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whitenoise's avatar

Any tips for a short stay in Tokyo?

Asked by whitenoise (13287 points ) April 11th, 2014

I’ll be in TYO soon, for a couple of days.

I will be there for business, but intend to stay one or two nights more. Any tips on must see / must do activities?

(I’ll be by myself…)

Thanks!!!

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16 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

1. Learn a bit Japanese. Not many Japanese can speak English.
If you like, I will show you some basic Japanese (for greeting, since Japanese expect people to greet each other often):
– おはぞうございます (o-ha-zo-go-zai-ma-s): good morning
– こんにちは (kon-ni-chi-wa): hello, good afternoon
– こんばんは (kon-ban-wa): good evening
– さようなら (sa-yo-na-ra): good night
– おげんきですか?(o-gen-ki-de-su-ka): how are you?
– はい、げんきです (hai, gen-ki-de-s): yes, I’m fine.
– ありがとうございます (a-ri-ga-to-go-zai-ma-s): thank you very much
– どういたしまして(do-i-ta-shi-ma-shi-te): you are welcome
– いらっしゃいませ (i-ras-sai-ma-se): (not very sure about this one but it generally means “welcome” and spoken by shopkeeper/waiter…)

2. Learn a bit about Japanese manners. They’ve got a long list of manners so steer yourself.

3. Pay with the yen currency in most circumstances! I heard that except in some international places, Japanese don’t accept any currency apart from yen.

4. (Optional) If you can, learn a bit Japanese “alphabets”, namely the hiragana and katakana. Some Japanese words are taken from English and knowledge of katakana can help you guess the meanings of words.

Those are some tips for interaction with Japanese. Not sure about must see/ must do activities though…

whitenoise's avatar

Great @Mimishu1995. Good tips…

I’m not sure, though, I have time to learn the language. I’m travelling in a week.

:-/

Mimishu1995's avatar

Then remember those sentences. At least you can still rely on them for basic greeting.

And edited: sorry, mistyped. The right sentence is おはようございます (o-ha-yo-go-zai-ma-s)

whitenoise's avatar

I’ll try.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Don’t expect your cell phone to work. I remember that when I was there, I was told that they used an entirely different frequency / system, and US GSM phones didn’t operate there.

This may have changed in the last 5 years, but be prepared.

2davidc8's avatar

Visit the Akihabara district. It’s a major shopping destination for all sorts of things, especially electronics. It’s an eye-opener!

filmfann's avatar

Learn to say: 戻って私のパスポートは、ネバ ネバした黄色い悪魔をくれ。

I spent 16 days in China, and one day in Japan, and I wish I had spent more time there, just wandering around Tokyo.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@filmfann Can you rewrite the sentence without kanji? I can’t read kanji!

kritiper's avatar

The Japanese are very polite. So don’t forget your manners!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

As soon as you check into your hotel, go to the concierge and ask if the sakura are still in bloom anywhere nearby. The cherry blossoms must be seen to be believed. Sadly, I have a feeling you’re getting there at the very tail end of the sakura season, but I could be wrong.

Other than that, ask the concierge about what they recommend you see.

whitenoise's avatar

Thanks… Will try to see a place with sakura.

And, of course, politeness in general will get us a lot further in life. I am still Dutch, though.

Always makes me wonder about the differences between, nice, polite and formal. I prefer nice.

pleiades's avatar

Check out Tower Records in Tokyo. Eat lightly. Drink only bottled water. Take a lot of pictures (you probably have a camera phone? Take many photos they are digital!) Keep a charger handy. Don’t over stay your welcome at a store. Be optimistic. Spend money. Have fun. if you like it, buy it, if you don’t like when you get home, give it away.
Ask someone to take a photo of you next to some monuments.

whitenoise's avatar

I’m on my way to the 4th floor of the Tokyo Sky Tree tower, at 350 meters.

Tokyo is great, unfortunately I missed the cherry blossoms.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Glad you have a nice trip :)

Did my Japanese sentences help you?

whitenoise's avatar

A bit, thanks.

Most people I run into smile at me and respond in English though. Seems Tokyo is a bit more international than I thought. :-)

Mimishu1995's avatar

Hey! That took me apart too!

There was this classmate of mine who traveled to Japan. And part of her preparation was learning basic Japanese. So I though Japanese couldn’t speak English well…

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