I recommend at least an N5 – N4 level. It is possible to get around with a few words and being street smart. You should be able to say basic greetings and a few sentences especially when out of tourist spots. Most Japanese people will not speak to you in English even in the cities.
IHowever it is possible to get around with a few words and being street smart. You should be able to say basic greetings and a few sentences especially when out of tourist spots. Most Japanese people will not speak to you in English even in the cities.
Newbie things to know
- 7 Things OK in Japan but NOT in your Home Countries!
- Unique things about Japan
- Why Oh Why? Questions Answered for Newbies Heading to Japan!
Areas to stay & Accommodation:
Ueno (Hotel New Tohoku)
Yoyogi (立地抜群 & 清潔! Airbnb)
APA Hotel Kyoto Eki Horikawadori
JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Fukuoka
Expect a lot from a foodie! Sorry but I don’t eat sushi so no recommendations there. Some links are in English or Japanese but they are just to give you an idea of what the food will look like.
- Ramen (Ichiran, Hakata Ramen, Do・miso)
- Omurice (Pomme-no-ki)
- Curry (CoCo Ichibanya, Go Go Curry)
- Takoyaki (Osaka only – Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka)
- Okonomiyaki (Osaka only – try Namba)
- Ika (Squid)
- Donburi (Gyuudon, Katsudon, Tenndon etc. – Mt Fuji Soba)
- Matcha (Kyo Hayashiya, Tsujiri, nana’s green tea)
International/Western options (apart from McDonalds, Wendy’s etc)
- Buffets: Shakey’s, Sweets Paradise
- Pizza: Pizza Slice 2, 800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, Pizza-La (for takeaway to home), Rocco’s
- Burgers/Fast food chains: Burgers Base, Freshness Burger, KHB, Schmatz, Lotteria, Mos Burger, First Kitchen
Studio Ghibli Museum 🚅 (Mitaka)
Taito Station Shinjuku GameWorld (for Purikura) 🚅 (Shinjuku)
Senso-ji 🚅 (Asakusa)
Meiji Jingu Shrine 🚅 (Meiji-jingumae)
Tsukiji & Toyosu Fish Markets 🚅 (Tsukiji & Toyosu)
Nezu-jinja 🚅 (Nezu)
Tokyo Skytree 🚅 (Oshiage)
Tokyo Tower 🚅 (Onarimon)
Shibuya 109 (Shibuya) 🚅
Rikugien Garden 🚅 (Komagome)
Takeshita Street 🚅 (Harajuku)
Shinjuku Gyoen 🚅 (Shinjuku Gyeon-mae)
Nakano Broadway 🚅 (Nakano)
Imperial Palace 🚅 (Otemachi/Tokyo/Takebashi depending on the gate entrance)
@Home Cafe 🚅 (Maid Cafe, however it is up to you – Akihabara/Suehirocho)
Fushimi Inari Shrine 🚇 (Fushimi-Inari)
Yasaka Shrine 🚇 (Gion-Shijo)
Gionmachi Kitagawa 🚇 (to see Geishas – Gion-Shijo)
Kyoto Handicraft Center 🚇 (Jingu-Marutamachi)
Universal Studios 🚆 (Sakurajima)
Osaka Castle 🚆 (Osakajokoen)
Dōtonbori Food District 🚆 (Dōtonbori)
Ameri-mura 🚆 (Shinsaibashi/Yotsubashi/Namba)
Shinsekai 🚆 (Dobutsuen-Mae)
Links below are for Android but ioS is written for most apps.