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- Language: Japanese
- Currency: Japanese Yen (1 JPY = PHP 0.48)
- Payment Options: Cash, Visa, Mastercard, bank transfers, Mobile Suica (mobile payment system used in Japan's biggest cities), PayPal, Pay-easy
- Plug: The voltage in Japan is 100 Volts–different from North America (120V), Central Europe (230V), and many other regions of the world.
What to Know Before Visiting Tokyo
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- Cars move opposite on the streets and sidewalks so make sure to be alert when crossing.
- Make sure to dine at a 7/11. Tokyo’s 7/11 offers delicious and affordable bento boxes, rice balls, coffee, and Japanese beer. It’s a quick snack that will definitely fill you up while you take a tour around the city.
- English isn’t commonly spoken in Japan, so it’s best to learn common Japanese expressions.
- Bring cash with you. Japan still relies on hard currency, even if they seem to be the most technologically advanced country in the world.
- When asking the locals for directions, avoid pointing using one finger as it is considered “threatening” in Japan. When gesturing, make sure your hand is open.
- When eating, make sure not to eat from a common dish because it is considered rude. The proper practice is to collect your food in your own plate and eat from there.
Filipino citizens visiting Japan must complete all visa requirements, which then can be valid for 3 months prior to the departure date.
Applicants should submit an income tax return and bank certificate if they decide to go without a guarantor.
For more information, you can email the Philippine Embassy with their official address at Japan Embassy
Best Time to Go
It is best to visit Japan during late spring (March to May) or late autumn (September to November). There is little to no rain or snow showers, skies are clear, and temperatures are moderate. Also: spring is the best time to check out the country’s famed cherry blossom trees.
If you are already in Japan but your money is still in peso, you can exchange currency at banks like Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, and Mizuho.
Connectivity in Tokyo
Japan has one of the fastest Internet speeds in the world. As per Nomadcapitalist.com, it’s ranked 8 out of 10. Hence, around 117.5 million Japanese use the Internet.
How to Go to Tokyo
NAIA in the Philippines serves flights from Manila to Japan. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, JAL, Jetstar Japan, and other major airlines offer departures with no connections. The travel time from Manila to Japan is approximately three hours and 50 minutes.
The largest international airport in Japan, Narita International Airport, serves as the primary airport operating in the country. Since 2016, this airport has been known to be the second busiest passenger airport in Japan.
Getting Around Tokyo
1. Train Express
- Getting Around: The metro is the fastest way to get around Tokyo. Tokyo has two subway systems (Tokyo Metro and Toei Subways). Pay for all trains and subway fees at Tokyo Metro and Toei ticket offices and machines.
- Fare: Y1,000 for adults and Y500 for children.
- Getting Around: Taxis aren’t cheap, but they are efficient. If you’re running late or if there isn’t any subway stop near your destination, taxis are a lifesaver. Don’t worry though: taxis in Japan are guaranteed safe.
- Fare: Tokyo taxis usually cost Y730 for the first 2 kilometers. Beyond that, the fare rises Y90 for every 280 meters traveled. The fare also increases during rush hour.
- Getting Around: Locals tend to use buses as their last resort. Although it’s not a first choice, it’s still a great option to get around. Tokyo buses are complete with signs, pictures, different color seats, and buttons which you may press to let the driver know you’re getting off.
- Fare: Tokyo buses charge a flat fee of Y210 for adults and Y110 for children.
Things to Do in Tokyo
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- Tokyo Disneyland: There’s no happier place in Japan than Tokyo Disneyland. Both the young and not-so-young will enjoy the rides, attractions, gift shops, parades, themes, mascots, and food stalls (the popcorn being sold has a different flavor per stop!).
- Ginza: You’ll find well-known department stores, boutiques, restaurants, cafés, and entertainment complexes lining up the busy streets, which are always packed with tourists and locals. Book nearby hotels here.
- Robot Restaurant: True to its name, this place offers a futuristic dining experience that’s full of robots, EL dance shows, blue-haired performers in robot-like costumes, and other bizarrely fun theatrics.
Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo
Tourists Spots in Tokyo
- Imperial Palace: The Imperial Palace is a must-see attraction. Just 10 minutes away from the Tokyo Station, this majestic location is home to stunning gardens, opulent galleries with guided tours, and ruins from an ancient fortress. Book nearby hotels here.
- Ueno Zoo: This 35-acre zoo is only a five-minute walk from the Park Exit of Ueno Station. It houses more than 3,000 animals from over 400 species, with the Sumatran tiger and Western lowland gorilla heading the zoo’s animal population. Book nearby hotels here.
- Kabukichō: Often called the “Sleepless Town,” Kabukichō is the entertainment district of Shinjuku, Tokyo. It’s the hotspot for pubs, hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs. Book nearby hotels here.
Best Tourist Spots in Tokyo Not to Miss
What to Eat in Tokyo
- Tonkatsu: A thick, deep-fried pork cutlet that comes with a side of Tonkatsu sauce. It’s quite heavy, so cabbage is served on the side to balance things out.
- Takoyaki: Japan’s favorite go-to snack, Takoyaki is a piece of fried octopus topped with bonito flakes, seaweed, mayonnaise, and tare (a thick, salty sauce).
- Shabu-Shabu: Shabu-Shabu is a hot pot of a variety of meats and vegetables immersed in a boiling broth.
Unique Things You Can Find in a Japanese Vending Machine
Where to Stay
- Shinjuku Granbell Hotel: Shinjuku Granbell Hotel opened its doors to the public in December 2013. It’s located at the center of the busy Kabukicho area in Shinjuku. All the hotel rooms have a modern and sleek style with unique design concepts.
- Sakura Hostel Asakusa: For tourists looking for a clean and affordable hostel, Sakura Hostel Asakusa is the best place to stay. There’s even an available 24-hour reception and tourist information desk and the staff speaks exceptional English to accommodate guests from different countries.
- The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku: This hotel gives guests the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Shinjuku Central Park West located right in front of the hotel. You’ll love The Knot Tokyo’s facilities that embody the playfulness of Shinjuku through their colorful interior and furnishings.
- APA Hotel & Resort Nishishinjuku Gochome Eki Tower: This hotel provides delightful service along with a variety of facilities that will make your stay hassle-free. Enjoy a relaxing dip in the pool during the morning or evening, whether you’re traveling alone or with a companion.
- Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku: Modern and upscale with a cozy ambiance. Their impeccably designed rooms are clean and inviting, and you’ll get to enjoy an unobstructed view of the city from your hotel window. It’s conveniently located in the middle of Shinjuku, surrounded by wonderful shops, cafés, and restaurants, and it’s near bus and train stations!