I just visited Japan – these are the things I wish I knew before I did
- Maile Minardi, 25, from California, shared her recommendations on TikTok
- She traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto with six of her friends last spring
- Minardi advised packing light and getting your Japan Rail Pass before you arrive
An American traveler has revealed the things she wished she’d known before visiting Japan for the first time after spending a total of nine days in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Maile Minardi, 25, from Los Angeles, California, has more than 25,000 followers on TikTok, where she posts videos about her life and travels.
The content creator, who uses the handle @maileminardi, went viral after going through her list of recommendations following her trip to Japan with her friends.
However, her first tip was a controversial one that she later retracted.
Maile Minardi, 25, from Los Angeles, California, traveled to Japan for the first time last spring and spent a total of nine days in Tokyo and Kyoto
The traveler went viral on TikTok after revealing the things she wished she had known before her trip
Minardi initially advised exchanging money in the U.S. before leaving, but many commenters insisted they got better rates in Japan.
‘You really don’t need that much because most places do take credit cards,’ she noted. ‘For us, $300 was perfect. I literally used my last few coins at the airport as we were leaving.’
The marketing coordinator shared that she also regretted packing her shampoo and conditioner because she didn’t use them.
If you are staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel, she recommended checking if they have shampoo and conditioner in the rental.
‘All of ours did, and they had really cool luxury, clean beauty brands that I wanted to try anyway,’ she explained. ‘I didn’t use my shampoo and conditioner at all, and they’re kind of heavy and big to bring on a long trip.’
Minardi said her ‘most important’ tip was to get your unlimited travel Japan Rail (JR) Pass before you arrive.
She recalled how the line for travelers getting their JR passes was ‘multiple hours long’ and estimated you would lose ‘half a day’ getting it in Japan.
‘When you go pick up your JR pass, go as early in the morning as you can,’ she added. ‘Because we went and as soon as we grabbed our passes, the line filled up like crazy.’
so many more if you want lmk 🧸!! #tokyojapan #tokyo #wheretogoinkyoto #kyototrip #japancherryblossom #japantrip2023 #japan #japantravel
Minardi initially advised exchanging money in the U.S. before leaving, but many commenters insisted they got better rates in Japan and she retracted the recommendation
Minardi visited Japan last spring, so travelers may want to look into other options after the cost of the JR pass increased 68 to 77 percent last month.
‘I was shocked by this next one, but don’t plan anything before 10 a.m. Very few things are open,’ she continued.
Minardi said she and her friends would get up at 6 a.m. every morning, but ‘there was not too much to do’ besides walk around and go to 7-Eleven, which is wildly popular in Japan.
She advised avoiding popular ‘TikTok spots’ while sightseeing.
‘Every single one we went to had a line around the block and would have been multiple-hour waits,’ she explained. ‘So we ended up just not going to any of the places we [planned] to go.’
‘If you can, go with someone who speaks Japanese,’ she noted. ‘This changed our entire trip and was a wildly different experience.’
Minardi said they saw ‘so many cooler things’ than they would have on their own because they went with someone who had been there before and spoke the language.
‘I was shocked by this next one, but don’t plan anything before 10 a.m. Very few things are open,’ she explained
Minardi said she and her friends would get up at 6 a.m. every morning, but ‘there was not too much to do’ besides walk around and go to 7-Eleven, which is wildly popular in Japan
‘If you find something really amazing, get like five of them if they’re not that expensive, so you can give them as gifts to people,’ she said of shopping in Japan
‘I really wish I would have learned [how to say] “thank you,” “please,” and “excuse me” in Japanese before going,’ she admitted.
‘We learned while we were there, but it would have been nice [to know beforehand] because you’re going to say these things all of the time.’
Minardi went on to say that you should get your Suica card — an e-money card that can be used for public transportation — at the airport and fill it there.
‘You need to bring multiple portable chargers,’ she insisted. ‘Your phone will die all the time because you’re out, or [at least] we were, from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.’
As for the flight, which is 12 hours from Los Angeles to Tokyo, she recommended getting a foot hammock, which is a travel-sized footrest.
‘Just trust me. Google it… It will change the game,’ she said.
Minardi also wished she packed less because she ‘ended up buying so many jackets’ while shopping.
Minardi insisted you need multiple portable chargers because she and her friends were out from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day
‘I really wish I would have learned [how to say] “thank you,” “please,” and “excuse me” in Japanese before going,’ she admitted
Minardi’s final tip was not to plan too much before you go, but she later clarified that ‘reservations are essential’ when it comes to dining and attractions
‘If you find something really amazing, get like five of them if they’re not that expensive, so you can give them as gifts to people,’ she said. ‘I did this and it was the best thing ever.’
Minardi’s final tip was not to plan too much before you go, but many viewers were quick to note that reservations are key in Japan.
‘Reservations are ESSENTIAL!’ she agreed in the comments. ‘Just don’t have your days fully packed so you can enjoy and find new things.’
Minardi’s video has been viewed 1.9 million times and received more than 1,000 comments in April.
It was also recently shared on the Travel Japan 365 TikTok page, where it has earned another half a million views.
‘Just spent 2 weeks in Japan for the first time 3 months ago, and this list is spot on!’ one person responded.
‘Get the Suica card in your Apple wallet. Note you can only use a Mastercard. This way you can tap your phone to pay for the trains and buses,’ someone else added.
‘Most places DO NOT take cards. You can get cash from any convenience store ATM,’ another commented.
Source: Read Full Article