To help consolidate some of this into patterns you should look out for, if you’re willing to put in some time, make a script template (i’m wording this idk someone make a better term)
Purchasing something with the cashier
- cashier will ask card or cash etc. (I kinda was like ah yes カード and the other thing must be cash)
- cashier may ask single time purchase vs multiple installments (not even with interest lol at least at the big stores I’ve been to in Tokyo) (as already mentioned above)
- 7/11 cashier will ask you if you have a membership with them (I already forgot the term but the first time I heard it I kept saying hai and then they got confused)
- cashier will literally double check the expiration date of your product and confirm you want to purchase (the cashier at Nintendo center in Shibuya when I wanted to buy piplup cookies) (WHY ARE THEY SO NICE THIS IS COOL)
- big stores will give an option to purchase in yen or US dollars (plus for Americans)
- the Japan tax-free duty thing, when you buy a ton of stuff and it’s cheaper because no tax. Yea use that if you’re not a Japanese resident.
- in my experience, interactions tend to go faster depending on who’s comfortable with which language. If the cashier actually speaks decent English, and your 日本語は上手ぽくない then it’ll go faster if you use English. If you’re okay with slower pace and you want to practice Japanese good on you!
For whatever reason Tokyo/Kyoto generally has to take your credit card and slide it for you. This means that it’s actually faster to just have like apple pay or Google wallet (tap to pay).
Well, tap to pay is faster but less stores offer them in the US.
This is different from in the US, you normally slide your own card, there are some exceptions. I can’t speak for other countries
Meanwhile, if you’re in the 田舎 cash is important, but for an American like me, it’s crazy how fast the city just turns into rural. So it helps me to keep this in mind.
Also the tourist centers around Tokyo actually helpful – the people there were dressed in kimonos (am I surprised) but genuinely helped me figure out where I can go.
They also helped me figure out that the SIM cards in Japan typically don’t have phone numbers, they’re data only typically. WHICH IS SO ODD; apparently to get a phone number with SIM card you can buy them online but like before you enter the country.
In the actual stores in Tokyo (Shibuya) I literally listened to the person explain all their sim card options in Japanese before I realized that there’s no phone number. えっと‥シムカードは電話番号がありますかと聞いたけど‥
I might think of more, I’ll stop here for now.