10 advantages of internet access in Japan インターネット利用のメリット
Uninterrupted internet access in Japan has far more advantages than simply allowing you to check your email. Here are 10 reasons to stay connected and improve your trip to Japan. Don't limit yourself!
1. You can keep track of events and festivities (matsuri, exhibitions, performances, concerts...) wherever you're visiting, in real time.
2. You can access online information on local tourist office websites - they'll have the most up-to-date information about planned closures for renovations, special promotions for tourists, etc.
3. When you need directions on the street/in a taxi, you can show the Japanese person the address of the place you're looking for, without them needing to understand English.
4. You can find your bearings online, with Google Maps for example, to avoid getting lost in the middle of nowhere (the streets are often nameless in Japan)!
5. You can find a restaurant or bar and view their menu online through the service GURUNAVI. Especially useful since places mentioned in guide books are limited, and sometimes the information isn't up to date.
6. You can benefit from coupons and special discounts at large chain retail stores, coffee chains or fast food places, available simply by registering online.
7.You can share your travel adventures in real-time on social networks, and make all your friends jealous!
8. You can read manga for free on your smartphone or tablet, like the Japanese do, by accessing the various free online reading sites.
9. You can monitor the weather in real time, on Japanese weather sites, such as Yahoo! Japan, it's reliable and updated in real time. Useful if you need to make a choice between an outdoor activity or visiting a museum!
10. You can look up train timetables, and identify the best routes (time, cost) to optimise your travel around Japan, thanks to sites like Hyperdia or Yahoo! Transit.
Many Japan websites do not have an English version.
However, most of the tourist sites and many restaurants do offer an English version - sometimes it's very basic, but they usually at the very least list the address, contact information and how to get there.
Finally, news pages on tourist office websites are a great starting point for travellers new to the area; they offer a lot of useful information for visitors to optimize their stay: maps to download in English/Japanese, addresses, tickets at discounted rates, and so on.