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๐Ÿ—ผ ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต TOKYO

Sharing some of my insights and research for anyone visiting Tokyo.

Water(ๆฐดใƒผใฟใš๏ผ‰:

Is it safe to drink tap water? Yes, Tap water meets the water quality standards based on the Waterworks Law, so you can safely drink it as is. However, some people may be concerned about the smell of chlorine used for disinfection. Source: https://www.waterworks.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/faq/qa-22.html

Accommodations:

  • Booking.com - is reliable and can find good deals

  • Ryokans traditional Japanese Ins

  • Oakhouse - Share houses offer longer rent options. Typically, rooms come equipped with a bed, fridge, and other furniture, so you don't need to buy any when you move in. The kitchen is also fully stocked with everything you need. There is no key money or guarantor fee, making it easier to move in. Additionally, agents speak English, which simplifies the process for non-Japanese speakers.

  • Tokyo share house : The website is in Japanese, but you can use Google Translate to navigate it

  • SUUMO It is a very popular mobile app and website for searching to rent an apartment or even to buy one. They offer many options; however, you need to speak some Japanese to rent a place on your own. Rental agreements are usually for two years, so be sure to check the details before signing. Moving costs are also very expensive, often amounting to two or three times the monthly rent.

  • APA Hotel- is a chain and known for business staying so is usually very affordable.

Transportation Cards in Tokyo

Due to the global chip shortage Welcome Suica IC cards are only available at Haneda Airport Terminal 3 Station.

  • PASMO PASSPORT IC cards will no longer be sold after August 2024, and may end earlier depending on the sales location.

  • Mobile Suica and Mobile PASMO can still be used as usual with:

    • Apple Pay on iPhone 8 or later models.

    • Google Pay on some Android smartphones.

  • Other IC cards like ICOCA and TOICA will continue to be available in their respective regions.

  • Japan Transit Planner: is a multilingual app for navigating Japan by rail or air. Input your departure and destination stations to easily find routes, fares, and travel times. Download it from Android and iOS.

Taxis & Ride sharing

Uber - Request a ride: Android and iOS
GO / Taxi app for Japan: Android and iOS

Drugstore(ใƒ‰ใƒฉใƒƒใ‚ฐใ‚นใƒˆใ‚ข)

You can buy medicines in Japan either at a drugstore (ใƒ‰ใƒฉใƒƒใ‚ฐใ‚นใƒˆใ‚ข) or a pharmacy (yakkyoku, ่–ฌๅฑ€). Drugstores are places that typically sell everything from daily supplies to cosmetics and even food.

Here are some short expressions in Japanese for common ailments that you can ask the stuff:

1. I have a fever:- ็†ฑใŒใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ (ใญใคใŒใ‚ใ‚Šใพใ™ - netsu ga arimasu)

2. I have a cold: - ้ขจ้‚ชใ‚’ใฒใใพใ—ใŸ (ใ‹ใœใ‚’ใฒใใพใ—ใŸ - kaze wo hikimashita)

3. I have a sore throat: - ๅ–‰ใŒ็—›ใ„ใงใ™ (ใฎใฉใŒใ„ใŸใ„ใงใ™ - nodo ga itai desu)

4. I have a bellyache:- ใŠ่…นใŒ็—›ใ„ใงใ™ (ใŠใชใ‹ใŒใ„ใŸใ„ใงใ™ - onaka ga itai desu)

5. I have diarrhea: - ไธ‹็—ขใŒใ‚ใ‚‹(ใ’ใ‚ŠใŒใ‚ใ‚‹ - geri ga aru)


Major drugstore chains in Japan include Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Sun Drug, and Welcia. You can find them easily using Google Maps.

Staying hydrated is important. Pocari Sweat is a popular electrolyte drink available in many vending machines or conbini. Otsuka OS-1, is usually prescribed from doctors, when you are sick and is available in most drugstores.

Sick while traveling

  • In case you feel sick and want to visit a doctor, here is a guide.

  • The AMDA International Medical Information Center- provides Medical Questionnaire in Multilanguage and other information

  • Tokyo Midtown Clinic based in Roppongi, a private clinic with excellent service. They accept patients without travel insurance and provide support in English.

  • If you need to call the Ambulance- number is 119

Plugs and Electricity

The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C. There are two kinds of frequencies in useโ€”50 Hertz in eastern Japan and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka).

Credit; https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/when-travelling/travel-adaptor-for-japan/

Supermarkets

It's always a good idea to cook for yourself when you're in a foreign country. One of the best things you can do is visit Japanese supermarkets. There are many options, such as My Basket, Aeon, and Maruetsu. You can search for supermarkets using the word ใ‚นใƒผใƒ‘ใƒผ (supermarket) in Katakana.

When you visit, try the sushi from the storeโ€”it's always freshly prepared daily and cheaper than at restaurants. Be sure to buy Japanese mayonnaise, Kewpie, and Bulldog sauce. Also, try the yakisoba, udon, and ramen. And, of course, don't forget to sample the local beer like Kirin, Asahi, Yebisu, Sapporo and more.

Onsen or Hot Springs

100 yen shops

100-yen shops are stores where most products can be purchased for 100 yen. They offer a wide variety of items, including stationery, kitchen utensils, tableware, storage goods, and cleaning supplies. You can find everything from indoor plants to smartphone screen protectors. The selection is surprisingly extensive, so be sure to visit if you have the opportunity.

However, there are two points to be mindful of:

  1. Consumption Tax: Although the price of most items is 100 yen, there is a consumption tax of 10 yen (8 yen for food and drinks), so you will actually pay 110 yen (or 108 yen) at the register.

  2. Price Variations: While most items are priced at 100 yen, some products cost between 200 and 500 yen. Always check the label before purchasing.

Cool shops to visit: CAN DO, DAISO, 3 COINS and more.

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