Andrew Urbaniak on What to Know Before You Go to Japan

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If it’s your first time going to Japan, Andrew Urbaniak of Massachusetts is here to help you know what to expect.

People travel from all around the world to visit Japan. The country is rich in tradition yet bursting with new technology. Riding on the bullet speed train is a must, and the food is simply exquisite. Before you pack your bags and book your flight, Andrew Urbaniak of Massachusetts shares some general knowledge you should know.

Prepare to be jet-lagged! Japanese Standard Time (JST) is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). They have no daylight savings time, but rather just one time zone for the entire country. Andrew Urbaniak notes that Japan is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States. It’s essential to keep time changes in mind when booking flights and planning activities.

Because the country is such a popular tourist destination, its best to book sleeping accommodations as early as possible. During peak traveling season, regular hotels tend to be fully booked. If you find yourself unable to book a hotel, Andrew Urbaniak of Massachusetts recommends considering other unique lodging options like the Ryokan Inn and tiny budget capsule hotels.

Unlike the United States, Japan does not offer free public Wi-Fi in most places. Since the language barrier can be quite challenging, Andrew Urbaniak recommends purchasing rental pocket Wi-Fi. It is more of a necessity than merely for entertainment or convenience. Shop for Wi-Fi prices and book your reservation before the trip.

While in Japan, most people want to make the most of their time by traveling freely between cities. This is best accomplished through the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass). Again, Andrew Urbaniak of Massachusetts notes that it is only available for purchase outside of Japan and must be done before the trip. This pass includes tickets on bullet trains, which are usually very expensive.

Exchange money to yen currency before the trip as well, since Japan’s exchange rates typically run higher than in other countries. It can be challenging to find an exchange counter during your stay. If you do not bring enough yen, Andrew Urbaniak recommends using your credit card.

With these tips by Andrew Urbaniak, you’ll be off to an incredible vacation in no time!

About Andrew Urbaniak

As a world traveler, Andrew Urbaniak of Massachusetts has explored countries in Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia. He is passionate about history and enjoys studying World War II and eastern politics. As a hobby, Andrew Urbaniak of Massachusetts collects movies, documentaries, and popular film series from 1980-2000.