JAPAN… THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

With the addition of our new Osaka route, we offer weekly flights to both Tokyo and Osaka, meaning that visiting Japan is very much on both the business and recreational calendar. So whether you are heading out to a boardroom or to the rugby pitch, here are some handy tips for visiting the land of the rising sun.

Inemuri

The Japanese workforce are considered hard-workers, so much so, that in Japanese culture it is perfectly acceptable to be seen napping in the work place. You may also see this trend spreading across the globe, with employers such as P&G, Google, Opel and Apple providing dedicated “napping” spaces for their staff. Although it is more than just catching a few z’s, according to BBCinemuri can be seen as a “subordinate involvement which can be indulged in as long as it does not disturb the social situation at hand”. Meaning that inemuri is actually closer to daydreaming, and you need to be able to re-enter the conversation when your presence is required again.

Jidōhanbaiki

Whether it is a frozen coca-cola, batteries or even a live lobster, Japan can sell them to you, and all out of a vending machine (Jidōhanbaiki). More than $60 billion dollars was spent annually in 2017 on vending machines, and there are approximately 5 million of them nationwide, that is the equivalent to 1 in every 23 people. But whether the proliferation of these machines is down to the sky-rocketing costs for retail space in cities, or saving on the cost of labour, it’s clear that with the latest innovations using everything from facial recognition software, to disaster relief initiatives, expect the see them everywhere on your trip (and you might want to carry some cash on you).

漫画 manga

One of the largest cultural exports of the last century, is the Japanese art of Manga. Thought to date back to 1200 AD, manga as we know it today, became most popular in the mid 90’s, after the second world war. When you visit Japan, you’ll be hard pressed to escape the influence that Manga has had. Everything from gaming, fashion, advertising to omiyage (souvenirs) are heavily influenced by this iconic style. One of the best upcoming examples of is the 2020 Tokyo Olympic iconography, seeing the collaboration of multiple publishers to bring the 8 most popular manga characters together: Astro Boy, Sailor Moon, Crayon Shin-chan, One Piece, Naruto: Shippuden, Yo-kai Watch, Dragon Ball Super and Maho Girls precure.

Image: Olympic merchandise for sale in Tokyo, featuring popular manga and anime characters. www.Tokyo2020.org

If manga is your thing, then why not check out our exclusive interview with Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousemaniere, Curator of Japanese Arts at the British Museum on their latest manga exhibition.

Shinkansen

Best known outside of Japan as the bullet train, these high-speed trains run at speeds of up to 320 km/h and are renowned globally for their punctuality and efficiency, with most trains departing on time to within the closest second. In fact the Japanese rail network is so precise, that they have in the past issued apologies for a mere 20 second delay.

If you are wanting to take a ride, tickets for the shinkansen can be purchased at ticket countersmachines or online, but be prepared for the crowds as in 2017 the railway carried over 159 million passengers.

The Rugby World Cup

And finally, the rugby. If you are lucky enough to be heading to one of the matches this World Cup, then check out Timeout Japan’s nifty website for further inspiration and a handy breakdown of the different stadiums

With FORWARD.REWARDS you can earn points on every shipment you make with IAG Cargo, with flights from London to Tokyo starting at 10,000 points. So whether for work, pleasure, or to catch one of the rugby matches this September, don’t miss out on your chance to visit the land of the rising sun.