1. Don’t be skeptical, only open. If you see something you think is “weird”, stop thinking that way. Such see it as different from the culture you were born into.
2. Try Everything. Don’t spend a DAY being lazy with nothing to do. Make plans and try everything because time will FLY.
3. Don’t be a vegetarian. You could do it, but its Japan and the food options will be an endless battle. Its much easier to survive and eat on an open palate. If that’s not possible preplan and memorize kanji for certain foods you can eat.
4. Pack light but bring shoes. A lot of things you can by in Tokyo, but shoes may not be one of the them. But DONT bring rainboots. I swear you wont need them. Biggest regret here.
5. Yes bring that extra american gift for your Japanese friends. They will love it. It also means you will have more space in your luggage on the way home.
6. Don’t be loud on trains and don’t block people s path on the right side of the escalator. Right side in Tokyo is for walking only.
7. Dont EVER forget your house key, residence card, or train pass All three are super important to have on a daily basis. Oh, also cash.
8. Don’t care too much about maintaining skinniness when there is someone inviting you out for drinks or a cafe lunch. It will be a good memory, promise.
9. If you have spare time between classes, go do something small. Walk around your neighborhood or eat someplace new. You never know what you’ll find. Also learn to do things on your own because everyone’s schedule is different and Tokyo is super safe and fun to explore.
10. Make a bucket list now and keep it with you. There will be times when everyone wants to do everything but doesn’t remember what. Have your list with you so you know exactly what’s next
11. Don’t drink your way through Tokyo. It’s expensive and not worth it in my own opinion.
12. If you plan on climbing Fuji, bring winter clothes and please DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY. TRAIN FOR IT.
13. Do your homework but don’t spend too much time on its quality when you could be doing other things.
14. Don’t burn bridges. It’s only four months with other people, just deal with them because they may be a connection later.
15. Tokyo is expensive. Please accept it as such and be prepared to go way over budget.
16. Make both Japanese and Study Abroad friends. Making all Japanese friends will make it hard to find someone to relate to. Making all study abroad friends will make it hard to actually experience a big part of the Japanese culture, the people!
17. Have fun! Seriously. Your not here for intense schooling, you are here for SUBMERSION. So submerse yourself and it will be amazing.