Sunday, 18 February 2018
Travel Tips

Japan Open Travel Tips

1.       Expect to do a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Japan has a fantastic transportation network consisting of subways, trains, monorails, buses and taxies, but once they get you to the general vicinity,  the best way to see Tokyo is by foot.

2.         Bring and carry individual packages of tissues. Many Japanese rest rooms do not have paper towels.

3.       Eating in Tokyo is worth the trip! Tokyo has more than 60,000 restaurants. Many  of the menus have pictures in them or you can ask for an English menu.  If they do not have one, the easiest thing to do is to point to the dish you want in the display window of plastic foods. For those of you who need your American junk food fix, rest assured, they are available too including: McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Subway, 7-11 and KFC. Consult the Ricos for directions

4.       Bring a good camera. Japan and Nasu High Lands (tournament location site) are wonderful places to take pictures.  Don't worry about running out of film, Japan has many photography stores with prices comparable to the U.S.A.


5.         Pack items that may leak or explode (toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, etc.) in resealable plastic bags. It is likely that  your luggage will also be opened and checked by customs when you enter and leave Japan.


6.         Use the subways, trains and monorails to travel within the city. Taxies are very expensive and buses may require more Japanese language skills (both reading the Japanese characters and speaking).


7.         Bring an easy to carry English (or your native language) to Japanese dictionary.


8.         Buy one or more easy to carry Tokyo guidebooks. Some suggested books: The Frommer's Tokyo, Fodor's City Pack Tokyo book and the Lonely Planet World Guide book.


9.         Bring and use sunscreen. While the weather can often be overcast  in Japan, the sun is still a factor. Japan is about the same latitude as Central California.


10.       One of the best ways to get from Narita Airport to Tokyo is the Airport Limousine. These are comfortable buses that take you from the airport directly to most major hotels. They are also one of the least expensive ways to get to the city.


11.       Pack Umbrellas and/or raincoats during the typhoon season (August to October). Disc Golf tees at Nasu Highlands will be rubber tee pads to protect the existing golf course . Bring appropriate shoes.


12.       Bring a light backpack for your daily travels.


13.       Pack one or two empty duffel bags in your suitcase for dirty clothes and to make room for souvenirs.


14.       Purchase sodas, snacks and Asahi Super Dry for the evening at a convenience store to avoid the costly hotel prices. Convenience stores are located near the hotels and throughout the city.


15.      If you need internet access in Tokyo and your hotel does not provide it, check out the internet cafes.


16.       The Japanese are very friendly  and helpful if you initiate a conversation but are otherwise private people. 


17.       Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most hotels also do currency exchanges at a fair rate.


18.       Call your airline 24 hours in advance to confirm your reservations for both incoming and outgoing travel.


19.       Don't touch or tease any wild monkeys.




1.         Saying thank you is good form in any country. In Japan, it's "Arigato" pronounced "aree-gaa-toe".  If you want to say "Thank you very much", it's "Domo Arigato" pronounced "doe-moe aree-gaa-toe"


2.       Japanese say hello, good bye and express gratitude with a bow instead of a handshake.


3.       The Japanese generally have a quiet and peaceful culture.


4.         The Japanese try not to say no and they may phrase a "no" response in a manner that may be considered to be indecisive or unassertive in the United States. This aspect of their culture helps to keep harmony  within the society and should not be viewed as a weakness.  It is appropriate to politely accept this kind of response as a "no".


5.         Take off your shoes before entering a home, a Japanese style inn, a temple or any other place that you notice to expect this practice.  There may be a pair of slippers for you to change into. In a Japanese home, they may have a special pair of slippers to be worn only in the rest room.  Put these on before you enter the rest room and take them off as you leave.


6.         If you are invited to a Japanese home, bring a small gift from your country if possible.


7.         When dining out with Japanese friends, the bill is usually split evenly among all parties.  The United States and Japan established this custom after Mark Molnar (PDGA # 6409) visited Japan.


8.         You do not need to tip for services including taxies, restaurants and hotels.


9.         The Japanese sometimes hand back change in one lump sum.  Counting your change infers that you do not trust the merchant.  It is perfectly acceptable however to count your money at exchange booths when exchanging dollars for yen.


10.       The Japanese are extremely hygienic. If possible, avoid blowing your nose in public, spitting, coughing without covering your mouth, etc...  These practices of course are a good idea at home as well. 


11.       Wash and rinse yourself thoroughly before entering a Japanese bath.


12.       Japanese restaurants may give you a hot or cold wet towel to wash your hands with before a meal.  Sometimes these towel are individually wrapped similar to a  wet nap.  When individually wrapped, grasp the top of the towel firmly in one hand and with the other hand hit the top of the towel.  This will produce a large popping sound if done correctly.


13.       Turn your chopsticks upside down when taking food from a common bowl to avoid spreading germs, do not stick your chopsticks into a bowl of rice vertically (so they are pointing straight up) and leave them there (this means that someone has died), do not pass food between chopsticks, do not spear foods or push food around with your chopsticks.


14.      Most Japanese do not speak English.  People who are familiar often read English better than they can speak it. It may be helpful to write down questions.