Tokyo Travel Guide
Stay in Tokyo
Best Tokyo hotels for first time visitors are lodgings close to train stations in essential Tokyo neighbourhoods to explore like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, and Akasaka. These are our picks of…
Our home away from home in Tokyo is a smart little studio apartment in Akasaka. There’s a school on the corner and in the tiny streets behind us there are…
Eat in Tokyo
The best restaurants in Asia for 2023 according to voters of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants List were announced in Singapore this week. At #1 is Le Du restaurant in Bangkok,…
Japanese food in Tokyo for most culinary travellers means sushi, soba, tempura, and ramen – fish, seafood and noodles – but when I fantasise about eating Japanese food in Tokyo,…
Drink in Tokyo
I’m not going to name names, so don’t ask. But a Tokyo-based guide recommended to us emailed me to say he was away on a tour while we were in…
We’ve always loved sake – since we used to hit the karaoke bars with friends in Sydney’s Kings Cross years ago. We wouldn’t think of eating Japanese food with anything…
Tsukiji Outer Market is a must after visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market proper. The Outer Market shops specialise in everything from Japanese handmade knives and kitchen supplies to cooking ingredients…
The best Tokyo neighbourhoods are the laidback and local areas like Akasaka and the atmospheric Asakusa. While they rarely get a mention in magazines and with no notable sights to…
The best things to do in Japan in winter include savouring steaming hotpot and soaking in hot springs in onsen towns, dining at Tokyo’s best restaurants, when it’s easier to…
Tsukiji Fish Market closes today, marking the end of an era. The legendary Tokyo fish market, which opened in 1935, will move to the new Toyosu Fish Market opening nearby…
Book Tokyo Tours
The best food museums and exhibitions in the world for food lovers include everything from Parma’s museums dedicated to pasta, cheese, salami, and wine to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s…
Omoide Yokocho or Memory Lane in Shinjuku, Tokyo, is also called Shonben Yokocho or Piss Alley. Home to dozens of smoky yakitori and motsuyaki joints, noodle bars and izakayas, its…
Strolling the leafy lanes of the atmospheric quarter of Yanaka is like stepping back in time. Dotted with historic temples and traditional low-rise wooden houses, this laidback area is one…
My, how the souvenirs for kids sold in Tokyo have changed since my mother returned from Japan when I was a kid in the early ’70s, bringing back suitcases bursting…
Writing our Gold Coast on a Budget post got me thinking about when it’s okay to blow your travel budget. While you might be intent to stretch your funds to stay on…
Our two-week stay in Japan’s capital was so different to other destinations we’ve stayed so far on our Grand Tour and there were so many lessons we learned for slow travellers and…
WHEN TO GO
Mar-May & Oct-Nov Best time for good weather to be out sightseeing and spring is cherry blossom season.
Jun-Aug Rainy season starts in June and is hot and humid, but starts to improve in August for late summer festivals.
Dec-Feb Cool and dry weather with blue skies but really cold overnight temperatures.
Note that while you cannot be refused treatment at a hopital or clinic, you will be charged and get reimbursed from your insurance. If you need treatment, do call your insurer. Local clinics called naika is for general medical problems where they will send you to a specialisy for further treatment. Recommended Vaccinations
Japan has Visa Exemption Arrangements with 68 countries and regions which allwos you a 90 day stay with no special requirements for activities such as commerce and conferences. While proof of onward travel (or financial means of onward travel are required, it’s rarely asked for. Visit the Exemption of Visa page for a complete list of visa regulations.
CURRENT EXCHANGE RATES
$1.00 USD = 149.99 Yen
$1.00 AUD = 97.44 Yen
€1.00 EUR = 162.07 Yen
£1.00 GBP = 189.35 Yen
The Japanese currency is the Japanese Yen ¥ (JPY). Using ATM machines in Japan is complicated, but significantly easier in large cities such as Tokyo. The reason is that many Japanese banks only accept Japanese ATM cards. Look for banks that have ‘international ATM’ signs in their windows or go to a 7-Eleven convenience store where they have Seven Bank ATMs that accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express etc.
JAPANESE IS THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF JAPAN.
ELECTRICITY IN TOKYO IS 100 VOLTS. 50 CYCLES/SEC.
LOCAL TIMETime in Tokyo:
Tokyo’s Time Zone is (GMT+9) Tokyo does not have daylight saving
CURRENT TOKYO WEATHER
Tokyo’s main airport, Narita International Airport (NRT) is about one hour from Tokyo city by express train with departures every 30 to 60 minutes. To get to other Japanese destinations, it’s advisable to compare flights to shinkansen (bullet trains). Once in Tokyo, the Tokyo Metro system is brilliant, consisting of line letters (‘G’) for Ginza, circled with a colour and each station has a number. Choices of tickets depends on whether you’re doing an airport run to a several day stay, see the ticket information on this site.
Tokyo Daily Costs
Daily Budget Up To:
- Guesthouse dorm bed: US$28+
- Bowl of ramen joint noodles: US$8+
- 24-hour subway pass: US$5:50
Daily Budget From:
- Air-con hotel room: US$150
- Museum Entry Fee: US$6
- Isakaya (pub/eatery) meal for 2: US$60
Daily Budget From:
- Four/five star hotel room: US$320+
- Private coctail bar custom coctail: US$30+
- Jiro Omakase Tasting Menu: US$275+