5 Days in Tokyo 2017

Around Tokyo

Navigating Tokyo can be a challenge.
They don't see the need to name streets.
You need to access Google maps and directions
For this you need 2 things - a smartphone and a portable wifi so you're always connected
Portable wifi better than sim card bc several people can share connection
And use for your laptop or tablet as well

Best portable wifi we found is Ninja Wifi
Order it online at least one day before you go
Pickup at airport when you arrive, connect straight away
(go to Keikyu Line corridor in Hanedo arrival terminal)
Just remember to charge it every night
Cost about $6 a day when we went

Tokyo destinations

How to use subway network

Odaiba/Palette Town



Central and Ginza



Shibuya and Ebisu


Day Trips


Haneda to A-I

Food To Try

pluck your selection from conveyor belt
plates color-coded for price
inexpensive way to sample local cuisine
pour your own soy sauce pics

choose tsukemen where broth served lukewarm
(better in summer) pics

savoury pancakes
hot plates on table
cook your own batter and ingredients
or Moojayaki variant with far looser constituency pics

grilled chicken skewers pics

Kushiage and Tonkatsu
meat or tofu coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried pics

deep fried meat, shrimp or veges pics

Dam Curries
rice dams meat or vege curries pics

traditional Japanese confections that are often served with tea
made of mochi, anko, and fruits pics

Bento boxes
a single-portion take-out or home-packed meal a single-portion take-out or home-packed meal
A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables pics

Ekiben Bento boxes
Railway boxed meals) are a specific type of bento boxed meals, sold on trains and train stations in Japan
Each box usually consists of rice, a main viand, and side dishes, and sells for as low as 700 yen to above 3000 yen pics

Travel Notes

Visualize the basic network

How to navigate the network

A whole variety of day passes is available for the Tokyo area, however, most of them are overpriced and/or not very practical because they do not cover all of Tokyo's train and subway lines. Consequently, single tickets or prepaid cards usually come cheaper, especially if you plan your city sightseeing in a geographically wise way.

Prepaid IC cards are generally the recommended way to get around Tokyo.
Prepaid cards don't give you any discounts over single tickets, but they provide convenience as you can ride virtually any train or bus in Greater Tokyo (and many other major cities in Japan) with just a simple swipe over a card reader.
They can also be used to make quick purchases at a constantly increasing number of shops in Tokyo (and across the country).

Two types of IC cards are available for purchase in Tokyo: Suica cards at JR stations and Pasmo cards at non-JR stations. Furthermore, eight IC cards from other major cities of Japan can also be used on the trains and buses of Tokyo, including Icoca, Kitaca, Toica, Manaca, Pitapa, Sugoca, Nimoca and Hayakaken.

Only on days when you use trains or subways a lot, can it make sense to consider one of Tokyo's day passes:

Tokyo Free Kippu (aka Tokyo Tour Ticket) (1590 yen)
Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro) and JR trains in the central Tokyo area on one calendar day (i.e. from the first to the last train of the day).
It is also valid on buses and streetcars operated by Toei.
The pass is overpriced and will unlikely provide any savings over regular tickets or prepaid cards.

Tokyo Subway Ticket (24 hours: 800 yen, 48 hours: 1200 yen, 72 hours: 1500 yen)
Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro). Not valid on JR trains.
The pass is sold at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport and Bic Camera electronic stores in central Tokyo to foreign tourists only (passport required).
Also sold to both foreign tourists and residents of Japan through selected travel agencies outside of the Kanto Region.

Toei and Tokyo Metro One-Day Economy Pass (900 yen)
Unlimited use of all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo Metro) on one calendar day.
The pass only pays off if you use the subways excessively.
The pass is not valid on JR trains. Unlike the lower priced Tokyo Subway Ticket (see above), this pass can be purchased at the subway stations in central Tokyo.

Tokyo Metro 24-Hour Ticket (600 yen)
Unlimited use of the nine Tokyo Metro subway lines, but not the four Toei subway lines and JR trains.
The ticket is available through ticket machines at Tokyo Metro stations.

Toei One-Day Economy Pass (700 yen)
Unlimited use of the four Toei subway lines, buses and streetcars on one calendar day. It is not valid on the nine Tokyo Metro subway lines and JR trains.
The pass is available at ticket machines and ticket counters at Toei stations.

Tokunai Pass (750 yen)
Unlimited use of JR trains in the central Tokyo area on one calendar day. The pass is available at the purple vending machines and ticket counters at JR stations.
The Japan Rail Pass and JR Tokyo Wide Pass are valid only on JR trains and the Tokyo Monorail. They cannot be used on subways or any other non-JR train.

Worried about getting lost? Take a photo of train station (outside) signs as you exit.
Then, if need help, show the pic to a passerby.
Even if they can't speak English and you can't pronounce the station name correctly, they will point you in the right direction.

Try to avoid rush hour

September Weather

Things You Didn't Know You Had To Watch Out For

Grumpy old men deliberately colliding with people texting while walking

If you inadvertently offend someone, you are expected to apologize

Impt phrases

Books by Title

Books by Author

Books by Topic

Bits of Books To Impress