Tokyo travel tips

A student of mine who spent a good deal of time in Tokyo has the following Tokyo travel tips to share:

1. Buy The JAPAN RAIL PASS if you are planning to use Shinkansen. (Many travelers who come to Tokyo visit Osaka by Shinkansen).

Shinkansen is extremely expensive. If you have to take Shinkansen, buy Japan rail pass before you visit Japan. The JAPAN RAIL PASS is the most economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail. For a little bit more than the two way ticket Tokyo – Shinkansen, you can travel all of Japan by rail, unlimited for 7 days. You can also ride JR (subway) with this JAPAN RAIL PASS so it’s very economical. You will save a lot of transportation fee with this magic pass.

2. Try the employee’s restaurant at Tokyo metropolitan government building in Shinjuku.

The Tokyo metropolitan government building is famous for it’s observatories. If you visit this great building, try to stop by the employee’s restaurant. There are many kinds of foods from Japanese to western style. As it’s originally for the employees, the price is very cheap (almost ½) compared to other restaurants near Shinjuku. Also it has a spectacular view.

You don’t have to be working there, in fact many businessmen working in Shinjuku visit Tokyo metropolitan government building during lunch time to have a cheap and nice meal. You can apply for a free of charge guided tour of the building at the 1st floor. Ask volunteers about the employee restaurant, I know this great place because some volunteer recommended it. The elevator system is quite complicated. It’s best to ask them to teach you how to go to the employee’s restaurant.

3. Need to use the internet and a place to rest? Stop by Apple mega store at Ginza.

If you visit Ginza (I bet you do) stop by the Apple mega store. When you are traveling it’s hard to find a place to connect to the internet. Hotels are too expensive and Japanese PC rooms are not cheap either. On the 4th floor of Ginza Apple mega store, you can use the internet on Macbooks. Also you can sit down and relax on the 3rd floor, sometimes they tutor you on how to use Apple software. If you are learning Japanese it would be a good chance to improve your Japanese.

Add this to the previous guest article on Tokyo (I’ve never been soy ou know the tips don’t come from me).

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