What to do in Tokyo?
• Temples - Most visited: Senso-ji, Meji-Jingu, Zojo-ji, Yasukuni Shrine, Nezu Shrine, Asakusa Shrine and Gotokuji. • Shopping- You’ll find great shopping anywhere you go in Tokyo! You’ll literally shop till you drop in Tokyo! Ginza is the shopping district in Tokyo. You’ll find some of the best local shopping/food at the Asakusa Market, Ameya- Yokocho and on Takeshita street. Shinjuku has major department stores and electronics shopping. • Tsukiji fish market- Wake on the early side around 5 am and you'll be able to witness the local fishermen bringing in the catch of the day! •Sky tree- is a tower that oversees a 360 view of Tokyo city. On a clear day, you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance.
• Tokyo Tower • Parks- Ueno ,Oishikawa Korakuen Garden,Showa Memorial Park, Inokashira Park,Nara Park, and Hamarikyu. • Mount Fuji - It's possible to take a day trip if your planning to just experience the magnificent views of Mount Fuji. If your planning to actually climb Mount Fuji, one day is not possible. In order to climb Mount Fuji you would at least need a few days that require you to camp over. Most visitors go to the Hakone region to enjoy the national park and hot springs or Fuji Five Lakes. From Hakone and Fuji Five Lakes, Mount Fuji will only be seen on a clear day. • Nightlife - The Roppongi and Kabukichō area is a scene of nightclubs and bars. Have a more traditional experience going to a Tachiniomi or a “Standing bar”. A few popular places where you can literally stand and drink at the bar: Fujiya Honten, Ginza Shimada, Kanemasu, Nihonshu Stand Moto, and Saiseisakaba. Another must when you're in Tokyo is to go to the infamous Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku!
What language is spoken in Japan?
Japanese is the main language in Japan. Some, but not all speak English here. Japanese use characters instead of letters but all main street names, stores, and public transportation have English lettering under the Japanese characters.
Japanese Yen ¥
Where to stay in Tokyo?
• The best places to stay are Shinjuku, Tokyo Station Area, Ginza, Marunouchi or Roppongi. Everything there that you may want to do is located here.
• Asakusa and Ueno are reasonable locations when looking for somewhere to stay that's affordable.
Where I stayed?
APA Hotel Asakusa Kuramae is located in the Asakusa area. The location of APA hotel is perfect! The Ginza Line and Asakusa Line subway lines are only a 3-5 minute walk from the hotel. There are many restaurants and quick stops on the same street as the hotel. The Asakusa Market and Sensoji temple are within walking distance. At the market you’ll find a money exchange which is convenient because its close by.
APA Hotel rooms are small with not much room to walk around, but its doesn’t matter if most of the time you’ll be out exploring Tokyo city for an adventure. APA Hotel rooms and bathroom had outstanding cleanness. Every day we had clean towels and sheets! If you forget any toiletries don’t stress it! APA Hotel has it covered by daily replacing fresh products! Toiletries that are offered are toothbrushes, sponges, Q-tips ,shower caps, hair bands, brushes, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner - all free amenities. A buffet is located on the first floor that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You won’t have to look far for a real taste of Japanese food because it is served right in your hotel!
Checking in and out the hotel was swift and easy. The staff was attentive and helpful. There was at least one staff that knew some English, and everyone was willing to do their best to help us communicate. Maps of Tokyo, buses, and trains were given to us in English and Japanese to give us a sense of directions around town!
If I had the chance to come back to Tokyo, I would look forward to staying at the APA Hotel Asakusa Kuramae again! I recommend any first time travelers to Tokyo: this is the place to be!!
(Tokyo Subway Station)
How to get to your destination from the airport?
Tokyo Haneda(HND)- Closest airport to Tokyo. 30 minutes away. Trains and air shuttles are available.Trains do not run 24/7. Taxi cost about ¥7,000($62USD) - ¥10,000($89USD) depending on your destination.
Narita(NRT)- 1 hour away. Air bus shuttles are available. Taxi are about ¥16,000($142USD) to ¥20,000($177USD) depending on your destination.
Below is a table that shows you an express train and the air shuttle available for destinations.
(Pasmo card for transportation)
How to get around Tokyo?
• Train - The cheapest and most main effective way to get around the city. Once your at the metro station you will be able to purchase a preloaded card to use to get in the subway station. The machines enable you to select the language of your choosing with self-explanatory instructions on how to purchase the card and fare.
There are two types of IC card available for purchase in Tokyo : Suica cards at JR Stations and Pasmo card at non-JR Stations. You have to load the card with money. Cash and credit are accepted. Each individual must purchase their OWN card. You will swipe your card twice when traveling on the train. Once when entering and another time exiting. Your card is charged depending on what stop you get on and off. Each station you get off of varies as to what will be charge your preloaded card. Purchasing a preloaded card is the best option if your planning on using the trains daily for numerous of days. If your in Tokyo for a limited of time there are Tokyo Subway tickets available from 24 to 72 hours.
Although most Japanese understand english when asking for directions, its hard to an read english map . Download the subway railroad map in Japanese and English. Click to download Japanese and English Subway Map. • Bicycle - Rentals are all through out the city. Bikes are the most common transportation for the Japanese to get around. If your traveling with kids, there are bike rentals with a child seat on the back and/or front if needed.The price to rent a bike is ¥300($3USD) to ¥3000($27USD) depending on the hours rented for. • Japan Uber • Bus- Adult ticket ¥210 ($2USD) and Child ticket ¥110 ($1USD)
(Cherry Blossoms at Uneo Park)
When to travel to Japan?
Japan has four seasons. Going to Japan in late spring(March to May) or late autumn (September to November) is an excellent time to go.
Cherry blossoms bloom late March to early April.
Where to eat in Tokyo?
Tokyo has over 100 restaurants to choose from. Anywhere you eat you’ll find Phenomenal food. Here are only a few of many places to eat: • Piss Alley - Located in the Shinjuku district. An alley full of cramped restaurants that only fit about 6-8 people inside. Its quite the experience and an interesting way to eat with little room to do so.
• Di Punto - Wine bar
• Bar High Five - 23 best bar in the WHOLE world!
• Karashibimisoramen Kikanbo- Ramen Noodles
Things you should know when traveling to Japan?
• Japan has many rules.
• Your not aloud to eat/drinking while walking. Even if u buy a bag of chips, you’ll have to eat those chips where you brought them or when you react you destination. The Japanese are very anal about this and they’ll tell you their selfs not to walk and eat. You’ll notice that there are no trash cans outside to throw away outside food.
• You cannot walk and smoke. Special designated smoking areas are accessible for you to smoke in/out doors.
• They drive on the right side and expect you to walk on the right side as well. If the walking sign is red, you have to stop even if theres no cars going by. Its definitely a shock being a New York since we never wait for the green light to cross!
• Many places only accept cash so keep it handy if you can. I was surprised when McDonalds did not take my card. Traditional stores in Japan will also require you to have cash when purchasing.
• Public free wifi are located on the streets and public transportation. I wouldn’t rely on the free public wifi because its slows and takes a while to connect on to the wifi. In most cases my phone didn’t even connect but my sister managed to get on a few times!
• The Japanese are super friendly! Not once but many occasions we would ask someone for directions and they would take time out their day just to walk us in the direction we should be going to.
• When trying to locate things on a GPS in your language such as English, you might type in the Japanese street in English but won't be able to locate the address because the streets are in Japanese characters so make sure you google the character in Japanese.
• If you Have visible and large tattoos, various hotel spas and hot springs will not aloud you to enter. Japanese accept you how you are, but this is just they way things are in Japan.The Japanese are very modest and conservative but, I never once felt judged walking around with both my tattoo sleeves in a short sleeve shirt.
• The Japanese are crazy about green tea! Most desserts are all flavored in green tea which are all delicious !
• Self storage lockers are available all around Tokyo. Youll find them more frequently in public transportation station areas. The lockers are conventient when you have to many bags to carry and your still exploring the city. This is one invention I wish New York offered because its very helpful when shopping around when you can make it back home to drop off your bags ! A small locker cost 300 yen, medium 500 yen, and a large 700 yen.
(Lockers in Public transportation station areas)
Is Tokyo kid friendly? Things to do with kids?
Japan is super kid friendly ! The Japanese love the young ones! The only issue with Tokyo is that it is heavily populated, and if your in the city you need to keep your little ones close from getting lost in the crowd. It could be overwhelming for your child being in a scroller for hours sight-seeing. Make sure have rest stops where your child could run around or have a kids day. Rush hour is a hard time to travel on public transports with a scroller because the Japanese tend to cram in the trains and buses.
Beware of restaurants where you eat with kids. Japan have smoking sections in many restaurants and the smoking sections are not always closed off.
• Ueno Zoo
Would you visit one of the worlds busiest capital? A city with so much tradition but at the same time newly modern. Excitement awaits for you in this city with countless sightseeing, activities, and remarkable foods to try.