As the home of the most recent Olympics and one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, Tokyo has a lot going for it. It’s well worth a visit the next time you go on vacation. However, if you’re going to travel here, you should probably know a few things first.
Natural disasters are relatively commonplace
Tokyo is situated in a part of the world where natural disasters aren’t unheard of. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions have been fairly common throughout the city’s history, something that you may find a little unnerving. Fortunately, Tokyo is relatively well-prepared for this. The buildings are reinforced to try and defend against earthquakes, with alerts sent out to smartphones whenever there are tremors. It’s a similar situation with typhoons, which can strike every year between May and October. You may wish to avoid traveling at this time just to be on the safe side, though.
You won’t be welcome everywhere
When it comes to diverse cities, Tokyo doesn’t place too high on the list. The vast majority of the people here are Japanese, which can make you stand out from the crowd quite a bit. Although the region receives plenty of tourists, it’s not always enough to put a foreign visitor at ease. It doesn’t help that some establishments don’t take kindly to those who aren’t Japanese, refusing them entrance to places like nightclubs. The best way to avoid this is to look for locations where English is used on some of the signage. At least with these establishments, you know that you should be welcome.
Social etiquette is essential in Tokyo
Just because the city might sometimes be reluctant to embrace foreign travelers, that doesn’t mean the locals hate you. Plenty will be perfectly polite, provided you don’t offend them with your behavior. Social etiquette is essential in Japanese culture, so while you’re in Tokyo, there are a few things you should keep in mind. This includes removing your shoes before entering a home and bowing whenever you meet other people. How long you should bow for generally depends on the ages and social status of those involved. Talking on public transport should also be avoided.
Certain laws can’t be broken
The last thing you want is to run into legal trouble in a foreign country. To avoid this, there are a few essential laws you need to know about. For one, Japan has a zero-tolerance policy against many substances, including ones you may require for your health, such as insulin. It’s worth looking into the import regulations before you travel there. Gambling is also against the law, but drinking on the streets isn’t. However, some places may have restrictions in place, so it’s best to check first.
It seems that life in Tokyo is very different from the rest of the world. That isn’t a bad thing; it just means you need to be careful when you visit the city. Make sure you know what to expect beforehand, so you don’t offend anyone or get into trouble.