My Ultimate Easy Guide to Tokyo
It was in my senior high school period when I had my first encounter with a real Japanese person. This guy was an understudy at the University and had the assignment to help the Japanese language teacher at my high school. Since that time I always want to visit this country. After more than 15 years later I able to be there after a longer journey from Europe instead of from Indonesia where I was born. In this post, I want to share my ultimate easy guide to Tokyo, Japan.
However, few things you should know before you visit to avoid stress, overspending, and, like me spending too much time to find a free wifi network.
Ten tips for successful Tokyo visit:
I did not have any problems drinking the tap water from the hotel I stayed in. However, for precaution, drinking bottled water is my choice. One thing I did not want is to get sick during my visit just because I want to save some euros. It is also easy to get bottled water because you will find vending machines on almost every corner of the streets.
It is heaven. I love to eat Japanese food, especially sushi. You will find it everywhere. My experience is that the streets foods are all right and safe. I have no problem after eating it.
I love to drink beer. Moreover, the price for imported beer such as Heineken is quite high if you compare it to Amsterdam. I did not try the famous Japanese sake at all. The reason is that I am not interested in it.
4. Airport Transfer
The cheapest is to go with public transport. My husband and I wanted to get it easy after a long flight, so we took the taxi from Haneda airport to Akasaka area. It was ok, but if your airport is Narita, the taxi fare can be much more expensive regarding the distance from the Narita airport to the Tokyo centre. Our flight from Tokyo to Bangkok was very early in the morning from Narita, and we choose the taxi to be easier and comfortable since we have large luggage’s and afraid to be late for our flight. Airport limousines are available from some hotels which just a bit more expensive than using metro + bus connections.
5. Commute inside Tokyo
We walked a lot! However, it is also convenience to go with the metro when we saw that the distance would take more than one-hour walking. Taxi rides can be quite expensive and you will see less. Go for a walk and just wander.
6. Mobile Internet and WIFI
I used to visit Asia, and it is quite easy to acquire pre-paid temporary mobile sim card for the data use only. However, it works in a different way in Japan. Your mobile network roaming service will not guarantee you to be able to connect to any Japanese network. Moreover, this kind of connection will be very expensive.
So is you want to get online with you mobile devices in Japan, please try below options:
- Hiring a smartphone with or without Data (expensive option)
- Renting data only
- SIM / MICROSIM Rental for use in your mobile device
- Connecting to public WIFI networks. This is my recommendation choice since it is cheap and I only use the Internet for Google Maps (replaceable using an offline navigation app) and a bit of social media updates.
- Rent a WIFI-pocket (might be the best option). More information on this topic
7. Travel Guide Book
Go for non-conventional travel guide book. Every time I visit a city, I always get the Louis Vuitton City Guide. Of course, it is not available for all the cities in the world, but major cities are often in the collection. However, I never use travel book to determine where I go or do; it is just a bit of guidance and inspirations. This way I found interesting and off-route places. Unfortunately, this book is not well up to date, some places mentions in the book are either moved or closed for business (mostly restaurants and shops).
Hotels can be expensive, even for a small room. But one thing is that if you do your research good, the quality will be above beyond. For example, in the hotel we stayed in Akasaka, the amenities are perfect (no skin rash because of the shaving blades or shaving cream and the toothbrush is just so smooth and perfect) and not forget to mention clean rain shower. The room has a pre-warm toilet with its toilet-douche with options like different types of spray intensity or water temperatures. When we said that we could not have breakfast on the last day, they just refund the breakfast fee with no-hassle.
In almost every store in Tokyo, shopping is totally excellent for tourists. Not only extra discounts for visitors, but the tax-free shopping is also simplified. Most stores have two prices, with and without tax. So if you are a tourist, show your passport (not a copy) and all you need to pay is the tax-free price. No more long queue at the airport Tax-Free counters. Remember this: always bring your passport with you when to go out shopping, and the Japanese pricing is higher for most brands, especially when you come from Europe. But there is enough unique clothing item to get as a souvenir.
I use an offline navigation app to navigate since I did not have a mobile internet connection, lack of research. But there are enough offline map and navigation to use such as the one from GPSmyCity.
What are the costs?
- Airport taxi – from Haneda Airport to our hotel in Akasaka – 7,630 ¥ (€ 66,50)
- MOMAT Tokyo – Every first Sunday of the month and International Museum Day, May 18) are FREE entrance. Other days, the price of admission for one adult is 430 ¥ (€ 3,74)
- Airport taxi – from our hotel to Narita Airport – 23,570 ¥ (€ 212,54)
- Bottle of water – 108,49 ¥ (€ 0,947)
- Metro – 3 stations – 170 ¥ (€ 1,48)
- Hotel in Akasaka – four nights with breakfast – 50,328 ¥ (€ 439,08)
- Japanese dinner – mid. class restaurant – 5,500 ¥ (€ 47,91)
- Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 360,00 ¥ (€ 3,15)
- Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 560,00 ¥ (€ 4,87)
- Cappuccino (regular) – 405,00 ¥ (€ 3,53)
- Western lunch in Burger King (Burger and fries) – 695.00 ¥ (€ 6,05)
The blog post “MY ULTIMATE EASY GUIDE TO TOKYO: TIPS, COSTS, ITINERARIES, AND MORE” published on ChristianGertsen.com – Dutch Street Style & Men’s Style Blog.
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