Quick tips for a Tokyo trip

Japanese maintain traditional class-orientation, and it’s evident in the way they communicate. They are generally quiet, orderly and friendly when approached. Tokyo is especially clean; public trash cans are sparse because you’re expected to throw away garbage at home. Clean up your act!

Put your best foot forward.

Most inner-city Japanese speak English, and Westerners are common in Tokyo. Locals know you are foreign and don’t expect perfect cultural adherence. But it’s always nice to demonstrate a little effort to assimilate! Upon meeting, slightly bow your head. Your new friend will likely offer a hand simultaneously; mimic his/her lead. Take the business card with both hands and study it before placing it neatly in your card case.

Ins and outs of getting around:
Tokyo is relatively expensive and it’s a good idea to take some yen in cash. Get a prepaid Pasmo card at Tokyo station if you plan to take public transportation. Walk and drive on the left, and let the taxi door close automatically. Tipping isn’t expected and many menus display meal choices with photos. Jet-lag got you down? Need a caffeine jolt? No worries! Starbucks and 7-Eleven are there to save the day!

 

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