1. Know where you are going
Don’t think that you can easily find your destination. Unlike many other western countries, many local streets in Japan do not have a name and you can probably not be able to pinpoint your destination by a given address. Try looking for your destinations beforehand or make use of the navigation app on your phone.
There is no need to rent a car in Tokyo since the subway and the metro systems connect to everywhere in Tokyo. You would most likely use the Yamanote-Line (山手線) most of the time while you’re touring in Japan since it connects to the major places in Japan. Yamanote-Line’s last trains are from 00:00 am to 1:00 am but some trains end early. Train maps might be useful but use of a train app, guides you to the fastest and most efficient train to get to your location and you can look up for your last train as well.
Taxi in Tokyo is very expensive but when you need it, you need it. Taxis run everywhere and you would be able to catch it in less than a minute if you’re standing at the main road.
The price starts from 730yen and every 280m or 1minute 45 seconds, adds 90yen.
3. Places to stay
There are countless places to stay in Japan, from a shared house to a luxurious hotel, however, it is absolutely crucial to know where you would be visiting during your trip and the convenience of the area. Depending at the place you are staying, there might not be a metro station nearby or a nearby convenience store to get what you need in case of emergency. I would suggest finding a place that has a station that runs Yamanote Line.
4. Go to the major cities in Tokyo
As a country where freedom of expression is aloud and the technology is top classed, what you find in major cities in Tokyo would probably blow your mind.
5. Tokyo Disneyland/ Disney Sea is not in Tokyo
You should know that Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea are not within the Tokyo prefecture and are about 30 minutes away from Tokyo station, by train. To know more about Tokyo Disney, click here.
You might be thinking that you will just eat some local food along the way. Yes, you will probably find a restaurant every block of your way.
Click here for the Top 10 foods in Japan
7. Drinking and nightlife
Japan is known for “the city that never sleeps”. You can find so many bars, Izakaya (Japanese bars), and clubs all over the city. Some Izakayas or bars have a touch panel that you can select your desired drink or food to your table. FYI, the drinking age in Japan is 20 years old however most of the places wouldn’t card you but be aware that you will definitely be carded at clubs and some clubs wouldn’t allow a simple driving license of a foreign country. Be sure to carry your identification when you’re hitting the club.
8. Definitely get a Suica or a Pasmo
Touring around Tokyo might be a struggle without having a Suica card or a Pasmo card. Figuring out how to get to where and trying to use the ticket machine would be a hassle. You can purchase these cards at the ticketing machine at any train station for 500yen. The ticketing machine has an English/ Japanese language selection and if you still happen to struggle to get the card, you can always press the help button or ask for help from people. People would be always happy to help. There are many places that Suica or Pasmo payments are allowed, such as vending machines, restaurants, convenience stores, and so forth. (Be sure to confirm if they allow Suica or Pasmo payment beforehand and have enough charge).
You might want to know that Tokyo has the largest population density in the world and during rush hours, the train becomes extremely crowded. Try to avoid rush hours (from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 17:00 pm to 18:00 pm). Saturday and Sundays, the theme parks and leisure spots are usually crowded. Some places provide discounts on visits on weekdays so don’t forget to look into that.
Expenses in Tokyo is slightly expensive than the other prefectures in Japan. A small can of coke is around 120 yen at the vending machine and pet bottled drinks are around 160 yen. Expect to pay around 800yen to 1,000 yen for a meal for one at the local restaurants and 130 yen for a train to the next station. Taxis are expensive in Japan, which is 730yen within the Tokyo city for 2000 meters and every 280 meters is 90yen or 90yen for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Although not everything is expensive in Japan, Japanese branded items (such as Uniqlo, Muji, Shiseido, SKⅡ, electronics, and etc..)