Yearly Archives: 2015

Inter-city Travel by Rail

Express and bullet trains (shinkansen) allow you to travel long distances in a short time period. Unlike ordinary cars, they charge a fee in addition to the base fare. These trains may carry first class (“Green”) cars with more spacious

Rail Travel in Tokyo & Yokohama

Information and train line maps for rail services in Tokyo and Yokohama, with additional guides to delay certificates and women-only carriages.

Rail Tickets & Prepaid IC Cards

Information on ticket machines and IC charge cards for trains and buses, and a guide to commuter passes.

Tourist Passes & Day Tickets

Convenient discount tickets for train and bus services in the Tokyo area, and tourist passes including airport access combination tickets.

Buses in Japan

How to pay fares on the two main kinds of local bus in Japan, and information on discounted transfers on Tokyo buses.

Taxis in Japan

What to expect from taxis in Japan, and phone numbers for taxi companies in Tokyo and Yokohama.


As one of the most popular sightseeing spots, Asakusa offers a taste of historic and religious Japan. A number of festivals are held here throughout the year. The surrounding area also offers a unique feel of an older Tokyo that you do not find elsewhere in the city, so it is worth exploring.

TOKYO SKYTREE & TOKYO Solamachi & TOKYO mizumachi

At 634m in height, Tokyo Skytree is the tallest architecture in Japan and the world’s tallest free-standing broadcasting tower.

Tokyo Tower

This 333-meter-tall tower offers unbeatable panoramic views of Tokyo from the observatory at 150m and 250m.

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace is the residence of the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Inside you will find the East Gardens (closed Mon & Fri every week and 12/28-1/3 every year) which are the former site of Edo Castle’s innermost circles of defense. Guided tours are available with advanced booking. The moat surrounding the palace is a popular jogging course.

Meiji Jingu

In contrast to the lively Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Meiji Jingu (明治神宮) has an air of tranquility. Once you have passed through the large wooden Torii (鳥居, gate) and are inside the grounds, it is easy to forget about the


Ueno Park is famous for its cherry blossoms. In addition to many great museums, such as the Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum for Western Art, you can also enjoy the oldest zoo in Japan with your family. There


Built in 733, Jindaji, one of Tokyo’s oldest temples, is known for numerous soba shops in front of its temple gate, and 5,200 rosebushes in bloom in mid-May and mid-October in its botanical garden.

Tsukiji Shijo (Fish Market)

At one time one of the world’s busiest fish markets, most of Tsukiji’s operations were moved to Toyosu in late 2018. Visitors can no longer go inside the Tsukiji market, but there are still many restaurants and shops just outside.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings

The Metropolitan Government Buildings are 243m in height. From the observation decks on top of both the North and South towers (which are free of charge), you have an unrestricted view of the sprawling metropolis, and on clear days, you


This waterfront area on the other side of Rainbow Bridge from Shimbashi has many modern architectural sights including the FUJI Television Building, hotels and shopping malls. It is also beautiful at night.

Mount Takao

This 599m high sacred mountain is a popular day hiking spot for Tokyo residents. From the peak, on a clear day, you can see central Tokyo and Mount Fuji. The colorful, wooded hills create a stunning background in autumn. The


Just a short train ride from Tokyo, Japan’s 2nd largest city is well-known for the sea breezes and newly renovated bay area. It also has a wealth of other attractions.


The many shrines and temples set amid the wooded hills bring to mind a poetic, oriental image of Japan. At Kamakura station’s east exit, there is a red Torii (gate) which is the side entrance to Kamakura’s symbolic shopping street.


From Tokyo, Hakone is the closest Onsen (hot spring) resort, but this scenic area also has museums and art galleries. A ropeway trip to the top of Mount Hakone will give you spectacular views of the surrounding countryside as well


Nikko, famed for being a World Heritage site, is situated northwest of Tochigi prefecture in the northern Kanto Region. Nikko Toshogu, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu and an impressively decorated shrine, the fascinating 97m high Kegon-No-Taki waterfall and finally Lake

Mt. Fuji

It is not only the highest mountain in Japan, but is also a famous symbol of Japan. Many people like the thought of climbing Mount Fuji, although it is not easy and can only be climbed during July and August.

Sightseeing References & Tour Agencies

With so many options to choose from, it may be difficult to know where to begin planning your trip to Japan. Here are some sightseeing references and tour agencies that can help arrange the right travel experience for you. Tour Agencies

List of Traffic Signs

Below is a list of popular traffic signs as seen in Japan. A driver must display this mark on the car for one year after obtaining a driver’s license. Displayed on cars driven by a person over 70. Not obligatory.

Riding a Bicycle in Japan

Bicycles in Japan, especially the ubiquitous “mama-chari,” the (often) single-gear bike equipped with a basket and rack, are a convenient form of transportation ideal for running errands and making short trips in Japan’s urban areas, and cycling is often grouped

Driving a Car in Japan

Driving in Japan will show you many aspects of the city and countryside that are inaccessible by public transport. Be cautious, because roads and highways in urban areas can be very crowded. Driving Rules Drive on the left side of

Driver’s License in Japan

You can drive using a foreign license with an International Driving Permit or an official translation (depending on your country) for the 1st year, but you must get a Japanese driver’s license after the 2nd year. To transfer to a

Expressways in Japan

The expressway (“Kosoku-doro” / “高速道路” or “Jidoushado” / “自動車道”, in Japanese) is probably a much quicker option for long distance travel. For the most part, you will have to pay to use them. Charges are either flat-rate or distance-based. For

In Case of Car Accidents

Try to keep the scene as it happened. Rescue anyone who is injured. Call “119” (Ambulance) if there is anyone injured. Call “110” (Police) and explain the location and situation. Move the vehicle if it gets in the way of

Japan Rail Passes

There are a number of JR Passes aimed at tourists that allow for unlimited travel on designated services. In addition to the Japan-wide JR Rail Pass, the various member companies of the Japan Rail Group offer passes valid for travel

Inter-city Travel by Highway Bus

Inter-city coach transportation by “highway bus” (or “kosoku bus,” 高速バス) is an attractive budget option for long distance travel in Japan. Highway bus fares can be significantly cheaper than airplane or shinkansen tickets, and routes between major cities and tourist

Internet for Travelers

Internet access Internet in Japan is fast and reliable and most accommodation for tourists will have internet access. If in doubt, confirm with your accommodation provider before reservation. For those who need access on the go, there are a number

Types of Shop

Department Stores Japan’s world class department stores carry a similar range of products to their Western counterparts. The top floors usually have a selection of international restaurants, while bustling food markets in the basement floors are filled with beautiful selections

Sumida Aquarium

One of the main attractions of the Tokyo Skytree – relatively small but you’ll enjoy many creatures and interesting exhibits with very modern design.

Shopping Customs in Japan

Along with hotels and restaurants, shops in Japan pride themselves on their high standard of customer service. The shopping experience is generally a straightforward one, but there are a few customs and peculiarities you should be aware of in advance.

Shopping Districts

Tokyo and Yokohama have a number of districts where many shops specialise in a particular kind of item. Use this guide to find out where to shop based on what you’re looking for. Fashion and Brand Goods Tokyo is one

Decks Tokyo Beach

150 shops, restaurants and an indoor amusement park.

DiverCity Tokyo Plaza

A new shopping/amusement facility in Odaiba that opened in 2012, famous for the giant Gundam statue outside.


A wide variety of shops and restaurants spread across 7 floors of this sophisticated shopping mall. Here you will find Japanese regional cuisine along with a variety of fashion and lifestyle goods retailers.

MARK IS minatomirai

This shopping mall is located in the center of Minato Mirai. Chic fashion boutiques and name brand shopping are joined by a wide selection of Japanese and international restaurants.

Marunouchi Building

The Marunouchi building is located in the center of the Marunouchi – a district constantly bustling with people on weekdays and weekends. The building is a stylish and exciting spot for shopping, dining, cultural and entertainment activities.

Omotesando Hills

This Omotesando landmark is home to about 100 stores offering the latest in fashion and lifestyle items as well as a number of exquisite restaurants.

Queen’s Square Yokohama

A shopping complex with a music hall, gallery, and a hotel overlooking the Yokohama Bay Area.

Roppongi Hills

A mega-complex consisting of boutiques, restaurants, a hotel, a cinema, museums and an observation deck. The observation deck in Roppongi hills called “Tokyo City View” has floor-to-ceiling windows, an 11-meter-high vaulted ceiling and offers a marvelous view of Tokyo Tower

Shibuya Hikarie

A high-rise commercial complex with shops, restaurants, and a musical theater.

Shin-Marunouchi Building

Inspired by the concept of “Marvellous moments”, Shin-Marunouchi Building offers visitors a selection of about 150 stores, each bursting with originality and refined elegance.

The Yokohama Landmark Tower

At 296.33m in height and with 70 floors, this is the 2nd tallest building in Japan, and is home to a shopping mall, a hotel, and Japan’s oldest stone-built dockyard (National Cultural Asset).

Tokyo Building TOKIA

TOKIA is a utopia for discerning adults. All day, any day, TOKIA offers visitors amusement in the form of restaurants, live music and beauty care.

Tokyo Midtown

Tokyo Midtown features a variety of stores, restaurants, bars, museums, a hotel, greenery and more.

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

A “fashion theme park” in the center of fashion and culture.

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