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15 Best Things to Know Before Visiting Tokyo For First Timers

Things to Know Before Visiting Tokyo For First Timers

We will write a full guide on the best things to know for visiting Tokyo for the first time.

Before visiting Tokyo, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with some essential tips to make your trip smoother and more enjoyable. Here are some things to know before visiting Tokyo.

Read here Things to know before visiting Japan, 36 Hours in Tokyo and Narita airport to city center


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Things to Know Before Visiting Tokyo For First Timers

  1. Transportation
Things to Know Before Visiting Tokyo For First Timers

Tokyo has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including trains and subways operated by Japan Railways (JR) and Tokyo Metro. Purchase a Suica or Pasmo card for easy access to all modes of public transit. Read Here the best way for transportation JR Pass vs Suica Pass

Tokyo’s train stations can be massive and complex. Pay attention to station signs, platform numbers, and transfer points. Consider using navigation apps like Google Maps or Hyperdia to plan your routes in advance.

Read here to purchase in advance Japan Rail Pass

  1. Language

While English signage and announcements are increasingly common in tourist areas, many locals may have limited English proficiency. Learning a few basic Japanese phrases like “hello” (konnichiwa) and “thank you” (arigatou gozaimasu) can be helpful and appreciated.

  1. Cash vs Cards

While credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments, smaller shops, restaurants, and street vendors often prefer cash. It’s advisable to carry sufficient yen for daily transactions.

  1. Etiquette
Things to Know Before Visiting Tokyo For First Timers

Japanese culture places great emphasis on politeness, respect, and social harmony. Practice common courtesies such as bowing, removing shoes before entering certain establishments, and avoiding loud or disruptive behavior in public spaces.

  1. Accommodation

Accommodation options in Tokyo tend to be compact, especially in city centers. Be prepared for smaller hotel rooms compared to Western standards.

You can stay in a dorm room or a room from $20-30 USD while you can stay in a budget hotel for as low as $50-70 USD. There are so many to choose from depending on what type and how luxurious you want your stay to be starting from $200 USD.

Book your accommodations in Tokyo through Agoda or Booking

  1. Food and Dining
Types of Breakfast Japanese Breakfast

Tokyo offers a vast array of culinary experiences, from traditional Japanese cuisine to international fare. Don’t miss the opportunity to try sushi, ramen, izakaya (Japanese pubs), and street food like takoyaki and okonomiyaki.

  1. Technology

Japan has excellent mobile connectivity, but consider renting a pocket Wi-Fi or getting a SIM card for convenient internet access throughout your stay.

Read Here best Japan sim card for tourist and Pocket Wifi vs sim card

  1. Navigation

Tokyo’s address system is based on blocks rather than streets, which can be confusing for newcomers. Carry a detailed map or use navigation apps to find your way around.

  1. Safety

Tokyo is considered one of the safest major cities in the world. However, exercise caution with your belongings in crowded areas, and be mindful of traffic when crossing streets.

  1. Cultural Experiences

Explore Tokyo’s rich cultural heritage by visiting iconic sites such as Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa and Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. Remember to show respect by following temple etiquette.

  1. Shopping and Nightlife
Tokyo 4

Tokyo boasts vibrant shopping districts like Shibuya, Harajuku, and Ginza, offering everything from luxury boutiques to quirky fashion stores. Experience Tokyo’s nightlife in districts like Shinjuku and Roppongi, known for their bars, clubs, and entertainment options.

  1. Seasons and Weather

Tokyo experiences distinct seasons, with cherry blossom season (sakura) in spring and colorful foliage in autumn being popular times to visit. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are relatively mild but can be chilly.

  1. Waste Disposal

Tokyo has strict waste disposal rules, including sorting garbage into categories such as burnable, non-burnable, and recyclable. Familiarize yourself with local guidelines to ensure proper disposal.

  1. Time and Planning

Japan Standard Time (JST) is GMT+9. Plan your activities accordingly and be mindful of time differences if traveling from a different time zone.

  1. Enjoy the Experience

Tokyo is a city of contrasts, where tradition and modernity coexist harmoniously. Embrace the unique experiences, sights, and sounds of this dynamic metropolis, and savor every moment of your visit.

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