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144 votes
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How would Japanese people react to someone refusing to say “itadakimasu” for religious reasons?

Outside of a temple, or perhaps dinner with the Emperor, "itadakimasu" has zero religious connotations. A reasonable translation would be "thanks for the food" said to no one in particular. The after-...
peter's user avatar
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107 votes
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Can we carry rice to Japan?

To bring rice into Japan, you'll have to declare it on your customs form (rice is specifically listed as a "restricted article"), and it will be subject to inspection to check for pests. There is a ...
Zach Lipton's user avatar
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102 votes
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Is wearing perfume in public transports or rooms bad in Japan?

This is considered rude in most places in the world, it isn't unique to Japan. The only possible 'Japan' part of this is that Japanese people broadly tend to be a lot more considerate of others and ...
the other one's user avatar
91 votes

How would Japanese people react to someone refusing to say “itadakimasu” for religious reasons?

Itadakimasu means, literally, "[I humbly] receive". Yes, the origins of the phrase may be about giving thanks to the gods, but at this point it's about as divorced from that as telling someone "bless ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
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83 votes
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I didn't do any exit passport control when leaving Japan. What should I do?

I called the immigration office at KIX, and apparently, as of about a week ago, they are using automated facial recognition gates to quickly check out people staying on temporary visas, so I will not ...
dattebane's user avatar
  • 881
78 votes

How do I ask Japanese restaurants in writing not to serve me any meat?

Please do not use Google Translate for Japanese without native speaker proofreading. The example sentences you provided are somewhere between comical and borderline offensive and sound rather like a ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
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73 votes
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What are the yellow stickers with the letter G and one or two arrows on some Japanese streets?

It's a marker for a buried gas pipeline. Arrow points to where the gas heads to. The marker is used to easily identify which areas need to be dug up, in case maintenance (e.g. pipe replacement) is ...
DXV's user avatar
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64 votes
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Japan formalities. What does "You may not engage in paid activities." mean?

Perhaps more easily understood as colloquial English, and as @pnuts notes, written another way and with the same meaning: you may not engage in activities for which you are/will be paid.
Giorgio's user avatar
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64 votes

Toilet laws for Transgender people in Japan

Many public toilets in Japan will have, beside the regular gendered male and female toilets, an accessible toilet which is intended for people with disabilities, people with a stoma, people who want ...
James K's user avatar
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63 votes
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What does "Shin" in a Japanese train station name mean?

What usually happens is that originally, there is a station named X (which may or may not be named after the city where it is located). At some point it is decided that the area needs a new station, ...
fkraiem's user avatar
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62 votes
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Are gifts requested by my host, but bought by me, items "requested from someone else" according to customs in Japan?

No, it does not count as an "item requested from someone else" The question is not really clear in English. But if you take a look at the same form in French, question 1.6 is translated as such: ...
Ronan Boiteau's user avatar
61 votes

Why do I need to leave the country before I can open my tax free consumables?

They want to tax goods you consume in the country. For goods you consume somewhere else you have a real option of buying them somewhere else too; and faced with the possibility that you'd rather do ...
hmakholm left over Monica's user avatar
59 votes
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What to do with one yen coins when traveling in Japan?

May I suggest before departing Japan, visit one of the Temples/Shrines. You can deposit your coins in the box just inside the grounds. The other thing you could do with them is to put them in a ...
Christina's user avatar
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59 votes
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Conflicting information: does the Hikari 535 Shinkansen exist?

Short answer. Hyperdia is correct; you can take the Hikari 535 service at 20:33. Long answer. Hikari 535 is an irregularly-scheduled service: it does not have a regular schedule like "every day" or "...
fkraiem's user avatar
  • 12.6k
54 votes
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Airport in Japan without Retina Scan

As far as I'm aware, and this is from personal experience since I visit Japan several times a year, these are no airports in Japan that do retina scans. You will be fingerprinted (index fingers only, ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.4k
52 votes

What to do with one yen coins when traveling in Japan?

I don't think it would be polite to give a bunch of them to cashier Foreigners always overthink "politeness" issues in Japan... Handling payments, in whatever (legal) form, is their job, they will ...
fkraiem's user avatar
  • 12.6k
52 votes

How to travel to this tower with a gorgeous view toward Mount Fuji?

This is the Chureito Pagoda (忠霊塔) on the grounds of Arakura Sengen Shrine near Fujiyoshida, some 10-odd km northwest of Mt Fuji. It's about a 10 min walk from Shimo-Yoshida Station on the Fuji-Kyuko ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.4k
50 votes
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How to travel to Japan while expressing milk?

We are back from our trip and we managed to get around without too much trouble, but with a lot of planning involved. First off: It is really not an issue in airports, big city centres etc. Shopping ...
drat's user avatar
  • 12.6k
48 votes

Do many Japanese people speak Korean?

No. Most Japanese people do NOT speak Korean. However, the English language is a required subject in the Japanese secondary education; although English education has not gone very well for Japanese ...
xuq01's user avatar
  • 10.1k
47 votes

I didn't do any exit passport control when leaving Japan. What should I do?

Managing to leave Japan without an exit stamp or having your passport inspected at all is extremely irregular, and I'm quite astonished that you managed to do so, especially by accident. You are ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.4k
45 votes
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Is it a problem to book a hotel for X days but not be there for part of the booking?

Normally I just advise the staff and tell them not to make the room. It has happened before but never in Japan, but I don't expect it to be different. I even leave all the stuff I don't need for an ...
Itai's user avatar
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45 votes

Is it a good idea to go to Japan without a travel guide?

You can. Travel guides can be helpful in many areas but Japan is so safe that even doing the wrong thing will not get you in trouble. Getting lost might happen from time to time but it's part of the ...
Itai's user avatar
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44 votes
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Traveling to Japan from the USA avoiding air travel?

Travelling by cargo ship (mostly container but also bulk or ro-ro, never heard anything about travelling on a tanker, presumably for safety reasons) is totally a thing. More information and links to ...
Relaxed's user avatar
  • 107k
44 votes
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Male using change tables in female restrooms in Japan

It is quite rare these days (even inside trains) for the changing tables to be in the women's section, usually they will be somewhere in between the two sections, or inside the separate large restroom ...
fkraiem's user avatar
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43 votes
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Is there a way to keep my SIM card but use my phone in Japan besides international roaming?

There's a fourth option: get a phone that supports two SIM cards. This is increasingly common, especially with the advent of downloadable e-SIMs that don't require a physical SIM card slot. It's ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.4k
42 votes

Toilet laws for Transgender people in Japan

From a legal point of view, the situation is muddy at best. Japan does recognize transgender people and it's possible to legally change your gender, but the bar to doing so is quite high and merely ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.4k
38 votes
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What are these brown boxes, found near the north-east coast of Japan used for?

I finally found one of these boxes that had clear enough text. It looks like these boxes are called ごみ収集ステーション which translated is 'Garbage Collection Station'. It looks like the notice is also ...
Ambo100's user avatar
  • 641
38 votes
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Do restaurants in Japan provide knife and fork?

Depends on the restaurant. Restaurants serving Western-style food will, of course, have knives and forks, and "family restaurants" that cater to children will also have them (but likely in ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
  • 99.4k
37 votes
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Third Reich eagle on a pots & pans shop in Osaka - why?

In Japan and other Asian countries there is no stigma on Nazi culture, and until the last 25 years or so, Nazi culture was considered in many Asian communities to be fascinating or chic. Therefore, ...
Lemuel Gulliver's user avatar
36 votes
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Early breakfast availability in Japan?

Yes, there are tons of places open for breakfast in any Japanese city. In particular, cafes open early and nearly always offer a Western-style "morning set" (モーニングセット) usually consisting of toast, ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
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