Business Travel in Japan

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

The bigger towns have a well-developed metro system and taxis are available everywhere. Taxi lights show green when they are free, and red when they are not. Most taxi drivers do not speak English. Ask the hotel to write the address in Japanese.
The metros of Tokyo and Osaka are among the most extensive in the world. In the ranking of the 10 best metro systems in the world, Tokyo’s is in 5th position. Destinations and information are written both in Japanese and in English.
Maps of Urban Networks
Map of the Tokyo metro
Map of the Osaka metro

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Tokyo Narita International Airport 65 km / 41 miles JPY 30 000 / 60-90 min JPY 3000 / 90 min JPY 1000 / 75 min Available
Osaka - Kansai Intl (KIX) 38 km / 24 miles JPY 15 000-18 000/~50 min JPY 400 / 45 min JPY 900 / 40 min Available
Nagoya - Chubu Centrair Intl (NGO) 32 km / 20 miles JPY 13000 / 30-40 min Available 28 min -

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

The train remains the most suitable means of transport for foreigners. The Japanese rail network is efficient and modern. It has recently been equipped with a high speed line (shinkansen) which travels at 185 miles per hour and links Tokyo with the other main economic centers in the country. The Japan Rail Pass allows you to travel at a lower cost. The following sites will give you further information about the Pass: the Japan Rail Pass website, the information pages on the national tourism website. Domestic air travel is quite expensive, but it is practical when you are traveling with a lot of baggage. The Japan Guide summarizes the different means of transport in Japan.
Rail Companies
Japan Railways Group

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Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Jalways Major yes Yes
Japan Airlines Major yes Yes
All Nippon Airways Major yes Yes
Jetstar/Jetstar Asia/Valuair low cost no Yes

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

The road network is good and modern throughout the country. The roads are safe. But tolls on motorways are expensive, traffic conditions on the roads are congested and car rental prices are high. It is particularly recommended that people who do not have an excellent knowledge of Japanese do not go out on the roads by themselves, given that all road signs are in Japanese.
Road Maps
Map of Japan
Find an Itinerary
Live search maps

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Different Forms of Tourism

Castles, a reminder of the establishment of the central power until the 15th century. Destroyed en masse at the time of the Meiji and during the Second World War, about a dozen can still be visited.
Many festivals take place throughout the year (festival of the tombs, cherry blossom festival). Open air museums offer visits of the different Japanese architectural styles.
Many Japanese-style gardens, among which the most outstanding are Konrokuen at Kanazawa, Katsura Villa at Kyoto. Some Japanese sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, consult the website to see which they are.
Many temples and tombs. Each city has them. Some of them are really magnificent. Among the temples: Ginkakuji, Kinkakuji, Kiyomizudera and Sanjusangendo at Kytoto, Todaiji and Horyuji at Nara. Among the tombs: the one at Ise, Nikko Toshogu at Nikko, Itsukushima at Miyajima.
Hot springs flow all over the country. There are many spas.
Click here to be informed on the Japanese most beautiful beaches as a selection of the Ministry of land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Winter Sports
The 500 national ski resorts have plentiful, good snow, superb countryside and hot water springs to relax in.
Outdoor Activities
Rambling, Diving, Bicycle touring, Golf
Japan is known worldwide for its original mode with its Japanese creators, European brands (Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.), department stores ( Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya, etc.)

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No specific vaccination is required.
Because of the epidemic of avian flu, it is recommended that you avoid all contact with poultry or birds, that you do not go to any bird markets, and that you do not attend cock fights.
International Hospitals
Japan has only one international hospital: St Luke’s International Hospital. But other establishments are accessible to people who speak English.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
The World Health Organization webpages devoted to Japan
The American government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
The Current Travel Warnings given by the American State Department

Emergency Numbers

Police 110
Fire and Ambulance 119
Marine Emergency 118
Emergency in English language 0120 364 463

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Tokyo (GMT+9)
Summer Time Period

Map of the Time Zone

Fuseau(x) horaire

Type of Climate
The rainy season lasts from June to mid-July and the summer is damp and humid. The Typhoon season lasts from August to September. The temperature can rise to 38°C (100°F) in summer and drop to under 5°C in winter. The climate can vary noticeably from one island to another. Autumn is undoubtedly the best time to visit Japan.
For Further Information
Japan Meteorological Agency

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
Most Japanese dishes are served in bowls (Domburi) with rice on top and meat, vegetables etc underneath: Oyakodom (eggs and chicken), Katsudom (fried pork chops), Gyudom (beef and eggs), Unadom (grilled eels), Chukadon and Tendon (seafood and vegetables).
Japanese cooking is also composed of salads (Gomaae), a wide variety of fish and seafood eaten raw (Sashimi and Sushi), seaweed, noodles (Soba), soups, meat grilled on skewers and cheese.
They also have some items of Chinese cooking such as steamed fritters or fruit.
Tea is most widely drunk but it is also possible to find alcoholic drinks: beer, Happoshu (a by-product of beer, less strong in taste but with the same alcohol content), Nihonshu or Sake (spirit made from rice), Japanese wine, products made from plums, imported international wines.
Dietary Restrictions

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Domestic Currency
Japanese Yen
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It may be useful to arrive in the country with some Yen in your pocket. But rather than going to a bureau de change, which can be expensive, or using traveler’s checks which sometimes require a long time to cash, it is better to withdraw Yen directly from banks’ ATMs.
Possible Means of Payment
Payment is usually in cash. A credit card is also useful, but is only taken in the larger establishments. ATMs are easily accessible all day long. There are plenty of them in airports and town centers.

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Official Language
Japanese (nihongo)
Other Languages Spoken
Japanese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with over 99% percent of the country's population using it.
Business Language
English is moreover the foreign language which is the most usually spoken. However the Japanese, including the business leaders, sometimes only have basic English. Businessmen often read English better than they can speak it.
Getting Some Knowledge
The Travlang website gives you some typical phrases to learn in Japanese.
Free Translation Tools
Babel Fish Translation : translation of text and web pages
Jim Breen’s WWWJDIC Server : on-line dictionary : on-line dictionary : free service which adds phonetics to any Japanese site

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  • Waleed Dirani, Future Horizon...

    Training- Business Consultation & Development, the United States