One of my biggest concern when planning the trip to Japan is language barrier. However, I'm still able to survive in Japan for 2 weeks even though I have almost zero Japanese language knowledge except the common ones such as arigato (thank you), chotto (wait), sumimasen (excuse me). =p
The Japanese are really very friendly people, they would try their best if you ask them for directions. Just a simple left or right is sufficient for us to navigate around. Some even stop and ask us where we are going when they sense that we are lost. It's hard to find such people in Singapore. I do admit that I wouldnt purposely stop to ask a foreigner in Singapore if he is lost.
It's ímportant to do ur homework if you intend to travel on your own cos their trains are very confusing especially in major stations where there are numerous platforms. Luckily I did mine and yet I still have some difficulties in taking the trains. I can't imagine if I didnt do any research at all. However I have to kudos Japan as the station name are displayed in Kanji and English on top of Hiragana words. The major stations will also announce in English in the trains.
The Japanese food is not as nice as what I have thought, the Japanese food in Singapore taste better. Probably it's because the Japanese food in Singapore are catered to our taste buds. It's a disappointment that the food in Osaka is not nice at all even though Osaka is known for it's food culture.
I really love those toilets with water spray to wash the hip and bidet. Cool! The toilets in Japan are generally clean compared to the ones in Singapore. Shame on Singaporean.
Things are really very expensive in Japan, be it food, transport etc. A meal alone cost at least S$15. With this amount, I can have 5 meals in Singapore. I wondered how much a white collar worker earns in Japan since their standard of living is so high. Many people were surprised when they heard that I only spent ~S$2,500 on airtix, accomodation, transport, meals etc for 12 days!!! It's not that I'm thrift but my detailed planning that should claim the credit. =p
There are so many places in Japan which I have yet to visit and I'll back again.