Skiing in Japan is a unique experience that is characterised by culture and discovery. In a country where Japanese is the primary language, you may find yourself having travel troubles such as navigating around. This guideline will give you essential tips to make skiing in Japan easier.
- Have backup translation
You will find that many people in Japan will be eager to speak English with you if they possess the skills. However, you may find yourself in situations where nobody can speak English and you need help with directions or buying something. Your ski resort should have English-speaking staff equipped for tourists, so this refers more to getting to your resort or when you are on the slopes. There are mobile applications you can simply download that can translate Japanese for you, which are very useful.
- Book early
You should organise your accommodation and your ski passes before you get to Japan to avoid problems when you get there. These days, finding a travel agent online is very common and simple. Make sure you book through a trusted and travel agent, ideally with experience of skiing in Japan. If possible, find packages that will include everything from your ski equipment to accommodation to lift passes and so on. Booking early generally has the benefit of early-bird savings.
- Try the vending machines
Japan is known for its innovative thinking and this is evident in their vending machines. They sell a wide range of products including soups, alcohol, hot beverages and food. Your ski resort will most likely have some available and you might find it is cheaper to use the vending machine than the food on sale at the restaurants and eateries at the resort. The products are good quality and are something you should experience for the novelty and cultural experience.
- Do not tip
Unlike the US, tipping is not a feature of Japan and if you decide to tip, the workers in Japan will politely decline your offer of tip. Instead of thanking them in the form of monetary rewards, adopt polite Japanese etiquette, such as bowing to show your respect.
- Do not rely on an ATM
Bringing enough cash on your ski trip in Japan will save you trouble. Finding an ATM in a ski resort is very difficult and you may have to spend more money on travelling out to access an ATM. You should create a practical budget for your skiing experience so you can bring the right amount of cash.
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