HinoMaple’s Guidebook to Surviving Japan

As many of you know, I published my book at the end of last year along with opening my company, HinoMaple.  It was a significant achievement but do you know exactly what is inside my Guidebook to Surviving Japan?  Look no further as I will lay it out for you here.

HinoMaple's Guide to Surviving Japan


Japan is a country where English is not their first language.  Lots of people understand enough English to get by but a vast number still struggle and many others freeze once they see a foreign looking person.  While knowing English is good enough to get by in Japan, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to get around effortlessly.  The fun of getting lost and confused in Japan is a lot of fun but you can also waste a lot of time.  For anyone with a limited time in Japan, my guidebook takes away all of the worries you have and helps you survive many situations.

Shibuya Crossing


In the preview edition, you see how customs and immigration work at Narita Airport.  Haneda is very similar but learning about the different transportation options available to you from each airport is different.  Everything is laid out in a logical order and it is all at your fingertips.  You also print out what you need from the book, or keep a copy on your tablet where you can easily refer to the information at the simple swipe of your finger.

Narita Airport

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Any travel agent can help you book a hotel but I feel the key of my survival guide is learning how to use the public transportation in Japan.  While this guidebook focuses on Tokyo, if you learn about how the transportation works in Tokyo, you can learn to use the transportation in any city in Japan.  In fact, you can easily get around any subway system in the world once you learn how to use the subways of Tokyo.  The guidebook lays everything out for you with pictures from how to buy tickets to how to use taxis.  Taxis in Japan are not the same as in other areas of the world.

Keio Line Train


While this guidebook doesn’t go into detail about what you can eat, or recommend foods you must eat; it does go over all of the etiquette rules you need to know for every type of restaurant you will encounter.  You can prevent yourself from making mistakes that even I have made when I first came to Japan.  North American restaurants may seem pretty easy but there are several tips that can help make your dining experience a lot easier.

Miyazaki Chicken Nanba


A lot of people love to shop and when you travel, you are inevitably going to shop.  Whether it is for a brand new Japan exclusive LV bag, some lovely green tea, or that must have item at an antique shop; shopping is not a difficult experience in any country but there are little things people never think of.  The guidebook will provide some insights so that you shop with ease as well as providing handy charts so that you know what your size is in Japan.  Japan’s shoe sizes are based on centimeters rather than the arbitrary numbering system used in Europe and North America.

Shopping in Shinjuku

Temples and Shrines

Visiting a temple or shrine is a pretty simple experience but did you know that there are a lot of rituals that are required when visiting a temple or shrine?  There are ways to wash your hands as you enter the temple or shrine grounds and there are methods to getting your own fortune.  Once you do have your fortune it is often written in only Japanese.  I put all of the information you need from how to wash your hands when entering the temple or shrine to how to pray into the book.  There is even a handy chart to help you understand if you’ll have good or bad luck and to what degree.

Itsukushima Jinja/Shrine

Living in Japan/Daily Needs

Japan is a country with a lot of electronics.  Most of them are written in Japanese with no English many of them look like a control panel of an alien ship.  Toilets are a tricky thing to use in Japan.  Learn why the red button can either be your friend or your enemy.  Sometimes it is an emergency alarm, and sometimes it turns off the spray function.  The book will show you what to look for in this situation.

Garbage is something that a lot of people think is pretty simple until they get to Japan, where you have to sort your garbage into several categories.  Don’t forget the information on electricity and sending letters back home.  Post offices are not hard to find, as long as you know what to look for.  This information is indispensable for anyone planning to live in Japan for the first time.

Washroom Survival

Phrases & References

When visiting any country, it is important to know the basics.  The guidebook has all of the basic phrases and expressions you should require when visiting Japan.  It is written in the proper English form; easy to read phonetic form; and in Japanese so you can point to it if you have a lot of trouble.  All of the phrases are located in each section so you can easily refer to it in whatever activity you choose to do.  You also have an easy reference to various holidays, numbers, dates, months, etc.  As long as you have it loaded onto your tablet, or even phone, you’ll be able to use it wherever you go as long as you have power.

Beware of Crows

I can’t stress how useful this book is.  It will help you to get around and save you the headache of making mistakes in Japan.  If you tend to worry about taking trips and how to do things, this book will take those fears away.  If you are planning to live in Japan, this book is what you need as it will help you blend in with the Japanese community.  It can take a year or more to learn everything.  I put my 8+ years of living in Japan into this book and it will help you more than you could imagine.  You can purchase it directly here:

Note:  This link is for the full price of the book.  Check the main website to see if there are any sales happening.