in this video I’m gonna share with you guys my top 10 things you guys should know before coming to Japan some of you guys already know I’ve lived in Japan for more than 15 years and that I live in the center of it all here in Shibuya but when I first came to Japan from the US there’s so many things that I didn’t know or understand so in this video I wanted to share with you guys the top 10 things that I wish someone told me before I came here and let me know in the comments section if you find any of the things that I mentioned in the video kind of weird and if you want to help support the channel check out my Tokyo merch I’ll leave a link below let’s get started so first thing let’s talk about cash in Japan probably coming from a lot of modern countries you think that you can use credit cards because you know you think Japan is a modern country itself but what you’ll find is that a lot of places here in Japan won’t accept credit cards strange right I mean who really wants to carry around cash in their pocket all the time but the reality is in Japan a lot of people still carry around cash in fact I probably have ten twenty thousand dollars in my pocket at any given time just because I have to use cash so much but before I get into all of the places that don’t accept credit cards let me share with you some places that do major department stores or retailers mid-to-upper and restaurants convenience stores and music parks airports now some shops that probably don’t accept credit cards are small mom-and-pop restaurants local bars street food vendors a lot of restaurants who serve set meals during lunch time small retailers and some taxis although more and more are accepting credit cards these days even some fast food places don’t take credit cards so you should be careful also if you’re planning to travel outside of the city be prepared to bring enough cash because it’s even more likely for places not to accept credit cards as a local tip I find that my visa card is accepted at most places while sometimes my American Express is hit miss also if you want to minimize carrying cash around you can get a signature card or app as well card it cost about and you can load it up to 20,000 yen in cash so you can use it at a lot of places but mainly it’s used for train stations so you don’t need to buy a ticket each time when you get to the Train and it automatically calculates affair when you get out just tap in and then tap out but you can also use it at convenience stores many street vending machines taxis train Kia’s some restaurants shops and even electronic stores like big camera accept it now if you’re looking at withdrawal cash in Japan I suggest seven bank ATM Japan Post ATMs and press your bank does their best at handling foreign cards so eating and drinking while walking on the street so in many respects is considered if bad matters to walk and eat at the same time even if you get food on the go like sandwiches or only kiddies this rule may sound weird to you but for Japanese people eating a sandwich is the same as eating a big bowl of pasta while walking yeah weird if you want to eat or drink in public the best thing to do is stop and chill on the side of the street but all in all walking and eating won’t get you in trouble but people will stare you and look at you as if you were brought up badly or maybe even the older generation actually will say something to you but there’s always exceptions to the rule and one of those exceptions is table a ado key spots table a ado key means to eat and walk so these are for this is like Tsukiji fish market these places are intended for people to buy food and eat on the street and as its named in Japanese okay to walk to but one thing you should know is that even in these areas a some shop don’t allow you to walk and eat but it should say on the storefront just to let you know festivals are another exception and as more shops like Starbucks offer to go items like coffee you’ll see more and more Japanese people walking around with coffee cups in their hand ultimately changing the culture of Japan the real issue why it’s thought of as bad manners in Japan is because it’s considered I’m a well code which means it bothers other people people here are sensitive with strong food smells would be the worst if you spill food or drinks on them by accident but there’s all types of people in Japan I’m sure you guys have that one friend or family member that’s more easily bothered by the slightest thing depending on who you ask it may be different so what I can tell you is if you’re really not sure what to do and you’re kind of confused just stop walking if you’re eating so drinking in Japan the drinking age here is 20 years old I was so surprised when I first came here I was like wow you can actually drink here at 20 years old so you can literally go to any convenience store and they’ll sell you alcohol and not ask you how old you are if you just look like you’re 20 years old in fact there are still beer vending machines on streets in hotels etc they don’t even require any proof of age but recently in Japan they’ve made it a little bit more strict let me show you I select my beer I go to the counter the clerk’s scan the drink and the register screens and asked if I’m over 20 years old I tap yes I pay and I’m all good to go what do you guys think too strict too easy how is it in your country so let’s talk about tattoos at the onsen japanese onsen AKA hot springs are one of the coolest experiences you can have in japan unfortunately many japanese onsen prohibit people with tattoos from entering the facility because of the stigma associated with tattoos in japan Yakuza we’re also known as organized crime are known to have characteristic irezumi also known as tattoos since a lot of these onsen facilities don’t want yakuza going to their establishment or scaring their customers they made like a blanket statement saying that anyone with tattoos that small or large can’t enter the place although it may sound unfair it’s Japan and it is what it is so before making reservations at an onsen make sure that they accept tattoos one note though if you’re going to own sins with a private room or private onsen hotels or you don’t have to share the space with strangers then it should be okay to have tattoos as long as you don’t show anyone in public so for those of you that have tattoos don’t worry I’m not gonna leave you hanging few spots in Tokyo that are cool with tattoos I have a full list on my website so I’ll be sure to leave a link in the description of the video so you can check it out for yourself later alright Wi-Fi and Internet in Japan now this is actually one of the things that a lot of people ask me questions about in the comment section and it’s actually one of the most things that always concerns me when I go overseas so what you need to know is that all of the major cities like Tokyo have relatively fast internet in Japan I even stayed at a capsule hotel in Tokyo and their Wi-Fi was super fast I think this should be enough for most people nicer hotels outside of the city should have Wi-Fi but maybe at a slower speed but if you’re anything like me and need to be connected all the time then there are some local options number one Starbucks on the free route luckily Starbucks provides Wi-Fi to all its customers and there are so many Starbucks all throughout Japan but I found that the speeds are fast or slow depending on the amount of customers on the network you can try other cafes but it’s hit and miss number two city Wi-Fi another free alternative is to use a city Wi-Fi this is only available at the major stations or areas like Shibuya Shinjuku Harajuku or dive at cetera connecting is fairly easy I’ll leave a link to all this information in the description now if you need to be connected at all times then you’re gonna need to go the paid route so the first paid option is to rent a portable hotspot Wi-Fi and carry it around with you now I think it’s the easiest thing to just go to the airport and rent one out there another option is to get a SIM card for your unlocked mobile device you can go to any major electronics store and they should carry it again check the description for more details smoking in Japan check this out it says smoking area here right next to me there’s a smoking section smoking in Japan may catch a lot of you off-guard especially if you’re coming from the US but if you smoke then you’re in luck because Japan has some of the most friendly laws for smokers but that may be changing in the near future which I’ll tell you about just a little bit later first of all many izakayas which are sit-down restaurants designed for drinking allow their customers to smoke throughout the entire restaurant and don’t usually provide non-smoking sections if you want to go to an izakaya simply put you’re gonna have to deal with the second-hand smoke nicer restaurants may prohibit smoking but some of them still accommodate their smoking customers so if you want to eat at that kind of establishment you should really ask before you make reservations some family restaurants and other establishments do attempt to divide smokers and non-smokers but sometimes you’ll find that there’s nothing really separating a smoking table and a non-smoking table other than maybe a tiny bin and one of the biggest surprises I had when first living in Tokyo is that smoking inside is actually allowed while smoking outside is prohibited it didn’t make sense to me at first but when you consider how busy the streets are in Tokyo the last thing you want is someone bumping into you with their cigarette but the city though wanting to accommodate smokers had set up smoking areas throughout the city so those smokers who knew their nicotine fix can do it safely on the street isn’t that a great idea but to the non-smokers out there you might be pleased to hear that they pass a law that make it more strict to smoke cigarettes inside if they want to have a smoking section to have it separate from the non-smoking section otherwise they can’t have a smoking section at all writing the train in Japan now if you guys have seen any videos on Japan you’ve probably seen these crazy attendants pushing people on the train and let me tell you that the struggle is real and it really happens especially during rush hour try to avoid riding major city commuter trains during the weekday between 8 to 9:30 in the mornings 5:30 to 7:30 in the evenings and the last train which is usually around midnight and the trains reek of alcohol Peaks may vary from train line to train line but this should give you a rough idea of when to avoid the trains also what a lot of travelers don’t know is that usually the first or last part of the train on weekday mornings are reserved for women only this is because Japan has a huge problem with men groping women on trains especially when they’re packed on the train like marshmallows in a game of chubby bunny look for the pink signs on the cart which also indicate the women only time in this case 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. so at a restaurant right now and one of the things that I absolutely love about Japan is a non clipping culture so what I mean about that is if you go to a restaurant or if you take a taxi you never have to pay a tip the price on the bill is an actual price you pay and one of the things that I deeply appreciate you save so much time not having to calculate the tip and the service area is almost every times pretty good at the same time there’s one thing you guys need to know is that there’s women fees in some of the restaurants call that dye or in English the table charge prices vary from place to place but ranges from 300 yen to the upper end of 1000 yen per person advisor places you’ll actually be able to spot it right away when you sit down at the table before ordering drinks or food the waiter will bring you a small dish once you see the small dish then you know there’s gonna be a table charge it’s very japanese in a way they’ll make you pay for a table charge but they’ll actually give you something in return general rule is if it’s a fast-food place ramen shop or restaurant serving set lunch courses then you don’t have to worry about the table charge otherwise expect the table charge but you really need to be careful of the sneaky easy kaya’s that make you order a certain number of dishes as well as charge you a table charge they’re usually the ones advertising in front of the store for a ridiculously cheap amount of money like a thousand yen all you can eat all you can drink or something like that even places like this advertise 500 and Pizza will have a table charge and they’ll make you also order one drink so no matter what you are paying at least 1,000 yen 3 to the place I know it’s a lot to some of you but I still think it’s a bit sneaky let’s talk about hotel fees in Japan and if you guys have looked and searched for hotel rates you might have found that it’s quite expensive but what you may not know initially is that more often than not hotels and charge per person instead of a room so I could see having a minor add-on charge for an additional person staying at their room but doubling the rate for an additional person seems a bit excessive to me I don’t know about you guys it made it really depend on the country you’re coming from but I’m from the US and we really don’t have rooms doubling and rate when you have two people versus one the only time this makes sense to me is when you go to a Japanese ryokan or onsen hotel and they include dinner and breakfast as part of the room rate in this case an additional dinner and breakfast would need to be prepared for that extra person hence doubling the overall cost anyway so I don’t see Japan changing their business practice anytime soon so it may be affordable to look at other services like Airbnb or couples and families or for singles you might want to check out capsules or youth hostels and number-10 cooperate with the police wow this has been like such a hot and long day trying to film this I’m so glad he made it through so let’s just start this may actually be a no-brainer especially if you’re coming from a foreign country but what you might not understand is the laws are very different here in Japan and how the police interpret those laws so whatever rights you think you have you might want to put that on hold when you come to Japan one of those rights is your right to privacy police here in Japan have the rights to stop you to check your ID and ask you questions just if they think you look suspicious it might sound ridiculous but that’s just how it is in Japan and if you don’t cooperate there’s a high chance that they can detain you and hold you in the police box like the one behind me right here in fact I’ve been stopped a few times throughout my 15 years in Japan and talking with my other friends who live in Tokyo they’ve been stopped as well if you guys have any experience with the police in Japan let me know in the comments section so the moral of the story is if you get stopped by the police just cooperate with them if you don’t want to get held up for any longer even if you didn’t do anything wrong and always carry your ID or at least a copy of it oh and if they do ask to search your pockets yes it’s actually not legal for them to check it but if you don’t allow them to search your pockets again they might give you a suspicious and hold you in the police box so if you guys don’t want any trouble just cooperate with the police I know it sounds a bit strange but it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run alright so that concludes my top 10 things I wish I knew before coming to Japan please remember that these are generalizations and not all Japanese are like this there’s always exceptions to the rule and despite all these cultural differences I still love living in Japan in fact I feel safer living in Japan than any country I’ve ever visited which is like a pretty cool thing so in visiting Japan or visiting any other country we should always be respectful of the culture if you found this video helpful help me out and hit that like button and if you want to see more adventures in Tokyo or Japan hit that subscribe button and the Bell button and I’ll catch you guys in the next one