#AD Japan is an incredible country, and everyone should do themselves a favor by visiting it at least once in their lives. However, they do things a little differently over there, at least as far as most other countries are concerned. If you’re there on a business trip, these little things have the potential to leave you confused or frustrated, which is something you definitely don’t want to happen.
If you need to take your first business trip to Japan, make sure you take these essentials with you:
1. Comfortable shoes
To put it simply – everyone walks in Japan. Despite the fact that the Japanese car industry is a world leader, the public transportation system is excellent and many Japanese do not see a reason to use cars regularly. As a result, the Japanese are generally used to using their public transit system to get to the general vicinity of where they need to go, then walking everywhere else.
As a first-time visitor to Japan, you may have difficulty finding where you need to do, and you’ll probably end up doing a lot of walking on the streets and up and down numerous stairs as well. Practical walking shoes that you could easily remove for when you go into certain places such as homes and bathhouses are quite important and help save you a world of hurt on your first business trip.
2. The right kinds of bags
Generally speaking, you should try to pack as lightly as you can manage. A lightweight backpack or a medium-sized wheeled travel suitcase made from modern materials can be a lot more practical than a traditional-style leather and cloth suitcase, thanks to all the walking and stair-climbing you will undoubtedly do. You will also want to bring a similarly lightweight, conservative-looking satchel or messenger bag for ease of use when taking public transport and for your meetings.
In all cases, make sure your bags are only a little over 3/5ths full at the most, to accommodate the stuff you will undoubtedly want to bring back home.
3. Critical documents
These will include your valid passport and visa, travel insurance documents, and possibly your driver’s license and International Drivers Permit (IDP) for Japan. Be sure to take photos of all your important documents and store them on your email so you could easily access information in case you do lose something.
4. Pocket Wi-Fi
You’d be surprised how few places in Japan have a ready-to-use WiFi connection. Unlike in most of the developed world, Japan has very few open WiFi spots, despite having some of the fastest internet speeds and one of the most reliable mobile internet connections in the world. Having access to the internet when you’re moving out and about can be a huge challenge, and your hotel’s free WiFi – if it does have it – may not be reliable.
If exorbitant data rates aren’t a big deal to you, you could use your service provider’s roaming internet services. While it may be just the thing for real emergencies, you’d rather not pay more than you need to for an internet connection, especially if you need to stay constantly connected on-the-go.
For business travelers, the best solution is to get a pocket wifi device from a company like Japan Wifi Buddy. These small devices can literally fit in your pocket and provide you with a fast internet connection virtually anywhere in the country. You can arrange to rent these mobile devices before you make your trip, and they’ll be provided to you as soon you land in Japan. With a pocket wifi, you can enjoy Japan’s high-speed internet for less than you would pay for a cellphone provider’s data plans.
5. Power bank
You can have a very bad day if the battery on your laptop, smartphone, or pocket wifi dies on you during your business trip. While they’re easy enough to find in Japan, it’s best to just have one on you, to begin with so you don’t have to spend time hunting one down.
6. Extra cash
You’d be surprised just how much Japan still relies on cash for day-to-day commerce. While credit cards are accepted in in a lot of places, you will not be able to use them everywhere, particularly in rural areas. Always have a bit more cash than you think you need so you can quickly pay for any expenses that do come up.
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In addition to a power bank, I would suggest an outlet converter too – especially if you’re bringing a laptop or devices you need to charge regularly. Japan tends to run at a wattage different from other places in the world and your devices might get damaged if you try to plug them straight into the wall. 🙂
I love how specific the audience for this post is 😛 . Though I now really want to go visit Japan 😛 🙂
I’d love to go to Japan. For pleasure rather than work though so I’ve more time to explore.