5 Things Americans Must Know Before Traveling to Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Japan, the land of the rising sun. From the beautiful gardens and temples to the neon-illuminated streets filled with innovative electronics, Japan is a perfect mixing pot of traditional culture and modern technology. 

Whether you are a lover of history, a geek for the latest technology, or a self-proclaimed foodie, Japan is one destination that should be at the top of your travel wish list this year! 

Read 5 things you must know before travelling to Japan: 

  • 1. Convenience stores are truly convenient 
  • Open 24 hours and stocked with a variety of goods, convenience stores in Japan are much more convenient than their American counterparts. A convenience store in the US might have some day-old hot dogs on rollers or maybe some microwavable burritos, but Japanese convenience stores have delicious rice balls, ready-to-eat dishes, and of course countless varieties of instant noodles. You're not truly experiencing Asian culture if you don’t try a few bowls of instant noodles!

  • Japan Convenience Stores


  • 2. Don’t leave tips at restaurants 
  • Whether you agree with the American practice of leaving tips or not, I can assure you that it is an extreme sign or rudeness in Japan. Even if you think it was the best food or the best service in the world, I encourage you to just ask for your check (make a notion of signing a piece of paper, or make an “X” with your index fingers), say thank you, and go on your way. 


    Japanese restaurant

  • 3. Where are all the garbage cans?
  • It may take you a while no place your finger on this, but streets in Japan are typically extremely clean! What’s even more curious about this realization? There are very few garbage cans to be found! In the US we have tons of places to properly dispose of trash, but there are still cans, bottles, and wrappers littered on the side of the street. In Japan you will notice that people carry trash around with them until finding a place to properly dispose of it. There are many places to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles, though, so you won’t have to carry absolutely everything around. 

    Famous street in Japan

  • 4. You can get away with speaking some English 
  • Good news for those of us who barely passed high school Spanish: English is fairly well understood in Japan! Although most people may be too shy or embarrassed to admit, people can understand basic English phrases and will reply back to you in English, if possible. You should still try to learn some basic phrases Japanese phrases though, most importantly how to say “please” and “thank you.” Just be polite and think of how much English you would expect a Japanese tourist to say to you! 


    Japanese green tea ice cream


  • 5. Bring your ORORO jacket!
  • Weather in Japan can be quite fussy or finicky. It can be sunny and 75 degrees one day or cold and miserable the next. Also, depending on where you are traveling in Japan, the weather might differ quite drastically. The southern area near Okinawa can be a tropical paradise where you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt every day. However, if your trip also includes a trip to the Northern areas such as Hokkaido, you can expect long, cold winters filled with snow. To put it in American perspective, it is like the difference between vacationing in Miami beach and the mountains of Colorado. 


    ORORO Heated Jacket


    There are many other things that make Japan great. I could spend hours filling page after page with things to see and delicious foods to try, but I want to leave you with a sense of wonder to go out and find these things on your own. The one thing that will make your trip next-level is to take along your ORORO jacket, so that you are prepared for whatever the weather may bring along your travels. All ORORO jackets come with a universal travel adapter so that you never have to worry about sacrificing your warmth while you’re on the road. 

    PS- Oh, one more thing. Godzilla is not real, no matter what the locals try to tell you!

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