Japan has its own payment network called JCB. International credit card networks that are present in Japan include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. UnionPay is also widely available.

 

Credit cards are accepted by many retailers and food outlets, though some of the smaller outlets may prefer cash instead. So do bring sufficient Japanese Yen (JPY), for small purchases.

 

Choosing a travel insurance for Japan is simple with GoBear’s comparison tool, be sure to find your perfect plan before travelling.

 

Medical services

Japanese medical facilities are of world-class standards, with medical facilities available throughout most of the country. However, it can be costly. Hence it is recommended to get a travel insurance for Japan with medical coverages for any emergencies.

 

If you intend to go someplace more remote, ensure that your travel insurance for Japan includes emergency medical repatriation coverage. Getting an international health insurance can also help subsidies your medical expenses in Japan.

 

Telecommunications

The telecommunications network in Japan covers most of the nation. Mobile phones bought in Singapore might not work with Japanese pre-paid data SIMs, as Japan along with the USA uses CDMA networks rather than GSM ones.

 

Check the specific frequencies your phone uses against the ones your preferred Japanese telco supports. Voice-capable SIMs are difficult to get unless you have a permanent Japanese address (getting your resident friend/relative to buy one for you is probably the easiest way, or you can rent a SIM/phone).

 

Wi-Fi for tourists is somewhat available everywhere you go, as is 4G LTE. The emergency number is 110 for the police and 119 for fire/ambulance services, but remember that most Japanese do not speak fluent English.

 

Singaporean travellers may also prefer to rent travel Wi-Fi devices from Singapore’s Changi Airport, which offers regular discounts to various destinations.

Electricity and water

  • Electrical guide - While Singapore uses the Type G power socket, you will instead see Type A or Type B sockets in Japan. This means that you will need a universal travel adapter. Its 100V/50-60Hz electrical system also means that you must not simply plug in your electrical items unless they are rated to work with ~100V or use transformers that accept ~100V.
  • ​​​​Drinking water - The tap water here is generally safe to drink and bottled water can be easily purchased from convenience stores.

Visa and Passport

Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from the expected date of return; you may not be allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. No visa is required for Singapore passport holders, for travel durations within 90 days.

 

Travel insurance for Japan is a must, other than that, here are some things to take note of before your trip to Japan.

Things to do

Japan is rich in culture and steeped in tradition; if that’s what interests you, then you’ve come to the right place. During the New Year, visiting a shrine to pray for good luck is something of a ritual for most Japanese, as is Obon and Tanabata; many similar festivals take place in Japan throughout the year, culminating in a fireworks display.

 

Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to take part in hanami (flower-watching) parties.

 

There is also a very vibrant artistic – especially musical and theatrical – community, with concerts and plays almost year-round in the capital cities.

Japan is where you will find the otaku (obsessed/fanatic) Mecca of Ahikabara (Akiba), so if you have anybody you know is interested in Japanese media such as anime, manga, or cosplay, this is the place where you can find all the related merchandise.

 

Aside from that, however, Japan is also home to Takashimaya, Isetan and Kinokuniya and Daiso. There are many uniquely Japanese items that you can find only in Japan, so shop around for some good bargains. Inquire about GST refunds in-store; you might be eligible depending on how much you spent and when you’re leaving.

Food

Seafood is a primary component of Japanese cuisine, as is rice. Sushi and sashimi, as well as teppanyaki, are the most famous Japanese cuisines known overseas, but they encompass so much more.

 

Try nabe (hot pot) while in Japan (especially during winter) and Japanese BBQ. While in Kobe, splurge a little on actual Kobe beef. Pork (buta) does feature in Japanese cuisines, but not prominently.

 

Sake (rice wine) is part and parcel of Japanese culture and cuisine and is a must-try while you’re in Japan. Even children can get in on the fun with amazake (a sweeter, nearly non-alcoholic version).

Languages

Japan is incredibly homogenous, so Japanese is not only the official language, it’s probably the only language most Japanese speak fluently. English is taught as part of the school curriculum, and in the largest megalopolises, most large establishments are English-speaking.  

 

To help get over the language barrier, bring along a Japanese phrase book or download a Beginner Japanese application on your mobile phone before travelling.

Youkoso! Japan is an island nation and has a history stretching back nearly a thousand years. Its reigning emperor is from the world’s oldest surviving dynasty; so it’s not surprising to know that modern Japan is at once highly cosmopolitan and immensely traditional at the same time.

 

Japan rules over the Japanese archipelago of islands and observes Japan Standard Time (UTC+9) all year round. Being in the Northern Hemisphere (and pretty far north at that), summer comes around the middle of the year, and winter towards the end.

 

The best time to travel is in Spring, where tourist can get to see the world's famous cherry blossoms.

Safety and security

Anything can happen during a trip! Do not let Japan’s high safety standards make you complacent. Japan is hit by frequent earthquakes with some that are fatal.

Travel insurance

Ensure that your travel insurance for Japan is able to cover all emergency medical needs or damages so that you can rest assured and fully enjoy the beauty of Japan. Use GoBear’s comparison service to select the best Japan travel insurance, across all leading providers in Singapore.

 

 

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