Tokyo Travel Tips
Surprisingly, unlike a lot of large metropolitan cities, finding free WiFi is hard to come by in Tokyo and if you’re like us and constantly trying to figure out the best route to get to the station to get from one place to another, a mobile hotspot provided by our AirBnB host, we were staying at, was so convenient! While ours was provided by our host, at the airport you can rent these from $10-$12/day, which I think is totally worth it!
2 | Exchanging Cash
Also another surprise, money changers are hard to find within Tokyo itself. While you can find ATM’s pretty much everywhere and anywhere. But if you’re looking to exchange cold hard cash, my suggestion would be to exchange it at the airport or prior to arriving in Japan.
The rate we got at the airport was even better than what was saw being offered by the one money changers we saw while walking around major tourist areas in Tokyo.
If you plan on visiting multiple areas in Japan, we checked out Kyoto, purchase the JR Rail Pass ahead of time and save some money. These can only be purchased outside of the US and what they’ll do is ship you a paper ticket to exchange when you get to the JR stations in Tokyo.
Hey money saved equals more money to spend on food!
4 | Wait at the Crosswalk
For all you random jaywalkers that cross the street just willy nilly, don’t expect to do that in Tokyo. All you jay walkers out there, I’m talking to you! Everyone here abides by the street laws and well pretty much every other law.
Exercise a bit of patience and wait till you see the little person turn green to cross the street.
5 | RED Sign Lit in Top of Taxi Means it is Open for Business
Taxis are plentiful around Tokyo; in fact we even caught one lonely cab at the unholy hour of 3:30 am and oddly saw plenty more. Of course not reading Japanese we weren’t sure how to hail one or when it was available (even harder to see at night!) but after some trial and error we soon learned just look for the red sign.
On another note, no need to try so hard to open/close the door, the driver seems to control a button that opens/closes the back passenger doors automatically for you.
6 | Chopsticks
Learn how to use chopsticks! They are handy in many a situation, whether you want to eat ramen, sushi or catch flies (don’t actually try to catch flies with your chopsticks)!
7 | Pasmo / Suica Card for the Subway
If you plan on seeing a lot of what Tokyo has to offer and get some culture while you’re at it, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pick yourself up a one of these yen loadable cards making commute life that much more amazing.
Use one or the other, but whatever you do JUST use one.
8 | How to Use the Ramen Vending Machine
(if you don’t read Japanese)
- Put money in the machine
- Depending on how much you put in, the corresponding buttons will light up meaning you have put in enough money to purchase the item
- Select the one you want and a ticket will print out
- Extra change in the ramen vending machine? And you don’t read Japanese? Don’t worry, just press the return change button and you’ll get the remainder back.
- Then take your receipt ticket to the guy/gal behind the counter and wait for your bowl of deliciousness.
Have any tips of your own to add?
We would love to hear about them.
What are your tips for Japan?