10 Must Know JAPAN Travel Tips No One Talks about …like POLICE

in this video I’m gonna share with you guys my top 10 things you guys should know before coming to Japan some of you guys already know I’ve lived in Japan for more than 15 years and that I live in the center of it all here in Shibuya but when I first came to Japan from the US there’s so many things that I didn’t know or understand so in this video I wanted to share with you guys the top 10 things that I wish someone told me before I came here and let me know in the comments section if you find any of the things that I mentioned in the video kind of weird and if you want to help support the channel check out my Tokyo merch I’ll leave a link below let’s get started so first thing let’s talk about cash in Japan probably coming from a lot of modern countries you think that you can use credit cards because you know you think Japan is a modern country itself but what you’ll find is that a lot of places here in Japan won’t accept credit cards strange right I mean who really wants to carry around cash in their pocket all the time but the reality is in Japan a lot of people still carry around cash in fact I probably have ten twenty thousand dollars in my pocket at any given time just because I have to use cash so much but before I get into all of the places that don’t accept credit cards let me share with you some places that do major department stores or retailers mid-to-upper and restaurants convenience stores and music parks airports now some shops that probably don’t accept credit cards are small mom-and-pop restaurants local bars street food vendors a lot of restaurants who serve set meals during lunch time small retailers and some taxis although more and more are accepting credit cards these days even some fast food places don’t take credit cards so you should be careful also if you’re planning to travel outside of the city be prepared to bring enough cash because it’s even more likely for places not to accept credit cards as a local tip I find that my visa card is accepted at most places while sometimes my American Express is hit miss also if you want to minimize carrying cash around you can get a signature card or app as well card it cost about and you can load it up to 20,000 yen in cash so you can use it at a lot of places but mainly it’s used for train stations so you don’t need to buy a ticket each time when you get to the Train and it automatically calculates affair when you get out just tap in and then tap out but you can also use it at convenience stores many street vending machines taxis train Kia’s some restaurants shops and even electronic stores like big camera accept it now if you’re looking at withdrawal cash in Japan I suggest seven bank ATM Japan Post ATMs and press your bank does their best at handling foreign cards so eating and drinking while walking on the street so in many respects is considered if bad matters to walk and eat at the same time even if you get food on the go like sandwiches or only kiddies this rule may sound weird to you but for Japanese people eating a sandwich is the same as eating a big bowl of pasta while walking yeah weird if you want to eat or drink in public the best thing to do is stop and chill on the side of the street but all in all walking and eating won’t get you in trouble but people will stare you and look at you as if you were brought up badly or maybe even the older generation actually will say something to you but there’s always exceptions to the rule and one of those exceptions is table a ado key spots table a ado key means to eat and walk so these are for this is like Tsukiji fish market these places are intended for people to buy food and eat on the street and as its named in Japanese okay to walk to but one thing you should know is that even in these areas a some shop don’t allow you to walk and eat but it should say on the storefront just to let you know festivals are another exception and as more shops like Starbucks offer to go items like coffee you’ll see more and more Japanese people walking around with coffee cups in their hand ultimately changing the culture of Japan the real issue why it’s thought of as bad manners in Japan is because it’s considered I’m a well code which means it bothers other people people here are sensitive with strong food smells would be the worst if you spill food or drinks on them by accident but there’s all types of people in Japan I’m sure you guys have that one friend or family member that’s more easily bothered by the slightest thing depending on who you ask it may be different so what I can tell you is if you’re really not sure what to do and you’re kind of confused just stop walking if you’re eating so drinking in Japan the drinking age here is 20 years old I was so surprised when I first came here I was like wow you can actually drink here at 20 years old so you can literally go to any convenience store and they’ll sell you alcohol and not ask you how old you are if you just look like you’re 20 years old in fact there are still beer vending machines on streets in hotels etc they don’t even require any proof of age but recently in Japan they’ve made it a little bit more strict let me show you I select my beer I go to the counter the clerk’s scan the drink and the register screens and asked if I’m over 20 years old I tap yes I pay and I’m all good to go what do you guys think too strict too easy how is it in your country so let’s talk about tattoos at the onsen japanese onsen AKA hot springs are one of the coolest experiences you can have in japan unfortunately many japanese onsen prohibit people with tattoos from entering the facility because of the stigma associated with tattoos in japan Yakuza we’re also known as organized crime are known to have characteristic irezumi also known as tattoos since a lot of these onsen facilities don’t want yakuza going to their establishment or scaring their customers they made like a blanket statement saying that anyone with tattoos that small or large can’t enter the place although it may sound unfair it’s Japan and it is what it is so before making reservations at an onsen make sure that they accept tattoos one note though if you’re going to own sins with a private room or private onsen hotels or you don’t have to share the space with strangers then it should be okay to have tattoos as long as you don’t show anyone in public so for those of you that have tattoos don’t worry I’m not gonna leave you hanging few spots in Tokyo that are cool with tattoos I have a full list on my website so I’ll be sure to leave a link in the description of the video so you can check it out for yourself later alright Wi-Fi and Internet in Japan now this is actually one of the things that a lot of people ask me questions about in the comment section and it’s actually one of the most things that always concerns me when I go overseas so what you need to know is that all of the major cities like Tokyo have relatively fast internet in Japan I even stayed at a capsule hotel in Tokyo and their Wi-Fi was super fast I think this should be enough for most people nicer hotels outside of the city should have Wi-Fi but maybe at a slower speed but if you’re anything like me and need to be connected all the time then there are some local options number one Starbucks on the free route luckily Starbucks provides Wi-Fi to all its customers and there are so many Starbucks all throughout Japan but I found that the speeds are fast or slow depending on the amount of customers on the network you can try other cafes but it’s hit and miss number two city Wi-Fi another free alternative is to use a city Wi-Fi this is only available at the major stations or areas like Shibuya Shinjuku Harajuku or dive at cetera connecting is fairly easy I’ll leave a link to all this information in the description now if you need to be connected at all times then you’re gonna need to go the paid route so the first paid option is to rent a portable hotspot Wi-Fi and carry it around with you now I think it’s the easiest thing to just go to the airport and rent one out there another option is to get a SIM card for your unlocked mobile device you can go to any major electronics store and they should carry it again check the description for more details smoking in Japan check this out it says smoking area here right next to me there’s a smoking section smoking in Japan may catch a lot of you off-guard especially if you’re coming from the US but if you smoke then you’re in luck because Japan has some of the most friendly laws for smokers but that may be changing in the near future which I’ll tell you about just a little bit later first of all many izakayas which are sit-down restaurants designed for drinking allow their customers to smoke throughout the entire restaurant and don’t usually provide non-smoking sections if you want to go to an izakaya simply put you’re gonna have to deal with the second-hand smoke nicer restaurants may prohibit smoking but some of them still accommodate their smoking customers so if you want to eat at that kind of establishment you should really ask before you make reservations some family restaurants and other establishments do attempt to divide smokers and non-smokers but sometimes you’ll find that there’s nothing really separating a smoking table and a non-smoking table other than maybe a tiny bin and one of the biggest surprises I had when first living in Tokyo is that smoking inside is actually allowed while smoking outside is prohibited it didn’t make sense to me at first but when you consider how busy the streets are in Tokyo the last thing you want is someone bumping into you with their cigarette but the city though wanting to accommodate smokers had set up smoking areas throughout the city so those smokers who knew their nicotine fix can do it safely on the street isn’t that a great idea but to the non-smokers out there you might be pleased to hear that they pass a law that make it more strict to smoke cigarettes inside if they want to have a smoking section to have it separate from the non-smoking section otherwise they can’t have a smoking section at all writing the train in Japan now if you guys have seen any videos on Japan you’ve probably seen these crazy attendants pushing people on the train and let me tell you that the struggle is real and it really happens especially during rush hour try to avoid riding major city commuter trains during the weekday between 8 to 9:30 in the mornings 5:30 to 7:30 in the evenings and the last train which is usually around midnight and the trains reek of alcohol Peaks may vary from train line to train line but this should give you a rough idea of when to avoid the trains also what a lot of travelers don’t know is that usually the first or last part of the train on weekday mornings are reserved for women only this is because Japan has a huge problem with men groping women on trains especially when they’re packed on the train like marshmallows in a game of chubby bunny look for the pink signs on the cart which also indicate the women only time in this case 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. so at a restaurant right now and one of the things that I absolutely love about Japan is a non clipping culture so what I mean about that is if you go to a restaurant or if you take a taxi you never have to pay a tip the price on the bill is an actual price you pay and one of the things that I deeply appreciate you save so much time not having to calculate the tip and the service area is almost every times pretty good at the same time there’s one thing you guys need to know is that there’s women fees in some of the restaurants call that dye or in English the table charge prices vary from place to place but ranges from 300 yen to the upper end of 1000 yen per person advisor places you’ll actually be able to spot it right away when you sit down at the table before ordering drinks or food the waiter will bring you a small dish once you see the small dish then you know there’s gonna be a table charge it’s very japanese in a way they’ll make you pay for a table charge but they’ll actually give you something in return general rule is if it’s a fast-food place ramen shop or restaurant serving set lunch courses then you don’t have to worry about the table charge otherwise expect the table charge but you really need to be careful of the sneaky easy kaya’s that make you order a certain number of dishes as well as charge you a table charge they’re usually the ones advertising in front of the store for a ridiculously cheap amount of money like a thousand yen all you can eat all you can drink or something like that even places like this advertise 500 and Pizza will have a table charge and they’ll make you also order one drink so no matter what you are paying at least 1,000 yen 3 to the place I know it’s a lot to some of you but I still think it’s a bit sneaky let’s talk about hotel fees in Japan and if you guys have looked and searched for hotel rates you might have found that it’s quite expensive but what you may not know initially is that more often than not hotels and charge per person instead of a room so I could see having a minor add-on charge for an additional person staying at their room but doubling the rate for an additional person seems a bit excessive to me I don’t know about you guys it made it really depend on the country you’re coming from but I’m from the US and we really don’t have rooms doubling and rate when you have two people versus one the only time this makes sense to me is when you go to a Japanese ryokan or onsen hotel and they include dinner and breakfast as part of the room rate in this case an additional dinner and breakfast would need to be prepared for that extra person hence doubling the overall cost anyway so I don’t see Japan changing their business practice anytime soon so it may be affordable to look at other services like Airbnb or couples and families or for singles you might want to check out capsules or youth hostels and number-10 cooperate with the police wow this has been like such a hot and long day trying to film this I’m so glad he made it through so let’s just start this may actually be a no-brainer especially if you’re coming from a foreign country but what you might not understand is the laws are very different here in Japan and how the police interpret those laws so whatever rights you think you have you might want to put that on hold when you come to Japan one of those rights is your right to privacy police here in Japan have the rights to stop you to check your ID and ask you questions just if they think you look suspicious it might sound ridiculous but that’s just how it is in Japan and if you don’t cooperate there’s a high chance that they can detain you and hold you in the police box like the one behind me right here in fact I’ve been stopped a few times throughout my 15 years in Japan and talking with my other friends who live in Tokyo they’ve been stopped as well if you guys have any experience with the police in Japan let me know in the comments section so the moral of the story is if you get stopped by the police just cooperate with them if you don’t want to get held up for any longer even if you didn’t do anything wrong and always carry your ID or at least a copy of it oh and if they do ask to search your pockets yes it’s actually not legal for them to check it but if you don’t allow them to search your pockets again they might give you a suspicious and hold you in the police box so if you guys don’t want any trouble just cooperate with the police I know it sounds a bit strange but it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run alright so that concludes my top 10 things I wish I knew before coming to Japan please remember that these are generalizations and not all Japanese are like this there’s always exceptions to the rule and despite all these cultural differences I still love living in Japan in fact I feel safer living in Japan than any country I’ve ever visited which is like a pretty cool thing so in visiting Japan or visiting any other country we should always be respectful of the culture if you found this video helpful help me out and hit that like button and if you want to see more adventures in Tokyo or Japan hit that subscribe button and the Bell button and I’ll catch you guys in the next one

Comments 100

  • Check out my Toe-Kyo Shirt Merch here – https://teespring.com/stores/paolofromtokyo

  • Hey ! can you please let me know what's the name of the shop on the background at 6:19 ? Pls

  • Ik the rules I played all the yakuza games and judgement I should be good


  • This video is so helpful for tourists!

  • Never got stopped by the police but the airport customs officers are strict when you arrive

  • In my country have money will buy booze

  • https://youtu.be/eIeR2cMvG60

    Amazing place to go. Usj

  • Sometimes cooperating with the police is way too time-consuming. Often they're just trying to look busy or fulfill a quota. Often, just telling them you're busy and walking away is best. If they don't really need to talk to you they won't try to stop you. Just do it calmly and don't be too physical about it.

  • 1 The Japanese people eat rice that is marked by its origin. No Japanese eat Fukushima rice. The problem is that Fukushima rice and seafood are supplied to hotels filled with tourists, especially Koreans and Chinese , without labeling of their origin.

  • You do not mention one of the most important things about Japan – Tokyo is NOT Japan. It is a weird place where people happen to speak Japanese. The true Japan is OUTSIDE Tokyo.

  • うちのバイト先は外国人旅行客に対してお通しは出さないようにしてます

  • Well, in Germany it depends on the alcohol you want to consume.
    if you want to drink:
    beer, wine and sparkling wine – you need to be 16 years old
    the rest (vodka, booze…) – you need to be 18 years old

  • Police stop me once or twice a year while riding my bicycle. It's a pain cause they check if it's registered to me which takes a while… I've even been stopped on my lunch break.

    But I have to say that Japan has the best police force in the world. I respect them so much. I wish every nation had such an amazing, serving, selfless people serving their communities. They are the kindest, most careful police I've ever interacted with.

    I grew up in America and I know it's difficult to compare the 2 but I came for the police part and that's my take on it

  • So helpful thank you bro don't stop what you're doing a lot of melanated people that I know of would like to visit Japan that are scared and I think your videos are very insightful so I appreciate what you doing and I hope the channel gets bigger

  • Eating and or drinking whilst walking is considered rud? but giving people the ability to smoke more in public areas and places isnt? That's wack, I understand smoking is more prevalent in parts of Japan, but man that's disgusting, I cant stand second-hand smoke, sorry boo id like to keep my pink lungs.

  • Japan is for the Japanese

    Never change for foreigners

  • Hey! Unrelated question, im coming to japan in september and im wondering if you ever faced a typhoon? is it dangerous to be outside? what can i expect when im there, i want to be there especially for the fall colors etc..

    Hope you read this 🙂

    Greetings from Lars @ holland.

  • Hello sir , sorry i don't know the name but i have visited Japan twice but i can't able see any thing in Japan , Tokyo , but i now i was in Tokyo i will try to see that you mentioned in this video thanks for video it's sugoyi sir , i want to meet you in Tokyo next time when i came to Japan Arigatōgozaimashitaありがとうございました

  • What if the police stop you and you can't understand them?

  • in my country i can drink with 16 and even younger if parents allow.

  • Woah I'm from Quebec and alcohol is legal at 18. But I think it's 19 in the rest of Canada.

  • 😀💙Love the shirt❤😀

  • how much do you think is the cost of living in Japan? i would love to work there. unfortunately i do not know how.

  • In Europe you can buy alcohol with 18, in Italy maybe younger as there's a culture of drinking wine over dinner.

  • Greetings from Bavaria. Drinking beer is okay if you are 16 years old.

  • Konnichiwa sir.Paolo thanks for advice and tips.wish to go there on Japan soon godbless u solid fan viewer from the Philippines sir vhin😇😇😇☺☺☺👍👍👍👏👏👏👏👏

  • I went to Japan last year at 19 years old thinking the drinking age was 18. I was never once questioned about my age and purchased alcohol without any problems (I’m a 6’5” white male, an anomaly in Japan.) I did get stopped for pictures all the time like I was a celebrity however hahah

  • Great vid. Let your hands flow naturally my friend. It is quite distracting.

  • しょっぱな語尾が悟空なの笑うwww

  • I got sent to the police grope box after tipping at the Izakaya with my penis.

  • I watch your videos because of your personality.

  • Smoking in restaurants is still ok? What year is this….1990?
    Maybe I'll wait til Japan gets its shit together better on that. Second hand smoke SUCKS.

  • Japan is polluted for Nuclear Leak from Fukusima to south area, including Tokyo
    Japan government never allowed to check Nuclear check in person,,.. funny country.. no social movement and very conservative ,, Japanese never apologized what they did like in Waorld War 2 more than Nazi ..and even Abe, their social culture and people is far behind the current other country like Sony has fall down by Samsung

  • I want to go watch shopping at a Seiko boutique there.

  • Here in my country (indonesia) there's no drinking age. There's a lot of teenager that drinks and smoke

  • Fuck the police coming straight from the underground

  • Very good info.. my wife my nephew and I are going in September

  • Good informative video. I love Japan and taking yet another trip there soon. To the narrator, please stop that constant hand waving, it's an affectation you need to curb, very distracting.

  • My brother lives in Osaka was stopped by Police while waiting for me to arrive at Kansai Airport. I had just walked out of Customs and saw 2 plain clothes officers start talking to him. Fortunately he is fluent and they had a great chat, shook my hand and wished me a good time in Japan and left us alone. When in Rome and all that.

  • とても良い動画だったけど、職務質問についての認識だけ間違ってると思います

  • The old man had a second glance at you eating and walking lol

  • Do you pay the police off like in mexico? The USA SHOULD BE ABLE 2 STOP ANYONE LOOKING SUSPICIOUS!!!!!! WTF!

  • Vlog about tax refund for tourist. Thanks a lot

  • You look like you're barely 30… did you move there when you were 15?

  • And in Belgium you're allowed to drink but if you're younger only under supervision of an adult.
    From 18 you can pretty much drink whatever you want. Not that allot of bartenders around here ask for your age tho 🙂 …

  • When I was in roppongi, I scared a few salary men in the restroom due to my sleeve. It was hilarious. I was in the urinal, they came in saw my arm and immediately bowed and left…I laughed so hard

  • every person working in service and watching this video cringing at the same time (not saying anything against the video. The video is good. But it's kind of a mean thing to say that you're so happy you're not expected to tip…)

  • 43mbps …. sorry but that's not super fast not disrespect meant but that's rather slow I generally consider 20mbps ok for internet but most dorms here pretty much offer 1000mbps and you can get it relatively cheap at home for under $70 I would call 200mbps fast and 500+ as super fast. Once everyone gets online 43mbps is absolutely nothing 4 people alone can easily use the full bandwidth of the capsule motel.

  • I usually get stopped because i look lost. so they always ask me if i'm ok

  • That last one wasnt a tip. Its common sense regardless of anywhere you go!

  • can someone tell me about pay as you go sims in Japan?i have one and I was wondering if it would work there ? ive never travelled before !

  • @oslobrewingco ØL!!! Great Norwegian brew

  • In my country You have to be over 18 to buy alcohol, and if you don't look over 18 you have to show your id

  • i really want to carry cash in my pockets all the time … fuck creditcards!

  • Oh man, just wanted to drop some THUMB UP for all the incredible work and time you took making this video!! Wow it definitely look like it took a LOT of time and I want you to know that its very much appreciated.

  • Thank you. Very helpful.

  • How much did the oysters cost you each there?

  • 13:15

    looks suspicious ?_?

    guess i cant be Black in Japan XD

  • Them hands tho

  • i was stopped by police when entering akihabara train station just because i had my hoodie up. Apparently im not allow to have my hoodie up in door? thats stupid im still in a public space

  • Wow.. I think I'm Japanese

  • Vet informative. How do you know if hotels charge per person? I’ve looked at a lot online and never noticed that. Do websites like hotels.com post that?

  • I been to bath houses in Hokkaido with tattoo's with no problems.

  • So I've heard that white folks can get away with violating social stigmas to a certain extent in Japan. Beings how the likelihood of Mr. Johnny American being Yakuza is very very low, I think those of us with tattoos might still be able to get into an Onsen regardless…unless we look real sketchy. Idk tho, given that I've never done that. If there are any white folks with tatts here who have, I'm curious to know you experience.

  • In my lunatic state, the legal drinking age is 21. The catch is EVERYONE has to prove their age, including gray-haired old folks. Did I mention I'm from the dumbest state in the US?

  • In fact i always carry 10 to 20k in my pockets

  • meanwhile in America…

  • I want to go to Japan

    So I can do everything he told me not to 😂😂🤣

  • Meanwhile in Denmark we have no legal drinking age, and you're allowed to buy lighter alcohols at the age of 15 and strong alcohol at the age of 18 :I

  • 💜💙 you shouldn't encourage abuse of power, if you can then stand by your rights

  • if you go to Japan- expect to pay more than you think- just like anywhere else- also, be careful of some of the restaurants – health Issues and hazards

  • Can we hangout when I go to Japan? 🙂

  • In Australia all the kids would take advantage of simply pressing a button for booze

  • Oslo brewing:O ØL!

  • Crime prevention, sounds neat, as long it's as simple as that, would also explain how low the crime rate often is in Japan.
    When you see an obvious suspicious person, one would deem it a logical thing to question them, if they are quite uncooperative or even extremely defensive, even the better reason to question them.
    A thief in a shop, will often, if not always get hyper defensive, when you ask to see their bags, if they refuse and start shaming you, it's normally a dead give away they got something in that bag, they do not wish to open up and show contents of.

  • Japanese law has the right to refuse police questions and baggage inspection.. But reality can't refuse it. If you don't want to answer to police, refuse and call the embassy for help and complain.I hope the Japanese police should make it the standard in North America or Western Europe.

  • Thank you. We are an older couple and will travel thru Japan in Nov and Dec, 2019. We are terrified about the train stations and the challenge about money (cash vs cards), but we are very excited. Thank you for demystifying Japan.

  • So what‘s the difference between Japanes and US police? I don‘t know.

  • Oh shoot, I see a black man 0:57 get hype!

  • You are wrong about room charges. When you rent a room for 1 person they are charging you for half a room. Not charging you double when you add another person. Add a chikd for a small fee. Bet they don't do that in the US. And anywhere out of the city and tourist areaz rooms are pretty cheap.

  • The US should learn from Japan's no-tip culture. I once ate at a ramen restaurant in L.A. run by Japanese, I thought no tip was required yet the lady chased me out of the shop for tip, how embarrassing.

  • 1:06 I was like Dammmnnn, my dude is ballin😂💵💵💵


  • tank you for the information ,,,

  • Didn't understand the police thing. Its quite normal in the EU, that the police can stop you, ask for your ID and take you into custody even if you haven't committed a crime. It's just these stupid US laws, which bound the police and stop them doing their work.

  • I was stopped by police when a friend of mine was putting up his English teaching flyers in Yokohama. A plain clothes officer pushed him and then pulled his badge. He started asking questions kind of forcefully. My friend spoke fluent Japanese so there was no communication issue. When my friend told him he was fighting professionally in Japan the officer changed his approach quickly and let us leave soon after. We just had to take all the flyers down.

  • Any Muslim restaurants in Japan

  • Love Paola’s videos 😍 Helped me when I went to Japan last year! 🙌

  • You should only tip hookers

  • In germany you can buy beer st the age of 16 and Liquor at the age of 18. But if you life or visit shops at villages (not in towns) they will sell you hard alcohol if you look like somone who's old enough. Village kids usally start dinking at the age of 14 to 15 on partys

  • Let's see number one Japanese women are tight it takes a big fat dick to loosen them up

  • fucfuyrgeigcuov

  • Where can I buy ic card at Shibuya station?

  • Hahaha that shirt

  • 2 minutes in and man flexes on us by saying he carries 10-20 dollars in his pocket.

  • Japan: You can drink at 20 years old!
    Most of Europe: Hold my beer I can legally drink starting at 18 years old.

  • I just love coming across piles of cigarette butts where idiots dump their ash trays.

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