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Summary
Cheats and Hacks learned on this trip.
Image Notes
Best time to visit the shrines is near closing time when there's nobody around.

Tourists tend to turn right when entering a temple, shrine or other tourist attraction. If given the choice go left as much as you can.

As many temples require visitors take off their shoes when entering, ideally wear shoes that can be taken off and put on easily (like Blundstones).

If your phone is less than 1 year old its camera is better in all photography regimes than most point-and-shoot cameras from 6 years ago. So don't bring an old point-and-shoot camera with you, your new phone will do a much better job.
Cash is king in Japan (something to do with the siloing imposed by conglomerates). As such bring a purse for change as sales result in a lot of coinage change. The coin denominations are 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 and as inflation has been 0 for the last 20 years every single coin is still very much in use. The end result being one will find themselves holding many of these coins.
Types of Tours

When arriving in a new city the Cone identified a few ways to find its way around. Here they are:
  • by bus
    The bus driver sometimes can offer directions to exact locations.
  • by taxi
    Fast (when not stuck in traffic) but expensive and not very immersive.
  • by crowd
    Sometimes this type of touring ends up taking one to the most common shopping districts in town.
  • by GPS
    Use latitude and longitutde coordinates not street addresses. This way the language becomes a non-issue.

    For cities where you can't use your JR Pass buy a IOCA (Kyoto and Osaka areas) or SUICA (Tokyo area) card and load it with 2,000 yen - it will save you time searching for spare change when getting off the bus. It can also be used to buy products from train station convenience stores.
  • Duty Free Purchases in Japan

    After all the duty free hassle Cornelius has been through it turns out no checks are performed and the receipts are just dropped off before customs. With that in mind the Cone decides to purchase duty free items more often next time it returns to Japan.

    Stationaries stores: Sublo
    Outstanding Questions

  • Is Japanese graffiti in roman alphabet or Japanese?
  • How many kms of tunnels dose Japan have? What about other countries (Switzerland)?
  • What are the lights south of the Kuril islands that were seen on the way back to Canada?
  • This concludes the 2016 Cornelius Cone d'Oranj travel journal through Japan.

    Until next time.
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