A mysterious country, Japan.
If you get sick in Japan
If you get sick in Japan, what should you do? Thinking that sudden injuries, toothaches, or flu are not relevant to you because you are healthy may cause you some troubles. It is going to be too late to regret that you should have had the knowledge of Japanese medical treatment after becoming sick. Thus, this article introduces useful websites that helps you utilize medical institutions in Japan. Foreign tourists should be prepared in order to travel Japan without worrying. HI(Japan Healthcare Info) This institution provides the information such as what you should do, how much the treatment costs, and what public services you can use and coordinates you and proper medical institutions based on your request. Language is the common barrier for foreigners especially in regard to the publicly funded health care system, but this website offers you a support on this aspect as well. However, unfortunately, it does not seem the website has a Chinese version. If you can understand English, please take a look at this website. Click here for more information Japan the Official Guide When you don’t feel well This website has the list of about 320 medical institutions throughout Japan that meet the requirements of Japan Tourism Agency and Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and can accept foreign tourists. This website is the useful medical institution guide when foreign tourists get injured or sick It has various kinds of languages such as English, Chinese, and Korean, thus it is very useful. It explains: -The basic information about Japanese medical institutions -How to use medical institutions and what you should be careful -The sheet that helps you convey your symptoms to doctors Click here for more information If you get sick in Japan, you may also need cash. Please exchange at Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rate to prepare for such situations.
A tour of manga museums around Japan.
The anime that people watched when they are a child is something unforgettable. Japanese comic books are now created as animation and are broadcasted all over the world, thus there should be many tourists who like Japanese anime. Many of us got excited about the adventures that the characters had such as Kamen Rider, Astro Boy, and Candy Candy. In Japan, there are many museums that can bring back such excitement. Having museums of manga all around the country may be unique to Japan. Please enjoy the masterpieces that have different types of beauty from the paintings of Van Gogh or Renior. Mitaka no mori Ghibli Museum Mitaka, Tokyo has the museum where you can meet with Totoro or Ponyo. The world of Studio Ghibli will make children smile. Some short animations that can be seen only here are also broadcasted! Closed on Tuesdays Open hours: 10:00-18:00 1-1-83 Shimorenjaku Mitaka City, Tokyo TEL: 0570-055-777 Kawasaki City Fujiko F Fujio Museum This is a museum where you can see the original drawing of Fujiko F Fujio who created Doraemon. This museum has the space where you can feel the kindness that his works has. Open hours: 10:00-18:00 Closed on Tuesdays 2-8-1 Nagao Tamaku Kawasaki City, Kanagawa TEL:0570-055-245 Ishinomori Mangakan This is the museum of Ishinomori Shotaro who is known as a creator of Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009.This museum has the precious original drawings and broadcasts the original animation, and you can enjoy “Ishinomori World.” Open hours: 9:00-18:00 (or until 17:00 from December to Feburary) Closed on the third Tuesday 2-7 Nakase Ishinomaki City TEL:0225-96-5055 Takarazukashiritsu Tezuka Osamu Kinenkan Please enjoy the manga, anime, and anime making experience in the museum. Let’s go to Tezuka Osamu world from the entrance hall that looks like the one that appears in “Princess Knight”! 7-65 Mukogawacho Takarazuka City, Hyogo Closed on Wednesday (check their website before going) TEL:0797-81-2970 Igarashi Yumiko Museum This is the museum of Igarashi Yumiko who created Candy Candy that is a milestone of girl comics. Here, you can do the cosplay of princess and experience girls’ dream. Let’s post photos of you becoming a princess on Instagram. Open hours: 10:00-17:00 (9:00-18:00 during “Golden Week” and summer) Closed on the third Tuesday 9-30 Honmachi Kurashiki City, Okayama TEL:086-426-1919 Before deciding to go to the manga museums throughout Japan, please come to Sakura Currency Service that has the best rates. In Japan, cash is more useful than cards.
Manners at public baths
These days, onsen (hot springs) is popular among foreign tourists. In Japan, people are familiar with public baths, thus they acquired manners at such places naturally. However, there may be foreigners who have never taken a bath with strangers while being naked. Therefore, it is not unusual if they think “How can I follow the rules?” or “What are the rules at public baths in the first place!?” Thus, this article is going to explain how to use public baths properly. Please enjoy them by following the rules that are explained below. 1. Wash your body before going into the bath tub.2. If you have long hair, tie your hair so that it does not touch the hot water. 3. In the bath tub, do not use the towels and soaps and do not rub your body. 4. Be careful not to splash water or hot water to others. 5. Do not dye your hair or do the laundry. 6. Wipe your body well before going back to the place where you take off your clothes or going to the sauna. 7. If you get sweaty, wash the sweat off before going to the bath tub. 8. Do not leave the water or hot water running. 9. Do not use public baths when you do not feel well. 10. Keep an eye on children and do not let them play. 11. Rinse quickly the washbowl and chair that you use. 12. Do not leave the trash. Put things you used back. This may be just a common sense, but what you have to do is just “do not disturb others.” Please be nice to others so that everyone can enjoy the baths. Lastly, please stop by at Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rate because you can buy “coffee milk” (café au lait) that is popular among Japanese only with cash.
Restaurants that do not accept credit cards are increasing
Japanese do not like to use credit cards, and of 300 million of credit cards that are registered every year, only 12% of them are actually used. Therefore, there are fewer stores that accept credit cards in Japan compared to other countries. In addition, the fact that Japan is a relatively safe country, and it is not dangerous to carry cash is also one of the reasons that many Japanese do not utilize credit cards. Businesses such as restaurants do not like to use credit cards either because they need to pay 7% commission fee. Rather, they want to avoid the fee and the offer better price for customers in order to beat their rival businesses. Recently, even fancy restaurants have started refusing credit cards during the lunch time, and the number of such restaurants is increasing. Even if the signs show the mark of VISA or Master cards, they may not take your cards. This is because fancy restaurants offer lunch with the price that they make almost no profits; they consider that the lunch time is an advertisement. Thus, accepting cards results in the red. For customers, if they pay with cash, they can have delicious dishes inexpensively. Of course, the businesses pay the 7% commission fee, not the customers, but in the end, the additional cost will be reflected in the price. In order to enjoy delicious meals, paying with cash is the best option. Before going to restaurants, please come to Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rates.
Taxi in Japan
In Japan, you can get in a taxi that is driving on the street like in other countries. It is very convenient because they stop anywhere for you by just raising your hand. However, if there is a designated place to take a taxi, called taxi stand, mostly near stations, you have to wait in a line. If you stop a taxi and try to get in it, ignoring the line, you will be considered rude. Japan’s taxi drivers are well trained, so they are mostly polite; they have good manners and they will not ask you for more money than it actually cost or for tips. Tipping culture does not exist in Japan, so just paying what the screen shows is fine. The starting fare in Tokyo is 410 yen until 1052m, and 80 yen will be added every extra 237m. In Osaka, the starting fare is 680 yen until 2000m, and 80 yen will be added every extra 266m. These are just average, just so you know. If you do not have cash, you can use credit cards. Please do not forget to notify your credit card company before using the card in Japan, though; otherwise, they may doubt that your card is wrongly used in Japan that is far from your country and stop your card. If the amount is small, cash is more convenient than cards. Please stop by at Sakura Currency Service with the best rates when you run out of cash.
Is ninja 007!?
When hearing the word, Ninja, what comes to your mind? Some of you may think about “You live only twice” of 007 series, Ninja Turtles, or bad guys of kang fu movies. Mostly, they are in black, wear a black mask, and carry a sword on the back. Please don’t say you thought that ninja in black outfits were still on the wall of skyscrapers in Tokyo. Ninja really existed about 150 years ago during Edo period. At that time, Japan used to be a united nation that contain many small countries. Until Tokugawa Ieyasu united Japan as one country, each country had wars, and ninja were people who engage in the espionage activities. Ninja were pretty knowledgeable on detective skills such as disguising techniques and psychology, how to use fire and magic, pharmacy, astronomy, and a lot more. In addition, they had trainings everyday and were really good at fighting as well. This is because they needed to be on duty alone due to the nature of the espionage activities and thus needed to know how to fight against multiple enemies. The hard trainings were required in order to gain the extraordinary jumping power and master how to use shuriken. “Throwing shuriken quickly” and “explosion” are well known ninja’s skills. However, such skills seem like only in movies, novels, or comic books. They may have associated enemies but they usually wore normal clothes and did espionage activities secretly. Why don’t you go to “Nikko Edo Mura” if you wanted to walk on the street wearing ninja outfits because you come all the way to Japan? To go to the spot, where the times of Edo period were replicated, you take a train of Tobu Asakusa line from Asakusa and take off at Kidogawa Onsen station, then take a cab for ten minutes. But first, stop by at Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rates, and then leave for the attraction!
Let’s go to maid cafe
Japan has a unique world called “maid café,” where customers play a role of a master of the house, and Japanese girls who wear maid outfits serve the master when they “return home.” “Cure Maid Café” in Akihabara opened the first maid café in March 2001, and as the café got its popularity, similar cafes started opening even outside of Akihabara. The common phrase “okaeri nasaimase, goshujinsama” (Welcome home, master) was created by “M’s Melody,” a maid café in Nagoya, and it was spread to all over Japan. Indeed, maid cafes are the new kinds of business created my otaku culture. Maid cafes nowadays were developed and can be classified into three types. The first type of maid cafes is called “kurakaru-kei,” where customers can relax while eating and drinking. The second one is entertainment, where customers can enjoy meals, chat, take photos, and play games with cute maids, and so on. Recently, the new types maid cafes that are like bars or izakaya, and Japanese maids are increasing. The budgets depend on each café, but usually, the cover charge is 500 yen for one hour, and customers pay for what they order in the café. On average, drinks are 1,000 yen and meals are 2,000 yen. Maid cafes prefer to be paid with cash. It may be the best to stop at Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rates and go to maid cafes.
Trying to have poisonous “fugu”
Japanese eat “fugu.” However, probably there are many tourists who do not know about it. Fugu is a poisonous fish, and it has a poison called tetrodotoxin in their body, which is 1,000 times more poisonous than Potassium cyanide. The amount of the poison depends on what kind of fugu as well as what part of the fish it is; if you eat its ovary or liver, which are really poisonous, you will feel numbness and nausea. In the worst case scenario, the poison can even cause death. In fact, 50% of death caused by poisoning was due to the poison of fugu which was cooked by laypeople. In order not to repeat these incidents, there is a cooking license specifically for fugu, and each prefecture controls strictly. Thus, it is illegal to cook the fish if you do not have the license. In addition, the trash can that contains fugu’s poison is locked so that no one will eat the poison by mistake. Some of you may think that “Japanese are crazy because they bother taking out the poison of the fish and eat it,” however, this also indicates that fugu is worth doing all the work. There are approximately 120 kinds of fugu, but of those kinds, only torafugu and mafugu are edible. Fugu cuisine is considered very fancy, and people enjoy the fish as nabe and karaage, but the most popular way of eating it is as sashimi. The fish is sliced thin enough to be seen the pattern of the traditional plate called imarizara, and the taste makes you smile. In Shimonoseki or Kitakyushu regions, people call the fish “fuku” instead of “fugu,” and that means “happiness” in Japanese. In Osaka, people call it “teppou,” which means “guns” because the fish can kill you. Why don’t you try the fish to find out it is happiness or a gun? Before trying “fugu,” please come to Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rates. We will let you know the popular fugu restaurants that have licensed fugu chefs because you should not be hit by a “gun.”
Learn the basics of ramen
Those of you who came to Japan, thinking “I want to have the authentic ramen in Japan!,” did you know that there are various kinds of ramen depending where the dish was created? Japanese ramen is the dish that combines Chinese noodles and soup, and it used to be Chinese food; however, it was arranged in Japan, and became one of unique Japanese foods. The major flavors are: Soy sauce, salt, miso, tonkotsu, tonkotsu and soy sauce, and fish-flavored ramen. Soy sauce ramen is made of mainly chicken broth and added veggies, dried fish, and soy sauce. This is the original Japanese ramen that was born in Tokyo, and thus it is the basic flavor. Salt ramen is made of chicken broth and pork bones and added salt flavored sauce. Most of the time, the soup is clear and the taste is not thick. A very thick trend may have been gone; now, this kind of thin soup is popular. Tonkotsu ramen is made of pork bones. The soup is white because the bones are simmered so long and the collagen of the melted marrow diffuses in the soup. It was born in Hakata, and the noodles used to be thin, however, some also offers thick noodles. Tonkotsu soy sauce ramen is the one that added soy sauce to the tonkotsu ramen, so the color of the soup is brown. It was born in Yokohama, and iekei ramen is famous. The ramen is served with thick noodles, so the soup is even thicker. Therefore, the taste and texture are different from Hakata ramen. Fish-flavored ramen is mainly made of dried fish, shrimps, squids, red snappers, scallops, and dried squids. This soup is especially famous as a tsukemen (the one you dip the noodles to the soup every time you eat.) In order to eat ramen, you need cash. Please exchange at Sakura Currency Service that offers the best rate. We will tell you the delicious local ramen shops if you ask.
How to worship at temples and shrines
In Japan, there are many shrines and temples. If you have a chance to go to Kyoto, you will encounter countless shrines and temples. Shrines worship Japan’s gods while temples worship Buddha of Buddhism. You can differentiate them by looking at the entrance; the one with torii is a shrine and the one with a sanmon and statues is a temple. Before praying, one has to clean your hands at mitarashi. In addition, one also has to rinse one’s mouth although many do not do. This is not because to clean physical dirtiness; this is because to clean the dirtiness of this world, thus one should not leave this out even though they think they are clean. How to pray at temples is easier; just put money (usually coins) and worship with folded hands. However, shrines are stricter and a little bit complex. The right way is called “nirei nihakushu ichirei” and you bow twice, clap your hands twice, worship with folded hands, and then bow once more before leaving. 【how to worship】 (1) Walk to the god and slightly bow (2) Put some coins and ring the bell (3) Bow twice (4) Clap your hands twice and pray with folded hands (5) Bow once more (6) Slightly bow and leave After mastering how to worship gods, which can be difficult for some Japanese, please come to Sakura Currency Service since we can tell you what shrines and temples can bring you better luck.