The official language is Japanese. While many Japanese people studied English in school, few can speak it or understand it well.

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Japan’s international country code is 81. The outgoing code will depend on what network you’re using to dial out. Only some public phones allow international calls, and you can buy phone cards at kiosks and vending machines. Internet cafes are almost everywhere.

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You aren’t expected to tip in Japan. Hotels and restaurants usually add a 10 to 15 percent service charge to the bill.

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Japan has low levels of crime and is a stable country. Use common sense about personal safety and belongings. Watch out for storm and typhoon warnings from June to September. Japan experiences earthquakes frequently. Check with your embassy about safety warnings following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Sendai.

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No vaccinations are required for visits to Japan. The country has very good medical facilities but they can be very expensive, requiring payment up front. Make sure you are covered by health insurance. Some medications can be detained by customs agents, since they violate the country’s strict drug laws, so check with the Japanese embassy in your home country before packing.

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Japan’s electrical current is 100 volts, 60Hz in the west and 100 volts, 50Hz in the east.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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