@aminam I am seriously so excited for your trip - being in Japan was one of the best experiences of my life and I crave that scary yet exhilarating feeling all the time! I know you are well traveled but perhaps something will be helpful, So..
  1. 1.
    Apparently there are SIM card vending machines (shocking since Japan is the vending machine capital of the world)
  2. 2.
    I, like you, am a huge planner try to plan like 2 days when you don't have plans and make spontaneous decisions
  3. 3.
    Breathe in the moments when your heart feels so happy and things feel surreal! I believe the details of memories last longer this way!
  4. 4.
    Take tons of pictures like old school style 📷
  5. 5.
    Don't be a hero, bundle up you're cold! Actually, the weather looks fair and not too windy! 🌥(yes I just looked at the forecast)
  6. 6.
    The rail system in Japan is one of the most organized and efficient in the world - you won't get lost!
    Also, embrace the quietness of the trips on the rail!
  7. 7.
    Sumimasen- the one word I used most often - means "excuse me" or "sorry" & can be used in a variety of contexts
    By day 4 I felt brave enough to use it when trying to find my way then played the hell out of some charades (seriously talked with my hands for two weeks after returning). I also used this phrase to get get the attention of a waitress (no tipping required in Japan or most of the world, as you probably know)
  8. 8.
    Screw the iPad especially since you can't find the charger 🙃 Take one actual book in case technology fails you at some point & music!
  9. 9.
    Unless you are required to check your work email, DON'T or only check it every 5 days or something !
    I know we have different job types but I struggle with being absent/going to a workshop and having a substitute for even a day (what if they forget to...? I'll have so much to organize/fix when I get back...! "Why did they do it that way?) Once you get on that plane, literally and figuratively LEAVE IT IN HAWAII! Everything will be okay!
  10. 10.
    Try the food first then ask questions later! You'll probably do a lot of pointing to pictures of food choices anyway! 🍱
  11. 11.
    Have a local beer and some quality saké for me! 🍶
  12. 12.
    Allow yourself to take a break from social media - it's not going anywhere! 🙂