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Japan
Capital: Tokyo

| Getting There | Weather | Money | Tipping | Safety | Business Hours |
| Visa | Electricity | Water | Medical Service | Transportation |
For National holidays, festivals, and trade shows check Calendar.

 

Getting There
Many airlines offer flights to Japan - you can choose to arrive different airports - Narita, Kansai, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Niigata, Naha and Sapporo. Departure tax at Narita are Y2040 and at Kansai Y2650 per person while other airports don't charge.

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Weather
Japan has a generally mild climate. Since the country stretches 3,000 km north to south, however, there is some variation in climate throughout the year. The extreme north is subarctic and the extreme south subtropical. The period of the highest precipitation in most areas is during the rainy season, roughly from mid-June to mid-July.

Under the influence of youth and pop culture, for general, everyday wear, Japanese are becoming more casual in their attitude towards clothing and are apt to wear whatever feels most comfortable - adapting the best of East and West to fit the occasion. You will see everything from tuxedos and cummerbunds to bell bottoms and beads, depending on where you are. But who you are, or rather what group you identify with may also determine your dress. Even a novice tennis player or skier has often blown half a month's salary on proper sporting attire before taking their first lesson. But for everyday wear, don't let cultural assumptions intimidate you. Formal clothing, such as tuxedos and evening gowns, are rarely required, and can be rented if necessary. You are generally safe in letting your own common sense determine what to wear.

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Money
The currency is Yen. The exchange rate is US$1 = Y138
Cash is still ideal though throughout major cities, credit cards are also accepted. Travellers can change cash or travellers' cheques at an "Authorized Foreign Exchange Bank" or at some of the larger hotels and stores.

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Tipping
There is little tipping in Japan. Baggage porters receive a fixed rate, per item. Hotels and restaurants add 10 to 20% to the bill for service.

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Safety
Japan has a very low crime rate.

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Business Hours
Most museums are open on Sundays and national holidays and closed on Mondays. Restaurants close early at night. The last order accepted is often around 9:00pm. Public transportation stops around midnight. On New Year's Day, practically all shops and restaurants, except those within hotels, are closed and most will stay closed until January 3 as do government offices, banks, private companies, museums and the like.

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Visa and Passport
Any foreign visitor desiring to enter Japan must have a valid passport bearing a visa for a stay in a given status as specified under the Immigration Control Order.

Visa: The visa, unless it is exempted, is issued at Japanese Consular Offices abroad, and in areas that do not have a Consular Office, they are issued by the ambassador or at a Japanese Embassy. Visas must be received prior to arrival in Japan. Visas issued in cases that are determined solely by Consular Offices abroad can be obtained within two or three days. Visas that must be referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval (those who enter Japan for employment, studies, etc.) require between two and three months.

Tourist Visa: One should apply for a visa status called "Temporary Visitor" to visit Japan for sightseeing, engaging in sports activities, visiting relatives, going on inspection tours, or participating in meetings, short study courses or other similar activities without intending to engage in any remunerative activities. The period of stay to be granted is 90 days or shorter.
As a general rule, the applicant must submit to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate the following: 1) a valid passport; 2) two copies of the completed visa application form (a passport-size portrait must be affixed to each of them); 3) an air or sea passage return ticket from Japan or evidence of purchase thereof.

Commercial Visa: If one intends to visit Japan on a business or commercial mission, a commercial visa must be secured. The type of visa and the period of stay to be granted will vary depending on the case presented by the applicant.
As a general rule, the applicant must submit to the visa issuing authorities two copies of a letter from the firm from which the applicant is given an assignment to visit Japan in addition to the documents for tourist visa applicants. For more information on this and other types of visas, contact the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate.

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Electricity
The electric current in Japan is mostly 100 volts AC, but two different cycles are used: 50 in Eastern Japan including Tokyo and 60 in Western Japan including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. At major hotels, two outlets for both 110 and 220 volts are installed for electric razors, hairdryers, travel irons, etc.

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Water
Drinking water is safe and pure throughout Japan.

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Medical Service
Medical service and facilities are of a high standard in Japan.

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Transportation
Taxi
Taxis can be convenient for intra-city transportation. To flag down a taxi, look for a red light in the lower right corner of the windshield as you face it. Any other color means the taxi is reserved or occupied. Passengers enter the back door on the left side, which the driver opens and closes automatically. If you are visiting someone's home or company, be sure to have its location on a map, as an address is not enough, given the complicated street layouts in the big cities. Tipping is not practiced. Pay only the metered fare.

Narita Express
If you land in Narita Airport and you know your hotel locates close to the JR Station, Narita Express is the easiest way to downtown. The trains bound for Tokyo JR Station, Shinjuku JR Station, Yokohama JR Station. If you have big heavy languages, I recommend to use Limousine instead. Your hotel may be far from the JR station with many stairs up and down.

Train
There are three kinds of train systems in Japan. First one is JR, Japan Railways, used to be governmental operation and currently seven JR companies operates the train systems in the each region of Japan.
The second one is private company operations. Metropolitan area like Tokyo has several train companies. The third one is subway line. Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Sapporo, Osaka have subway lines and train runs downtown area of big cities.

Bus
Bus system is complicated- route, fare, and destination in Japanese. Since drivers don't speak English, a bus riding will be a big challenge for you.

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