Tokyo, Japan in 4 Days

Tokyo, Japan in 4 Days

asia travel

A four day itinerary for what to do in Tokyo, Japan

Four days in Tokyo is a great amount of time to spend in the city, if you’ve never been to Tokyo before.  This Tokyo itinerary is the best way to spend a weekend here and get the most out of your time in this wonderfully clean, fast paced & unique city.

Below are four days of what to see and do in Tokyo based on location within the city, including tons of tips and how to be best prepared.

Things you should know before going to Tokyo:

  • The city is massive, so prepare in advance by allocating time spent getting from one place to the next
  • Each day in this itinerary is stuffed with awesome places to see & things to do, which means these are long days.
  • Be sure to understand Tokyo’s public transportation systems before you arrive.  Here is an awesome detailed guide about Tokyo’s public transportation.
  • If this is your first trip & you need general information about Tokyo, then check out this first timers guide to Tokyo
  • You do not have to follow the order of this itinerary, however each day is based on a certain area of the city to make the most of your time there

While there is definitely an endless amount of things to see & do in Tokyo, here are the

Best places to see in Tokyo in four days for your first visit:

Day ONE: Saturday, Central Tokyo

Fly into Tokyo the day before, Friday

Explore the Tsukiji Fish Market

The Tsukiji Fish Market was once the largest wholesale fish & seafood market in the world.  Today it is split into two locations.

  1. The wholesale fish market is in Toyosu (the wholesale fish market was the original inner market)
  2. The outer market is still in Tsukiji, and is mostly restaurants and vendors.  Here is where you can experience the traditional looking market that many travelers cherish.  You will find plenty of sushi, mochi, matcha green tea and more at the Tsukiji outer market. Most of the restaurants and vendors are open until around 3pm, so visiting here first thing in the morning would be ideal.

*Please note- the Toyosu fish market is located where a previous gas company took residence.  It took many years for the transition due to concerns about contamination. It’s said there is no contamination, but for my preference I wouldn’t choose to go or eat from there.  Just something to consider…

    Become a real life Mario Kart player!

    Let your childhood gaming dreams come true by booking a go-karting experience through Tokyo.  Dress up in cartoon onesies and a local guide will direct you through the beautiful city. You’ll have a hilarious and fun few hours revving your engines while seeing a new perspective of Tokyo.

    After thorough research we chose this company to go-kart with.  They had small groups of about six people plus one guide.  You will need to bring an IDP — International Driver’s Permit — and your passport with you.

    *Tokyo may be a massive city of 30+ million people, yet their roads felt very safe and easy to navigate (which was a fear of mine going into go-karting).

    *Be sure to dress in layers.  Considering the fact that go-karts have no walls, you are zooming through the streets which means lots of wind.  Our hands were numb halfway through, and I was very grateful for my goofy onesie as it provided an extra layer of warmth.

      Walk around Ginza

      Ginza is Tokyo’s famous shopping, entertainment & ritziest neighborhood.  It felt like a cleaner, more extravagant version of Manhattan. I suggest walking around on a Saturday afternoon as the main street is closed off to vehicles (from 12-5pm) so pedestrians can meander through the streets.  Hop in and out of gorgeous department stores, listen to live music on the street and find a great place for lunch to take in the extravagance of Ginza

        Explore the Imperial Palace

        Tokyo’s Imperial Palace was rebuilt after its destruction during World War Two to its identical style.  While the buildings are not open to the public, you can walk around the gardens. There are options to book a tour guide for these gardens.  We did not participate in a tour, however they are free and limited to 300 people (!?) per group. For more information here is the ‘application’ page to book one of the tours.

          Go out for drinks in Shinjuku

          Shinjuku is considered the business district, yet it has an exciting night life and turns into an entertainment hub when the sun goes down.  It’s also home to the famous Robot Restaurant. Take your time walking around, popping into different stores and bars to gain a sense of how nightlife in Tokyo is done by all ages.

          Shinjuku is where the popular Golden Gai is located as well.  Golden Gai is a small area with narrow bars and alleyways. The clientele are comparable to the locals you see at your bars, but are very loyal to their small bar in Golden Gai.  To be honest, as tourists, we felt uncomfortable entering the narrow establishments. I would suggest only exploring here with a local.

            Day TWOSunday, West Side/Modern Tokyo

            Wear comfortable shoes today, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking

            Meander through Shinjuku Garden

            Shinjuku Garden is a beautiful place to leisurely walk around and disappear from the hustle of Tokyo.  It’s beautiful in both autumn (fall foliage) and spring (cherry blossom blooms). The Shinjuku Garden is a national park and has an entrance fee of 200 yen.

              Step back in time at Yoyogi Park & the Meiji Shrine

              An even more densely forested area in busy Tokyo, Yoyogi Park is one of the city’s largest parks.  The Meiji Shrine sits inside of the beautiful Yoyogi park, and was originally built for the emperor who helped Japan transition to a world power in the early 1900’s.  Similarly to the Imperial Palace, the Meiji Shrine was rebuilt after World War Two. When you visit here you may likely witness a traditional Shinto wedding like we did.

              This Japan Guide provides great instructions on how to get here without having to walk crazy far (…which we may have done ourselves accidentally).

                Channel your inner child spirit at Harajuku

                Thanks to Gwen Stefani, we’ve come to know Harajuku girls are fun, eclectically dressed girls, and it originated in Harajuku, Tokyo.  The main street is Takeshita Dori, or Takeshita Street. Everything is still open on Sundays, and still very busy but very much so worth the experience of shuffling through the crowds.  Spend your time here exploring the colorful shops and restaurants (many of which have lines lasting at least 30 minutes just to place an order)

                  Become lost in the crowd at Shibuya Crossing

                  Shibuya Crossing is the busiest crossing section in the world, but oddly enough is not overwhelmingly hectic as you might expect.  Curious as to why that is? Read this to learn more about Japanese culture. Unlike most street crossings, Shibuya’s crosswalks will all turn green at once which is why it’s such a busy crossing.

                  *Many people will suggest going into the Starbucks at Shibuya to people watch the crossing.  This could be a great option, but you’ll be waiting in an epically long line to cram your way to the glass window.  INSTEAD go to the Magnet building roof. It’s free to go up on their rooftop viewing deck, and (in my opinion) has a better view as it’s higher up than the Starbucks window.  Plus there was NO line. We casually walked into the elevator with only one other couple, and were greeted by at most 10 people up there.

                    Day THREE: Monday

                    Get a birds eye view of Tokyo from the top of the Government Building

                    While you can go to the top of the Tokyo Sky Tree for a fee, you can visit the top of Tokyo’s Government Building for free!  (My excitement for free things to do while traveling apparently makes me rhyme like Dr. Suess) You will get an equally high view of the city, just from the opposing side of the Sky Tree.

                    We arrived 15 minutes prior to it opening and there was already a long line, however it moves quickly.  Be prepared for potential motion sickness, as the elevator ascends quickly.

                      Test your senses on a Japanese food tour

                      Japanese food is known for sushi, but compared to America’s take on sushi it is vastly different than what you might expect.  Having a guide to direct you to the best unknown gems and suggesting new items to try is a great way to test the waters and build your confidence when ordering food on your own.

                      We booked through City Unscripted.  I love their concept of hiring local guides for personalized and private tours.

                      Personally, I try to maintain a vegetarian diet while traveling, however given certain circumstances I will eat seafood on my travels.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a food tour for strict vegans or vegetarians as it was quite difficult for our local guide to find places that satisfied our eating preferences.

                        Have your mind mesmerized at TeamLab Borderless

                        By far one of our favorite places in Tokyo.  TeamLab Borderless is a museum filled with unique rooms with lightshoes.  Pictures can do it more justice than I could explaning it, so see below!

                        NOTE: there are TWO locations near each other in Tokyo–

                        The difference between TeamLab Borderless and TeamLab Planet:

                        It is easy to confuse the two.  TeamLab Borderless is known for the images I have included in this post, and is further away than TeamLab Planet (by only a 5-7 minute train ride).  It is also intended to be permanent.

                        TeamLab Planet is a temporary exhibit, and doesn’t require as much time to go through & enjoy.  It also apparently has an exhibit where you walk through water.

                        You must purchase your tickets in advance, so book your tickets now!  It’s difficult to say what time of day is best as you will want to spend hours inside enjoying everything.  Mornings are busy but you will have the most time to explore. However, even with a busy crowd entering we were able to take the pictures we wanted with almost no one in the way.

                        Fun story: we were SO proud of ourselves as we arrived early and were towards the front of the entrance line, only to find out that we were at the wrong location, and sprinted to the train to get to the correct one we purchased tickets for.  A typical travel fail, but oh well, it happens to the best of us.

                          Maps to reference the two locations of TeamLab

                          Catch a rainbow view

                          Enjoy sunset and watch the Rainbow bridge light up.  The bridge is located in the same area as both TeamLab locations, which is why I would recommend visiting TeamLab in the afternoon, and staying for sunset.  There is an easily accessible beach area where you can watch the bridge light up. The bridge lights up in different colors depending on the time of year, so you may not witness the rainbow colors, however sunset here is beautiful either way.  Fun fact about the bridge is that the lights are solar powered- bonus points to Tokyo for sustainability!

                            Day FOUR: Tuesday

                            Enjoy Ueno Park

                            Ueno Park contains quite a few museums and is quite beautiful during autumn and spring (similar to Shinjuku Garden).  Choose a museum to explore and spend the morning calmly walking around the peaceful park

                              Dive into Japanese culture by exploring the Asakusa neighborhood

                              Asakusa showcases some of the most popular landmarks to see in Tokyo. Feel as if you are stepping back in time by walking through what feels like a living museum.  The Nakamise Shopping Street here has many small shops that are great for purchasing souvenirs and gifts to bring home… or to bring home the creepiest mask, like Marcus (my boyfriend) did.

                                Marvel at the Sensoji Temple

                                The Sensoji Temple is part of the Asakusa neighborhood, but rightly deserves its own section here.  It is incredibly breathtaking and in the heart of the Asakusa area.

                                *If you’re curious about what people do in and around the temple read about basic Japanese culture here

                                  Tokyo, Japan is an incredibly unique city that is a great gateway for those who have never visited Asia before.  This four day itinerary for Tokyo will have you excited to spend even more time in the city on your next visit. The city  feels like a blend of culture, entertainment, history and modernity with some of the most respectful and kind people I’ve ever met.

                                    Tips for Visiting Tokyo, Japan in four days:

                                    • Aim to stay somewhere central, as getting around Tokyo can take quite a bit of time
                                      • We stayed in the Shinjuku area, but other great neighborhoods would be Shibuya, Ginza or near the Tokyo Station
                                      • If you can, try staying in a capsule hotel. Note: We couldn’t find one that had availability for both male & females.  If you find a capsule hotel that accommodates both please share with me!
                                    • Department stores are great for gift & souvenir shopping.  Many are located underground, so look up their locations as opposed to hoping to find one while walking around
                                    • Tokyo is a very large and busy city that can feel overwhelming, so be sure to slow down & enjoy it (which is why I suggested so many parks)
                                    • 7/11’s will be your best friend.  You can find relatively cheap food and use their ATMs easily.
                                      Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

                                      Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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                                      How to Use Tokyo’s Public Transportation

                                      How to Use Tokyo’s Public Transportation

                                      asia travel

                                      An easy to understand, outlined guide on how to use Tokyo’s public transportation.

                                      Currently, Tokyo is the most populated city in the world, so taking public transportation in Tokyo, Japan is the best way to get around the city.  However, being that it is such a large city, Tokyo’s public transportation system can be very confusing and overwhelming to many. I’ve put together an easy to follow, and detailed guide on how to get around Tokyo, and the best way to do so.  And when I say detailed, I mean I’ve compiled all of my research into a succinct bullet point outline so that you can easily understand everything and get the most juice out of the lemon (is that a real phrase, or did I just make it up?)

                                      Trust me when I suggest that you read through this slowly.  Jot down your own notes & reference multiple maps while reading, so that you can feel comfortable with getting around when you arrive in Tokyo.  Taking public transportation is much cheaper than paying for an uber or taxi, since the city is so large, and it gives you an excellent opportunity to truly experience Japan’s unique culture.

                                      *PLEASE note that bus transportation is not included in this guide.  We found prices to be similar from bus to train to subway, and felt that train and subway lines are more reliable and time efficient.

                                      Things to Know about Tokyo, Japan’s Public Transportation System:

                                      • Tokyo’s size requires anyone to utilize their very efficient public transportation
                                      • They are ALWAYS on time
                                      • Everything is clean. From the actual train cars to the walkways, to the restrooms.  In fact, the public restrooms at the stations were comparable to nice hotel restrooms.  As with most of Tokyo, there are few trash cans available.
                                      • Efficiency is the focus.  With more than 30 million people in one city, efficiency is necessary for Tokyo’s public transportation.  There are arrows showing which side of walkways to walk on and where to line up for each car. What would be chaotic elsewhere is robotic here.
                                      • Very safe.  The etiquette on Tokyo’s public transportation is to not give direct eye contact and to keep to yourself.  Not once did I ever slightly feel uncomfortable or that there were pickpockets. *however, still always protect your belongings
                                      • Easy to use, but can be quite confusing to a visitor.
                                      • Vending machines are in every station.  They have a plethora of unique drinks you can get.  *Keep in mind the amount of plastic that comes from these machines, if you want to try something be selective to limit your plastic purchases please.
                                      • There are two types of Tokyo public transportation cards you can purchase. The Suica & the Pasmo, more details on these below
                                      • If lost, someone may come up to help you and you can always ask an official inside.  We found that the Japanese were very kind and helpful when we seemed lost and confused.
                                      • The JR East & subway lines are the most convenient (see below)

                                       

                                        Trains in Tokyo

                                        You can use a Travel card (Suica or Pasmo) or a JR rail pass on Tokyo’s trains.  These allow commuters to hop on/off buses and navigate stations relatively stress free.  I would recommend using one of these cards throughout your stay as it will eliminate the need to purchase a ticket for each ride.  Whichever you choose, know that Tokyo’s trains are very economical & convenient for travelers

                                        Here are details on the train types available in Tokyo:

                                        • JR = Japan Rail, this rail system covers the entire country of Japan (this JR term will be referred to a lot in this post)
                                          • JR East is a group of lines.  It includes Tokyo so will be seen most often in the city
                                            • JR Yamanote Line- one of the JR East lines, this train service does a circular loop of all of Tokyo’s main spots & runs until 1:20am
                                              • Six major stations on this line:

                                          Tokyo

                                          Ueno

                                          Ikebukuro

                                          Shinjuku

                                          Shibuya

                                          Shinagawa

                                          Other JR Lines that you might use frequently in Tokyo are:

                                          Keihin-Tohoku Line: runs parallel to the Yamanote Line’s eastern half

                                          (blue)

                                          Saikyo Line: runs parallel to the Yamanote Line on the western half

                                          (dark green, light blue)

                                          Chuo/Sobu Line (local): runs across the Yamanote circle, this is a local, slow service

                                          (Yellow, slow local)

                                          Chuo Line (rapid): runs across the Yamanote circle, a rapid service.  Connects the Tokyo Station with Shinjuku Stations

                                          (Orange, rapid)

                                          Shinkansen: Tokaido Shinknason trains stop at Tokyo & Shinagawa, and bullet trains north stop at Tokyo & Ueno

                                          Shinkansen, or high speed bullet train, tickets can be purchased from the JR stations

                                          Maps of the Shinknason trains cover the entirety of Japan, so to avoid confusion none are included in here.  If you are interested in the bullet trains, check out this guide here

                                            • The Narita Express is a JR East train line
                                              • Narita Express is the train line that takes you from the Narita Airport into Tokyo’s city center
                                          • There are private railway companies
                                            • They connect Tokyo’s center with outer regions & surrounding prefectures
                                            • The private railways typically start at a JR Yamanote Line
                                            • Here are some of the private railway companies
                                              • Keio
                                              • Odakyu
                                              • Seibu
                                              • Tokyu
                                              • Keikyu
                                              • Keisei
                                              • Tobu

                                            Now that we’ve covered above ground trains, let’s move onto

                                            Tokyo’s SUBWAYS

                                            • There are 13 subway lines
                                              • Operated by two companies
                                                • Toei (4 lines) & Tokyo Metro (9 lines)
                                              • They run mostly inside of the JR Yamanote Line (remember the JR Yamanote Line is the circular/loop line that stops at many major Tokyo stops)

                                            Tickets & Passes for Tokyo’s Subways and Trains

                                            Travel cards

                                              • Travel cards give you unlimited access to any subway or train line
                                              • They don’t discount the cost per ride, but save you a lot of time from having to buy a ticket each time you want to go somewhere; i.e. you’d have to find the ticket booth, stand in line, etc (each station is different so finding the ticket area would take you time)
                                              • Each area of Japan has their own travel card.  The most used and acceptable in Tokyo are the Suica and Pasmo cards. What is the difference between a Suica and a Pasmo card?  See below!

                                            Suica: purchased at JR lines

                                              • Travelers can purchase Suica cards from any JR station ticket machine or convenience stores
                                              • It is a prepaid fare card
                                              • A 500 yen deposit is required, and can be refunded when the card is returned
                                              • Suica cards are accepted all over Japan- almost all buses, trains, convenience stores, vending machines
                                              • Once charged up with money the Suica card can be used immediately

                                            Pasmo: purchased at non-JR lines/local lines (subway & bus lines)

                                              • Pasmo cards are used the same way as Suica cards, they are just provided by a different company
                                              • Pasmo cards are only accepted within Tokyo
                                              • Pasmo cards can be purchased from either airport, rail & subway stations
                                              • A 500 yen deposit is also required, and can be refunded when the card is returned.
                                                • Keep in mind, that the Pasmo card is only available to be used within Tokyo, so be sure to return the card for your deposit inside of Tokyo

                                            Should you choose a Suica or Pasmo card?  

                                            This seems to be a matter of preference to each person & where they will be traveling within the country

                                            How to use your travel cards:

                                              • Simply touch your travel card over the entrance scanner to the station
                                              • The scanners will beep if you do not have enough money charged onto the card, so each station has kiosks where you can purchase and re-charge your cards
                                            • Day passes are available but not very convenient
                                              • They don’t cover all of the different lines & all seem to be overpriced
                                              • And if you’re exploring over a few days you’ll end up taking different lines of transportation around, so its more economical to purchase a travel card
                                            • Japan Rail Pass
                                              • This is useful if you are exploring large parts of Japan, outside of Tokyo
                                              • If traveling outside of Tokyo, I would suggest purchasing the Japan Rail Pass only for the days that you are not in Tokyo, and using the travel cards, which are cheaper, for when you are in Tokyo
                                            • Regional Passes
                                              • JR Tokyo Wide Pass: good for getting to Tokyo Disneyland and Mt. Fuji
                                                • You can only purchase a regional pass in person at either of Tokyo’s airports or the main train stations
                                              • Know that each region of Japan has its own travel pass, or IC card (Tokyo’s are Suica & Pasmo)

                                              Tips for using Tokyo’s Public Transportation:

                                              • The faster, bullet trains, also known as Shinkansen, require separate tickets. Meaning you cannot use your Travel (Suica or Pasmo) cards for the bullet trains
                                              • Return your travel card at the end of your visit at any station relevant to your card
                                                • Suica: JR lines
                                                • Pasmo: non-JR lines
                                              • With 30 million people in one city, rush hour will be packed; if possible, avoid traveling from 7:30-9am
                                              • Many lines run from 5am-1am
                                              • There are women only cars during rush hours (children 6th grade & younger are allowed), typically towards the front of the train
                                              • Use your mobile device to help you navigate.  Google Maps was on point with their directions using Tokyo’s trains and subways.  The app will show you the number of stops, which exit of the station to take & the direction to walk towards
                                              Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

                                              Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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                                              Planning a trip to Tokyo?  Read these posts to help you plan & feel prepared for your trip!

                                              Weekend Itinerary for Tokyo, Japan

                                              Basics of Japanese Culture

                                              First Time Visitors Guide to Tokyo, Japan

                                              Follow Along

                                              Japanese Culture

                                              Japanese Culture

                                              asia travel

                                              Easy to remember & good to know information about Japanese Culture if you are visiting for the first time (or need a refresher!)

                                              Japanese culture is known around the world as a fascinating, unique and deeply historic culture. Tokyo, Japan’s capital city is where tradition meets innovation. You can be standing next to a thousand year old temple with a modern day skyscraper in front of you.  With the 2020 Olympics just around the corner, Japanese culture and traditions are being highlighted for the world to see. Yet, it was only a few hundred years ago that the country was isolated from the rest of the world.  This allowed the famous culture in Japan to become such a fascinating lifestyle to learn about and experience.

                                              I have only spent a few days in Tokyo, Japan (it was also my first time in Asia) and continue to cherish the beautiful and serene lifestyle. If you are visiting Tokyo, Japan, here are things to know about Tokyo culture to help you feel at home and be prepared for your travels there:

                                              [Traveling to Tokyo for the first time?  Check out my First Timers Guide to Tokyo, Japan]

                                              Basics of Japanese Culture

                                              Japanese Food Culture

                                              1) Japanese food is created with pride and excitement

                                              The Japanese take great pride and excitement in the food they prepare, with many things being made with the craftsmanship that modern day ‘hipsters’ seemingly adore (however, if we’re being honest, the Western view of local & craftsmanship has shifted away from the typically adored mass production of food in the last few years- maybe the Japanese are onto something…)

                                                2) The Japanese diet consists mainly of rice, fresh seafood and pickled vegetables

                                                This healthy diet is considered to be one of the reasons the Japanese live such long lives.

                                                3) Japanese food is so much more than sushi

                                                Sushi has become a Westernized speciality for celebratory nights out or a self indulgent treat. It is also the food that Japan has become most well known for. However, Japanese diets go beyond sushi.  While fresh seafood is a huge part of their typical diet, vegetarians (like myself) can find plenty of tofu, buckwheat noodles and seasonal vegetables to enjoy.

                                                4) Chopsticks are the equivalent to a fork and knife.

                                                And just like we have etiquette with utensils in the United States, there is etiquette for using chopsticks.

                                                Never point with your chopsticks

                                                Don’t place your chopsticks in a bowl of rice or pass food around with them

                                                  5) Soy sauce should be used lightly

                                                  Japanese cook with pride & dousing your rice in soy sauce translates to the chef and restaurant owner that you were served poorly made food

                                                  6) No need to tip

                                                  The Japanese are extremely kind (more on this below) and will provide excellent service regardless, so there is no cultural norm to tip. In fact, most will try to awkwardly give you back your tip if you leave one

                                                  7) Don’t pour your own drinks

                                                  Your host/ess or friend should make sure your glass is always full, and you should do the same for them- Kanpai! (cheers)

                                                  8) Vending machines are everywhere and are filled with unique beverages

                                                  Drinks on the go is a lifestyle here, however the use of plastic doesn’t make this a sustainable tactic

                                                  9) Speaking of drinks, tea is the drink of choice in Japan

                                                  Most restaurants will supply you with hot green tea, just like you would receive a glass of water in western culture. And there are many delicious teas to try besides green tea.

                                                  Japanese People & Mannerisms

                                                  10) Japanese people are very friendly and kind. They will notice if you are a visitor and are helpful if you become lost or confused. You will be in awe with how polite, well mannered and quiet the Japanese are

                                                  Some say that this mentality stems from the strong history of the samurai (discipline, respect honor), which transcended through time to modern society

                                                  11) PDA is a no-no

                                                  It’s improper to show public displays of affection

                                                  12) Instead of pointing with your finger, show with your hand, palm facing up

                                                  13) Greet with a bow

                                                  A bow is the equivalent to a handshake. You don’t need to bow to everyone who bows to you (otherwise you would bow to every restaurant employee you come across and spend your entire day bent over), you can instead do a polite head nod. However, many Japanese are becoming accustomed to shaking hands

                                                  Bows are silent ways of saying thank you, greeting or saying farewell and for apologizing

                                                    Overall Japanese Culture

                                                    14) Public spaces are quite quiet. You won’t see many loud or rambunctious Japanese in public spaces, however the nightlife can be a completely different story

                                                    15) Overall, the city of Tokyo is very safe.

                                                    We never felt uncomfortable or that there were pickpockets

                                                    16) Try not to stare

                                                    I’m not sure if it’s the sales person in me, but I found myself giving direct eye contact to way too many people when visiting Japan. I noticed I was doing it because they do not do the same. I came to find out that this a cultural norm.  Which can be quite convenient since Tokyo is…

                                                      17) The maps for public transportation can be quite confusing to a visitor.  Don’t let it frighten you, because if you look lost someone will most likely stop to help you.  At one point during our trip, a gentleman stopped on his way to work to help walk us outside of the metro station and take us to the correct station (did I mention the Japanese are some of the kindest people?)

                                                      Great piece of advice: don’t just stop inside of a train station if you are lost or confused. Move to the side, out of the way, as there are so many people filtering through them

                                                      I put together an awesome guide for how to use Tokyo’s Public Transportation, check it out here!

                                                        18) The city of Tokyo is spotlessly clean

                                                        There aren’t many public trash cans, yet the streets are all immaculate (I once saw a man shining a fire hydrant… that’s cleanliness level that Monica Gellar would be proud of). This means that the cities cleanliness is partly self maintained by its people. Respect the country and its people by not littering.

                                                          Interesting Cultural facts about Japan

                                                          19) There’s a difference between a shrine and temple

                                                          A shrine is for the Shinto religion, whereas a temple is for the Buddhist religion.  You can tell the difference upon your entrance as a shrine will have water for those entering to wash their hands and mouth in order to cleanse the soul before entering, and a temple will most likely require shoes to be removed prior to entering.

                                                          20) You will see evidence of the country’s religious heritage everywhere you look.  The Japanese are very proud of it, although for each person religion is typically a private affair

                                                          21) In fact, many Japanese gardens are based on Buddhism, but the two religions mutually exist together

                                                            Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

                                                            Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

                                                            Follow Along!

                                                            Start your own blog today!

                                                            Set up your blog today by using my discount code for Bluehost – Click the image to get started.

                                                            Get $15 OFF your AirBnb!

                                                            As with any country there are different cultural segments among the people – for Japan it would be Shinto, Buddhism, Ryukyukan and Ainu – yet the overall sense of respect and honor transcend throughout its entirety. Japan is a country where traditions that go back for thousands of years are respected, and fast paced evolution with fashion trends, architecture and technology are sought after simultaneously. There is debate among which stands to support Japan moving forward – the traditions or advancements – but that’s a discussion for another time, maybe one we can have during or after the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

                                                              [If you’re planning a trip to Japan, then don’t miss this Weekend Itinerary for Tokyo, Japan.  No trip to Japan is complete without experiencing this incredible city]

                                                              Things Japan is known for:

                                                              -sushi

                                                              -geishas

                                                              -samurais

                                                              -iekbana (flower arranging)

                                                              -origami

                                                              -kabuki (theatre)

                                                              -sumo wrestling

                                                              -anime

                                                              -tea ceremonies

                                                              -capsule hotels

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