April 26, 2017
[Travel Tips] Japan Trip 101 Part 2

Having just returned from Tokyo for a second round, I figured it’d be a good idea to share a little more about what I know.
Check out the original post written in 2016 for the more general tips about Japan here. This post will more specifically be targeting Tokyo,  and you may draw some parallels from my previous post (for those who haven’t checked it out). 

This post won’t be talking about restaurants, you should just stay tuned for those posts!

Getting around –

Suica will be your best bet if you’re looking to mainly stay in Tokyo. Throughout the week and half of me being there, I probably topped about $60 in total for getting around. The main places I checked out were : Akasuka, Asasuka, Ueno, Shibuya, Harajuku, Yokohama, Ginza and Shinjuku.

The rail transport lines there are all owned by different major regional companies and dozens of smaller local private railways. Because of that, you’re going to need to tap in/out as you transfer between lines to get to your destination. Transferring between lines don’t cost too much, I think the most my trip cost was when we went to Yokohama.

Convenience Stores –
There’s practically 2-4 convenience stores every block you walk. If you’re trying to save money, the food in the convenience store’s real delicious and cheap. To be able to eat all the things I had on my list, we had breakfast at Family Mart/Lawson and 7-Eleven quite often. A Beef croquette, fried chicken strip and big bottle of juice would cost around 500 or less, which is really reasonable if you ask me.

Tax-Free Shopping Malls –
Some malls offer tax-free shopping experiences for tourists. Just be sure that you have your passport on hand. When you make your purchase, you will be given your receipt and products in a bag that you can’t open till you reach your final destination. Simply make your way to the tax free counters in the mall and show them your passport and purchase to receive your tax refund. The clerk will then staple the documents to your passport. This will all be removed by custom officers when you depart at the airport.

Buying Gifts  – 

Buying gifts and souvenirs’ real convenient. In major department stores, their grocery section is a whole ‘nother level. There are individual specialty stalls that sell pastries and japanese sweets. Be sure to look at the expiration date on each box as they usually have about a month’s worth of shelf-life before they expire.

Luggage Forwarding –
For travellers who are looking to travel to other prefectures, luggage forwarding services is a Godsend. Finding elevators is a pain in the ass, especially for smaller stations so lugging your suitcase up and down the stairs is no fun.
You are able to forward your luggage to your next destination or have them store it until you get there. During my first trip to Japan, we went with Yamato and had it forwarded from the APA Hotel in Shinjuku to APA Hotel in Osaka for less than 2000 yen.

Internet Connection –
While I was in Japan, I went with Telecom Square and got the 5 Gig of Data for 1 Month deal (No Calling Feature). It was 5500 yen and had no problem with internet speed. If you happen to run low on data, you’re able to top it up through their website by putting in the sim details and your credit card information. I topped an additional 1 Gig for 2000 yen.

This post will be updated over time

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