My Tokyo Guide
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Arriving in Tokyo can be both a thrilling and bewildering experience—especially if it is your first time to visit. To help you transition smoothly into the metropolis, familiarize yourself with the following basic information. Find out how to get around the city with ease with a Travel IC card and the easiest way to connect to the internet. Discover money-saving shopping tips, what to do in an emergency, what to pack in each season, and much more.
Tokyo is nine hours ahead of GMT, with no daylight-saving time. Days can stay light until around 19:30 during the summer, but the nights draw in around 17:00 in the winter.
Wi-Fi & Connectivity
Free Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly available throughout the city. Many major hotels, coffee shops, restaurants and public facilities offer a free Wi-Fi service. However, for guaranteed internet access wherever you roam, rent a pocket- Wi-Fi from one of the kiosks at the airport or pick up a travel sim to fit into your existing phone.
Power Plug & Electricity
The voltage in Japan is 100V and the frequency is 50-60 Hz. The socket is type A, with two flat holes. Using foreign electric appliances will require a frequency converter and plug adaptor.
Weather (When to Visit)
The seasonal weather in Tokyo generally follows the same annual patterns—bright and breezy springs, very hot and humid summers, crisp and cool autumns and cold and clear winters.
Cheap Tickets & IC Cards
Make the most of your time in Tokyo by learning how to move around cost-effectively and efficiently, using cheap tickets and IC cards.
Tokyo at a Discount: Your Guide to Free and Cheap Tokyo Fun
From free activities and events to cheap Tokyo accommodation and modes of transportation, we’ve got lots of advice on how to enjoy Japan’s capital without breaking the bank.
The best time to visit Tokyo
For those planning their first trip to Tokyo, one of the most important decisions to make can be one of the most simple: when is the best time to come? The answer depends on you!
Take advantage of the special measures put in place for tourists from overseas and buy certain products minus the consumption tax. Certain procedures at department stores, home appliance stores, discount stores are necessary.
Tokyo’s distinctive shopping districts offer you everything from high-class department stores to bargain basement electronics. Search the shelves and browse the racks to find that perfect memento for your Tokyo trip.
There is no tipping culture in Tokyo, so the final bill you receive at cafes, bars and restaurants is the final price that you need to pay. In some restaurants, a fixed percentage service charge is added to the bill.
Most major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, and JCB are accepted at major stores and facilities. When checking in to a hotel, they serve as identification in lieu of a cash deposit. Note, however, that some facilities do not accept credit cards at all, and others may accept only certain types, so carry some cash at all times.
Safe Drinking Water
Tokyo’s tap water is completely safe to drink and conforms to strict quality regulations. Bottled water is also available at convenience stores and out of the seemingly endless number of vending machines.
If you find yourself in need of assistance, dial the following numbers—Police 110 / Police calls in English 03-3501-0110 Fire emergency/ Ambulance 119 Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information 03-5285-8181 (9:00-20:00) The Japan Helpline (24 hour all round emergency assistance) 0570-000-911
Tokyo is located in a highly geologically active zone, so you should prepare for earthquakes and related natural disasters in the unlikely event that they occur. Make sure to have all relevant emergency contact numbers—including your embassy in Tokyo—to hand.
Illness & Injury
If you feel ill or get in an accident during your stay, make sure you know what to do.
Tokyo has enjoyed a long history of prosperity as Japan’s capital since 1603, when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his shogunate and named the city Edo.
Standard Japanese is spoken throughout Tokyo and the country as a whole. English is generally understood, especially in the major tourist areas, but don’t expect full fluency everywhere. Even though a language barrier may exist, a combination of clear English and gestures should get you through most situations.
Customs & Manners
As with any country you travel to, understanding and respecting the local culture will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling trip. Learn how to blend in and act like the locals do.
Japanese Public Holidays in 2023
Japan currently has 16 public holidays each year. As you plan your travel itinerary, it is useful to know when these days fall and what exactly they celebrate.
Tourist Information Centers
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government operates the Tokyo Tourist Information Center at five locations in the metropolitan area to provide tourist information to visitors to Tokyo from other areas of Japan as well as overseas. Please feel free to stop by for your travel inquiries.
Tokyo Tourist Information Center - Online Tourist Guide
This service allows you to receive tourist information in a variety of languages from wherever you like such as at home or your destination, and it is provided free-of-charge to all travelers visiting Tokyo from other parts of Japan or abroad.