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)
- Other visiting places:
Amusement parks (Seasonal)
Autumn/Winter Festivals (Seasonal)
Links below are for Android but ioS is written for most apps.
- Google Translate (download offline language Japanese to be able to use without WiFi) (Android and ioS)
- JR Line Map (Android)
- Tokyo Subway Navigation (check here for other city maps)
(Android and ioS)
- yomiwa (Android and ioS)