The Essentials: Tokyo

Labeled the city of the future, it’s not hard to understand how Tokyo got that nickname. Tokyo is a crazy blend of big modern streets and crazy Asian suburbs, international designer brands and local boutiques, insane entertainment right next to traditional temples and very niche specific dining options. Tokyo has something for everyone and it’s always buzzing with life.

Location

Japan

Time Zone

Japan Time Zone UTC+9

Getting There

Tokyo has two major international airports – Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) and Narita International Airport (NRT). Depending on which airline you choose to fly with you could be arriving or departing from either – so make sure you check your boarding passes and know well in advance where you will be arriving/departing, especially if you are organizing transfers and pick up services. It takes approximately 40 minutes into the city of Tokyo from either airport and is an easy ride on the train.

Language

Japanese. Many people working in the tourism and travel as well as retail and hospitality industries (hotels, restaurants, shops, etc) speak good English or understand enough to help you out.

Climate

Humid, subtropical climate with very humid hot summers and generally mild winters. The summer time is also monsoon season – so make sure you take an umbrella with you wherever you go, just in case! Winter time is generally drier.

Getting Around

The subway system in Tokyo is absolutely phenomenal! By far the best, fastest and most efficient way to get around the city, with stations near all major attractions. You won’t go more than three blocks without passing a station, and trains arrive every 2-6 minutes!

Read more: How To Navigate The Tokyo Subway

Money

Currency is Japanese Yen ¥. Tokyo is a huge modern city! There are ATMs everywhere, credit and debit cards are also accepted everywhere.

Internet Access

High-speed wifi is available all over the city – in hotels, restaurants and cafes, shops, main streets, as well as every train station. There aren’t many places in Tokyo where you can’t get a wifi connection.

The Main Districts

Each district has it’s own charm, uniqueness and characteristics. Some of the main districts of Tokyo that you can’t miss are:
Shibuya – known for youth fashion and culture
Ginza – known for high end shopping and dining
Shinjuku – known for the world’s busiest train station
Harajuku – known for teenage culture and crazy fashion
Asakusa – known for Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street
Akibahara – known for technology and electronics

Read more: Where To Stay In Tokyo

Best Time To Go

The best times to visit Tokyo are Spring (March – April) when you can experience the famous beautiful cherry blossoms, or autumn (September – November) to avoid the more extreme whether patterns. Summer in Tokyo (late June – August) is known to be monsoon season and can be very hot and humid when it’s not raining.

Can’t Miss

There are so many things in Tokyo you won’t want to miss!
+ Experience the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world at the Shibuya Scramble
+ The peace and tranquility of Yoyogi Park – the home of the Meiji Shrine
+ Visit Japan’s oldest temple Senso-Ji
+ Watch the craziest techno show of all time at the infamous Robot Restaurant
+ Check out the views from the top of the Tokyo Tower
+ Visit Shinjuku and Harajuku for crazy fashions, foods and everything else you can imagine
+ Try and very unique dining experience, like their hedgehog cafe, hello kitty restaurant or maid diner
+ For a quick day trip, also make sure you head out to Mount Fuji, which is beautiful to see all year round.

Good To Know

Monsoon season is definitely something I didn’t take into consideration when booking flights to Japan. In Tokyo it rained heavily every day, even if it was only for a couple hours – keep this in mind if you’re booking to visit during the summer time. Also, make sure you keep an eye on flight deals – Jetstar has been known to offer flights to Japan where the return flight is free!

Read more about our adventures in Tokyo hereFor more travel tips and to keep up to date with our adventures make sure you subscribe to our newsletter today

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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