Thinking about travelling to Japan? Don’t hesitate, it’s a great destination. Full of the absolutely new and the incredibly old. Big cities like Tokyo can be expensive, so make sure you have cash reserves. If you can, search out the traditional and authentic. It helps if you have a local who can speak the language fluently, and is ‘in the know’ as far as customs and taboos go. It’s easy for Westerners to innocently offend or make an embarrassing blunder, simply because they don’t know the local culture.. (but then, that’s true everywhere!) We were lucky. Our guide was a Japanese friend, who took us to lunch in a 600 year old Tokyo restaurant. Not another tourist in sight. we knelt at a small table with a large metal pot hanging over a raging furnace below. Every table in the restaurant (about five, it was tiny), sat above this furnace. So the meal was cooked by your hostess, at the table. It was an incredible, traditional meal and experience, which we would never have enjoyed without local knowledge.
Lost Le Blanc has a terrific video on 50 MUST know JAPAN Travel Tips. We say it’s all good advice.