*General Advices, Tokyo

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  • and extra foldable bag with trolley too!
    and extra foldable bag with trolley too!
    by machomikemd
  • ready
    ready
    by machomikemd
  • for shopping
    for shopping
    by machomikemd
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    Pack Light

    by machomikemd Written Oct 18, 2012

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    Luggage and bags: like what I've said at my many packing list tips, it is best to bring a large but ultra light luggage with strollers and an extra foldable bag with strollers for your extra hand carry items if you have the temptation to shop at your destination and hence saving on the expense of buying extra bags for the extra luggage spaces for the things you shop. tokyo is no exception and although prices here are sky high, there are still bargains that you can have for less once you know where to look for them so again, remember to bring a large but ultra light luggage with stroller!

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • There are Lots of Steps on Trains and Subways

    by eurfirst Written Dec 29, 2005

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    Luggage and bags: We packed all we needed for 4 weeks in Japan into a single large wheeled backpack each. The idea was great and way better than if we had more than a single bag but on a humid hot night in Tokyo after almost 24 houts of travel, even one bag was too much to lug up the stairs from the subway. A backpack helps you climb out of subway and train stations--just don't buy the biggest one you can find, buy the one you can carry on your back and walk for blocks dragging from the subway station to your hotel. And if you are too tired, spring for a cab from the subway to your hotel.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Festivals

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    some basics

    by conark Written Nov 11, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Light carry on bags and/or roll away.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good walking shoes. During the winter, bring heavy coats, long sleeve shirts and pants. Summer (August) you should bring shorts if you don't intend to do business.

    Photo Equipment: Buy this in tokyo. Digital cameras are excellent.

    Miscellaneous: A guidebook with some translation.

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  • koolkatz_76's Profile Photo

    Stuff to bring

    by koolkatz_76 Updated Oct 5, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: I don't usually come across elevators in train stations, so if you intend to travel a fair bit by train, you should bring portable luggage. I.e. you should be able to carry them by hand if you can't wheel them, esp up or down staircases.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Suits are a must for guys who have business meetings. Ladies travelling on business should also dress formally

    Generally, the Tokyo crowd dresses well, where the salarymen are in their ubiquitous suits and ladies are always well-groomed.

    You'll find yourself walking a lot, and usually on the concrete pavements or knobby floors. So if you're on a business trip, bring a trusty pair of shoes that can survive the road-pounding. Else, a neat, comfortable pair of sneakers will be your best bet.

    Tokyo is generally very warm in summer, so bring clothing made of lighter fabric.

    Autumn starts in Oct, so temperatures start going down. You can start bringing out the coats then, with the fabrics becoming progressively heavier as the seasons change. Temperatures reach single degrees (Celsius) towards the end of the year.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Try to bring sufficient supplies of your personal toiletries to last throughout your trip. There's a mindboggling range of toiletries in Tokyo pharmacies, but things could get tricky if you can't read the labels!

    If you're desperate, you can get mini shampoos or toothpaste etc quite easily at any 24-hour convenience store.

    But recently, a friend ran out of contact lens saline, and it took us about 10 trips to different convenience stores before we finally made out that this little orange box (with only a tiny picture of a contact lens at the back) actually contained our Holy Grail. So highly recommend that you bring sufficient supplies of your own eyecare solutions.

    Miscellaneous: You probably need an adapter to use electrical appliances from your home country, due to the different pin layout. This is unless you're from US, where the sockets are the same as in JP.

    Television entertainment in the hotel are usually limited to Japanese channels, CNN and BBC. You will find more English channels in hotels belonging to international chains, but I've yet to come across channels like HBO or Star. Unless you fancy watching breaking news all the time, bring along your own entertainment.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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    Must have comfortable shoes, or insoles, be gellin

    by Breen Written Jun 17, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Gel soles would be a great idea when going to Japan, you will be doing A LOT of walking unless you rent a car. My feet hurt an insane amount after a few days of 8+ hours of walking and standing straight, if can't get any before you go you can pick them up in local stores. They helped save my trip!!!

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  • Packing List

    by albertus72 Written Sep 8, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags:
    1. Expect to do a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Tokyo has a fantastic transportation network consisting of subways, trains, monorails, buses and taxies, but once they get you to the general vicinity, the best way to see Tokyo is by foot.

    2. Bring and carry individual packages of tissues. Many Japanese rest rooms do not have paper towels. A few did not have toilet paper. Japan's traditional (non-western) toilets are have hole you have to squat over to do your business. Fear not though as most bathrooms have at least one western toilet. On the positive side, Japan has the cleanest bathrooms you are ever going to find.

    If you visit those new buildings/hotels, you may find the most advance toilet. There's lots of buttons to clean stuffs... You know;) So far, its the most advanced I've encountered in all my travels.

    3. Bring a good camera. Tokyo is a wonderful place to take pictures.

    4. Pack items that may leak or explode (toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, etc.) in resealable plastic bags.

    5. Use the subways, trains and monorails to travel within the city. Taxies are very expensive and buses may require more Japanese language skills (both reading the Japanese characters and speaking).

    6. Buy one or more easy to carry Tokyo guidebooks.

    7. One of the best ways to get from Narita airport to Tokyo is the Airport Limousines. These are comfortable buses that take you from the airport directly to most major hotels. They are also one of the least expensive ways to get to the city.

    8. Pack Umbrellas and/or raincoats during the rainy season (mid June to mid July).

    9. Bring a light backpack for your daily travels. You do not want to be carrying heavy bags around the city as even the subways require much walking between terminals.

    10. Pack one or two empty duffel bags in your suitcase for dirty clothes and to make room for souvenirs.

    11. Purchase sodas and snacks for the evening at a convenience store to avoid the costly hotel prices. Convenience stores are located near the hotels and throughout the city.

    12. Bring tea bags, instant coffee and sugar packets etc.. from home. The hotels provide hot water in your room for beverages, but the self serve honor bar tea and coffee packets are expensive (about $6.00 per tea bag).

    13. Bring a travel iron or plan ahead. Many Japanese hotel rooms are not equipped with irons.

    14. Post Offices (yubin kyoku) are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but most hotels can mail letters for you.

    15. Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most hotels also do currency exchanges at a fair rate.

    16. We recommend you take American Express travelers checks. They can be cashed at most hotels and banks and replaced if lost.

    17. Check the weather before leaving on your journey.
    Check the dates of Japan's holidays and festivals and then learn more about festivals in Tokyo.

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  • Packing List

    by yen_2 Written Sep 8, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags:


    Expect to do a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Tokyo has a fantastic transportation network consisting of subways, trains, monorails, buses and taxies, but once they get you to the general vicinity, the best way to see Tokyo is by foot.
    Bring and carry individual packages of tissues. Many Japanese rest rooms do not have paper towels. A few did not have toilet paper. Japan's traditional (non-western) toilets are have hole you have to squat over to do your business. Fear not though as most bathrooms have at least one western toilet. On the positive side, Japan has the cleanest bathrooms you are ever going to find.
    If you visit those new buildings/hotels, you may find the most advance toilet. There's lots of buttons to clean stuffs... You know;) So far, its the most advanced I've encountered in all my travels.
    Bring a good camera. Tokyo is a wonderful place to take pictures.
    Pack items that may leak or explode (toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, etc.) in resealable plastic bags.
    Use the subways, trains and monorails to travel within the city. Taxies are very expensive and buses may require more Japanese language skills (both reading the Japanese characters and speaking).
    Buy one or more easy to carry Tokyo guidebooks.
    One of the best ways to get from Narita airport to Tokyo is the Airport Limousines. These are comfortable buses that take you from the airport directly to most major hotels. They are also one of the least expensive ways to get to the city.
    Pack Umbrellas and/or raincoats during the rainy season (mid June to mid July).
    Bring a light backpack for your daily travels. You do not want to be carrying heavy bags around the city as even the subways require much walking between terminals.
    Pack one or two empty duffel bags in your suitcase for dirty clothes and to make room for souvenirs.
    Purchase sodas and snacks for the evening at a convenience store to avoid the costly hotel prices. Convenience stores are located near the hotels and throughout the city.
    Bring tea bags, instant coffee and sugar packets etc.. from home. The hotels provide hot water in your room for beverages, but the self serve honor bar tea and coffee packets are expensive (about $6.00 per tea bag).
    Bring a travel iron or plan ahead. Many Japanese hotel rooms are not equipped with irons.
    Post Offices (yubin kyoku) are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but most hotels can mail letters for you.
    Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most hotels also do currency exchanges at a fair rate.
    We recommend you take American Express travelers checks. They can be cashed at most hotels and banks and replaced if lost.
    Check the weather before leaving on your journey. Check the dates of Japan's holidays and festivals and then learn more about festivals in Tokyo.


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  • lourdesmaria's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by lourdesmaria Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: he first thing you want to avoid is a large suitcase or backpack. Trains to and from Haneda and Narita (if you land in Tokyo) are very crowded. A large suitcase will get you many nasty looks. It is, after all, my hostess told me, taking up space people can move in.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Women should bring their depilatories, cold wax strips, or other methods of hair removal from home. I could not find comparable products like this in Japan.

    Women should also bring whatever works to alleviate PMS and bad headaches. I found that even the strongest of Japanese asprins and such had no affect on me. I was told by my hostess that she found American over-the-counter products like Tylenol too strong!

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  • Packing List

    by milkface Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Photo Equipment: Videocamera is safe to use here, in that most japanese have them anyway so chances are it wont get stolen plus its a safe society leaving peace of mind at tourist sites

    Miscellaneous: Insight Maps Tokyo Guide, i love using these maps, they are so useful

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  • Packing List

    by RF_Traveler Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Luggage and bags: Pack as light as possible because it is a real inconvenience if you have too much luggage, especially in Japan.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Always take an umbrella because in Japan it can rain at anytime.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you are staying at a hotel, you don't need to pack certain toiletries because they provide a toothbrush, shaving items, shampoo, etc. I guess they do this for the traveling Japanese businessman since he has to travel light. He can't be carrying too much luggage since the main mode of transportation in Tokyo is the train/subways.

    Photo Equipment: I took a 35mm SLR and a digital mini-DV video camera. I'm glad I had both a still and a video camera because some things translate better in motion with video and some things just look better in a photograph. If you have a good digital video camera that takes good still photographs, then you're set!

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    Packing List

    by sjvessey Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Tokyo is cold in the winter, and hot in the summer. When I arrived in February the daytime high was in the region of 10 C (that's 50 F). I would describe that as 'cool' to 'chilly'. The wind can be really biting, even if the air temperature isn't that low, so consider bringing a coat that keeps out the wind.

    You will definitely need an umbrella unless you're coming in the summer.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can buy anything you need from the convenience stores which are dotted all over the place. It's unlikely you'll ever be more than 5 minutes walk from one. However, Western brands are not much in evidence for certain things such as toothpaste, so it's best to bring your own until you find your feet. Otherwise you might end up trying to clean your teeth with the Japanese equivalent of preparation H (because mostly the packaging is in Japanese, naturally).

    Photo Equipment: If you have a digital camera just buy the right adapter plug before you travel and you'll have no problems. Anything else, you can buy here. There are photographic / electronics shops all everywhere.

    Miscellaneous: If you're in Tokyo for any length of time, you'll begin to run out of certain types of consumables. Here's where you need to go to replace them.

    Books - if you can't speak Japanese you'll soon get bored of watching unintelligible games shows and CNN, which are probably going to be your only entertainment choices provided by your hotel. And chances are, the novel you bought to read on the flight isn't going to keep you occupied for too long (unless you're a really slow reader). Fortunately there is an excellent bookstore chain called Kinokuniya which has outlets in a number of places. A couple of minutes walk from the Shinjuku-sanchome metro stop, along Shinjuku-dori, brings you to one of these. Foreign books (i.e. English ones) are on the 7th (top) floor. However, there's a bigger and better Kinekuniya next to the Times Square monster department store, by Shinjuku (Japan Rail) station. Here, there's a much, much wider selection of foreign titles, including some French and Spanish ones. However, be warned that, like most things in Japan, foreign books are pricy. You're looking at about US$12-16 per title, probably.

    Bread and other basic Western foodstuffs - I'm talking crusty, fresh-baked French loaves, that kind of thing. Bread is a rarity in Japanese restaurants, at least it seems that way to me. The only restaurants you'll get decent bread in are Italian. However, most supermarkets seem to stock fairly decent bread - but you do have to find a real supermarket, not simply a convenience store. There's a convenience store practically every 50 metres (AMPM, 7-Eleven, and Family Mart are the main outlets), but they tend to concentrate more on chocolates, potato chips, ice cream, beverages and the ubiquitous DoCoMo mobile phones than staple foodstuffs. Don't expect to find bread, milk, cheese, or anything you can really eat and call a meal in these stores.

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    Packing List

    by Krystynn Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Japanese people are fantastic dressers (besides the French) and outward appearance is VERY important here in Japan. So, with this in mind, try and pack SOME nice clothes along with you IF you want to leave a lasting impression.

    Photo Equipment: I usually bring along THREE types of cameras with me these days and load them with different types of films i.e. ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography. So, the cameras that I'd bring are: (a) the Olympus mju Zoom (with wide-angle lens). I usually use this camera for day photography.

    (b) the Pentax 150 Zoom which I use for places that does not allow flash photography.

    (c) the ultra-small Canon IXUS Zoom camera - smaller than the size of my palm. I hang this camera around my neck... and NO, I don't look like a dog wearing a dog tag! This camera requires a special type of film (APS) to be used.

    Miscellaneous: DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into Japanese Yen before your trip.

    Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:

    - Flip to the back of your local ATM card now, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange', 'Maestro' etc on it?

    - If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!

    - Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in Japan, no matter how obscure the town or village you're at is.

    - If you use this method, you'd also save alot on the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, MUCH more compared to a bank.

    - DO NOT withdraw cash from your Visa/ Mastercard. This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a very hefty fee! Not worth it.

    I've used this method many, many times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... Yes, even at the remotest village in Africa! :-))

    So, happy travels!!

    Photo: The City of Tokyo at Night

    'All the above is, of course, a gross simplification. There are deeper reasons to travel - itches and tickles on the underbelly of the unconscious mind. We go where we need to go, and then try to figure out what we're doing there.' - Jeff Greenwald 'Shopping for Buddhas'

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