Japan has four distinct seasons.
Hokkaido has subarctic climates.
Autumn always brings such freshness with a light breeze and cool temperature after the hot and humid summer.
All forests are dyed in glorious autumn colors.
The currency of Japan is written "円".
Its currency sign is "￥" and is written " Yen" or " JPY " in foreign characters.
Consumption tax in Japan is 8％.
Currently, whether indicated prices are tax-included or not is up to the store.
The unit of Japanese currency is Yen.
Coins are available in denominations of 1,5,10, 50, 100 and 500 yen and bank notes in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen.
The 1,000 yen bill and 100 yen coin are used often.
Credit, debit and prepaid cards of international brands are acceptable at wide variety of merchants.
Whether it is popular dishes such as sushi or tempura, or kaiseki dishies, which are multi-course dishes, Japanese cuisine is prepared with seasonal ingredients and arranged beautifully.
One characteristic of Japanese cuisine is in its use of dashi broth made with ingredients such as dried bonito flakes, kelp, or boiled and dried fish to produce umami, whichi is the basic flavor following sweetness, pungency, sourness, saltiness and bitterness.
Most restaurants today do not require an understanding of all of these fundamental principles, but because the primary concept is a part of the lifestyle of Japanese people.
These are " Don't " in Japanese manners as follows.
1. Disregarding how the dish is presented ( such as eating stacked ingredients from the bottom).
2. Putting your elbows on the table.
Japanese say " Itadakimasu " at the beginning of their meals.
People live off the lives of animals and plants.
"Itadakimasu" is said to express gratitude for " receiving ( itadaku ) " the life of another entity.
"Gochisosama" is used at the end of meals.
It is paired with " itadakimasu " and said to express gratitude to the party or parties involved in the preparing of the dish.
It was originally a Buddhist term, but used by everyone regardless of their religious beliefs.
It is even more proper if you place your hands together and slightly bow when saying either "itadakimasu " or " gochisosama ".
The conventional Japanese meal is of the " one soup, three side dishes " format, which includes the staple ( steamed white rice ) , soup ( such as a clear soup with fish or chicken, or miso soup ) , three side dishes, and pickles.
The staple is always placed on the left side with the soup on the right side, and the side dishes behind them.
This is because Japanese people have placed high value of rice for ages, and in ancient times, the left side was reserved for the most important item.
Rinse your body with hot water in the bath or tap water before entering the bath.
Soak your body in the hot water in the bath and relax!
Exit the bath, wash your body and head with soap and shampoo, and rinse completely.
Ease into bath again and warm your body.
Exit the bath and go back to the changing room after drying yourself with towel.
Post offices throughout Japan are equipped with cash dispensers ( ATMs ) .
You can withdraw cash in Japanese yen from your bank account via an ATM using a debit cards/ credit card issued in your county.
All stores affiliated with the 7-Eleven chain of convenience stores.
The ATMs at 7-Eleven stores allow you to withdraw cash 24 hours a day, making them extremely convenient.
There are no columnar-shaped plugs or 3-pin plugs used in Japan but 2-flat-pin plugs are used instead.
It is therefore advised to purchase a plug adapter beforehand.
The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A,C.
There are two kinds of frequencies in use.
Hokkaido is 50 Hertz.
A convertible type of electrical appliance such as a hair dryer, travel iron and shaver will therefore be handy; otherwise a step-down transformer is required to convert the voltage.
|Alcoholic bevarages||3 bottles||Approximately 760 ml per bottle|
|Cigarettes||400||If a visitor brings in more than one kind of|
|Cigers||100||tobacco product then the total allowance|
|Others ( e.g. loose tabacco )||500g||is 500 g.|
| Perfumes||2 oz|| 1 oz is equivalent to approx 28 cc. |
( excluding eau de cologne and eau de toilette )
|Other items||200,000 yen|| The total overseas market value of all articles other than the above items must be under 200,000 yen. |
Any item whose oversea market value is under 10,000 yen is free of duty and / or tax and is not included in the calculation of the total overseas market value of all articles.
There is no duty-free allowance for articles having a market value of more than 200,000 yen each or each set.