But, what’s it really like?” As invigorating, exciting and intoxicating as it is to explore an unknown land, it can be inconvenient and even a little intimidating to go in completely blind. That’s where we come in. In this ongoing series, we pose some essential questions and arm you with the answers of our regional experts to help you get in deep and up close—without frying your cell phone or bringing the wrong currency!


Japan Travel Tips

Japan Travel TipsWhat’s Japanese cuisine like?
If you were to pick one of the most important aspects of Japanese culture, food would definitely be at the top of the list. Turn on any Japanese TV station and the program you watch will most likely be about food or how to prepare it. When you know food is that important to a culture, you know it’s going to be good. But what’s it like? Freshness is a Japanese trademark, along with the diversity of dishes on offer—there is something for every palate to enjoy. Be prepared for a host of unusual tastes, textures and pairings. It’s not just sushi!

What is the electrical voltage?
The electrical voltage in Japan is 100 volts and plugs are of similar design to those of North America. The voltage for electronics is similar to North America as well, so your favourite devices are usually compatible, with emphasis on “usually.” Check out this link for a little more information—and don’t say we didn’t warn you if you fry your iPod!

Will my cell phone work?
North American cell phones might work in Japan, but travellers should check with their carriers. It is probably the least compatible country in the world. If you cannot use your phone, you can rent local phones before coming, or at the airport.

Japan with B&R

Japan Travel TipsI’ve been looking at B&R’s Japan Biking trip. How difficult is the riding? Considerably more challenging than our other Asian biking trips, and the ideal country to request a road bike. Base rides average 40 kilometres on rolling hills and some steep climbs, with several extensions and the possibility to ride up to 75 kilometres on a couple days—one’s quite challenging! We bike through cultural landscapes, stopping along the way to talk to people and learn about rural life. This is not a hectic bike trip, this is a journey through Japan, and biking allows us to get closer to the people.

How should we dress for the trip?
Casually, for the most part. Don’t worry about nice shoes, just bring nice socks! For convenience, try to bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off. If you forget something, buy replacements in Tokyo, as in Noto you won’t find much. Be prepared for all types of weather.

Do I need to bring Japanese Yen on trip?
You will want to make sure to get cash out in Tokyo. There are fewer opportunities to stop at ATMs elsewhere on the trip.




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