Hi Folks, has anyone been to Japan recently? How did you find getting around on the free days given the language barrier? Do many people speak English? Also is it quite a safe destination? One review I've read suggested it was very safe whilst another review suggested that women had to be cautious.
Thanks very much!
Don't worry - Japan is a very safe destination for both men and women - it's certainly a lot safer than the UK, so relax and have a good time there. Our leader will help to advise for your free day, but you don't need to worry - most Japanese are very friendly and helpful and whilst many don't speak English (or are very shy with it), enough do that you'll never be lost for too long!
I hope that helps a bit - just enjoy your trip, I'm sure you will!
Dan (Exodus staff)
You need not have any worries about safety in Japan - it is one of, if not the, safest countries in the world.
As regards language, I learnt a little Japanese before my visit in 2008 and it was certainly appreciated by anyone I spoke to. Young Japanese are always very keen to speak to any westerners to practice thier English but you may 'have to make the first move' so to speak.
The simple phrases for please, thankyou, yes, no and asking for directuons are surprisinlgy easy to learn. Get yourself a phrase book and give it a go!
Have a great trip.
I really want to know where I can find out more about the Japan trip... either talk to someone whos been on the Culture & Modern tour or knows about it? I've been reading the trip notes and have a few questions I'd like to ask.
For instance, has anyone on this trip ever seen a Geisha!? I am interested to know if anything's involved within the group trip or if you're advised to do it independantly? Only Kyoto does have a few opportunities around April time with the public dance (I am aiming to visit Japan in the Cherry Blossom season). Does the tour go to Gion at all? I'm aware of how expensive it can be etc but just wanted to know if the Ancient & Modern Japan tour had anything to help travellers have an experince of seeing one first hand?!
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