Here are all the links to get you on your way to Japan!
Visit Japan Web– This is a must about a week before you leave. You have to get your COVID vax card, immigration and customs paperwork pre-approved. Take screen shots of the qr codes in case the wifi is slow at the airport when you arrive.
Klook– This is a must visit before you leave as well. You cannot buy tickets to Disneyland and most other places when you arrive. Almost all theme park/museum/themed dining experiences require a reservation. They also require tickets purchased when you are in Japan. So this website does the work for you while you are still at home. We got our Disneyland and Sanrio Puroland tickets through them.
Wifi- First call should be to your cell provider and see if they have an international wifi hotspot deal. I have TMobile and they had a great deal. So, I did not have to mess with purchasing a mobile hotspot or sim card. If you do choose to go that route, This is a website that has good rates: Japan Wireless
Hotel- Have a screenshot of your hotel’s name and address in Japanese on your phone. That way people that don’t speak English can help you find your way. FYI, most people do speak English well, and signage is usually in both Japanese and English, but we did have one cabby that didn’t speak a word of English, so we just showed him the screenshot, and he got us right to our hotel, no problem.
Google Maps- You already have this on your phone most likely, but it will tell you exactly how to get places, what door to enter, what escalator to use, everything. Getting around will not be an issue if you don’t speak Japanese.
Google Translate- For the rare menu or signs in Japanese only. Just point your camera at it, and Google will give you a decent translation. BTW, most restaurants have pictures of the food, so if all else fails, just point 🙂
Tipping- No tipping anywhere in Japan! This feels weird because you will want to thank all the nice people there, but it is not only not customary, but considered a little rude to tip. So, save you money. Speaking of money…
Yen- Rough translation from Yen to USD is put a decimal two spaces from the end. So 2000 Yen would be around 20 bucks. It will actually be closer to 18 bucks, but it will give you an idea how much things cost.
Have a few Yen on you for older restaurants that only take cash. Also, to get your Suica or Pasmo card, you will need Yen, which leads me to….
Suica and Pasmo Cards- These are metro cards that can also be used in convenience stores and in vending machines. The train system can be daunting, so I recommend getting one of these cards and just add Yen as you need to when taking trains. Click here to see a good beginner guide to these cards.
Best places to visit in Tokyo- If you want to take in sights, street fashion, shopping, dining and even shrines, then I recommend Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku. All accessible by metro or cabs.
Quick tip for my usual audience- Plus size clothing is going to be hard to find, unfortunately. But, I do have a brand that I love, Punyus, that has stores in Harajuku and Shinjuku. Click here for their website.
Have the best time! I know Benji and I sure did!