Japan Travel Tips





Web japan-travel-tips.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Many people classified Roppongi as an entertainment area that is specially loves by foreigners who live in Tokyo, but if you continue reading you will find out that this area has much more to offer then just clubs and bars.

Roppongi Museums
Roppongi Shopping
Roppongi Restaurants
Roppongi Hotels


When hearing of Ueno the first thing that comes up in your mind is Ueno Park, the home of many interesting museums and of Tokyo Zoo. Another thing that I think of is Ueno market and Americos area which are great places for shopping in this area.

Here is some information that I have for you about this area:
Ueno Museums
Ueno Hotels

Asakusa - Where to go

Asakusa is known for her temples and shrines, souvenirs, shopping streets. This is not a museums place, but a place with old special atmosphere.

Here is a list of places you must visit in Asakusa:
Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise shopping street
Kitchenware Town
Sumida river and Sumida park

Imperial Palace Area Hotels

This area has not a big hotels selection, so I picked 3 hotels that may suit your needs:
Sakura Hotel
The Marunouchi Hotel
Palace Hotel

The Imperial Palace Area Museums

This area has quite a long list of museums to offer - mostly art museums, so if you in the area or you just like art check the post bellow for the recommended museums in the area:

The National Museum of Modern Art
Crafts Gallery
Science Museum
Yamatane Museum of Art
Bridgestone Museum of Art
Idemitsu Museum of Art

The Imperial Palace Area - Where to go

If you are visiting Tokyo you The Imperial Palace Area is a must place to visit. It has to offer not only a view of Imperial Palace but buitiful Imperial Palace Gardens and many very interesting museums.

The Imperial Palace East Gardens (Kokyo Higashi Gyoen
The Imperial Palace Grounds
The Imperial Palace Area Museums

Idemitsu Museum of Art

9th Floor, Teigeki Bldg.,
3-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Telephone: 03-5777-8600
5 minute walk from JR Yurakucho station
5 minute walk from Hibiya station (Mita, Hibiya or Chiyoda line) or from Yurakucho station (Yurakucho Line)

The main collection of the museum consists of Japanese paintings, oriental calligraphies, East Asia crafts and works of Georges Rouault. These collections are shown periodically theme by theme.
Opening Hours:
10:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30),
Friday – till 19:00 (Admission until 18:30)
Closed: Mondays (open on holiday Mondays and close on the following days), December 29 – January 1, exhibition changing period.
Admission: Adults ¥1000
High School and Collage Students ¥700
Elementary school students free

Bridgestone Museum of Art

1-10-1, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku,Tokyo
Telephone: 81(3)3563-0241
Fax: 81(3)3561-2130
Site: Bridgestone Museum of Art
If you come on JR – five minute walk from Tokyo Sta.(Yaesu Central Exit) If you use the Subway - Kyobashi Sta.(Meidi-ya Exit) or Nihonbashi Sta.(Takashimaya Exit)

The Bridgestone Museum of Art has exhibitions of Impressionism and other modern European art, as well as Japanese-Western Stile paintings from the Meiji, Showa and Taisho eras.
Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 - 20:00
Sunday, Holidays 10:00 - 18:00
Adults ¥800
Students and Senior over 65 ¥600
Children under 15 and free

Yamatane Museum of Art

KS Bld. 1F, 2 Sanbancho, Chyoda-ku
Telephone: 03-3239-5911
Fax: 03-3239-5913
12 minutes walk from Kudanshita station (Exit #2) – Hanzomon, Tozoi and Shinjuku Lines
10 minutes walk from Hanzomon station (Exit #5) - Hanzomon Line

The museum that was started in 1966 has a collection of modern and contemporary art. It has 1800 collections and opens 8 exhibitions a year.

Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30)
Closed: Mondays (open on holiday Mondays and close on the following days), December 29 – January 1, exhibition changing period.
Adults ¥600
High School and Collage Students ¥500
Elementary school students free

Science Museum

2-1, Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku , Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3212-2440
Fax: 03-3212-8540
Science Museum

This museum is filled with exhibitions for young people, especially elementary school students. Many of the exhibitions are hands on, so that visitors can experience the wonders of science as close as possible, for example – learn what exactly electricity is, find out about planetary probes, scientific satellites, and astronauts and many more.
Here you can see daily shows featuring science experiments.
Opening Hours: 9:30 - 16:50 (Admission until 16:00)
Closed: December 29 - January 3 December 28 and January 4 are closed at 15:00 (Entrance until 14:00)
Adults ¥600
High School Students ¥400
Elementary school students and children under 4 ¥250

Crafts Gallery

1-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0091
8 minutes from Takebashi station (Subway Tozai Line),12 minutes from Kudanshita station (Subway Tozai and Hanzomon Line, Toei Shinjuku Line)
Site: Crafts Gallery

Crafts Gallery collects and displays Japanese and foreign craft works dating from the Meiji period to the present day. The genres covered include textile, ceramics, glass, lacquer, wood, bamboo and metal work, dolls, industrial and graphic design.
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30),
Friday until 20:00 (Admission until 19:30)
Closed: Mondays (open on holiday Mondays and close on the following days), December 29 – January 1.
Adults ¥200
College Students ¥70
High School Students ¥40
Children under 15 and Senior over 65 free
Free on May 18, November 3 and on the first Sunday of each month

The National Museum of Modern Art

3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322
3 minutes from Takebashi station (Subway Tozai Line)
Site: The National Museum of Modern Art

The permanent exhibition consists of paintings, sculptures, prints, watercolors, drawings, photographs, and other works dating roughly from the beginning of the 20th century to the present and provides an overview of the history of modern art.
I recommend you to also visit the museum shop, there you can find very nice and cheap reprodactons (around 300 Yen) of some of the painings that displayed in the museum.
Opening Hours:
10:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30),
Friday until 20:00 (Admission until 19:30)
Closed: Mondays (open on holiday Mondays and close on the following days), December 29 – January 1
Adults ¥420
College Students ¥130
High School Students ¥70
Children under 15 and Senior over 65 free
Free on May 18, November 3 and on the first Sunday of each month

The Imperial Palace East Gardens (Kokyo Higashi Gyoen)

This is a beautiful Japanese style garden within the castle walls, in which you will find large lawns, a pond with gorgeous and huge fish, many cherry trees, which blossom you just must see if you are in Japan in March or early April.
The gardens are open from March to October 9:00 - 16:00 and from November to February 9:00-3:30. (You must enter the gardens at least half an hour before closing time)

The gardens are closed on the following days: Every Monday and Friday (open on National Holiday except the Emperor's Birthday, December23) From 28 December to 3 January

The visit in Imperial Palace East Gardens is free of charge and you can enter them from Ote-mon Gate, Hirakawa-mon Gate and Kitahanebashi-mon Gate.

The Imperial Palace Grounds

To the palace itself you will not be able to see unless you apply to a free guided tour that the Imperial Palace Agency offers the public.
Imperial Palace Agency Site: Imperial Palace Agency

These tours are conducted from Monday to Friday, except for national holidays, 28 December to 4 January.
The tour takes 75 minutes and they are available from 10:00 to 13:30. The tours are in Japanese, and for foreign visitors, there is a brochure (English, Chinese and Korean) or Audio Guide in English.

Reservations for tour of the Imperial Palace must be made few days before the planned visit.
Take into consideration that every tourist spots are closing very early in Japan, and the tour application are accepted Monday to Friday, 08:45 to 16:30. You can make them by phone can be made by telephone: 03-3213-1111 (Ext. 485, 486) Imperial Palace Tour office, or by visiting this site http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/order/index_EN.html
After applying you must pick up the permission card at least 1 day in advance to the date of your visit.
Finally on you visit day you should enter the Palace through the Sakashitamon Gate with passport or another form of identification.

The Imperial Palace Area

If you are visiting Tokyo it is a must place to visit, not only because of the historical aspect of this Imperial Palace itself but also for the beautiful Imperial Palace Gardens and for many very interesting museums that this area has to offer.

To the Imperial Palace area, you can get by taking the Tokyo Metro to Otemachi Station. on Mita, Chiyoda, Tozai, Hanzomon and Marunouchi Lines or Nijubashimae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line.

The Imperial Palace Area Map

More information on this area you will find in there posts:

The Imperial Palace Area Museums
The Imperial Palace Area - Where to go
Imperial Palace Area Hotels

Sakura Hotel

2-21-4 Kanda-Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0051
Telephone: +81 (0) 3 3261 3939
Fax: +81 (0) 3 3264 2777

This is an very good option for those who don’t want to pay a small fortune for their stay in the hotels in this area. Of course it is much more modest hotel then the previous 2, but the price is much more modest also.
Sakura Hotel is a 2 minute walk from the A6 exit of Jimbocho Subway Station, a junction station of the Toei Mita, Toei Shinjuku and Hanzomon Subway Lines.
In this hotel you can find a single room for 7,140 Yen (per person including tax), double room for 8,200 Yen (for two persons including tax), twin room with a bunk bed for 8,400 Yen (for two persons including tax), and dormitory rooms that can suit backpackers or families for 3,780 Yen (per person including tax).
The down side of this hotel is that although all rooms are air conditioned, and equipped with a TV, telephone and Internet line, the restrooms, showers and wash basins are shared and located on each floor.

The Marunouchi Hotel

1-6-3 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0006
Telephone: 81-3-3217-1111
Fax: 81-3-3217-1115
Site: The Marunouchi Hotel

The hotel is located within walking distance of the Tokyo international forum/ exhibition center and the Imperial Palace, Ginza shopping area and theatres.
This central location can definitely explain the high price. The hotel is located next to Tokyo station, it may be a bit noisy but very comfortable for traveling out side of Tokyo. It is also 1 minute walk from Otemachi station that gives an easy access to all districts of Tokyo.
In the hotel you will find some restaurants and cafes.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Palace Hotel

1-1-1 Marunouchi Tokyo 100-0005
Telephone: 81-3-3211-5211
Fax: 81-3-3211-6987
Site: http://www.palacehotel.co.jp/english/
This is a deluxe hotel, which is ideally located the center of Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace, and has every large room for a hotel in Japan, but the price is not a small one also.
If you come from the airport, it will take about 80 minutes and the limousine bus will stop directly at this hotel.
It is also a 2 minute walk from Otemachi station fo Tokyo Metro -easy access to all Tokyo, and 8 minute walk to Tokyo station from which you can travel all Japan by bullet train.
The hotel has a fitness center that the hotel guests can use free of charge, you just need to ask for a card key from the concierge.
It has also some restaurants, a bakery and a delicates shop in it, but he prices are a bit high (except the bakery), so I would recommend you probably to yet out.

Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu

Address: 1-31-11 Asakusa
Telephone: 03-3843-2345
Fax: 03-3843-2348
This hotel has Japanese and Western type of rooms and it is located just a few minutes walk from Nakamise shopping street and the Senso-ji Temple.
This ryokan has something special to offer – Furo - authentic wooden made Japanese bath. Free internet service is available in the lobby, and in some of the rooms.

Sakura Group Hotels Asakusa

If you want your accommodation to be a bit cheaper then the average hotel price in Tokyo you should look for the Sakura Group hotels or hostels.
They recently opened a new Sakura Hostel in Asakusa with over 160 beds.
You will find in this hostel 3 types of rooms (all air-conditioned): Dormitory - 2940 yen/bed (including tax) with bunk beds, 6-8 people in each room – good for large groups and backpackers. Twin room private 8,295 yen/room (including tax) – good for couples4 bed room private 11,760 yen/room (including tax) with bunk beds– good for small groups and families.

Address: 2-24-2 Asakusa Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032
Sakura Group Hotels

Sunroute Asakusa

Address: 1-8-5 Kaminarimon Daito-ku Tokyo 111-0034
Sunroute Asakusa

Very good hotel for budget travelers and business people – has a free fax service in every room and a fresh newspaper in English is available in the first floor lobby. Located just few steps away from 2 temples/shrines.

Chisan Inn Asakusa

Address: 1-4-17, Komagata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0043
Telephone: 03-3843-0108
Fax: 03-3843-0109
Former Towa Akasuka Tokyo.
Although the rooms may seem a bit small, the service here is very good - free internet in your room + 2 computers in the lobby for your use, cable LCD TV, hot water pot for green tea, baggage handling service, and the rates are very affordable.

Blue Wave Inn Asakusa

Address: 2-33-7 Asakusa, Taito-ku Tokyo 111-0032
Recently renovated in February 2005.
Good location in a quiet place near Asakusa Temple. 5 minutes walk to Ginza and Asakusa lines. In general – good quality with a reasonable price.

Asakusa View Hotel

Address: 3-17-1 Nishi-Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo 111-0035
Telephone: +81-3-3847-1111
Asakusa View Hotel
Featuring 337 guestrooms, 17 banquet halls, 9 restaurants (and bars) and a fitness center within its 28 floors. Has a very good location - walking distance - restaurants, shops, 24 hour supermarket, subway and railway station and the temples.

Asakusa Hotels

Although Asakusa is a place there every tourist that comes to Tokyo must go, in order to experience the old Japan in the modern city of Tokyo, it doesn’t have many hotels to stay in. Here are some that I could find for you:

Blue Wave Inn Asakusa
Asakusa View Hotel
Chisan Inn Asakusa
Sunroute Asakusa
Sakura Group Hotels Asakusa
Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu

Asakusa Events

January 1 - Hatsumode (first New Year's visit to shrines and temples).
Senso-ji Temple always attracts a large number of visitors on New Year's Day then any other temple or shrine in Japan.

February 3 - Setsubun signifies the first day of spring by lunar calendar.
It is custom to throw beans this day to drive away the evil spirits, so at the Senso-ji Temple there is a Bean Throwing Festival and a Dance of Fukuji.

February 8 - Hari-kuyo (memorial service for needles) Senso-ji Temple

Sunday before March 3 - The Edo Nagashi-bina (Floating Dolls in the Edo for the Girl's Festival) Azumabashi Bribge
It is a Japanese traditional event to wash away the spirit of misfortune and to wish for their children to avoid diseases and disasters by floating Nagashi-bina dolls on the river from the terrace of Sumida Park.

March 18 - Kinryu-no-mai (Golden dragon dance).
According to the legend, 1000 pine trees suddenly appeared overnight near the Senso-ji Temple on the 18th day of March. After three days, a golden 30 meters dragon measuring descended into the pine trees from the heavens and was never seen again. The Golden Dragon Dance is based on this story.

Late March - Cherry blossom Festival Sumida River

Second Sunday of April - Shirasagi-no-mae (White heron dance) Senso-ji Temple

Mid April - Yabusame (Horseback archery) Sumida Park
Follows the traditional style recreated with the cooperation of the head of the Ogasawara School of Archery and Horsemanship.

Mid April - Regatta between Waseda and Keio Universities - Sumida River

Late April - Kankon Kutsu Ichi (Shoe fair) – Tamahime-inari Shrine

Late April - Naki-zumo Taikai (Crying Baby Contest) - Senso-ji Temple

May 5 - Takara-no-mae dance (Treasure Dance, which celebrates the blessings and goodness of the Kannon) - Senso-ji Temple

Saturday and Sunday around May 17 - Sanja-matsuri Festival (Asakusa's Main Spring Event)
The Sanja Festival is famous for its spectacular procession of portable shrines. The portable shrines from parishioner organizations of Asakusa Shrine in each of the 44 neighborhoods gather at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the precincts of Sensoji Temple, giving Asakusa a festive atmosphere.

Late June - Ofujisan no Ueki Ichi (Potted Plant Fair) - Around Sengen Jinja Shrine
The Beginning of the Mountaineering Season of Mt.Fuji and The Plants Fair

July 7 - Shitamachi Tanabata Festival (Star Festival) – Kappabashi Hon-dori
According to a legend, the two stars, Vega and Altair, separated lovers, can meet each other across the Milky Way only once a year on the evening of July 7th.

July 9-10 - Hozuki Ichi (Chinese Lantern Plant Fair) - Sensoji Temple
It is said that the people who visit Kannon on these days can get divine protection equal to the people who visit the shrine 46000 times.

Last Saturday of July - Sumida River fireworks display
One of the major fireworks displays of Tokyo. Good spots for viewing the fireworks display are along the Sumida River which flows through the eastern part of Tokyo and empties into Tokyo Bay. But you must be there 2 hours before the show starts (it usually starts at 19:30-20:00), to catch a good viewing spot, because 500000 people come to see these fireworks.
August - Taito Takigi Noh (Open air torching noh performance) - Sensoji Temple

Last Saturday of August - The Asakusa Samba Carnival - Sensoji Temple
About 40 teams of approximately 1,500 samba dancers participate in the carnival and 400000 people come to watch.

Early October - Edo Portable Shrine Festival – Around Sensoji Temple
About 20 unique portable shrines (mikoshi) from both Tokyo and other regions gather to take part in this festival.

From October 15 to November 15 - Asakusa Chrysanthemum Exhibition – Senso-ji Temple

October 18 - Kinryu-no-mai (Golden Dragon Dance) – Senso-ji Temple
According to the legend, 1000 pine trees suddenly appeared overnight near the Senso-ji Temple on the 18th day of March. After three days, a golden 30 meters dragon measuring descended into the pine trees from the heavens and was never seen again. The Golden Dragon Dance is based on this story.

November 3 - Tokyo Jidai-matsuri (Tokyo Historical Parade) - Around Sensoji Temple

November 3 - Shirasagi-no-mai (White Heron Dance) - Senso-ji Temple

November 4 - Tori-no-ichi (Rooster Fair on the Day of the Rooster) – Otori-jinja Shrine

Late November - Kutsu-no Megumi Matsuri Ichi (Shoe fair) – Tamahime-inari Shrine

December 17-19 - Hagoita Ichi (Ornamental Battledore Fair) - Senso-ji Temple

Mid December - Hakidaore Ichi (Shoe fair) – Hanakawado park

December 31 - Bell ringing on New Year’s Eve - Senso-ji Temple and others

Asakusa Shopping

Souvenirs – Asakusa is definitely the best place for buying Japanese souvenirs. Here you can find beautiful sets foe sake and tee, fans, chopsticks, swords, kimono and many more. The prices are chip to medium. A sake or tee set or fan may cost around 1000-1500 Yen, kimono price will defere depending on the fabric of you choice and swords will start at about 10000 Yen.

Japanese cookies – Nakamise street is a heaven for tourist how wants to try all the traditional sweets Japan has to offer. Here you can find many types of rice crackers and Japanese cookies, that are baked just in front of your eyes, but they are sold sometimes in 20 pieces package that may be a bit to much for those of you who want to taste it all, if that is the case you can find here is a set of cookies that contains many types of Japanese sweets, but these sets you can usually find in the supermarkets and for half of the price you will pay in Asakusa. I would recommend the freshly baked sweets – they taste better and they are much more special.

Cloths and Shoes – if you tern to the streets on the left site of Nakamise street you will find here many cloths and shoes shops with pretty good prices. But let me worn you if you have a 39 shoe size for women or 43 shoe size for men (7 US size for women and 9 US size for men) you will be probably disappointed.

Sumida river and Sumida park

If you want to spend a day outside the Sumida park is a very nice place for it. It is very famous for the cherry blossom in the spring, but during other seasons you can enjoy it no less.
There is a bike rental service in the park – 200 Yen (for less than 24 hours), you must show your passport before renting.
In the park there is also a boat terminal from whitch you can take a boat cruise on the Sumida river and to see the side of Tokyo you have never seen. The water bus is leaving every 30 minutes, from 10:00 till 17:00 and the price is starting from 720 Yen (depends where you want to get off).
For more details check the Sumida River line on this site Tokyo Water Cruise

Kitchenware Town

If you are into kitchen accessories you must visit the “Kitchenware Town”.

This is name of Kappabashi Dougugai-dori, a unique one kilometer street where you can find all sort of equipment and utensils, both modern and traditional. So if you didn’t find that special china you wanted in the shops on Nakamise street you will definitely find it here.
Don’t miss the life like plastic food shop – it is a must to see place.

Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise shopping street

Asakusa is known for the Senso-ji Temple – Japan oldest Buddhist Temple and the 5 store pagoda that is standing next to it. According to the legend 2 fishermen discovered an image of Kannon (Buddhist goddess of mercy) in the Sumida river in 628, and built a worship hall to worship the image. 20 years later a Buddhist priest built a Kannon temple on the spot.

The entrance to the temple area is throw the “Kaminarimon” gate which is a symbol of Asakusa.

As you go throw the gate you enter the best place to buy souvenirs in Tokyo – the Nakamise shopping street. Here you can find everything:
Japanese cookies (with different fillings such as vanilla cream or beans) – a must to taste.
China and ceramics – gorgeous sake and tea sets.
Fans and kimono
And many other things.

Note: Althought Japan is a safe country there are crowded areas in which you should keep an eye on you wallet, and Nakamise street is one of them.

In the end of Nakamise street located the Senso-ji Temple and you will see the 5 store pagoda on the right. The pagoda stands 53.32 meters tall, the second highest in Japan after the 56-meter high pagoda of Toji Temple in Kyoto.

If you go around the main hall of Senso-ji Temple you will see the Asakusa Shrine and if you are lucky as I was you may even see a Japanese traditional wedding.


Asakusa is known for her temples and shrines, souvenirs, shopping streets and that special old world charm atmosphere that always make you want to return there.There are few option to explore Asakusa:

1. You can get there using the Ginza line (station number G19) or the Asakusa line (station number A18), and continue by foot.

Asakusa Map

First you should go to the local tourist information center at 2-1809 Kaminarinom. It is easily spoted because of the nusical clock above the main entrance. Dolls of dancers and figures carrying a golden dragon appear every hour from 10:00 to 19:00.

2. If you have a Japanese friend with you, you can take a guided tour around Asakusa by a rickshaw - it will cost you 5000 yen for one person/ 8000 yen for a couple for a 30 minutes tour. You can find this service just outside the tourist information center, but it’s in Japanese only.

3. Guided tours:
The Tokyo Metropolitan Area SGG Club – this is a Systematized Goodwill Guide offer tourists from overseas free local tours guided in English and other languages.
The service is free as the guides are volunteers.
Contact for more details: 03-38425566

Many companies include the main Asakusa attraction into their morning or evening tour of Tokyo. This 4 hour tour will cost about 5,500 Yen for adult and 3,300 for a child. This is a good option if your stay in Tokyo is short, and you want to see as much as possible. Another plus of this program is that you can be peaked up directly from your hotel.
Here are some links to the companies offering there tours:
City Discovery
JTB Sunrise tours
(I used the JTP for one of my tours and the service was very good).

More information on this area you will find in there posts:
Asakusa - Where to go
Asakusa Shopping
Asakusa Events
Asakusa Hotels

Ueno Hotels

Ueno is definitely the place where you can find a dissent hotel at a very good price, here is a selection of some of them:

Ueno Terminal Hotel
Hotel New Ueno
Astil Hotel
Villa Fontaine

Ueno Hotels - Ueno Terminal Hotel

2-21-11 Higashi Ueno, Taitouku
Telephone: 03-3831-1110
Ueno Terminal Hotel
Single room starting from 9500 Yen (you can get a discount if you reserve room on line). Very commutable hotel for businessmen, because it has a wireless internet it all the hotel area, and although the check out is at 10:00 the hotel can keep your luggage till your flight. In the hotel you will find a restaurant and a bar.

Ueno Hotels - Hotel New Ueno

7-2-5 Ueno, Taito-ku
Site: Hotel New Ueno
E-mail: mail@newueno.jp
The location of this hotel is very good for travelers – it is located 1 minute walk from Ueno JR station (Yamanode Line) and about 3 minutes walk from Ueno station (Ginza and Hibiya lines). This is also a business hotel with reasonable prices – a single room rate starts from 9000 Yen.

Ueno Hotels - Astil Hotel

7-7-1 Ueno Taito-ku Tokyo
Telephone: 81-3-5806-1200

This hotel also has a good location - just two minutes walk from Asakusa Exit of JR Ueno Station. It is the modern petit hotel in European style, with maybe a bit smaller rooms than you are used to, but this is Japan. The hotel is close to Ueno and Asakusa attractions which is a big plus for travelers. The hotel has a restaurant, but each room also equipped with a refrigerator, so you can buy groceries in a convenient store.

Ueno Hotels - Villa Fontaine

Ueno2-4-4 Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone:?+81 (0)3-5833-5550
Site: Villa Fontaine
The location of this hotel is grate for travelers: Shin-Okachimachi Station (Oedo Line) 4 minutes on foot from Exit A2, Naka-Okachimachi Station (Hibiya Line) 6 minutes on foot from Exit 1, Okachimachi Station (JR Line) 8 minutes on foot from the North Exit (Kita-guchi).
The prices here start at about 8000 Yen for a single room, and every room has a free internet and a fridge (good for budget travelers).

Shitamachi Museum

2-1 Ueno Koen, Tokyo, Japan
Telephone: 03-3823-7451

Time hold still in this downtown from Meiji era.The two main displays are a merchant’s house and a tenements of a copper-smith and a cheap sweets dealer, with all their furnishings. In this museum you can take your shoes off and step up into the rooms, and just for few moments experience the life like it was in those days.

Opening Hours: 9:30 - 16:30
Closed: Mondays and December 28 - January 3
(If national holiday falls on Monday, the museum is open on the holiday and is closed the next day, Tuesday)
Adult: 300 Yen
High/ Junior high/Elementary school students: 100 Yen

Access: 5 minutes from Ueno JR Station
5 minutes from Ueno Station on Ginza or Hibiya Metro Line
5 minutes from Keisei Ueno Station on Keisei Line

Tokyo National Museum

13-9 Ueno Park,Taito-ku, Tokyo,110-8712, Japan
Telephone: +81-3-3822-1111
Site: Tokyo National Museum

National MuseumThis is a MUST place to visit in Tokyo. It is the oldest and the largest art and history museum in Japan. The museum has few buildings:Honkan – Japanese Gallery: Displays the high lights in Japanese art by exhibiting Japanese ceramics, sculptures, swards and samurai armors.From the windows of this gallery you can see the National Museum gardens and teahouses, but this area is open for public just for one month during the cherry blossom.National Museum gardens Toyokan – Asian Gallery: Dedicated to antiquities of Asia, including China, Korea, South Asia, India, the Middle East and EgyptThe Gallery of Horyuji Treasures: The Horyuji Treasures consist of over 300 valuable objects, mainly from the 7th - 8th century.

Opening Hours:
9:30 - 17:00 (Last admission at 16:30)
On Fridays during some special exhibitions (check with the museum), the museum is open until 20:00 (Last admission at 19:30).
Saturdays, Sundays and bank Holidays from April to September, the museum is open until 18:00 (Last admission at 17:30).

Closed: Mondays and December 28 - January 1 (If national holiday falls on Monday, the museum is open on the holiday and is closed the next day, Tuesday)
Adult: 420 Yen, 600 Yen from October 1, 2006
College students: 130 Yen, 400 Yen from October 1, 2006
High/ Junior high/Elementary school students: Free
Access: 10 minutes from Ueno or Uguisudani JR Station 15 minutes from Ueno Station on Ginza or Hibiya Metro Line
15 minutes from Nezu Station on Chiyoda Metro Line 15 minutes from Keisei Ueno Station on Keisei Line

The National Museum of Western Art

7-7 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3828-5131
The National Museum of Western Art

The museum was established in 1959 and it displays pre-18th century paintings, including those by Ritzos, Van Cleve, Veronese, Rubens, Van Ruysdael and Ribera, 19th to early 20th century French paintings, including works by Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Moreau, and also works by the next generation of artists, such as Marquet, Picasso, Soutin, Ernst, Miro, Dubuffet and Pollock.In the museum shop you can buy very cheap reprodactions of the paintings you just saw.

Opening Hours:
9:00 - 17:00 (Last admissions: 16:30)
Friday 9:00 - 20:00 (Last admissions: 19:30)
Closed: Mondays and December 28 - January 1 (If national holiday falls on Monday, the museum is open on the holiday and is closed the next day, Tuesday)
Adult: 420 Yen
College students: 130 Yen
High school students: 70 Yen
Junior high school students or younger and those over 65: Free

Free admission: Second and the fourth Saturdays of each month, and November 3.(For Museum Collection only)
Access: 5 minutes walk from Koen Exit (Park Exit) - JR Ueno Station
10 minutes walk from Ueno Station - Ginza and Hibiya Lines
10 minutes walk from Ueno Station - Keisei Line

The National Science Museum

7-20 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: +81-(0)3-3822-0111 (Monday-Friday)
Telephone: +81-(0)3-3822-0114(Saturday, Sunday and National Holidays)
Site: The National Science Museum

Opening Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (Last admissions: 16:30)
Friday 9:00 - 20:00 (Last admissions: 19:30)
Adult and College students: 500 Yen
Child and youth in 1-12 grades: Free

Access: 5 minutes walk from Koen Exit (Park Exit) - JR Ueno Station
10 minutes walk from Ueno Station - Ginza and Hibiya Lines
10 minutes walk from Ueno Station - Keisei Line

Here you can see exhibitions on various topics such as - evolution, survival and extinction of different animals, progress of science and technology, the mysteries of the dinosaurs and many more. There is also a space where kids can experiment with phenomena such as sound, light, force, motion, electricity, and magnetism, or explore the mysteries of nature, in a thicket of mixed trees, that are usually overlooked.

This is very interesting museum for kids and youth but note that Japanese are science and technology lovers, so the line to this museum is huge usually.

Ueno Museums

Ueno is the place to go if you want to visit as many different museums as you can, but you don’t have time to waist on traveling from one side of Tokyo to another. In Ueno park you will find such must-to-see museum as National Science Museum, Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art

Tokyo National Museum
The National Museum of Western Art
The National Science Museum
Shitamachi Museum

Oakwood Apartments Roppongi

3-8-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku , Tokyo
Telephone: 81-3-5412-6800
Oakwood Apartments Roppongi

This is apartment hotel that rents apartments on daily/weekly bases.
Oakwood Apartments Roppongi Central offers 69 stylish serviced apartments in the heart of Roppongi, on a private side street just step from Roppongi Crossing. Here you will find smart modern decor including flat screen televisions (with more than 60 satellite TV channels) and a large work desk with broadband access. The property also has a well-equipped gym and business center.

Ibis Hotel Tokyo

7-14-4, Ropppongi Minato-ku Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3403-4411
Ibis Hotel Tokyo

Ibis hotel is centrally located one minute walk from Roppongi Station.
The hotel has 8 types of rooms staring from 11 meters2 single room to 32 meters2 suit. The hotel has various restaurants including the Sabatini restaurant on the 13 floor of the hotel that allows you to enjoy day or night view of the metropolis, during one of the best Italian meals in town.

The B Roppongi Hotel

3-9-8 Roppongi,Minato-ku,Tokyo
Telephone: 03-5412-0451
Site: The B Roppongi Hotel

This hotel is located in the heart of Roppongi, just one minute walk from Roppongi Cross, which is the heart of Roppongi, and few steps from Roppongi subway station, and the "Roppongi Hills", is just 5 minutes walk from it.
A modern, contemporary style hotel, the variety of its 65 rooms and is ideal for those guests wishing to sample the nightlife, restaurants and bars that Roppongi has to offer. In the room you will find a coffee and tea kits, internet, fridge and iron that can be very useful during a family stay in the hotel.

Roppongi Hotels

Roppongi as Tokyo’s business and nightlife center is not the cheapest place to stay in, so here I tried to tell you about some hotels in this area that will not leave a hall in your packet.

Oakwood Apartments Roppongi
Ibis Hotel Tokyo
The B Roppongi Hotel

Roppongi Shopping

It doesn't matter if you like brands or if you are a budget shopper in Roppongi you can find a shop that will suit you.
If you are a brand lover you should do your shopping in the Roppingi Hills area, but if you like discount shops and budget shopping then you should not miss Don Quijote.

Here is a small list of shops that I liked in Roppongi, hope you will like them too:

Roppongi Hills
Don Quijote

Roppongi Museums

Although most people see Roppongi as a popular clubbing and drinking area it has to offer a nice selection of art museums.
See bellow some of the museums I recommend you to visit in Roppongi:

Mori Art Museum
Okura Museum of Art
Sen-Oku Hakuko Kan Museum
Tokyo City View

Roppongi Shopping - Don Quijote

3-14-10 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo
Telephone: 03-5786-0811?
Opening Hours: 11?00AM-7?00AM (yes it is open almost 24 hours a day), no holidays

Access: Hibiya Line 3 minutes walk from Roppongi station
or Oedo Line – 7 minutes from Roppongi station
On this site you will find a shop locator with good map to each store:
Don Quijote

?If you are looking for a store less trendy but with more friendly prices you should try Don Quijote. The Roppongi branch is quite big and has 7 floors on which you can find pretty much every thing – cheap food, home appliances, cloths, furniture that has friendly price tag on, cosmetics and bags and even jewelry.

Roppongi Shopping - Roppongi Hills

This is the ultimate place for shopping in the area, it has an enormous variety of shops and restaurants to choose from.
Here you will find Zara, Replay, Escada boutique, MaxMara, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Hugo Boss, Issey Miyake and many others.
This shop complex has not only a big selection of shops, but also a big cinema, education center, Grand Hyatt hotel, health clinics, hair and beauty salons, bank offices and also many restaurants and cafes to choose from after a long day of shopping.
It is a must see place in Roppongi!
Roppongi Hills

Access: Take the Hibiya Line to Roppingi station (H04), exit C1 – 0 minute walk
or Oedo Line to Roppingi station (E23), exit 3 – 4 minutes walk
or Oedo Line to Azabu Juban station (E22), exit 7 – 5 minutes walk
or Namboku Line to Azabu Juban station (N04), exit 4 – 8 minutes walk
or Chiyoda Line to Nogizaka station (C05), exit 5 – 8 minutes walk

Roppongi Shopping - Lush

Fresh handmade 160 types of skin care products and the hair care products – soap, bath salts, lotions, hand and body creams, etc.What stuned me in this shop in Roppongi is that it is combined with a flower shop, and the smell of their products and the huge selection of flowers make this shop’s decoration as stunning as it is.
Access: Exit the Roppongi station in exit 3a and tern right, tern right again to Gaien-Higashi-Dori.

Roppongi Restaurants

Roppongi 3-14-12
Telephone: 03-57862626
Exit 3a on the Roppongi Station – go right and tern to Gaien-Higashi-Dori – it is on the same side as the Donkey Hotte shop.
This is mainly an udon and ramen restaurant, but in this ramen you will find pretty much everything you can think about – fried shrimps tempura, fish, egg, mushrooms, tofu and vegetables. The prices are also very good and the ramen and udon bowls are huge.

89 Eighty-nine
Roppongi Hills North Plaza B1F
Telephone: 03-3470-2789
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
A store that specializes on sweets, their best dish is a freshly baked Soufflé (cheese and strawberry flavors) that will cost you 399 Yen.
Note that there is not take out.

Cold Stone Creamery
Roppongi Hills North Plaza 1F
Telephone: 03-5412-1288
Opening Hours: 11:00-22:30 (Sunday till 21:00)
A store of popular US ice cream company. Here you can select from many recommended flavors or you can use your imagination and create your own ice cream by selecting the ingredients (fresh fruits, nuts, cookies… ), which will be mixed into it just in front of you.

Chinese Café Eight
Nishi Azabu 3-2-13 Court Annex 2F on TV Asahi-dori – across the Grand Hyatt Hotel (just pass the Roppongi Hills and turn left)
Telephone: 03-5414-5708.
Open 24 hours.
If you are looking for a restaurant with a stylish decoration this is not it, but if you want to taste a variety of Chinese food it is the right place. You can choose from 30 types of dumplings (each dish has 3 dumplings and it coast 105Yen!!), about same number of appetizers for 200-300 Yen per a dish and of course meat and noodles also for a very good prices.
The special dishes include Pecking Duck, that as the menu says san be enough for 3-4 people (from my experience it is enough for 2 not very hungry people) and a fried scorpions dish.
Note that although this place is big you will probably better make a reservation if you are planning to have a big party during lunch or dinner time, if you are just 2 or 3 people they will usually can sit you, even without the reservation.

Sushi Zanmai
Next to Exit 3b of the Roppongi Station
This restaurant serves reasonably priced good quality sushi, and a very tasty crab soup (you will need to get a bit dirty to get the meat out).

Mori Art Museum

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (53F),
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Telephone: +81-3-5777-8600
In this museum, located in the Roppongi Hills, there is a program of changing exhibitions, event and different lectures.
Check the exhibitions schedule on their site: Mori Art Museum

Opening Hours:Every day except Tuesdays: 10:00-22:00,Tuesdays: 10:00-17:00
Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.
Admission: Admission fees are different for each exhibition
Access: 0 minutes walk from Roppongi Station (Hibiya Line) Roppongi Hills EXIT or 4 minutes walk from Roppongi Station (Toei Oedo Line), or 5 minutes walk from Azabu Juban Station (Toei Oedo Line)

Okura Museum of Art

2-10-4 Toranomon,
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Telephone: 03-3583-0781

In 1917, Kihachiro Okura, collector of Buddhist artwork established, on his own land, a museum in which to hold and display his treasures. Over the years, this collection was added to by his son, the founder of Hotel Okura, Baron Kishichiro Okura, whose interests included modern Japanese painting. Today, the Okura Shukokan Museum of Fine Arts houses some 2,000 items and 35,000 volumes — a collection that contains a number of officially registered National Treasures, Important Cultural Objects, and Important Art Objects.

You can’t miss museum, which is located in front of the Okura Hotel, because he is located in a very beautiful, old Japanese style building. In also has a nice garden around it, so don’t forget to visit it after you see the museum.

Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Last admission is at 4:00)
Closed: Mondays (when Monday falls on a holiday, the museum will be closed on Tuesday) and New Year's holidays.
Adults - ¥800
College students & senior citizens (65 and up) - ¥500
High school students & younger - ¥300
Note: Staying guests of Okura Hotel may receive a free admission ticket by inquiring at hotel Guest Relations desks
Access: 8 minutes walk from Kamiyacho station on the Hibiya line or 8 minutes walk from Roppingi-Iichome station on the Namboku line.

Sen-Oku Hakuko Kan Museum

1-5-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 106-0032
Telephone. +81-3-5777-8600
Site: Sen-Oku Hakuko Kan Museum

This museum was established in 2002, and it’s collection has a variety of art items, such as paintings (that I specially liked) and tea ceremony utensils, that were donated by Sumitomo family.

Adult: 520 Yen
Student: 310 Yen
Child under age of 6: free
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 16:30 (Last admission half an hour before closing)Closed: Mondays (When Monday is a national holiday, the museum is closed on Tuesday instead.)
Access: Three minutes walk from 'Roppongi Itchome' Station (Namboku Line)

Tokyo City View

Mori Art Center – Tokyo City View
The Tokyo City View in Roppongi Hills offers the public 360 degree view of Tokyo from 250 meter height

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower (52F),
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Telephone: 03-6406-6652
Tokyo City View
Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 1:00 am
Adult: 1500 Yen
Student: 1000 Yen
Child: 500 Yen
Access: 0 minutes walk from Roppongi Station (Hibiya Line) Roppongi Hills EXIT or 4 minutes walk from Roppongi Station (Toei Oedo Line), or 5 minutes walk from Azabu Juban Station (Toei Oedo Line)

Roppongi - Where to go

The main attraction in Roppongi is of cause Roppongi Hills so don't miss the Roppongi Hills tour which will introduce you to this area of Tokyo.
Although Roppongi is cataloged as an entertainment area, don't forget that you are in Japan, so even here you can find a nice little temple.

See more on these posts:

Roppongi Hills Tour
Senshouji Temple

You can also visit few art museums that are located in this area:

Roppongi Museums

Senshouji Temple

This temple was founded in 1630, and it is mainly known the tomb of tomb of Okita Soushi who was the first captain of the Shinsengumi, but the tomb can only be seen through a fence in the back of the temple.

3-1-37?Motoazabu, Minato-ku
8-minute walk from Roppongi Station

Roppongi Hills Tour

This is a tour with an English speaking gueid that takes about 45 minutes. The theme of the tour is:” What kind of town is Roppongi Hills?" "What types of shops are there? Where are they located?" The Roppongi Hills Walking Tour is recommended for visitors who want to become familiar with the vast and fascinating Roppongi Hills. The tour includes an orientation of major buildings, interpretation of artist pieces, and a visit to the roof garden on top of the Keyaki-zaka Complex, which is not open to the general public.

Tour participants may be admitted to the Tokyo City View for ?1,000(Regular admission:?1,500)

Adult: 1500 Yen
Student: 1000 Yen
Child: 500 Yen

Note that you must make a reservation 7 days before your visit by calling this phone number: 03-6406-6677 (9:00?18:00?or you can download the tour application on this site: http://www.roppongihills.com/en/
and fax it back.

This is a good option for people how don’t have much time to spend in this area, or in Tokyo at all.

Harajuku - Where to go

Harajuku is known as a trendy area, where you can see Japanese young people, who are trying to express themselves throw cloths and hair styles. But here is also located one of the nicest shrines of Tokyo and a beautiful park where you can enjoy a quiet moment from a hustle of the big city.

See the following post for more information:

Takeshita Dori
Meiji-Jingu Shrine
Yoyogi Park

Monday, September 25, 2006

Shopping in Harajuku

Snoopy Town
Open daily from 11:00 to 20:00.
Just across the JR Harajuku station you will see Snoopy Town Shop

Snoopy Town Shop

Then you enter this shop you will find a lot of Snoopy paraphernalia, which includes Snoppy cups and plates, suitcases and wallets, cloths and toys, stationary items and many more.

Takeshita Dori
This street you should visit on a weekday when it maybe a bit less clouded.
It is located just opposite the JR Harajuku Station Exit. Here you will find many small shops and boutiques with cheap and trendy cloths, which are so loved by Japanese young people. And if you are tiered you can always rest at the many café’s and restaurants this street has to offer.

Daiso – 100 Yen Shop
1-19-24 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00
In reason years the trend of 100 Yen shops in Japan is growing rapidly, I personally love them as well, because you can by pretty good quality items in a very cheap price. This shop is located on the left side of Takeshita Dori (it is about 5th shop on the left, from the entrance of the street), just look for this logo

This shop has 4 floors in which you can find around 90,000 products - food and beverages, stationary products, home cleaning materials, gorgeous china, cosmetics, cloths and many more.
If you don’t care that the souvenirs you bring home will not be made in Japan, then here is a good place to buy a sake sets, tee sets and puts (100 Yen for each piece in the set), chopsticks, fans, decorative lanterns (in the parties section), calligraphy paper and brushes.
Note that some of the items may cost more than 100 Yen, but then on this item will be a sticker that indicated the price.

LaForet Harajuku (Mori Corp.)
1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Telephone: 03-3475-0411.
Opening Hours: Daily 11:00-20:00

LaForet Harajuku

LaForet is a Harajuku landmark and the launching pad for the latest Japanese fashion trends. On many floors of this shop you will find mostly Japanese designer’s cloths, shoes and hats, very unique, and very different from what might have seen in the other shops. In my opinion you must visit this place for one more reason – if you ever wondered where the Harajuku girls get their outfits you will definitely get the answer here. In lower floors of this mall you can find shops that sell gothic cloth and the next shop sells puffy, flowery dresses that you probably have seen on your doll as a child, so if you missed the Harajuku young people on the bridge near Meiji-Jingumae station you can see enough of them here.

Just across the LaForet Harajuku you will see a small shop that sales – yes, you geest right, mostly condoms of all shapes and flavors. Here you can find condoms with samurai and geisha pictures on them – another nice Japanese “souvenir” to bring home.

Harajuku Museums

Harajuku is not exactly a museum area so the museum selection here is a bit low:
Treasure Museum
It is a building that was built in 1921. Its style, however, is a copy of the Ooyukazukuri (high floor style) of Azekurazukuri Shosoin (the Japanese National Treasure House in Nara).
In the building, various articles used by the Imperial couple during their lifetimes are displayed.
Location: Near Meiji Shrine - 7 minutes on foot from Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line or Meiji Jingumae on subway Chiyoda Line

Memorial Picture Gallery (Meiji Kaigakan)
9 Kasumigaoka, Shinjuku-ku
Shinanomachi Station (Sobu line) or Gaienmae or Aoyama-Itchome Stationn (Ginza line).
Telephone: 03-3401-5179
Fax: 03-0401-0676
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 17:00, December 30 – January 2 10:00 - 17:00
Admission: Adults ¥500
College & Senior High Students ¥300
Junior High, Elementary Students ¥200

The Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery that houses a collection of 80 large murals, that were made between 1926 and 1936, each by a different well-known artist of the day, illustrative significant moments in Emperor Meiji’s life, tracking Japan's swift evolution from pre-modern isolation to international dominance.

Meiji Jingu Shrine

Opening Hours: From sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free
7 minutes on foot from Harajuku Station on JR Yamanote Line or Meiji Jingumae on subway Chiyoda Line

Meiji Jingu is the Shinto shrine dedicated to the divine souls of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Emperor Shoken. Around the shrine there is evergreen forest of 120,000 trees of 365 different species, which were donated by people from all parts of Japan when the shrine was established, and it became not only a spiritual home for people, but also a relaxation area in the center of Tokyo.

Also notice the huge (1.7m. diameter) gates (torii) that you go throw before entering the shrine.
Gyoen, or the Inner Garden, in the inner precinct, that is a part of Meiji Shrine area, was often visited by Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, who appreciated its natural surroundings. Pleasantly situated at various locations in the garden are tea house, a fishing spot, a bower, and an iris garden, all of which are connected by winding paths.The Iris Garden was constructed according to the design of Emperor Meiji himself in order to give recreation to Empress Shoken.

Yoyogi Park

During our first month in Tokyo we lived in Akasaka and I was wondering where are all the Japanese kids are, a answer I got when I visited Yoyogi Park.

This is a beautiful large park with jogging and biking paths, pond and rose garden. There many young moms with kids who come here to enjoy the green grass and the fresh air. You can also find here some business men that came to enjoy the park views during their lunch break.

If you come here on the Sunday you may see musicians performing free by the fountain.

Although you may see some homeless people here but Yoyogi park is a safe place and there homeless people are totally harmless – you can fell it by the amount of the moms with babies that coming here every day.


Takeshita-dori - the main street of Harajuku that is located just at the exit of JR Harajuku station. If you want fully experience Harajuku go to the Takeshita-dori on weekend – the number of young colorful people wondering the street and sitting in endless cafes and fast food restaurants will be beyond your imagination.

Harajuku on Saturday

You must not miss the bridge that leads from Harajuku station to Yoyogi Park if you want to see all the outstanding costumes that young Harajuku girls have to offer. But this you can see only on the weekend, better make it Sunday.


If you thing that all Japanese are the same uptight workaholics then in Harajuku you will see a totally different Japan, it may be very colorful and very gothic at the same time. In resent years it became the young people's town, which is specially crowded on weekends.

Although you can see the change in the cloths during the weekend all over Tokyo, less suits and more jeans, still it will not prepare you for the Harajuku boys and girls. You will see what I mean the second you get to Harajuku JR station or Meiji-jingumae station of Tokyo Metro.

Harajuku Girls definitely got a wicked style, just like Gwen Stefani says in her song, here you can see all hair colors and all the weird cloth you can only imagine, and don’t you think these cloth are cheap – enter some of the shops on the Takeshita-dori and you will see that these girls spend pretty big amounts of money to look like this.

Harajuku Map

Shopping in Harajuku
Harajuku-Where to go

Tokyo Metro - Ticket Types

In the vending machine you can buy few types of tickets:
1. Regular one time ticket – starting from 160 Yen. It is valid only on the day it was purchased.

160yen - 1-6km
190yen - 7-11km
230yen - 12-19km
270yen - 20-27km
300yen - 28-40km

2. Pre-paid card – a card for 1000, 3000 and 5000 Yen for adults only. This is very convenient card – you don’t have to buy a ticket every time and look for the needed fare at the fare table, which sometimes available in Japanese only , you just go with it throw the gate and the needed fare is collected automatically.

3. One day open ticket (Tokyo Metro only) – 710 Yen for adult and 300 Yen for child. For unlimited use on the day of the purchase. You can also buy these tickets in advance in Pass Offices in the stations.

4. Coupon Tickets – there are 3 types of coupon tickets:
Ordinary coupon ticket – set of 11 tickets for a price of 10 for adults and children, for use at any day or time.

Off-Peak tickets - set of 12 tickets for a price of 10 for adults only. These tickets can only be used between 10:00 and 16:00 on Monday through Saturday, Sunday, National holidays including December 30, 31 and January 1, 2, 3.

Sun/Hol Tickets - set of 14 tickets for a price of 10 for adults only. These tickets can only be used only on Saturday, Sunday and National holidays including December 30, 31 and January 1, 2, 3.

5. One Day Ticket for Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway – 1000 Yen for adults and
500 Yen for children, valid for all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines only on
the day of the purchase.

6. Tokyo Combination Ticket – 1580 Yen for adults and 790 Yen for children, for use on the day of the purchase on Tokyo Metro, Toei Subway, Toei Street-Car Toei bus and JR lines inside Tokyo 23 wards

Tokyo Metro - Fare Adjustment

If on the station you board the train the fare table is in Japanese only, you can buy the cheapest ticket to the line you want to take in the vending machine and then you arrive to desired destination do fare adjustment.

Fare Adjustment Machine

Just insert your card and press the button “English” and all the directions will be given to you. In the end of this process you will get a new ticket from the machine, just insert it into the gate and go throw.

Tokyo Metro - How to buy a ticket

What I would recommend you then you go to Tokyo Metro is to look for this brochure in which you will find the map of Tokyo Metro and all the explanation that I will give you below.
Before buying a ticket you should check the fare table that is located above the ticket vending machine

Fare Table

If you can’t find a fare table in English you have 2 options:
Ask the station attendant how much it is (hopefully they will speak English).
Buy the cheapest ticket to the line you want to take in the vending machine and then you arrive to desired destination do fare adjustment.
If you found the fare needed just approach the vending machine, press the button for English and you will be given instructions how to use it.

Ticket Vending Machines

After buying a ticket put it into the automatic gates and go throw

If you need to use 2 different lines of Tokyo Metro to get to your destination, there is no need to buy 2 different tickets – one that has a correct fare fee is enough. Sometimes you will need to go throw a gate in the middle of such journey (to change from line to line), so don’t forget to collect you ticket on the other side of the gate, or else you would be able to exit the station on arriving to your destination. If the gate swallowed your ticket, approach the station attendants, that are usually stand by the gate and tell them of your situation (they will understand you, even if their English is not so good), and you will be given a new ticket, so you can continue to your destination.

Tokyo Metro

Tokyo has a very wide and useful metro system, and here I want to guide you how to use it.
If you are looking for a metro station on the street you should look for the this sign of Tokyo Metro company.
Metro Lines and stations:
All the metro lines in Tokyo are color marked as in Tokyo Metro Map, so then you go down to the station you will see this signs of the line (can be recognized by the line color and the first litter of the line name) and the number of the station you are in.

Here you see a sign on station number 2 of Tozoi Line.

Because all the stations in Tokyo Metro are numbered it is easy to find out what platform you need – the numbers of the stations the train is going can be seen next to platform number.

Some stations have a chart of the line above the entrance to the platforms-just look for the station you need on the chart relevantly present station.

Here you can see a chart on station number 3 (Meiji-jingumae) on the Chioda Line - if you need to get to stations 1-2 you should go to the planforn on the left side, but if you need to get to stations 4-20 you should go to the platform on the right.

Then arriving to your destination select the desired exit using the yellow exit information signs and go throw the gates.

If you bought a regular ticket it will be swallowed by the gate and if you bought a prepaid ticket don’t forget to collect it on the other side of the gate. In case the fare on the ticket is not matching the fare of you journey, the gate will not open and you will be asked to approach the station attendant.

Tokyo Metro - Ticket Types
Tokyo Metro - Fare Adjustment
Tokyo Metro - How to buy ticket

JR Ticket Types

1. Regular ticket – this ticket can be bought at the vending machines, and its minimum cost is 130 Yen.

2. JR One Day Tokyo Rail – this ticket offers unlimited travel within the Tokyo Metropolitan Area for 1 day on JR local and rapid trains. The ticket can be bought at JR Ticket Office or in vending machines. Price 730 Yen for adult and 360 Yen for child from 6 to 11 years old.

3.Tokyo Round Tour Ticket - this ticket offers unlimited travel for one day on JR East lines (local and rapid-service trains) as plus also allowing travel on subways of the Tokyo Metro and other subways, trams and buses. The ticket can be purchased at any JR East Ticket Office and Travel Service Center located inside the green area on the map below. Price 1580 Yen for adult and 790 Yen for a child.

4. Holiday Pass - this ticket offers unlimited travel in the Tokyo area on
Saturdays, Sundays, Japanese public holidays, everyday between April 29 and May 5, everyday between July 20 and August 31, everyday between December 29 and January 3.It is valid on JR East (local and rapid-service trains only), Tokyo Monorail and Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit lines. Because cities nearby Tokyo such as Yokohama, Kamakura, Saitama and Chiba, are included in the unlimited travel area, this ticket is convenient for tourists.Price 2300 Yen for adult and 1150 Yen for a child. The ticket can be purchased at any JR East Ticket Office and Travel Service Center located inside the area on the map below.

Additional charges must be paid if you are to use limited express or JR East's Shinkansen super express trains, and the ticket is not valid for the Tokaido Shinkansen.

Tokyo Transportation - Taxi

Taxi is a very convenient transport but in Japan it is also a very expensive due to the charging system. The base fare in Tokyo is 660 Yen for first 2 km. of the ride and extra 80 Yen for every 274 meters afterwards. From 23:00 to 05:00 you will be asked to pay about 30% more. Entering a taxi you should better have a map to your destination and not only an address, because Tokyo has very complicated street and building numbering and the driver may not know where exactly you need to go.

Tokyo Transportation - Bus

Although Tokyo has many bus routes I wouldn’t recommend to you if you don’t know Japanese, because on the bus stop the only thing that is written in English is the final stop of the bus and the rest of the rout chart is in Japanese. Another down side of the bus is that it can be stuck in traffic, and the major roads in Tokyo can be sometimes very jammed. The bus fare is 200 Yen.

Tokyo Transportation - JR

JR- Japan Railways company operates many lines.

JR Tokyo Map

The most useful line in Tokyo is the Yamanote line, it is a round line that stops at all major stations of Tokyo. If you need to go for a relevantly short distance it also cheaper than the Tokyo Metro – the cheapest ticket will cost you 130 Yen (Tokyo Metro cheapest ticket is 160 Yen).

Yamanote Line

JR - Ticket Types

Main Menu

General Information
Welcome to Japan-Travel-Tips
Tokyo-Imperial Palace Area


Japan Event Guide
Find a teacher in Japan


Useful tips and information for your trip to Japan


Powered By