connecting, they will also try their best to ensure that it works. It might not be a smooth sail at first, but it is a perfect option.


Camping

It is easy for some people to turn camping into an accommodation option, especially if they are in the country for a few days. In such a case, they do not need to pay for lodging, and the price is usually cheap and low if it is required.

Typically, a camper chooses to appreciate nature and stays in a place that makes it feasible.

Some countries have unique campgrounds, while others do not. Japan is one of those with campgrounds in different cities so that you can stay in of them. However, many people agree that camping is no fun alone, so other people should also be involved. Understandably, you may not fully understand how things work around the country as a camper. The best thing is for you to ask questions. You need to know when the locals go camping and the kind of preparations they make.

Once you understand everything, you will have an enjoyable time camping in Japan and will always want to recount the experience.


Regions

Cities

Getting There and Moving Around

Another issue that you should know before leaving your home or current city is knowing how to reach your destination city. When people are traveling there, what is the best form of transportation to use?

We do not expect that you will know all these things again, but you will get your answerers once you research or begin to questions as it will be wrong to assume and use a transport that does not go to that location.

Likewise, with the accommodation option, you need to compare the prices and check what goes with your budget. If you have different options, you also get to choose the one that gives the best comfort.

It could be that you will not get direct transport from your current location down to your destination, so you need to check for cities to go where you can get direct transport. There are many things to be considered when check for transport options that will take you down to your destination.

There is also the issue of how to move around, and it is something that needs to be solved. When you reach your destination, what means of transport would you use from one point to another?

If you think that the different means of transportation would not play out after reaching the location, you are wrong. You need to know how the locals move around as you cannot be in one place always.

Once you know the different options, you can choose your preference as we know that you might not be comfortable with all of them. It could be that they have options you have never tried before, and you will prefer sticking to what you know.

The goal is that transport is efficient in carrying you to different places, so you should have an open mind to try options even if you have not used them before. It is only after trying that you conclude. These means of moving around will help you to explore Japan.

It may seem cliché, but one of the best ways of moving around in any country is to walk. We cannot remember a time where it has not been efficient, so it is a means of movement that many people are willing to try. Although walking has proven efficient over the years, it is not a means of movement to use if you are moving from one city to another. Instead, you should only use it when going for short distances.

You should know that you need adequate strength to walk around, and it can also be time-consuming. However, it allows you to go at your pace, and you can absorb and appreciate the environment. It is typical to see foreigners with a camera as they walk around to capture pictures from different angles.

While walking around in Japan, you should wear a warm smile as it is the only way to encourage the locals that you are open to a conversation. These locals serve as your map, so you know that you will not miss your way as you move around. Walking around has been an efficient system for a long time.

Another way of moving around is by using a bicycle. If you love to cycle, you get the opportunity to do so in Japan. Understandably, not everyone can get a car, so there is the opportunity to rent a bike.

The first thing you should do after renting a bicycle is to have it duly registered with the local authorities. Usually, a sticker will be put on it to show that you can ride it anywhere within the country. If it is not registered, you can get into trouble, and we know that you do not want to encounter any problems while in a new country.

Another mistake that some people make is to use a borrowed bicycle. It is an offense to ride a bicycle that has been registered under another person’s name in Japan. It is always right to do things the right way, so ensure that you follow due processes if you want to ride a bicycle to move around in the country as you do not know when you will encounter the authorities.

If you are used to using electronic vehicles, it will please you to know that you can use an electronic scooter as a means of moving around in Japan. Getting one is almost similar to that of a bicycle as there are rental shops that make this possible. However, you must also follow due procedures as you do not want to get in trouble with the local authorities. One of the rules guiding using an electronic vehicle in Japan is getting a license. If you do not have a permit and decide to use a scooter, you will be disobeying the country’s laws.

You should also know that you need to follow all traffic rules and regulations when using a scooter, and it is also compulsory to use a helmet. Typically, we also tell foreigners who desire to use a scooter to purchase their safety gear when renting the electronic vehicle.

If you follow all the laws, you will not have any problem.


Air

Almost everyone will agree that using air is the easiest and fastest means of transportation worldwide, so it is not surprising that there are airports in many countries to ensure that this is possible.

Numerous airports in Japan operate both internationally and domestically. It is safe to say that most of the sizable cities in the country have a functional airport. Thus, using air is a means of reaching the country and also moving around.

The international airports in this country have flights that operation to different parts of the US and Asia. If you are in any of those locations, we are sure that it will be easy getting a direct flight to Japan.

However, if you do not stay in a place where you can get a direct flight, you should check for countries or cities close to you to reach before getting a connecting flight. We know that using air makes some people relax, while others may have a phobia as they are scared. You should use this means if it is your preference.

You should also not forget that you can use air as a means of movement within the country. After all, Japan is big, and it is not out of place.

Since there is the knowledge that there are many airports in the country operating domestically, you have the assurance that you can get a flight that can get you to your destination or somewhere close to it.

It could be that there is a tourist attraction you have wanted to visit, but it is not in the city you are staying in, and you want to see it quickly. Your best bet will be to use a flight down to its city as it is faster and less stressful.

It is understandable if flying is not your preference, and you can stick to other means of transportation. But if you do not mind using air, nothing should stop you from booking a flight and using it as a means of moving around in Japan. After all, it is your choice and comfort.


Bus

We do not know if there is any country that does not have a bus to serve as a means of moving around in it. Even if there are countries like that, Japan is not among, so a means of moving around is to use a bus.

These buses are often reliable and are popular. There are local buses and highway buses within the country. The highway buses usually go to long-distance and could operate at night. It helps those who wish to navigate from one city to the other.

One issue that many foreigners encounter when it concerns using a bus within Japan is the language barrier. This is why tourists are usually advised to learn something in Japanese, preferably picking up essential phrases.

Most of the driver’s instructions are in Japanese, so you will need a local to help you translate if you do not understand the language. It might be stressful, but it enables you to get from one point to another.

Some people may also consider using a bus to reach Japan. It could be their preferred choice because they love to look out for vegetation and other exciting factors you can see when using road transportation. Such people may be with a camera to capture moments as they along.

The only way you can use a bus to Japan is to be in a country close to it. It is unthinkable that someone would want to use a bus from another continent as it is far, and there will most likely be no road connection. However, if you are within a country that shares borders with Japan, you know it is feasible.

You should research to know the bus that goes from your current location to Japan and check the price to see if it is something you can afford. Doing appropriate research is always helpful so that you will not go to the wrong location.

If it is your first time traveling to Japan by bus, be friendly with other people so that they will answer your questions if you have any.


Train

It is possible to get a train from the US or other close locations to Japan, especially Tokyo.

Some people have using a train as their ideal means of transportation, so you are in luck if you fall in the same category. Typically, it is not hard to get a plane, and sometimes, you may only need one ticket.

If you do not know how to use a train to Japan but desire to use one, ensure that you ask those around you as they are in the best place to explain how it works. However, you should ensure that you have your ticket in place until the end of the ride to avoid mix-ups.

Using a train might be slow, but it is also exciting for some people. You can make the best of the ride by listening to music or reading a book. Some people also use it as a time to catch up on sleep. What matters is that it gets you to Japan.

There is also a rail connection within Japan, so you using a train is a way to move around in the country. These trains go from one city to another, so it always comes in handy.

The language barrier also comes to play when it concerns this means of transport. It is why you should be friendly with the locals as they will explain the process of getting a ticket and also what and what not to do.

You should always remember that the locals think it is impolite to have loud discussions on a train, so refrain from doing so. The goal is to get to wherever you are going, not piss the locals off or get on their wrong side.

The issue of having your ticket safe until the end of the ride also comes to play, so ensure not to misplace. For those who might have never used a train before, we are sure that it will be worth the experience.


Hitchhiking

The idea of hitchhiking involves getting a free ride, and you can use it to get to Japan or move between cities in the country. It could be that you’ve had many expenses, and you do not feel like spending more when it comes to reaching somewhere. Thus, you are looking to get a free ride.

Although hitchhiking is not common in many countries, it happens in Japan, so you are in luck as the chances of getting a free ride are high. However, you must also act accordingly for the drivers to know that you want to hitchhike.

It is best if you stay in a visible location when trying to flag down a car as it helps the driver see you, and decide to stop or not. If you are not visible, no one would see you, and you can stand there for hours.

Waving your thumb is the signal you should give when trying to flag down a car as it is what the drivers understand.


Others

Since Japan has many water bodies, it is safe to call it an island country, and it is not surprising that to add boats as a means of moving around.

We see that many people are scared of using a boat from our encounter with different foreigners,, while others are excited at the offer. We know that it is usually an exciting experience, so we urge those scared to try and let go of it. If you have a fear or phobia of being on waterbodies, you should go on it with friends as it will help to calm your mind.

Using boats serves as a means of moving around in the country and also getting into it. This means of transportation may not be at the top of many tourists’ minds, but it always comes in handy. It is usually pleasing when a foreigner has many options to choose from when it concerns getting to a place and moving around within it.

If this is your preferred means of traveling, you should go with it.


Sustainable Shopping

For a country with green hotels and cars, you should know that sustainable shopping exists, and it is always encouraged. If you are confused, sustainable shopping includes buying eco-friendly things, and it is a way of showing that you are concerned about the affairs of the country and want to contribute to its growth.

Many Japanese locals are aware of sustainability and its benefits, so they are always finding ways of including eco-friendly materials in whatever they make. However, they get discouraged when people do not patronize or buy any of their products. As a foreigner, showing interest in what they do goes a long way to put a smile on their faces.

Some people may argue and they do not need anything, so there is no need for sustainable shopping when in Japan. However, we would disagree as you would always see what you desire whenever you opt for sustainable shopping. It is something that should be encouraged worldwide.

Visiting the food markets in any city is one way of practicing sustainable shopping, mostly when they sell essential organic food ingredients. With these organic food items, you are sure that whatever you prepare would be healthy, so it is a part of sustainable shopping.

It is not out of place or uncommon to see people who desire to practice or know how to cook Japanese meals, and the best place to get the food items is at a food market. There are many food markets in different cities across the country, so you should ask a local for the closest food market.

You need to ask questions to know how they operate, as it could be that they are only open on specific days, or there are days of the week when the prices are lower.

Although it may be a market, one cannot deny that there a particular form of happiness you get as you interact with the locals, so ensure that you visit a food market before leaving the country.

You should know that visiting a food market is not the only way of engaging in sustainable shopping in Japan, as you can also do it by patronizing flea markets. A flea market is a place to get items that are not new but high-quality at a favorable price.

Many people have fear buying such items because they think it would wear out after a while, but we can assure that such would not happen as the vendors ensure to crosscheck whatever they are putting up for sale.

A flea market aims to eliminate waste as it could be that someone does not have use for the item any longer, but it is still in a perfect state. There are many things to get at a flea market, so you should not hesitate to visit one when in Japan as we are sure that you will get something you desire. People often say that they are only walking around to feed their eyes but end up purchasing something.

A critical aspect of sustainable shopping that people tend to forget is eco-fashion. Yes, it is what you are thinking. It is a way of infusing the use of eco-friendly materials in the production of clothes.

From the name, you should know that these clothes will be fashionable as it does not differ from regular clothing. You will also see that models use such clothes to walk on the runway. Some people may be hesitant to purchase it at first, but we are assuring that it will be one of the perfect decisions to make in Japan.

By subscribing to eco-fashion, you support sustainable shopping, and it goes a long way in growing the country.


Recycling

Recycling is one of the aspects of waste management in Japan, but we cannot say that they are efficient. It is not that they do not do recycling, but the rate is low compared to some other countries.

The idea behind recycling also points to sustainability as it is a way of reusing items or turning them into something meaningful instead of leaving it to rot. It is not that the Japanese locals or government are not aware of the benefits of recycling, but they are yet to make that move that would skyrocket the country to the top when it entails recycling.

Hopefully, they improve in the coming years as there is a lot to benefit from it.


Waste

Having an efficient waste management system is always essential in any country. We see different rules and regulations governing waste management in countries, and Japan is not an exception.

Littering is frowned upon in Japan, and rules are guiding how to dispose waste properly. However, incineration is the most common form of waste management in the country, so air pollution is rampant, and the air quality of the country is low.

Ensure that you ask questions whenever you visit this country to know where you can deposit your trash so that you will not flaunt any of the rules and regulations. Everyone needs to join hands together to fight against littering.


Work and Study Abroad

The issue of working while studying comes up regularly, and it is not allowed in some countries. However, other countries may allow their students to work at any time they desire or allocated some hours.

Whatever the case might be, they try to ensure that students do not forsake their studies because of work. However, some of these students will not be able to survive if they do not work.

Typically, countries that allow their students to work while studying have many students than others.

A student cannot work for more than 8 hours a day on a student permit in Japan. Thus, you should know how to make plans accordingly to ensure that both sides are balanced.


Exchange Student

We sometimes see students in other universities or colleges who wish for an opportunity to study in Japan, even if it is not permanent. You know that this will not happen if there is no efficient educational system in Japan.

One way for this to happen is through an exchange program. It is a way that schools collaborate, and students spend a year or system at another university in a different country.

We usually see that students rush for this option because they have heard much about the Japanese culture, and they want a feel of it.

If you would like to be an exchange student in Japan, you should check if your school runs an exchange program with any of Japan’s universities.


Au Pair

The idea of being an au pair is connected to finding a job in a foreign country. Typically, some countries have au pair programs where people register and get connected to jobs.

These jobs are usually household jobs such as being a nanny and others. However, we cannot say that there is an au pair program in Japan.

If you are looking to work in the country, you can apply for a working holiday visa and look for families who need services you can render.

It is an efficient way of surviving in the country, so you should grab the opportunity whenever you can. It also helps to understand the Japanese culture better as you can learn from your host family.


Volunteering

By being a volunteer, you contribute to the local communities in the country, ensuring to fix any problems they may have.

You are not forced to do any of it, so you should not offer your services grudgingly. Typically, people become part of volunteering organizations if they wish to be a volunteer.

There are many volunteer organizations in Japan, so you can join any of them if you wish to volunteer in the country.


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