Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Consists of more than 6852 islands (counted as islands with an area of more than 1 km2) in the Western Pacific Ocean. The largest islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu.
Japan is a member of the UN, the G8 and APEC. This is a highly developed country, in terms of GDP, it ranks third in the world after the United States and China.
Ancient medieval temples, side by side with the most modern achievements of architectural thought, multi-tiered interchanges of highways, high-speed trains against the backdrop of picturesque nature – this is what amazes the imagination of a person who finds himself in Japan for the first time. Few people can remain indifferent to this amazing country, which in the last century shocked the whole world with its “economic miracle” and still continues to amaze everyone with achievements in the field of advanced technologies, a country with a distinctive culture and rich history, where ancient traditions are harmoniously combined with a modern way. life. Japan will live up to those expectations and hopes that you associate with a meeting with her.
The climate is monsoonal, in the north – temperate, in the southern part of the Japanese islands – subtropical, in most of the Ryukyu Islands – tropical. On the island of Hokkaido, in Sapporo, the average temperature in January is -5 ° C, in July + 22 ° C, in the South of the Japanese Islands, in Kagoshima, + 6 ° C and + 27 ° C, respectively, in Okinawa (Ryukyu Islands) – +16°С and +28°С. A significant warming effect on the climate of Japan is exerted by warm sea currents: the Kuroshio and the Tsushima Current. The Oyashio Current, on the contrary, cools the eastern coast of Hokkaido, and the monsoons contribute to the loss of a large amount of snow here in winter. The climate of Japan is clearly divided into four seasons, each full of its own charm.
Political structure Japan is a constitutional monarchy. The Japanese constitution came into effect on May 3, 1947. The Japanese Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors.
Culture In Japan, from the end of the 1st millennium AD. e. there is a developed literature (for example, the text of the Japanese anthem dates back to the 9th-10th centuries). Monuments of painting and architecture from the beginning of the 2nd millennium have been preserved to this day. Chinese culture had a great influence on Japanese culture during its formation, and after the Meiji Restoration, Western European culture. In the 20th century, Japanese animation and comics gained worldwide recognition.
Language The perception among Russians that everyone in Japan speaks English is not entirely true. Addressing a Japanese on the street with any question in English, you run the risk of not getting an answer. This should not be regarded as a gesture of hostility: perhaps your interlocutor simply did not understand the question. Just in case, it is better to stock up on a simple Russian-Japanese phrasebook.
Time The time difference between Moscow and Tokyo in summer is 6 hours.
Currency Import and export of different types of currency is allowed. However, when importing currency over one million yen or its corresponding banknotes (cheques, securities, etc.), it is necessary to submit an application to the customs office.
The monetary unit is the yen. Coins: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 yen. Notes: 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 yen.
Yen can be bought at a foreign exchange bank and other officially recognized cash exchange office. In addition, there is a currency exchange office at major international airports. At the same time, the exchange rate changes every day in accordance with the change in the foreign exchange market.
Do not try to pay in Japan for goods or services in dollars: you can only use the local currency, that is, yen, for this. You can exchange your dollars for yen at any bank that works every day, except Saturday and Sunday, until 15:00. On weekends, you can exchange currency at bank branches located in large hotels and international airports.
TRAVELER’S CHECKS AND CREDIT CARDS Traveler’s checks can be used in major banks, hotels, inns, shops in big cities, etc. International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Dinas Club, MAsterclub, as well as travelers checks can be used in major institutions. However, it is advisable to have some cash ready when you travel to areas outside of big cities.
Automatic teller machines (ATM) can be used, as a rule, in all Japanese cities. However, most of them do not accept foreign-issued credit cards and bank cards and only operate during limited hours.
Therefore, in the absence of cash, you need to look for mail! 21,000 post offices have ATMs that accept credit cards of international payment systems. You can identify such mail by green coloring and a red badge.
Large post offices located near major stations (opening hours: 07:00 – 23:00 on weekdays, 09:00 – 17:00 on weekends, small post offices 09:00 – 17:00.
In addition to mail, Visa, MasterCard and sometimes American Express cards are accepted by Citybank ATMs. Large department stores in large cities also always have the right ATM, and the staff at the information desk located at the entrance will help you find it.
Taxes and Tips In Japan, a consumption tax of 5% is charged on the total amount paid. Except for consumption tax, in hotels, restaurants, etc. a service charge of approximately 10% – 15% may apply. Tipping is not customary in Japan. (they are included in the bill)
How to use city phones
A phone number in Japan consists of 3 groups of numbers.
For example: 03 (city/area code) + 1234 (telephone station code) + 5673 (subscriber number)
Payphones are everywhere in Japan. Most are colored green or gray and are used by dropping 10 yen and 100 yen coins, or inserting a special calling card. Phone cards can be bought at shops or kiosks at railway stations. Calls within the same area are charged 10 yen per minute. Please note that if you use a 100 yen coin, there will be no change.
How to use an international phone
At a payphone labeled “International and Domestic Telephone”, using a 100 yen coin, you can call an international telephone directly. Call from Japan to Russia 0041 – 7 – (area code) – phone number
At the same time, sometimes there are payphones on which you can use a prepaid phone card.
In addition, by dialing a code number, you can make international calls through your telephone company. As regards the rate and system, it is recommended that you contact the appropriate telephone company, as these vary from company to company and change frequently. Calling cards are sold by vending machines installed next to a phone booth in hotels or convenience stores such as Lawson or 7-eleven. The most common cards for calling abroad are the Brastel Smart Telephone Card (issued in combi stores for free, after receiving, you need to tear off one coupon for 2000 Yen and pay it right there). Brastel cards have instructions for dialing a number in Russian. Another popular KDDI Super World Card sold in denominations of 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 yen. To call Russia from Japan using a KDDI card , dial: 001 – 010 – 7 – area code – subscriber number.
Mains voltage The voltage in Japan is 110 volts. Frequencies are accepted in 2 types: 50 Hz in the eastern region of Japan and 60 Hz in the western region of Japan, including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka. with a device with adjustable voltage or have a transformer. In Japan, flat two-prong plugs are used. Since barrel type connectors and three-prong plugs are not applicable, it is recommended to purchase a plug adapter in advance for them.
Drinking Water Tap water is potable throughout Japan. Mineral water can be purchased from supermarkets or small shops.