You can also review these notes from the local committee(PDF)>>>
Please note that child care will not be available at the Nagoya Congress Center during the 2014 Congress. If you are bringing children, you will need to make your own arrangements for child care.
The climate of the month of September in Nagoya is usually hot and humid, with the average high temperatures at 84゜F / 29゜C and average low temperatures at 70゜F / 21゜C. Choose loose, light clothes or take lightweight jackets. The congress hall and all major hotels are air-conditioned.
The currency used in Japan is yen (¥). Foreign currency or traveler’s checks can be changed to yen at major banks, hotels, or airports. It is necessary to show your passport when changing traveler’s checks. Many automatic teller machines (ATMs) in Japan do not accept credit, debit and ATM cards, which are issued outside of Japan. The big exception are the ATMs found at the over 20,000 post offices and over 10,000 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country. These ATMs allow you to withdraw cash by credit and debit cards issued outside of Japan, including Visa, Plus, Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express and JCB cards and provide an English user menu. ATMs at 7-Eleven stores are available 24 hours per day around the year.
Only Japanese yen is accepted at stores and restaurants.
Bills come in units of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen, and coins in units of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 yen. The approximate exchange rate for U. S. $1 is 102 Yen (as of December 2013).
A few table manners to keep in mind when dining in Japan are:
When drinking alcoholic beverages, it is customary to serve each other, rather than pouring your own beverage. Periodically check your friends' cups and refill their drinks if their cups are getting empty. Likewise, if someone wants to serve you more alcohol, you should quickly empty your glass and hold it towards that person.
How to eat:
The voltage in Japan is 100 Volt, which is different from North America (120V), Central Europe (220V) and most other regions of the world. Japanese electrical plugs have two, non-polarized pins, as shown above. They fit into North American outlets.
Japanese power outlets are identical to ungrounded (2-pin) North American outlets. While most Japanese outlets these days are polarized (one slot is slightly wider than the other), it is possible to encounter non-polarized outlets in some places.
Some North American equipment will work fine in Japan without an adapter and vice versa, however, certain equipment, especially equipment involving heating (e.g. hair dryers), may not work properly or even get damaged. If you intend to purchase electronic appliances in Japan for use outside of Japan, you are advised to look for equipment specifically made for oversea tourists.
All conference attendees are advised to arrange private travel insurance. The conference organizers and committee accept no liability for personal accidents or damage to property while in attendance at the conference. The Organizing Committee of ISPCAN reserves the right to amend and alter the conference program and events without prior notice and accepts no liability as a result of such actions.
Japan is a shopping paradise with a wealth of stores selling everything from traditional souvenirs and local food to the latest electronics and hottest fashion brands. Both domestic and foreign brands are represented, as are stores for all budgets, from the 100 yen shops to high-end fashion boutiques. If you intend to purchase electronic appliances in Japan for use outside of Japan, you are advised to look for equipment specifically made for oversea tourists.
In general, large shops and department stores are open daily from 10:00 to 20:00. Smaller stores and shops around tourist attractions may have shorter hours. When you walk into a store, the sales staff will greet you with the expression "irasshaimase" meaning "welcome, please come in". Customers are not expected to respond.
Consumption tax in Japan, known in other countries as VAT, GST or sales tax, is a flat 5% on all items. Stores are required to list the after-tax price, so what you see is what you should pay. Note that the consumption tax rate is scheduled to increase to 8% in April 2014. Be aware that any items you purchase in Japan may be subject to import duties in your home country.
Cash is accepted everywhere, and it is usually no problem to use large bills to pay for small items, except at small street vendors or dusty mom and pop shops. Although not as universally accepted as cash, credit cards can be used at more and more places, especially major retail stores, electronics shops and department stores. Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express and Union Pay are among the most widely accepted types of cards. Travelers checks, on the other hand, are not widely accepted except at major department stores and electronics shops that regularly cater to foreign customers.
When paying, put the money onto the provided tray (preferably with the bills neatly unfolded). Your change may be returned in the same way. Bargaining is neither common nor appreciated in most stores.
Tax and Tipping:
There is no custom of individual tipping in Japan. Instead, a service charge will be included in the bill where applicable. A 5% consumption tax applies to almost all consumer goods made in Japan.
Telecommunications and Cell Phones:
While most newer mobile phone models can be used in Japan, many older phones may not work due to different technologies. Most importantly, there is no GSM network in Japan, so GSM-only phones do not work. The following are needed for a handset to work in Japan:
Renting is the most economical way for the average traveler to get a phone, and typically requires a picture ID and a credit card. Many companies have kiosks at the airports, while other companies will mail a phone to your hotel or to your home. You can return the phones at the airport or through the mail depending on the company. The fees for rental phones vary and usually consist of the rental fee (typically 250-1000 yen per day) plus a usage fee (typically 70-200 yen per minute domestic outgoing, incoming calls are free). All of the companies at the airports have same day rentals, while some companies offer discounts for advanced reservations.
Traveler’s Checks and Credit Cards:
Traveler’s checks are not as popular in Japan as in some other countries. They are usually accepted only by leading banks and major hotels.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club cards are widely accepted at hotels, department stores, shops, and restaurants.