Since my friends are jet setting to the Far East, I’ve been frequently contacted for travel advice on Tokyo. It’s the usual: what to eat, where to go, what to do, and what to expect. Years ago, I created a Word document with said advice, but I decided to share it on my blog for convenience.
Japan-guide.com contains the best information regarding travel and sightseeing in Japan.
From the airport to Tokyo
Most international flights into Japan stop at Narita International Airport. However, this airport is some distance away from Tokyo. Supermerlion explains various transportation options from Narita International Airport to wherever you stay in Tokyo.
The times I have stayed in Tokyo, I’ve logged at the Sunshine City Hotel, Khaosan Tokyo Samurai Hostel and the Keio Plaza Hotel. The hostels are the cheapest, and the Khaosan Tokyo Hostel has various locations in Tokyo. I used Hostel World to book my hostel stays in Japan, but don’t forget about Air BnBs!
- Khaosan Tokyo Hostel (original)
- Khaosan Tokyo Hostel (Samurai)
- Sunshine City Prince Hotel
- Keio Plaza
- Hostel World
Japan-guide.com highlights the sightseeing attractions for Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan area is large, but easily accessible through the Japan Rail (JR) or subway. Japan Guide has Tokyo divided into areas, which is convenient for sightseeing purposes. Below is a list of my recommended places:
- Central Tokyo:
- Western Tokyo (Fashion District)
- Northern Tokyo
Transportation around Tokyo
You can easily travel to the sites mentioned above by Japan’s infamous rail (known as JR) and subway systems. You may need to switch between the rail and subway to get to your destination, but the stops are written and announced in English. Below, I highlight important information:
- Tokyo Metro Website in English
- Getting on the Subway
- Japan Rail Pass
- With this pass, you have unlimited access to the JR lines or the Shinkansen (bullet train) at a set price. I recommend this for travelers that are visiting other cities such as Kyoto or Osaka. The Japan Rail Pass website explains how to acquire the JR Pass. This specific rail pass is only given to foreign travelers. Therefore, you need to acquire the Japan Rail Pass Exchange Form at a sales office. Once you land in Narita, you take the form to the JR Office (inside the airport) and they’ll give you your Japan Rail Pass. Note that you can use the JR lines without the JR Pass, just pay per ride.
Cool Places to Eat
Tokyo has plenty of quirky places to eat. Here are a few of my favorites:
In Japan, it’s common to use a call button for the waiter. Be sure to check your table to see if you have that button!
Easy Peasy Japanese-y
Here is what you can expect from your time in Tokyo
- Excellent customer service
- If you’re open to Japanese food then, great good
- Almost everything translated into English, but not many English speakers
- Low crime
- Cold in the winter, rainy in the spring, hot in the summer, and perfect in the fall
- Lots of people that are paying you no mind
- Some people that are giving you too much attention
- Feeling like a minority or feeling as though that you stick out
- Yakuza but don’t worry, they never mess with foreigners
If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to add it in this post.
Until next time! 🐰💭