Are you travelling to Japan for business soon? A country known for its beautiful scenery, fast-paced cities and booming businesses promises to be a trip to remember. But there are a few things you should know before your first visit to help you settle in with ease. With that in mind, here are our best top tips for business travel to Japan…
1 – Carry cash
Many of us will have become used to ditching the cumbersome wallet of foreign currency in favour of using contactless and credit cards during travel abroad. But Japan has many shops and even some restaurants that won’t take card payments, so make sure you have cash (Yen) as well. If you arrive and realise you’ve forgotten to bring some with you, it’s also worth knowing that some local cash points won’t accept foreign cards, so look out for bank or post office cash points.
2 – Business cards
Business etiquette is a little different in Japan. Most meetings will begin with an exchange of business cards, so make sure you’ve remembered to pack some for your next trip. Always hand business cards over holding them with both hands with your thumbs on top. When you’re receiving your contact’s card, do so with both hands and if you are sitting, keep the card in front of you.
3 – Take the train
We’ve all heard of Japan’s incredibly punctual trains! What you might not realise is that you can actually buy your rail pass before you arrive, saving you time and hassle when you’re there. If you’re planning to travel to several parts of the country then the Japan Rail pass can save you a lot of money, as it lets you take unlimited journeys on any rail line. (Although this won’t be a valid ticket for any subway trains.) If you’re just visiting Tokyo on your trip, then you won’t need a JR pass and can just use the Tokyo metro instead.
4 – Don’t leave a tip
Unusually, it’s considered rude to tip in Japan. Although we’re used to tipping on business trips to America or in Europe, in Japan it can be seen as offensive to tip, as it implies the person serving you doesn’t earn very much. So, don’t be tempted to leave extra cash, no matter how amazing your food is! When you’re ready to receive the bill, make an x shape with your fingers and the server will know what you mean.
5 – Be polite
It’s frowned upon to be loud on public transport in Japan, so we’d recommend that you don’t take long business calls or play loud music on the train. You’ll also struggle to find many public bins, so make sure you don’t litter and take your rubbish back to your hotel where possible.
So there you have it! We hope you found our top tips for business travel to Japan useful and that you enjoy your next trip.
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