With its perfect harmony of ancient tradition and modern innovation, Japan is definitely a must-visit. After two years since the pandemic began, Japan is reopening its borders to international tourists and is reintroducing visa-free entry to visitors from selected countries starting this October 11, 2022!
Where else to start your all-new Japan itinerary than in the captivating city capital of Tokyo itself? If you’re planning to visit soon, check out our new Tokyo travel guide and find out everything you need to know before you plan your much-awaited trip to the land of the rising sun.
- Language: Japanese (Nihongo) is the official language in Tokyo.
- Currency: ¥ Yen (JPY)
- Airports: There are two airports currently servicing Tokyo: Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda).
COVID-19 Travel Guidelines:
- Vaccinated travelers: Vaccinated travelers are required to present a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate (3 doses) of vaccines listed on the Emergency Use list of World Health Organization (WHO).
- Unvaccinated travelers: Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test result. The test result must be issued within 72 hours prior to the traveler’s departure for Japan. As of this writing, the Japanese government currently accepts RT-PCR and Qualitative Antigen Test (CLEIA/ECLIA) as a valid test method.
Installation of apps before/upon entry:
- Fast Track: To save time and skip long airport lines, you can pre-register your quarantine information through the MySOS app/web. Through the app, you can register the required documents for entering Japan including your passport, vaccination certificate, and/or COVID-19 test certificate. The app screen will turn green or blue once the app is done reviewing your documents. Upon arrival at the airport, make sure to present your MySOS app screen.
- MySOS: During your stay, you will be required to install MySOS, the Location and Health monitoring app on your smartphone. The app will also be used to confirm your current location, health condition, and accommodation.
- COCOA (COVID-19 Contact Confirming Application): This application will notify you in case you come in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.
For weekly updates about Japan’s travel restrictions, visit the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan website.
Getting around Tokyo
Tokyo has one of the world’s best public transport systems and the easiest way to get around this sprawling city is through subways and trains. Most urban hubs and notable attractions in the city are located on the JR Yamanote Line, which is also known as the “Loop line.” You can easily transfer train stations by using the Japan Rail Pass, a multi-use rail ticket that gives you unlimited access to JR trains for a certain period of time, or a timed Tokyo Subway pass.
If you prefer to use private transfer, metered taxis are also available in Tokyo. To catch a taxi in this city, you can either flag one on the streets or find one at the nearest taxi stand. Private transfers from the airport to your accommodation are also available.
Wi-Fi is available in most public spaces, but the best way to stay connected while you’re in Tokyo is to either rent a pocket WiFi or get your own data sim card, which allows you to access high-speed internet using your smartphone.
- Japan 4G LTE Travel Pocket Wi-Fi
- Japan 3/5/7/8/10/12 days eSIM
- Japan 4G Unlimited data/500MB/1GB eSIM
Where to Stay in Tokyo
This dynamic city offers accommodations for every kind of traveler! Here are our top picks:
For budget travelers: Tokyo Dome Hotel
Tokyo Dome Hotel overlooks Tokyo Dome City — one of the largest entertainment hubs in central Tokyo. This high-rise hotel offers glorious panoramic views of the city while still offering reasonable rates for the budget traveler. If you’re traveling with kids or with friends, it’s also a stone’s throw away from leisure establishments and nearby attractions, such as Spa LaQua and Tokyo Dome City Amusement Park.
Address: 1-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8562, Japan
Mid-range: The Royal Park Hotel (Shiodome)
Sitting atop the Shiodome Tower, The Royal Park Hotel in Shiodome offers panoramic views and minimalist yet elegant guest rooms. Royal Park Hotel is conveniently located near major transportation hubs and is only within walking distance to the upscale Ginza district.
Address: 1-chōme-6-3 Higashishinbashi, Minato City, Tokyo 105-8333, Japan
Asakusa View Hotel
Asakusa View Hotel features excellent overlooking views of the iconic Tokyo Sky Tree, central Shinjuku, and even Mount Fuji. Asakusa View Hotel is directly connected to the Asakusa Station on the Tsubasa Express Line and is a 7-minute walk away from the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line.
Address: 3-17-1 Nishiasakusa Taito-ku 111-8765 Tokyo-to Japan
Where to eat in Tokyo
As a melting pot that houses both modern and regional delicacies, Tokyo is a culinary paradise for all food lovers! From humble yakitori joints to ramen bars, and to Michelin-starred restaurants — the dining options in this city are limitless! Here are our top picks to get the best out of Tokyo’s dining scene:
When you’re in Tokyo, try the famous wagyu beef for an unparalleled dining experience! Delight your taste buds in premium and exquisite Sagyu beef — one of the most premium Wagyu types produced from Saga prefecture — in Sagaya Ginza. Aside from their signature melt-in-your-mouth Saga beef course, Sagaya also offers a special seafood course, and seasonal dishes and desserts.
Address: PUZZLE GINZA 6F, 2-5-19 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo 104-0061 Japan
The Jizo-Dori shopping streets near Sugamo station are known as “Grandma’s Harajuku” due to the abundance of thrift shops and specialty stores that cater to the elderly. But don’t let Sugamo’s nickname put you off — this destination also boasts of food stalls that offer traditional Japanese food! Here, you’ll find crispy rice crackers, original pickles, and dango stalls — with most of them owned and run by families for generations.
When you’re in Sugamo, don’t forget to try the shio daifuku, a pounded rice cake filled with sweet red bean paste. Unlike other variants of daifuku found in other parts of Japan, this one contains shio or salt, which balances out the sweetness and gives a more moderate and delicate flavor.
Address: 4 Chome-22-8 Sugamo, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0002, Japan
Enjoy the freshest sushi experience in Sukibayashi Jiro, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Tokyo run by chef Jiro Ono, the world-renowned “Sushi God”. JIRO offers an omakase tasting menu, where Jiro Ono himself makes fresh sushi from scratch for each customer. This tasting menu comes with 20 sushi pieces served freshly on your plate and a free green tea on the side to cleanse your palate.
Address: 4-2-15, Ginza, Chuo Ku, Tokyo-To
What to do in Tokyo
Tokyo is an electric city dressed in contrasts. From century-old temples to unique technological hubs, you can discover great attractions in this city that can match almost every interest! Check out these activities that will surely give you a memorable travel experience.
Sensoji Temple (also known as the Asakusa Kannon Temple) is one of Tokyo’s oldest and most colorful temples. Located in Asakusa, this temple is dedicated to Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu or Kannon, the goddess of mercy.
Located in front of the temple’s outer gates is a shopping street that houses various food stalls and local souvenir shops. You can shop for traditional Japanese snacks, try dressing in a kimono, or even try out some fresh mochi and green tea while visiting here. Sensoji Temple is easily accessible from the Ginza station.
If you’re an anime or game lover, visiting Akihabara is like walking into geekdom paradise! From anime and game merchandise to affordable electronic shops, to maid cafés and arcade centers — you’ll never run out of fun things to do in this electronic district!
Get closer to nature and get a temporary retreat from the hustle & bustle of Tokyo by visiting Mt. Fuji! Standing at 3,776 meters, Mt. Fuji (or Fujisan) is the largest mountain and highest peak in Japan. Located less than 100 kilometers away from the city, Mt. Fuji is easily accessible through a day trip via bus or private transfer. Just be sure to check the weather forecast ahead before you go to get a glimpse of the mountain!
Check out more unique and exciting Tokyo travel experiences through KKDay!