Hot answers tagged

141

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-dinner phrase is "gochisosama". No one in Japan will expect you to know the details, so you can just sit quietly and let the moment pass. Display expert use of ...


106

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 special duty free allowance for rice that will ensure it is not taxed. However, a phytosanitary certificate is required for them to allow it into the country, ...


100

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 make more of an effort not to disturb fellow-passengers than in many other countries. In Japan its rare to run into that one in a thousand person who just doesn'...


89

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 you" when they sneeze is about warding off evil spirits. In any case, a lot of Japanese people don't say it, and they certainly don't expect foreigners to ...


80

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 get a stamp. I had been to Japan multiple times before and got the stamp and spoke with an officer, hence my concern.


80

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 mother scolding an unruly child (or husband). justhungry.com (no affiliation) has a nice series of Japan dining cards that convey various dietary restrictions ...


73

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 needed, or to avoid the pipes during excavation work. Reference (in Japanese): http://www.yotsugi.co.jp/products/detail/233


67

First time I've heard of this, and I think it's nonsense. There is a strong social convention that people should give up their seats (not just the designated priority seats) for elders, very young kids, the disabled/injured and pregnant. Nobody will be offended or think you rude for doing that. They might call you out if you don't. The recipient most likely ...


64

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.


62

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, and that the new station shall just be named "Shin-X", which should be understood as meaning "the new X". Sometimes the reason why a new station is necessary is ...


62

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: Articles qui vous ont été confiés par un tiers. ...which means, unmistakably this time: Items that someone else gave you/entrusted you with This question is ...


60

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 that they prefer letting you not pay the tax and still buy in Japan; at least that will contribute to the local economy. But for something you use in the ...


59

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 smallish envelope and hand to a homeless person. In Japan, it is customary to place money in an envelope before we give to someone.


59

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 "every weekday", but rather it runs only on specified days, presumably when high demand is anticipated. The timetable you linked, published on JR Central's ...


54

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, not 10 digits) and photographed, but the camera used for the latter is akin to a consumer webcam (see photo here) and not sufficient to extract retinal ...


52

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 dutifully do it without any issues. Just try not to do it during busy times, out of consideration for other customers waiting behind you. If you want to donate ...


51

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 line, reachable in about 2.5 hours by train from Shinjuku in Tokyo with a transfer at Otsuki: https://maps.app.goo.gl/uiFYVrUa41rqVVkQ8 Note that this view is ...


50

I live in Japan and every day commute with trains and metro. And can assure you that nobody will think you are rude by offering the seat. From my personal experience: I have a rule to always give up my seat to Disabled/injured people Pregnant women (in Japan they wear a badge like this http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41977000/jpg/...


50

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 malls and airports often have very nice spacious nursing rooms. We still did plan in advance and checked online where exactly they were located so that we didn'...


48

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 people, in general, most people can understand at least a little bit of English (except, of course, the very old people). (EDIT: As commenters reminded me, there ...


47

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 almost certainly registered as still being in Japan and, if you do nothing to fix this, likely to run into a lot of trouble the next time you visit. Your best bet ...


45

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 overnight trip the times I've done the same. Also, they don't really know you are sleeping somewhere else, you could have been partying all night, been stuck ...


45

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 fun. Japan is known for having strict etiquette but they are very forgiving of foreigners and can get the gist by observing others before doing something. What I ...


44

Thanks @Doc for the useful link at Japan Times. The main reason taxi drivers prefer fender mirrors is that they provide better visibility,” Osuga explained. “There is less of a blind spot so it’s easier to confirm what is happening at the rear and side of the car, especially on the driver’s side.” Another advantage of fender mirrors compared to door ...


44

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 specific agents can be found in previous questions tagged “freighter travel”. Many websites advertise specific journeys but you can always contact an agent and ...


44

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 with the wheelchair icon (yes, you can use it too). If you do encounter such a case, though, it's not different than elsewhere. An apology (shitsurei ...


42

Here's an excerpt from Wikitravel: Although many visitors, especially Americans, may feel apprehensive about visiting Hiroshima, it is a friendly, welcoming city, with as much interest in Western culture as anywhere else in Japan. Tourists are welcomed, and exhibits related to the atomic bomb are not concerned with blame or accusations. Bear in mind, ...


40

I live in Japan (Tokyo) and no one gives up their bus or train seats unless the standing person is clearly incapable of standing for long (old, injured, pregnant). Then they are fairly good about it. What's really entertaining is watching two elderly people with canes / walkers etc. arguing about which one of them need the seat more. And it's the "good" ...


38

Qualifier: I live in Tokyo You will have no problems navigating the train system or shopping in tourist-specific areas like Asakusa. Beyond that, not that many people speak or understand English. Even getting lunch at McDonalds is difficult - I speak reasonable Japanese and they still get my order wrong nearly half the time. The locals are simply not used ...


38

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 describing different types of waste and explaining how they are sorted. Perhaps collections are picked up on different days depending on their type. According ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible