Saturday, December 19, 2015

A few travelling tips for Tokyo☆

Even though I have been in Japan only once,
I thought that I should share a few things that I would have found helpful as a first-timer.
(So I'm not saying that I'm omniscient about Japan now, after just one trip to Tokyo. :'''D)

So, the tips, here you go:

1) If you want travel easy in Tokyo, get either Suica or Pasmo.
They both are rechargeable smart cards, which you can use for moving around and for paying in some stores. At least Suica is valid for JR East trains, subways and buses.
For example: you don't need to buy a ticket from a vending machine everytime you want to use subway, and you don't have to check the fares, the right amount is charged from your card. You just touch the reader with your card at the ticket gates and enter. Recharging Suica is also easy, there's even a menu in English available. So convenient, I highly recommend.
I got my Suica in JR travel service center at the same time I purchased tickets for NEX. The reason why I chose Suica over Pasmo was the cute penguin! :D 


2) The apps.
In addition to Google Maps, I used other apps too. I loaded some apps just for the trip.
The most useful one was an app called Tokyo Subway Navigation, provided by Tokyo metro co., which is super easy way to check the correct metroline and right station to drop off. It's free and it can be used offline too! I loved it so much, it made life so much easier, so combined with Suica using metro (which has often been regarded as confusing) was a piece of cake:

Another app I loaded was TripAdvisor. That app was great to plan your trip, find out the attractions and restaurants. I mainly used this for planning and to get orientated about Tokyo. The offline use is also possible, but in my opinion it wasn't very good.

Third app I loaded was called "Helppo Valuuttamuunnin", or Easy Currency. It's free and easy currency converter. I wasn't very familiar with yen so this helped a lot in the beginning.


3) An (plug) adapter
 I already had bought an adapter in Finland, only to find out that it wasn't compatible with plugs in our Japanese hotel. The package of that adapter clearly stated that it could be used in Japan too. It was an adapter for America, with two flat prongs and one round. The plugs in our hotel had holes only for two flat prongs. Luckily the hotel had an adapter to borrow, and the next day we went to buy one in Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku.

Yodobashi Camera is a chain, so you can find it all around Japan, and there is of course other electronics chains too, like Bic Camera.

I don't know if that American adapter could be used somewhere else in Japan, but at least this kind of adapter worked (and now I paid attention to plugs in anime, they were also like this):

Note that if your device is marked for example "100-240 V, 50/60 Hz", the device can be used anywhere in the world, if the plugs are compatible. So you don't necessarily need a power adapter!! Just check the devices you are going to get with you, at least chargers for my phone and camera were marked like that and worked well with just a plug adapter.


4) Use Google, you can find some many websites that provide the most useful info for tourists. The ones I specially liked were TokyoCheapo and Japan Guide. I also read travel diaries of other people. Guidebooks weren't useful for me.


5) Pick up the free maps from your hotel or tourist information centers. We found some really good maps with main attractions and big stores marked on them.


6) What else?
Just be open-minded, ready for some adventures and enjoy! :)



  1. Meillä oli kunnon päänsärky ennen reissuu otetaanko suica vai pasmo kun ei päästy perille niiden käytöstä, että mikä passaa missäkin. No kaikkihan ne sit kävi siellä mis pitikin, mut saatiinpahan tyhmien länkkäreiden päät taas sekasin :'D Tosi kätsy postaus, vois ittekin toteuttaa tällasta :)

    1. Niin no mekin päädyttiin Suicaan osittain vaan siksi että sen kätevästi sai junalippuja ostaessa, ja söpöt pingut on aina plussaa :''D
      Kiva kun tykkäsit, toteuta ihmeessä!