What images come to mind when you think of Tokyo, is it the hectic, neon jungle of Shinbuya, or the tranquil zen gardens that offer a temporary rest bite from the rest of the world? Whatever comes to mind, one thing is for sure, Tokyo has it all, so much so that it would be information overload if I crammed it into one post. You’re currently reading ‘part 1’ click the link below to read ‘part 2’:
Part 1: General Info – Getting around, where to stay etc.
Where To Eat:
For the best street food head towards the Ameyoko market (Ueno Station), it’s of course more expensive than other food markets around the world but still a fairy cheap option for Tokyo.
Tokyo has an abundance of fast food restaurants that are fairly inexpensive, look for the vending machines outside or right by the entrance, chose what you want and buy a ticket before going inside. A lot of the vending machines have photos, so you’ll be alright if you’re not fluent in Japanese. (Our language skills are awful, and we managed fine.)
You’ll most likely arrive in Japan through either of the Tokyo airports, Narita or Haneda.
Narita is around 60 minutes away on the express train, tickets usually cost ¥3,020 but they are covered on the JR pass is you have one. (Note: you MUST reserve a seat on the Narita express train.)
Haneda is closer to the city but it doesn’t have as many flights landing, the monorail costs ¥650 and takes about 30 minutes. This is also covered by the JR pass as well as the Tokyo subway pass and you don’t need to reserve seats.
If your only visiting Tokyo, then the best and cheapest way to get around is using a tourist subway pass. You can buy these at the airport and you’ll need to show your passport.
If you plan on traveling around Japan or if you have a few days trips planned, it’s worth considering the JR pass, click HERE for more details. The JR pass is only valid on JR lines, you can’t use the subway.
Where To Stay:
The absolute budget hotels in Tokyo are usually separated by gender (the Centurion Inn and Spa is a really good girls hotel, I stayed there in 2015), so if you’re traveling as a couple you’ll need to pay a bit extra but there are still some reasonable options. We stayed at the Kangaroo Hotel in a private room for £27 per night, room only with a shared bathroom and traditional Japanese futon mattress (padded mat on the floor). It was around 10 minutes’ walk to the closest JR station and we would absolutely stay there again.