There are a lot of myths and rumors that tourists have read and heard about Japan. Here are five of them that I have seen and can shine some light on as simply just myths.
Everyone can speak English – The Japanese spend more time in school than most and while most learn some English, don’t expect everyone to speak English when you visit Japan. The Japanese language is hard enough for people to learn, so to expect them to learn another language is a bit much. So don’t walk into stores and restaurants expecting the staff and others to speak English. Show respect and check to see if they do or at least have English menus. Knowing a little bit of Japanese can help you during your trip. See my article about how much Japanese you may need to know before visiting.
Japan is super expensive – There is a myth that everything in Japan is super expensive. Every meal, every gift, etc., is at least $20 a pop and your wallet will be drained super fast the moment you get off the plan; this is just not the case. There are plenty of restaurants, stores, and places you can go to find something super cheap that can match anyone’s budget. Just do a little research and shop around, it’s what the locals do. Shop at the local grocery stores, the konbinis, and other shops that offer cheaper options.
All there is to eat is sushi – When you think Japan, you think seafood and sushi, that is what everyone eats, right? Well, this is not the case. In fact, you can avoid every bit of seafood and eat like a king while visiting Japan. Fromm ramen, to yakitori, to even the American places, you can find everything you want and never have to think about sushi. And if you are really missing home like the USA, you can always find a KFC or McDonalds (if you are that desperate for awful American food).
Japan is super modern – Yes, Japan is a super, modern country but even though it is, there is still a lot of rural parts. Journey just an hour outside of Tokyo and you will find small towns, rice fields, and very few large buildings. It is quite the contrast when you expect nothing but robots and modern buildings when you venture to Tokyo or any of the large cities. Even their economy is mostly cashed based (which is changing though) so be prepared to find a lot of small shops that may not take a credit card.
All you need to see is Tokyo – Want to see Japan, all you need is Tokyo, right? WRONG! While Tokyo is amazing and can check off a lot of the top things for you to see while in Japan, there is so much more outside of the city that needs to be seen. From unique cities, other shrines/temples, and the amazing countryside, it is worth getting outside of Tokyo to see more of Japan to see what else this country has to offer.