What You Need to Know: 1st Time Visiting Tokyo, Japan

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Hello Friends,

It’s been awhile since I have put out a travel post, so here I am and happy to be back! This summer Andrew and I took a trip to Asia visiting Tokyo, Bangkok and Koh Samui a small island of Thailand.

Since our return, we’ve received SO many questions about our Asia Travels. While most of our friends have been to Europe, less are familiar with Asia and some are interested in visiting, but they want to make sure they know everything before making the long trip there! So, below are some of the most surprising things we learned while visiting the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan.

The Subway is THE WAY

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Well if you hate the Subway in NYC, you will LOVE the subway in Tokyo! It is SO CLEAN!! Different from NYC, not as many people have cars as it is very expensive, so a lot of people commute by subway. If I’m being honest, I can barely master the subway system in NYC, but luckily my husband is great at maps and got the hang of the subway system in Tokyo fairly easily. But, what I am here to tell you is more about subway etiquette in Tokyo. You will not see people eating or rarely even drinking on the subway. I took a to-go coffee from Starbucks on felt a little uncomfortable. There is very little talking and never did we see anyone talking on their cell phone. Be conscience of this and make sure to follow the locals lead as to be respectful. Click here to see a helpful Youtube Video for more logistics on how to purchase tickets and navigate the subway system.

Early Bird Notice

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In making our daily itineraries, one thing I did not account for was how late many of the cute coffee and breakfast places open in Tokyo. While US coffee shops open rather early, many Tokyo spots don’t open until 9, 10 or even 11am! We visited Reissue a 2D/3D Latte Art coffee shop that was super neat, but note didn’t open until 10am. The famous Dominique Ansel Bakery is always crowded in NYC and there opens at 8am. Their Tokyo location is much easier to get to, but doesn’t open until 10am. Keep this in mind as you’re planning your daily schedule and make sure to grab an early morning coffee at the hotel if you need it!

Walk Walk Walk 

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I knew Tokyo was big, but I didn’t realize HOW big! Tokyo is actually the most populated metropolitan area in the world, with their 9.3 million population exceeding NYC’s by almost 1 million. Luckily with all of these people, Tokyo itself is much larger in size, so the city didn’t “feel” anymore crowded than how you’d feel in NYC. The city itself is almost 3 times the size as NYC. This being said you will walk A TON because there is so much to see. So much that in one day, even using the subway, we walked 9.3 miles! Don’t just bring “good walking shoes” bring tennis shoes – you will not regret it!

Modest Dress is Best 

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I would say I am typically a conservative dresser, but in Tokyo I felt the need to dress even more conservatively than normal. There were a few above the knew dresses I had brought that I did not feel comfortable wearing. Once I was walking around town, especially with all of the public transportation I decided to put them away until Thailand. I always love shopping on vacation, so I did stop in a few local Japanese department stores. I picked up this navy midi-dress pictured above and felt like I fit in perfectly! Now I have this special dress from Tokyo I love wearing here at home too! When packing for your trip here make sure to keep all this in mind and maybe leave anything too short at home.

No Night Owls Here

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If you know me at all, I pretty much ALWAYS get dessert, and my top choice is usually ice cream! My love of ice cream makes one thing for sure I have in common with the Japanese.  Although, in Japan the ice cream scene is a little different, they’re all about the soft serve. This place, SILKREAM was amazing and we visited more than once! We quickly learned that most ice cream shops, or dessert places, close super early! Like I am talking 7pm or 8pm – 9pm being considered a location that’s open late and those are few and far between. So, all this to say if you want to get your hands on some sweet treats, plan to go during the day or sometime before they close.

 

 

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