First time to Japan Questions

California Blue

New member
Oct 23, 2019
2
0
1
Hi Everyone! :) I'm in CALIFORNIA & going to Japan for the 1st time for the Summer 2020 Tokyo Olympics! This trip is now 9 months away. I feel I'm behind on learning what I need to.

I'm about to get rolling toward getting my passport & plan to get plane tickets & travel insurance by this week's end. The hotel is already booked. I really want to fly on JAL Airlines.

I was hoping to start learning to speak Japanese but haven't started yet. I hope to learn a lot & if you can answer any of my questions below, please do so, thanks a lot! I'm trying to start learning, but it's a LOT!

- What's the best travel insurance to use?
- What's the quickest way to learn to speak Japanese?
- How does the transportation system work for Tokyo Metro?
- Are there Ubers there?...I've never used one.
- How does the monetary system work?
- What itinerary would you give to someone staying for about a week?
 
Last edited:

JTF_Chris

Administrator
Aug 6, 2018
122
19
18
JapanTravelForum.com
- What's the best travel insurance to use?
- What's the quickest way to learn to speak Japanese?
- How does the transportation system work for Tokyo Metro?
- Are there Ubers there?...I've never used one.
- How does the monetary system work?
- What itinerary would you give to someone staying for about a week?
Hi and welcome to the site. I can sort of answer some of these,...

- I've honestly never used travel insurance so I can't comment on that at all..

- Japanese is a terribly complex language, I've been a casual student for over 30 years and still don't feel fluent. That said, there's basic stuff that you should know. "hello, please, thank you, excuse me, etc." .. a google search for "Japanese language for tourists" will probably be a great start. I need to finish my signage threads here, too...

- Transportation in the Tokyo Metro area can look overwhelming, but its really not that bad. Just remember that there are several different operating companies, so there's no one "magic pass" that will work on everything. My recommendation if you're staying within the general Tokyo area is to get a Suica card, which is an IC card you load with money, and you use that at the turnstiles to get in and out of each lines'/trains' gates. Use a website or app like Hyperdia.com to figure out which lines and trains to use to get from one station to the other. Once you start playing with it, you'll go "aaah I see" and it starts to make sense.

- I don't use Uber anywhere(!), but I don't think its nearly as popular there as it is in the US. Taxis are ubiquitous in Tokyo and probably would get you that last mile just as easy and probably cheaper.

- Just think of a single yen as a penny. The USD/JPY rate is close enough to 1-100 (I think ~108 right now) that its a pretty good yardstick. So a 100Y coin is about a dollar. Get cash at 7-11 ATM's, because not everywhere takes plastic... although that is changing rapidly with the Olympics coming up. Always have cash as a backup. You'll collect 1Y coins, I still have a sack from previous trips I don't know what to do with lol.

- This is kind of a loaded question. It depends greatly on your own interests, what you find fun/not-fun, etc. I'm not one for just checking off a list, so some idea of what you want to get out of the trip is important. Pop culture, history, mythology, religion, food, nightlife, etc. ... BUT as a first timer in Tokyo, here's a few things I would be sure to visit....

-- Sensoji in Asakusa, optionally Tokyo Skytree and the surrounding area
-- Tokyo National Museum and Ueno Park
-- Shinjuku and Shibuya for the lights, food, and shopping
-- a day trip to someplace like Takao, Enoshima, Kamakura, etc.
-- Meiji Shrine / Harajuku / Omotesando / Yoyogi park
-- probably lots more I'm drawing a blank right now...
 
  • Like
Reactions: California Blue

California Blue

New member
Oct 23, 2019
2
0
1
JTF_Chris, sorry for the delayed reply. Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to reply! :) That's a lot of good info. I've learned the yen system in the meantime already.

Thanks for that Hyperdia link. I'll check that out for sure!
 

Similar threads