Japan General Information
Capital, major cities: Tokyo. Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Yokohama
In Japan, you can successfully combine many types of recreation: a breathtaking “excursion”, a beach holiday on the island of Okinawa, business tours (trips to numerous exhibitions and seminars), holidays in ski and thermal resorts, trips to study martial arts. Many are attracted by the unique architecture of the country – the world-famous “Golden Pavilion” in Kyoto, the Imperial Palace, a great many unique temples. The best amusement parks are open for children in Japan: Disneyland, Disney Sea, Universal Studio and others.
A diverse, but invariably well-to-do contingent travels to the country: mostly tourists who have already visited many countries, as well as businessmen.
There is no direct flight from Minsk. Aeroflot operates daily flights Moscow – Tokyo – Moscow, the flight time is 9 hours 25 minutes. Japan Air Lines (JAL) offers a flight Moscow – Tokyo on Mondays and Tokyo – Moscow on Thursdays, flight time (~9 hours). In the summer, additional flights are introduced.
Narita International Airport is located 66 km from Tokyo. There are several ways to get to the capital from here:
The first is the JR Narita Express (NEX) train, which runs to the center of Tokyo for one hour non-stop. From it it is convenient to transfer to other JR lines. The interval between express trains in the morning and in the evening is 30 minutes, in the afternoon – one hour. About once an hour, a “semi-express” leaves – it takes about an hour and a half on the way.
The second way is the Skyliner train, the boarding platforms of which are located in the basement of each airport terminal. Trains arrive at Keisei Ueno Station, where you can transfer to JR trains. Travel time to Tokyo is one hour, the interval between express trains is about 40 minutes. In addition, “semi-expresses” run every 10-20 minutes, the journey time is about an hour and 10-30 minutes.
The third option is Limousine buses departing from the first floor of the airport. Time to Tokyo is about 1.5 hours, there are many flights.
There are no restrictions on the import of foreign currency. You can bring into Japan without declaration 500 g of tobacco, 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, three containers of wine and vodka (each – no more than 760 ml), two ounces (56 ml) of perfume, gifts and souvenirs with a total value of no more than 200,000 JPY. When importing animals or plants, you must contact the quarantine counter. It is forbidden to import firearms, pornography, drugs (drugs face deportation and a lifetime ban on entering the country), as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. There are restrictions on the import of furs, medicines (especially those containing 1-deoxyephedrine) and cosmetics.
Embassy of Japan in Moscow: Kalashny lane 12; tel.: (495) 291–8500
Consular department in Moscow: Maly Kislovsky lane 5a; tel.: (495) 202–3248
Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan: Tokyo–to, Minato–ku, Azabudai, 2–1–1; tel.: 03-3583-4224, consular department: 03-3586-0408
(24/7, English): 0120-461-997
Fire brigade, ambulance: 119
Police: 110 (call is free, when calling from a street pay phone, you must press the red button before dialing)
Phone codes of cities: Tokyo – 3, Osaka – 6, Nagoya – 52, Kyoto – 75, Nagasaki – 958, Sapporo – 11, Hiroshima – 82, Yokohama – 45
Mobile phones with “worldwide roaming” will most likely not work in Japan. In hotels 4-5 * you can rent a phone. If your stay in the country is delayed for a long time and it makes sense to connect to the Japanese cellular network: the phone itself is issued free of charge, you will only have to pay for the company’s services.
(24/7, English): 0120-461-997
The main modes of transport in the country are railways and ships.
Ultra-modern high-speed trains are divided into long-distance trains and local lines, which are divided into simple express trains, limited express trains (“semi-express trains”) and ordinary electric trains that run with all stops. All trains are equipped with easy chairs, vending machines with coffee and soft drinks, they are also required to have a toilet, a landline telephone and a scoreboard in Japanese and English. For rail travel, the Japan Rail Pass (valid only for visitors with a tourist visa and purchased in advance) is convenient, giving unlimited travel on Japan Railways trains, buses and ferries, as well as on some private company trains for a certain period ( one, two or three weeks). Personal ticket, its transfer to another person is prohibited,
The fare for intracity railway lines is 120–300 JPY, tickets are purchased from special machines at stations (long queues for them are not uncommon) and are handed over at the exit of the train at the destination station. When moving from a branch of one company to a branch of another, a new ticket is bought. You can also pay extra for the ticket at the destination station.
Japan has a well-developed bus system. Most of them operate from 7:00 to 21:00, some buses serving remote areas operate from 5:30 to 23:00. At each stop, its name, route and its number are indicated (most often only in Japanese). Payment is made upon boarding the bus. In the city, a trip costs about 200 JPY, outside the city – depending on the distance. There is a one-day pass for about JPY 1,200 (JPY 600 for children under 12), which in some cases is also valid for subway travel.
The metro is developed only in large cities, the lines are divided into zones. Trains run at five-minute intervals from 05:00 to 23:30–24:00. The fare varies on different routes and depends on the zone, ranging from 120 to 1500 JPY. The cars are painted in different colors – depending on the line. Seats in blue or gray are for the elderly and the disabled, they should not be occupied.
Taxis in the country are very expensive. The fare starts at JPY 650 in Tokyo (JPY 500-580 in other cities), then at JPY 80-90 for a certain distance, an additional JPY 45-50 is charged for each minute of downtime. From 23:00 to 06:00 the tariff is 30% higher.
For Japanese taxi drivers, the opposite is true: a green “light” means that the car is busy, red – free, yellow on an empty car – is on a phone call.
Having lost something in a taxi, a tourist can receive almost 100% compensation for the cost of the lost.
You can rent a car if you have an international driver’s license (not issued in Russia) and compulsory Japanese insurance (JCI). However, even tourists who have the opportunity to rent a car in Japan rarely do this: the complexity of the registration procedure, the peculiarity of road signs, parking difficulties and chronic traffic jams make driving in the country almost impossible for a European who does not speak Japanese. Movement is left-handed. The traffic police are very strict.
The crime rate in law-abiding Japan is extremely low, but tourists still should not forget about elementary precautions.
Meeting an English-speaking passerby on the street is one chance in a hundred. However, lost tourists will definitely be helped – not by passers-by, but by policemen, whose duties include delivering foreign “foundlings” to hotels.
The mains voltage is 100 V, and the frequency (Hz) is different. To work from the local network, each electrical appliance must necessarily have the function of automatic voltage change 100/220 V. If it is not there, no adapter will help.
The climate in Japan, with the exception of the island of Hokkaido, is temperate, with clearly distinguishable seasons and two rainy periods – spring and autumn. In winter (December-February), the temperature on the plains along the coast is usually above zero, the weather is sunny, with dry air. Spring (March-May) begins with plum blossoms, and cherry blossoms from late March to early April mean the height of spring. Summer (June-August) begins with the “bayu” (“plum rain”) rainy season, which lasts 3-4 weeks. In southern Okinawa, the rainy season begins in mid-May, and in the Tohoku region in the north of Honshu, in mid-June, and ends in mid-June and July, respectively. From July comes the real summer heat. Autumn (September-November) brings fresh breeze and comfortable temperatures.
More than 70% of Japan’s land mass is made up of mountains. About 200 mountain peaks are volcanoes, of which 67 are considered “alive”: active or dormant. During the year, several thousand earthquakes occur in Japan, there are up to 20 shocks per day. But in most cases, their strength is so small that only high-precision equipment of seismic stations can fix it.
The best time to travel to Tokyo is from late March to May or October to November.
Each hotel in the country, from two (Tourist class) to five “stars” (Deluxe class) is an example of a high level of service. The classification of hotels directly depends on the size of the territory, the number of restaurants and shops in it. Rooms in 2-3 * hotels are usually small in size, but at the same time they are always equipped with everything you need, including electric kettles.
In Japan, both European and national ryokan hotels, furnished in Japanese style, are common. European hotels mainly operate on the basis of breakfast (or no meals at all). “Ryokans” usually offer half board, the cuisine in them is only national.
Most hotels in resort towns have their own “onsen” and “furo” – special hot mineral baths.
Banks are open from 9:00 to 15:00–17:00 on weekdays and from 9:00 to 12:00 on the first and last Saturday of the month, Sunday is a day off. Exchange offices at Tokyo International Airport are open 24/7. All banks are closed on public holidays.
It is best to exchange large amounts at the airport of arrival, as in hotels they change no more than 300 USD per person per day, and in banks the exchange procedure is complicated by bureaucratic formalities. You can pay with common credit cards, but you need to remember that in a number of restaurants “credit cards” are not accepted.
Department stores are open every day from 10:00 to 21:00 or 22:00. Private shops, as well as shops at hotels, each work according to their own schedule. There is a network of small convenience stores offering a limited range of goods, including, however, everything you need.
The most expensive stores are in the Shinjuku quarter on Aoyama-Dori Street. Young people prefer to dress in the Shibuya area, where there are many inexpensive super fashion stores. Department stores in Japan are called “depato”, they are really huge here. The main Japanese department stores Mitsukoshi, Matsuzakaya, Matsuya, Isetan, Keio and some others are located in the Ginza and Shinjuku districts.
In Tokyo, it is worth buying jewelry and bijouterie. Their prices, however, are not lower than European ones, but quite reasonable, but the design is amazing. It makes sense to buy pearls in the Tasaki gallery.
In the “electronic city” Akihabara they sell electronic equipment, and outdated models can be bought three times or even five times cheaper than in Moscow, while new ones are not much cheaper. The Denki-matsuri Festival is held twice a year in Akihabara.
In Japan, it is not customary to bargain either in the markets or in stores.
New collections of many European designers appear first of all in Tokyo. As, of course, are the collections of famous Japanese designers Yoji Yamamoto, Takeo Kikuchi, Michiko and Hiroko Kosino and others.
Souvenirs can also be bought at the airport before departure: prices will not differ from those in the city.
Japanese cuisine uses fresh or completely raw products, its basic ingredients are rice, fish and seaweed. The most popular dishes are: “sushi” (or “sushi”) – more than 200 types, “sashimi” (“sashimi”) – slices of raw fish, which, like sushi, are served with soy sauce and wasabi green horseradish paste, as well as “sukiyaki” – fried beef, vegetables and bean curd.
Some restaurants don’t have English menus, but in this case they usually have photos of the food.
Giving “for tea” in Japan is categorically not accepted: 10-20% for service is already included in the bill. A visitor from the West had better save his generosity for other countries and be sure to wait for all the change to the last yen if he does not want a taxi driver or a waiter chasing him down the street with a few pieces of paper in hand.
The symbol of the country is the “Sacred Gate”, the wooden gate of Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Miyajima, standing right in the water in a small bay. Mount Fuji (Fuji-san, 3,776 m) is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world. The Seto-Ohashi Bridge (1988), spanning the Inland Sea of Japan (Seto) from Honshu to Shikoku.
Numerous Japanese “pearl farms” are visited by up to half a million foreign tourists a year.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS – JAPAN
Deadline for submission of documents: 14 days
To apply for a visa, you need:
A foreign passport with the owner’s signature (valid for at least 3 months from the date of return).
Two identical b/w photographs 45 x 45 mm for the last six months for each traveller
. Certificate from the employer.
– a certificate from the place of study
– a copy of the birth certificate
– a power of attorney for the child from a non-traveling parent.
Embassy of Japan in Russia
103009, Moscow, Kalashny lane, 12
Phone: (495) 291-85-00/01
Fax: (495) 200-12-40
103009, Moscow, Maly Kislovsky lane, 5A
Phone: (495) ) 202-32-48/83-03
Fax: (495) 956-35-16
E-mail: [email protected]