Last updated: February 2019. Here is our most comprehensive TOKYO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG with sample Tokyo itineraries, breakdown of expenses, list of things to do, tour and hotel recommendations, and other useful tips!

One of the most difficult questions I usually get is: What’s your favorite destination? It’s tough to pick just one when a mere mention of the word “favorite” opens a floodgate of memories that include the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey; camping journey across the Australian Outback; the sights and tastes in Florence, Italy; the out-of-this-world mountain parks of Zhangjiajie, China. I could go on.

But if you ask me where I would want to stay for good, well, that one’s easy — TOKYO.

Over the past three years, I had set foot in Tokyo four times, each lasting as long as my visa allowed. That alone should tell you just how much I adore the Japanese capital. I’m not even sure why. You know how you grew up building on your mind a list of qualities you want your THE ONE to possess? Then you meet someone who doesn’t meet any of those requirements, but for some strange reason, you know they’re the one for you. To me, that’s Tokyo.

Any attempt to search for reason leaves me nauseated. The things that I would normally hate in any other city are things I love about Tokyo. I dislike big urban capitals; Tokyo is a bigass urban capital. I abhor big crowds; Tokyo is overcrowded. I despise too many rules; Tokyo has many unwritten codes that locals and guests are expected to abide by. Yet, with each visit I find myself falling deeper and deeper even though she’s confusing af. She’s zen but wacky, chaotic but organized, minimalist but vibrant, traditional but futuristic, efficient but absolutely insane.


Understanding Tokyo

We often think of Tokyo as a single city, but it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. It’s a metropolitan prefecture. (Wait, what? Uhm, let me explain.) It’s not a single city but not your usual Japanese prefecture either. It’s something that is unique to Tokyo. Think of it as a cluster of cities, municipalities, and special wards. It’s vast and dense. Together, it is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with over 37 million residents.

But let’s focus on one area in particular — the 23 special wards. What many refer to as Tokyo is actually what used to be Tokyo City, which is now broken down into 23 Special Wards, each operating as an individual city. (If you’re familiar with Metro Manila, it’s a similar concept. What we call Metro Manila is actually composed of separate, independent cities.) There’s a big chance that most of the attractions you want to see are confined within the collective boundaries of these 23 special wards.

The good news is, if you’re in Tokyo for only a short visit, you wouldn’t even feel the division. All 23 special wards seem to function as one giant urban hub, connected by the most impressive transportation system I have ever seen in my life.

Here are a few more facts you need to know:

  • Language: Japanese (Nihongo). English isn’t widely spoken. However, most signs have English translations.
  • Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY, ¥). JPY 1000 is roughly USD9, EUR7.76, SGD12.28, PHP 477 (as of August 2018).
  • Modes of payment: Many establishments accept credit cards, but most still prefer cash.
  • Electricity Info: 100V, 50-60Hz. Sockets are Type A. Plugs have two flat pins.

Best Time to Visit Tokyo

I may be biased here because I’ve lived in the tropics all my life so I always want to visit Japan when it’s a bit cooler. Summer in Japan can get too hot, even for an island guy like me.

Tokyo in Spring

Spring (March-May) is the best time to visit for two reasons: The weather is often pleasant and comfortable. And if your timing is right, CHERRY BLOSSOMS! In Tokyo, the first bloom usually happens in March Week 3-4, full bloom at the end of March, and the last fall within Week 1 of April. Emphasis on usually. These days, you can never be too sure. Make sure you check Cherry Blossoms forecast before you book your flight.

Tokyo in Fall

Fall (September-October) is great, too. Not too cold. I find the autumn colors to be a nice treat.

Meihi Shrine Pond
The pond in the paid garden of Meiji Shrine in late autumn

Tokyo in Winter

Winter isn’t really a bad option. I love walking around in the cold as long as it doesn’t snow. Snow is only cute in the first 5 minutes. The first snowfall of the season usually happens in January. (This year, however, it snowed in Tokyo in November for the first time in 50+ years. I was there when it happened!)

Tokyo winter has its market (me!), but it has its pros and cons.


  • Flights and hotels are cheaper.
  • Most attractions are not as crowded.
  • Shopping districts go on NEW YEAR SALE (January Week 1), offering amazing deals.
  • The Emperor of Japan comes out to the balcony of the Imperial Palace and addresses the crowd only twice a year, and both dates are in winter: December 23 (his birthday) and January 2 (for the New Year greeting).


  • Although it’s super cold outside, it can get really warm hot inside the train. You might think it’s petty, but shedding off layers and putting them on can be annoying if you do it again and again.
  • Days are shorter. If you love taking photos, it’s something you need to consider. Daylight is gone as early as 4pm. Establishments close earlier, too.

How to Apply for a Japan Visa

Make sure you have the necessary documents to enter Japan. If you’re holding a Philippine passport, you need a visa. The posts below will help you get through the application process.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Where to stay? Hmmm, tough question. Haha. Before I answer that, let me first explain to you the JR Yamanote Line. (I’ll answer this, I promise. Just bear with me.)

The JR Yamanote Line is a train loop that runs around Tokyo, connecting the city’s key areas including Ueno, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa. It also marks the boundary of Central Tokyo. The area within the loop is considered Central Tokyo.

JR Yamanote Line
Map created by RailRider, licensed under CC

It is important to be familiar with this because most key attractions in Tokyo are situated along this line. This means that you must take this into consideration when choosing a place to stay.

Most online sources recommend three locations: Shinjuku, Shibuya, and the Tokyo Station area. I agree with these recommendations. They’re all close to Yamanote Line and direct airport bus services. There are also numerous shops and restaurants around.

However, I prefer Ueno for a lot of personal reasons.

  • Ueno is only 40-70 minutes away from the airport by train (via Keisei as mentioned above). It is important to me because I dislike switching trains and walking long distances when I have 30 kilos of baggage on my shoulders.
  • Ueno is also closer to Akihabara than any of the three other locations. Akihabara is my absolute favorite place in Tokyo.
  • Ueno harbors a number of branches of Hotel Mystays, a budget hotel chain that I like.

Asakusa is something to consider too. It may not be along Yamanote Line and it’s not a shopping district, but it has an Old Tokyo feel around it that you might appreciate. Staying here also means you’re close to Senso-ji (Asakusa Kannon Temple).

Wherever you choose to stay, here are some budget accommodation types and usual off-peak rates:

  • Bed at Capsule Hotel: as low as USD 20
  • Bed at a Dormitory: as low as USD 28
  • Single Room: as low as USD 55
  • Twin/Double Room: as low as USD 78

Top Tokyo Budget Hotels

According to TripAdvisor users as of Feb 2017.

Andon Ryokan

Top Tokyo Hostels

According to TripAdvisor users as of Feb 2017.

Emblem Hostel Nishiarai

Search for more: Tokyo Hotels

Pocket Wifi and Local SIM in Tokyo

There are a lot of FREE wi-fi spots throughout Tokyo, but if you want to stay connected 24/7, you can rent a mobile wi-fi or get a local 4G SIM.

Pocket Wifi Rental

Japan Pocket WiFi The cheapest way of getting connected to the Internet in Japan is renting a mobile wi-fi. It can accommodate multiple users so if you’re a group, you just need one and split the cost. You’ll find a lot of them around, even at the airport. However, based on experience, they are so in demand that every time I try to get one, there’s always none left. Fortunately, with Klook, you can reserve one and just pick it up at the airport!

For 4G Wifi Rental: RESERVE HERE

Local 4G SIM

Japan 4G SIM If you opt with a 4G Data SIM, you can choose between two packages: unlimited 4G data for 8 days (around P1500) and 3GB data for 8 days (around P1100). If you’re a heavy data user, best to go with the Unlimited Plan. You can pick up the SIM card at Narita Airport.


How to Get from Narita Airport to Tokyo City Center

Tokyo is one of the most visited cities in the world, so accessibility isn’t an issue. In fact, it is served by two airports: Narita, for international flights, and Haneda, for domestic flights mostly.

Located 70km from the city center, Narita Airport is farther from the city than Haneda. Narita Airport has 3 terminals and has more transfer options. Here are your cheapest bets:

Narita Airport to Tokyo by Bus

Keisei Bus transfer passengers from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station. If your hotel is near Tokyo Station or any of its very few stops, good for you. If not, you might still need to take the train.

Here are the rates:

Regular Hours (5am-12mn)
Adult: ¥900 if you reserve in advance, ¥1000 if you book at the airport
Child: ¥500

Late Night/Early Morning (12mn-5am)
Adult: ¥900 if you reserve, ¥2000 if you book at the airport
Child: ¥500 if you reserve, ¥1000 if you book at the airpot

To book in advance, visit the Keisei Bus website and click on the ENGLISH tab in the upper right corner. On the next page, click on TOKYO SHUTTLE. Follow the steps detailed on the next page.

If you’re more comfortable booking with Klook instead, they have bus services from Narita Airport Terminal 1 or 2 to Tokyo City Air Terminal or Tokyo Station.


Narita Airport to Tokyo by Train

Only Terminals 1 and 2 have their own train station. If you’re landing at Terminal 3, you need to make your way on foot to Terminal 2. You just need to follow the signs. Plenty of ’em around.

The cheapest train option is the Keisei Main Line Limited Express. Depending on where your hotel is located, your route will change and you might need to make a few train switches. To check, visit the Hyperdia website and enter the train station closest to your hotel.

Assuming your hotel is in Ueno, this is how much this train will take you to Keisei-Ueno Station.

Fare: ¥1030 for adult (¥520, child)
Travel time: 70 minutes
Seat: Free seating

Do not confuse this with the Keisei SKYLINER, for which seats are paid and reservations are mandatory. The great thing about the Skyliner though is that it can take you to the city in almost half the time (but for double the price).

Fare: ¥1240
Reserved Seat: ¥1230 (additional fee)
Travel time: 40 minutes (to Ueno)


More transfer options here: To Shinjuku, Tokyo Station and Ueno

How to Get to Haneda Airport to Tokyo City Center — TO FOLLOW

How to Get Around Tokyo

Taxis are expensive, and buses can be confusing for first-timers. The train is the most efficient mode of transportation. Tokyo has an expansive railway system. Wherever it is you’re going, there is most likely a train station very close to it.

Tokyo by train can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. First, bear in mind that the network is used by almost a dozen operators, including those serving the suburbs. However, in this article, let’s focus on the three companies that serve Central Tokyo: JR East, Toei Subway, and Tokyo Metro Subway. Each of them operate multiple lines that get so entangled, it’s amazing how the Japanese make it work.

JR East controls the all-important JR Yamanote Line. Expectedly, this line is used by a good fraction of the population (which is me saying that it’s often crowded, hehe). Aside from Yamanote, JR also runs other lines including Chuo Main, Chuo-Sobu, and the Shinkansen (bullet train).

The subway lines are operated by Tokyo Metro and Toei. Although separate companies, these two are in great synergy. Often, you don’t need to exit the gates and buy new tickets even if you switch from Toei to Metro lines. (There are cases when you do, though.) Subway lines are marked with an assigned letter in a color-coded circle. For example, Shinjuku Line’s mark is an S in a leaf green circle. Mita Line’s mark is a the letter I in a blue circle. Remember these marks and the companies’ logos because this is how you’ll find them.

Tokyo Metro Subway Lines

Tokyo Metro Lines

Toei Subway Lines

Toei Subway Line

You might be thinking, “Oh cool. That looks easy.” Wrong. It seems easy to understand now, but if you’re a Tokyo newbie, it’s a lot more difficult in practice. These lines are so entangled, and when they meet in major stations like Shinkuku or Tokyo, things get even more complicated. Even I, who have been to Tokyo four times, and my sister, who has been living in Tokyo for years, sometimes get awfully lost.

Aside from the lines, you also might need to know the different train types:

  • Local Trains are those that stop at every single station of the line. EVERY. SINGLE. STATION. If your stop is 20+ stations away, it can take a lot of time.
  • Rapid Trains are those that skip some stations. Same price as local trains. Same platforms, too.
  • Express Trains skip even more stations.
  • Limited Express stop only at major stations. Additional fee is usually required.

If it entails waiting only a few minutes on the platform, I would usually just choose a rapid or express train even when the a local train is already approaching. WARNING, though: Board the non-local trains only if you’re sure it will make a stop at your station. You don’t wanna skip your stop. True story. Hahaha.

How to Travel By Train using Single Tickets

Tokyo Subway Map
Tokyo Subway Route Maps are displayed above ticket machines. Notice the one-day pass offer below it.
  1. On your web browser, go to Enter your origin and the station where you’re going. It will then display possible route options including how much the ride costs and transfers needed to get there. At the train station, you can double check the price. Just look at the route map, usually above the ticket machines. The map displays the price based on distance. Sometimes, the map is in Japanese characters only, which is why Hyperdia is useful.
  2. Once you know how much you’re gonna pay, approach the ticket machines. By default, these machines display everything in Japanese characters. But there is a button there that reads ENGLISH. Press that button and you will hear a voice saying “All train information will be displayed in English.” (I said it out loud in the right intonation when I typed that. Totoo.)
  3. Follow the steps onscreen. Usually, you will need to press the button (next to the screen) that displays how many passengers you are and then press the corresponding price on the screen. Yep, you should know how much you should be paying before using these machines, hence the first two steps. It will then ask you to confirm your booking.
  4. Get the tickets that the machine will release. (If after getting the ticket you realize you made a mistake or you just change your mind, don’t worry. Just use the same ticket. Fare adjustment machines are installed at every station. Make the adjustment at the destination.)
  5. Feed your ticket to the ticket slots at the gate. It will emerge at the end of the gate. Pick it up again. The ticket is small so try your best not to lose it.
  6. Go to the right platform. To check if you’re in the right direction, check the list of stations usually displayed on a wall before the platforms. There is also a more detailed timetable in the middle of the platform.
  7. Wait for the right train. The estimated time of arrival of the next few trains and the train type (Rapid, Local, etc) are displayed on electronic screens above the platform.

That’s it! If you get lost or you encounter any problem, don’t hesitate to approach the staff at the window. Every station has one.

Also, if you’re an adult, don’t even try getting a ticket meant for kids just to get a discount. Children’s tickets make a distinct birdy sound when used at the gates to let the staff know that it’s really being used by kids. Yep, birdy.

How to Buy and Use Suica or Pasmo Card

Prepaid IC Cards are also available. It seldom offers discounts, but the beauty of it is that you don’t need to get a ticket each time you’re using the train. You just need to quickly hover the card over the reader and you’re through.

What’s the difference between Suica and Pasmo? The companies offering it, mainly. Suica is sold by JR while Pasmo by Toei and Tokyo Metro. However, both cards work in any Tokyo Metro, Toei, or JR line. As far as the user experience is concerned, it’s very similar.

To get one, you just need to approach one of the PASMO or SUICA machines at the station. There’s no use for me to enumerate the steps here because it’s so easy. Just choose ENGLISH on the welcome screen and follow the instructions.

These cards can also be used on buses. An increasing number of shops and other establishments are also accepting these cards as mode of payment. You can even use it to buy drinks or snacks from vending machines.

Should You Get One of Those One-Day Train Passes?

There are many other variations, but the two above are the most common.

Whether or not it’s worth it depends on your itinerary. If most of the attractions you’re gonna visit are close to a train station, then this could be good for you.

Tokyo Subway Ticket

Tokyo Subway Ticket Tokyo Subway Ticket grants you unlimited access to all subway lines (Toei and Tokyo metro, NOT JR). Cost: ¥800 for 24 hours, ¥1200 for 48 hours, and ¥1500 for 72 hours. Available at Narita and Haneda airport. This is a good deal only if most of the attractions you’re gonna visit are close to a subway station.

You can book a Tokyo Subway Ticket here:


Tokyo Free Kippu

Tokyo Free Kippu (Tokyo Tour Ticket) allows you unlimited access to any JR, Toei, or Tokyo Metro line within Central Tokyo for one day. It costs ¥1590. It only makes sense if you’ll be riding the train SEVERAL times in a day.

Should You Buy a JR Pass?

Japan JR Pass

It depends on your itinerary. Before you purchase one, know that the JR Pass can only be used on JR line rides. You can’t use it on Toei or Tokyo Metro rides. So if you will be staying in Tokyo the entire trip, a JR Pass isn’t really worth it.

It only makes sense to get a JR Pass if you’re on a multi-city journey around Japan. For example, if you will be visiting three cities in 7 days, it could be a great deal.

If your itinerary involves taking long-distance trains often and you’re staying for 7 days, you can save money by getting a Train Pass.


Things to Do in Tokyo

Here are some of Tokyo’s notable tourist spots. I also indicated the nearest train station for your reference.

Tokyo Disney Resort

Nearest Station: JR Maihama Station (Keiyo Line)

Tokyo Disney Resort

This resort complex comprises Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. More info here: Tokyo Disney Resort Guide

You can skip the lines if you buy your ticket online! You can simply book, print it out, and then go straight to the gates!


Tokyo SkyTree

Tokyo SkyTree

At 634 meters, this is Japan’s tallest structure, offering a panoramic view of the megalopolis. The entrance to the tower is on the fourth level of SkyTree Town. The place is usually packed. If you didn’t make advance reservations, approach the staff by the entrance and they will usually assign a time slot. Sometimes, you’re in for a long wait. We went there at 3pm and was assigned a 5pm slot. Fast tickets are available but they’re double the regular price.

Admission Fee: First observatory, 2060 yen; Second observatory: additional 1030 yen
Nearest Stations: Tokyo SkyTree Station, Oshiage

You can make an advance reservation online. Klook offers a SkyTree observatory ticket with Asakusa Tour, which will take you to Sensoji Temple and other attractions in Asakusa area.!


Sensō-ji (aka Asakusa Temple)

Sensō-ji (aka Asakusa Temple)

Tokyo’s oldest temple, it was built in 645 as a tribute to Kannon, the goddess of mercy.

Admission: FREE

Nearest Station: Asakusa

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market

where you can witness a fish auction or have sushi or sashimi for breakfast. For the best experience, visit this in the early morning.
Admission Fee: FREE
Nearest Station: Tsukiji Shijo (Oedo Subway Line)

Harajuku’s Takeshita-Dori (Takeshita Street)

Harajuku’s Takeshita-Dori (Takeshita Street)

The epicenter of Tokyo’s teenage culture and an extremely popular shopping street flanked with boutiques and restaurants.

Admission Fee: FREE
Nearest Station: Harajuku (JR Yamanote Line)

Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine A Shinto shrine completed in 1921 in honor of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken

Admission Fee: FREE. However, the teahouse garden tucked next to it charges ¥500 per person.
Nearest Station: Harajuku (JR Yamanote Line)

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park

Where locals meet and socialize, play sports, dance or just hang. There are cherry blossoms here, too, but not as many as those in other parks.

Admission Fee: FREE
Nearest Station: Harajuku

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

Many consider this the world’s busiest intersection. It still baffles me how an intersection became a famous tourist spot, but hey whatever floats your boat. One thing I love doing here though is watch people. Get a seat at nearby Starbucks and go for it. And oh, the statue of Hachiko, the faithful dog, is just in front of Shibuya Station. You’ll know you’re there when you see a crowd building up for their turn to take a photo.

Admission Fee: FREE
Nearest Station: Shibuya

The Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace

It remains the official residence of the Imperial Family. Located at the site where Edo Castle used to stand, the Imperial Palace sits at the center of a large park, scribbled with wide green moats and colossal stone dykes. On January 2 and December 23, the Emperor makes an appearance and greets the audience throughout the day.

Nearest Stations: Otemachi Station (Exit D2), Nijubashi-mae Station (Exit 6), or Tokyo Station (Marunouchi Central Exit).

Ueno Park

Ueno Park

It is surrounded by several museums including the Tokyo National Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the National Science Museum, and the National Museum for Western Art, and temples including Kaneiji Temple and Kiyomizu Kannon Temple. But Ueno Park is most popular during sakura season! The park nurtures 1000 cherry trees flanking its main pathway.

Admission Fee: The park itself is FREE, but charges apply if you enter the museums.
Nearest Station: Ueno



The otaku’s ultimate mecca and Tokyo’s quirkiest destination. Here you’ll find several electronic stores, manga shops and cafes, maid cafes, Gundam Cafe, and Tokyo Anime Center.

Nearest Station: Akihabara


Gundam Statue

Composed of man-made islands off the coast of the city. Attractions here include a view of the iconic Rainbow Bridge, the giant Gundam statue, Fuji TV Building and Leisureland (with a giant arcade, haunted house, ninja illusion house, bowling alleys and more). It’s also a shopping haven with malls like DiverCity Tokyo Plaza and AquaCity, which also houses a ramen theme park on its 5th floor (offering a taste of varieties of ramen from different parts of Japan).

Nearest Station: Daiba

Other Attractions

  • Ghibli Museum, which showcases the work of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio that produced unforgettable movies like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro and was co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki. You need to book in advance as they don’t sell tickets at the museum.
    Book here: Lawson Ticket
    Admission Fee: ¥1000 adult, ¥700 for ages 13-18, ¥400 for ages 7-12, ¥100 for ages 4-6, FREE for under 4yo
    Nearest Station: Mitaka (JR Chuo Main Line)
  • Ryōgoku is the sumo neighborhood of Tokyo. Here stand the Kokugikan sumo stadium and Sumo Museum. The stadium is where the three Tokyo tournaments are held in January, May and September, each running for 15 days. Although limited number of same-day tickets are available, it is best too book in advance on their official website. General Admission Ticket costs: ¥2200. If there are no sumo tournament at the time of your visit, you may still check out the Sumo Museum. Open Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 16:30. Closed on weekends and national holidays.
    Admission Fee: FREE
    Nearest Station: Ryōgoku (JR and Toei)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Goverment Building (aka Tokyo City Hall, Tōkyō Tochō) has FREE observation decks that provides one of the best vistas of the city. From you can see the Tokyo Tower and the SkyTree! This is the one I recommend because I believe that the best view of Tokyo isn’t FROM the Tokyo Tower or SkyTree but has either of these structures in the frame. You can even see Mt. Fuji on a clear day! And did I mention it’s FREE.
    Nearest Station: Tocho-mae Station (Oedo Subway Line)

Unique Tokyo Tours

If you’re after comfort and convenience, you may also choose a group tour and experience some of Tokyo’s unique attractions.

Robot Restaurant

Photo provided by Klook

Be entertained by high-tech laser displays and high-energy robot shows! Food is not included in the rates, but if you book the first performance (4:00pm) on a Saturday or Sunday, you’ll get a JPY500 drink coupon and photo op with the Robots for FREE!


Tokyo Dinner Cruise

Photo provided by Klook

Perfect for those celebrating a special occasions! This will treat you to a full-course meal as you admire Tokyo Bay’s majestic city lights!


Tokyo Kimono Rental

Photo provided by Klook

Wear an authentic kimono or yukata! They will also style your hair appropriately. Once you’re all set, you can explore the streets of Asakusa and go selfie-crazy! Kimono units must be returned before 4:30pm, though.


Sumo Practice

Photo provided by Klook

Get a closer look at the sumo wrestlers’ morning practice for 2 hours while learning more about this Japanese sport! This small group tour is done in English for you to appreciate it better.


Day Tours Outside Tokyo

Outside of Tokyo but easily accessible are several destinations that may be worth your time, although a trip may set you back a few thousand yen. If you can’t visit all of these, I highly recommend to pick the best at the time of your visit. For example, I went to Lake Kawaguchi in December because I also wanted to ski on the slopes of Mt. Fuji. If I visited during summer, it would have been closed.

Anyway, here are some suggestions. I’ll be writing a separate article for each of these so I could discuss them in detail.

Mt. Fuji Hakone & Gotemba Shopping

Image provided by Klook

Klook’s Mt. Fuji Tour covers transportation, English AUDIO guide, and toll fees. There will be a tour guide, but they conduct the tour in Chinese. English speakers are given an English audio guide. It will take you to the following:

  • Fuji Hakone, the national park where Mt Fuji stands, and lets you see the natural visual treats around it.
  • Oshino Hakkai, a group of eight ponds formed from the melted ice from Mt. Fuji.
  • Peace Park Stupa
  • Gotemba Premium Outlets (shopping stop!)


Mt. Fuji Hakone & Lake Ashi

Hakone Mt. Fuji

Hakone offers a closer look at Mt. Fuji. Located 100km from Tokyo, it is one of the favorite day tours among foreign tourists staying in Tokyo. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, whose map is shaded with hot springs!

How to get there: From Shinjuku Station, take the train to Hakone-Yumoto Station (2 hours, ¥1190). There are faster trains that could take you there for only 85 minutes but costs ¥1190.

You can also join a group tour! The tour comes with hotel pick up and FREE unlimited wifi! It will allow you to do the following:

  • Enjoy a fantastic view of Mt. Fuji
  • Cruise around Lake Ashi
  • Take a 50-minute ropeway up Mt. Komagatake


Fuji-Q Highland

Image provided by Klook

This is for adrenaline junkies and kids at heart. Fuji-Q Highland is an amusement theme park at the base of Mt. Fuji. Not only do you get spectacular views of Mt. Fuji, you also get treated to thrilling rides.

Fuji-Q Highland has four crazy rollercoasters, a haunted hotel, lots of carnival games and other attractions!

A ticket will give yoy unlimited rides within the theme park.




Kamakura is often called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan because of its countless shrines, temples, and monuments including a giant bronze statue of Buddha. I also did a bit of trekking in its mountains and had my first glimpse of Mt. Fuji along the way. Kamakura was also home to the greatest samurai swordsmith named Masamune, whose descendant Tsunahiro Yamamura (Masamune XXIV) has been carrying the 700-year sword-making tradition and showcasing it at Masamune Sword and Blade Workshop, which you can visit. You may also buy souvenirs at a 100-year-old sword shop here called Sankai-do.

How to get there: From Tokyo Station, travel by train to Kamakura Station (1 hour, ¥920)

Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchiko

Kawaguchiko is the second largest, the most popular, the most developed, and the most easily accessible of the Fuji Five Lakes. Located in Yamanashi, it is one hour and 20 minutes away from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station by direct express train, and two hours by bus or local train. The town is part of the Fujisan Cultural Site, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. From here, you can have a great view of Mt. Fuji. It is also a jump off point for Fujiten Ski Resort, one of the only two resorts on the slopes of Mt. Fuji itself.

How to get there: From Shinjuku Station, take the bus to Kawaguchiko (2 hours, ¥1700, one-way) and Tokyo Station (3 hours, ¥1700, one-way). Visit the Fujikyu Bus official website for the schedule and other details.

Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park Ferris Wheel

This is a 190-hectare garden with flowering plants, taking turns in painting colors to the landscape: nemophila, rose, and zinnia in summer; cosmos and kochia in autumn; narcissuses, tulips, and azaleas in spring. My blogging partner Vins visited in early spring so the flowers weren’t in full bloom. Hahaha. Don’t make that mistake. Check out their website to confirm the best times to visit.

How to get there: From Tokyo/Ueno, take the train to Katsuta Station (¥2270, 70-80 minutes). Take the Ibarakikotsu Bus to Hitachi Seaside Park (15-20 minutes).


Minato Mirai Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city. It’s also just half an hour from Tokyo. I’ve been to Yokohama twice now and I enjoyed both times, especially because (1) I love ramen and (2) I love arcade games. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum and Cup Noodles Museum are both located here. I also adore walking around the Minato Mirai area, especially Cosmo World. The thing with arcades here is that it is easy to win prizes.

How to get there: Use the Tokyu Toyoko Line and board the Express or Limited Express train to Yokohama Station or Minato Mirai Station.

Where to Eat Cheap in Tokyo

It is impossible to talk about Tokyo without a mention of its food. The Japanese take their food very seriously. It has more Michelin-star restaurants than any other city in the world (although most of them are pricey and require reservations months in advance).

Tsukiji Sashimi
When in Tsukiji

Unless you’re cooking, the easiest way to save money on food is to hit the supermarket. Japanese supermarkets sell not just raw ingredients but also cooked ones that you can simply heat or eat right away. Convenience stores serve good meals, too.

But you probably didn’t go to Tokyo just to raid their supermarkets and convenience stores (not that something’s wrong with that, if that’s your thing). Even if you’re running on limited fuel (money!), you can still eat out! Here are some of the city’s more-than-good but (relatively) affordable food places. I’ll be writing a more detailed post about this, but here’s a short summary.

  • Nonbei Yokocho (aka Drunkard’s Alley), a lane of wooden shack bars and bistros tucked away from the main streets of Shibuya. The bars here are so small, some of them can accommodate only four people at once. The best way to go about this is to just find one with a free space, eat and drink your heart out, exit and move to the next door.
    Address: 1-25-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
    Nearest Station: Shibuya
  • Ebisu Yokocho, also a foodie neighborhood in Shibuya, has a good collection of izakaya and small bars offering sashimi and grilled meat, among others. You can try the sashimi plate of Saiki or the shio ramen of Afuri.
    Address: Ebisu Nishi, Shibuya-ku
    Nearest Station: Ebisu
  • Tsukiji Fish Market isn’t just a place to buy raw seafoods. It’s surrounded by countless sushi bars, the most popular of which are Daiwa Sushi and Sushi Dai. Prepare to shell out a bit more because good sushi doesn’t come cheap in Tokyo, especially if they’re as fresh as the ones served here. A 7-piece serving of nigiri sushi costs ¥2500 and 10-piece omakase sushi from ¥4000. Some queue up before sunrise just to secure a seat. There are seafood kiosks, too! You can try seared scallops, grilled fish, or fresh oysters as you walk around.
  • Ichiran is a food chain specializing in tonkotsu ramen. They have several branches throughout Tokyo, and almost all of them have a long queue of hungry patrons during meal times. A Forbes article claims it’s the best ramen in Tokyo. I don’t agree, but it’s really good. My first time was when my sister brought me to the Ichiran branch in Ueno. My second time was when I was walking around Shinjuku and found saw a long queue. I didn’t know what they were falling in line for but when you see a queue in Tokyo, you join. Chances are, you’re in for good food. Anyway, it turned out it was a queue for Ichiran. What makes eating here unique isn’t just the food but the experience. Each diner is given their own space, guaranteeing some sort of privacy while you eat.
  • Ichiran Ramen
    Ichiran Tonkotsu Ramen
  • Ippudo is another popular chain serving tonkotsu-based ramen. It’s incredibly popular that it has branched out to other countries like Singapore, Korea, and the Philippines. Many claim it’s better than Ichiran. No shade, but Ichiran is miles better for me. Still good, though.
  • Kaotan Ramen has been serving simple yet delicious shoyu ramen at their rundown, cozy shack for many decades now.
  • Menya Hanabi in Shinjuku is famous for their maze-soba (¥780), which is noodles with minced pork and beef, nori, spring onions, and topped with egg yolk.
    Address: 2-8-16 Okubo (Cosmos Bldg., Shinjuku)
  • Nihon Saisei Sakaba‘s selection is for the more adventurous eater. They serve pig entrails for ¥150-200 per skewer.
    Address: 3-1-1 Nishishinjuku (Beside KDDI Bldg, Shinjuku)
  • Tsukemen Michi (or Tsukemenmichi) in Kameari is not for those on a healthy diet. Their signature tsukemen is greasy and high in fat, but that doesn’t stop people for queuing up just to get their lips around their noodles.
    Address: 5-28-17 Kameari, Katsushika
  • Harajuku Gyoza Lou (aka Harajuku Gyoza-ro) has a very limited, straightforward menu: gyoza dumplings, bean sprouts with minced meat, cucumber with miso soup, cabbage. But of course, most people come here for the gyoza, which is either steamed or fried, original or with garlic and leeks. I always stop by this place and have two plates. A serving of gyoza has 6 pieces and costs ¥200. There’s always a line here, too, so prepare to wait a bit.
    Address: 6-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya
Harajuku Gyoza
Queue at Harajuku Gyoza-ro

Also, if you want to try other food chains, go ahead. You might be in for a surprise. I was so reluctant to enter Yoshinoya because I’m just not a fan of the one we have here in the Philippines, but maaaaan, Yoshinoya in Japan tastes so different.

There are other cheap food places too. If you see something that catches your attention while you’re walking around, don’t be shy. A lot of these sort-of “nameless” restaurants can be a highlight of your trip. While in Itabashi, we found this small ramen place that serves amazing miso ramen at Y500. Didn’t catch the name, though.

And like I said, if you see a line, join the fun. Locals don’t mind spending minutes queueing if they know that what’s at the end of the line is worth it.

Where to Shop in Tokyo


We created a separate post for this.

Read it here: 10 Places to Shop in Tokyo

Sample Tokyo Itinerary with Breakdown of Expenses

To save time, energy, and money, build your itinerary well. Visit attractions close to each other on the same day. For example, the Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, and Shibuya Crossing area can all be explored on foot in one day.

Here are three sample 6D/5N itineraries. Note that the first two assume that you are a pair and will be splitting the cost, and that you will be staying in a double/twin room at Hotel Mystays Ueno East during the off-peak season. Option 3 assumes you’ll be staying at a capsule hotel in Ueno.

Recommended TOKYO ITINERARIES with Estimated Budget: 1 Day to 8 Days

I included a visit to the supermarket on the first day so you could buy food (bread, drinks, etc) that should be your breakfast for the next five days. It’s something I have learned to do when I travel. I also allotted ¥1000 for every unspecified lunch or dinner. That’s actually too much. You can find ramen places that offer ¥500-800 per bowl, but I just thought to give it some allowance (for drinks?). There are many other ways to keep the expenses low.

Options 1 includes a day trip to Kamakura. If you prefer another day tour destination, just replace that one day and adjust the cost accordingly. None of these include shopping budget and other miscellaneous expenses.


Pre-trip Expenses
Hotel Booking – USD 210 (USD 84 x 5 nights, divided by 2pax) or ¥24,625

10:30am – Airport to Tokyo – ¥1030
12:00nn – Check-in or drop baggage
01:00pm – Lunch at Ichiran – ¥980
02:30pm – Ueno Park + Tokyo National Museum – ¥620
08:00pm – Hit supermarket for breakfast provisions – ¥3000
09:00pm – Sleep! Early day tomorrow!

05:00am – Ueno to Tsukiji-Shijo – ¥280
06:30am – Sushi Breakfast – ¥2500
08:00am – Walk around Tsukiji Market
11:00am – Travel to Shinjuku – ¥270
11:30am – Quick bite – ¥500 budget
12:00nn – Shinjuku Gyoen + Shinjuku Shopping
04:00pm – Shinjuku to Akihabara – ¥170
04:30pm – Explore Akihabara + Dinner – ¥1000 budget
08:00pm – Walk back to Ueno through Ameyoko

08:00am – Ueno to Harajuku Station – ¥200
08:30am – Meiji Shrine & Yoyogi Park – FREE
11:30am – Takeshita Dori (Harajuku) – FREE
01:00pm – Light Lunch at Harajuku Gyoza Ro – ¥1000
03:00pm – Shibuya Crossing + Hachiko + shop around
07:00pm – Nonbei or Ebisu Yokocho – ¥2000
09:30pm – Back to Hotel

07:00am – Ueno to Kamakura – ¥920
08:30am – Hike
11:00am – Packed Lunch (Omusubi) – ¥500
12:00pm – Temple-hopping + Great Buddha – ¥800
03:30pm – Leave for Yokohama – ¥340
04:00pm – Ramen Museum – ¥310 entrance + ¥2000 budget
07:00pm – Minato Mirai (Yokohama)
09:30pm – Yokohama to Ueno – ¥550

08:00am – Ueno to Maihama Station – ¥390
08:40am – Disney Resort Monorail – ¥260
09:00am – Disneyland/DisneySea* – ¥7400 + ¥2000 food budget
10:00pm – Monorail to Maihama – ¥260
10:20pm – Maihama to Ueno – ¥390
(Food is allowed into the park)

10:00am – Check out
11:30am – Tokyo to Narita – ¥1030

This itinerary will cost you a total of ¥55,325 (USD472, PHP23,485).

But this is a jampacked itinerary. Use this only if you have the stamina (haha) and you really want to maximize your stay. I wouldn’t do this, to be honest. I would probably just extend my trip to accommodate all these. But I just want to put this option out there just in case you’re interested.

Here are more relaxed alternatives:


This itinerary removes the visit to Kamakura and Yokohama, breaks Option 1’s Day 2 apart, and adds a visit to Sensoji Temple.

Pre-trip Expenses
Hotel Booking – USD 210 (USD 84 x 5 nights, divided by 2pax) or ¥24,625

10:30am – Airport to Tokyo – ¥1030
12:00nn – Check-in or drop baggage
01:00pm – Lunch at Ichiran – ¥980
02:30pm – Ueno Park + Tokyo National Museum – ¥620
08:00pm – Hit supermarket for breakfast provisions – ¥3000
09:00pm – Sleep! Early day tomorrow!

05:00am – Ueno to Tsukiji-Shijo – ¥280
06:30am – Sushi Breakfast – ¥2500
08:00am – Walk around Tsukiji Market
11:00am – Quick bite – ¥500 budget
12:00nn – Travel to Shinjuku – ¥270
01:00pm – Shinjuku Gyoen + Shinjuku Shopping
06:00pm – Shinjuku to Ueno – ¥170
07:00pm – Dinner – ¥1000

08:00am – Ueno to Harajuku Station – ¥200
08:30am – Meiji Shrine & Yoyogi Park – FREE
11:30am – Takeshita Dori (Harajuku) – FREE
01:00pm – Light Lunch at Harajuku Gyoza Ro – ¥1000
03:00pm – Shibuya Crossing + Hachiko + shop around
07:00pm – Nonbei or Ebisu Yokocho – ¥2000
09:30pm – Back to Hotel

10:00am – Ueno to Sensoji (Asakusa) – ¥170
10:30am – Sensoji Temple
12:00nm – Lunch – ¥1000 budget
01:30pm – Asakusa to Akihabara – ¥170
02:00pm – Explore Akihabara + Dinner – ¥1000 budget
07:00pm – Walk back to Ueno through Ameyoko

08:00am – Ueno to Maihama Station – ¥390
08:40am – Disney Resort Monorail – ¥260
09:00am – Disneyland/DisneySea* – ¥7400 + ¥2000 food budget
10:00pm – Monorail to Maihama – ¥260
10:20pm – Maihama to Ueno – ¥390
(Food is allowed into the park)

10:00am – Check out
11:30am – Tokyo to Narita – ¥1030

TOTAL: ¥52,245 (USD445, PHP22,178).


The BUDGET OPTION. This itinerary replaces the pricey Disneyland visit with a day trip in Odaiba and replaces double room with a bed at a capsule hotel.

Pre-trip Expenses
Capsule Hotel Booking – USD 125 (USD 25 x 5 nights) or ¥14,658

10:30am – Airport to Tokyo – ¥1030
12:00nn – Check-in or drop baggage
01:00pm – Lunch at Ichiran – ¥980
02:30pm – Ueno Park + Tokyo National Museum – ¥620
08:00pm – Hit supermarket for breakfast provisions – ¥3000
09:00pm – Sleep! Early day tomorrow!

05:00am – Ueno to Tsukiji-Shijo – ¥280
06:30am – Sushi Breakfast – ¥2500
08:00am – Walk around Tsukiji Market
11:00am – Quick bite – ¥500 budget
12:00nn – Travel to Shinjuku – ¥270
01:00pm – Shinjuku Gyoen + Shinjuku Shopping
06:00pm – Shinjuku to Ueno – ¥170
07:00pm – Dinner – ¥1000

08:00am – Ueno to Harajuku Station – ¥200
08:30am – Meiji Shrine & Yoyogi Park – FREE
11:30am – Takeshita Dori (Harajuku) – FREE
01:00pm – Light Lunch at Harajuku Gyoza Ro – ¥1000
03:00pm – Shibuya Crossing + Hachiko + shop around
07:00pm – Nonbei or Ebisu Yokocho – ¥2000
09:30pm – Back to Hotel

10:00am – Ueno to Sensoji (Asakusa) – ¥170
10:30am – Sensoji Temple
12:00nm – Lunch – ¥1000 budget
01:30pm – Asakusa to Akihabara – ¥170
02:00pm – Explore Akihabara + Dinner – ¥1000 budget
07:00pm – Walk back to Ueno through Ameyoko

11:00am – Ueno to Daiba via Yorikamone – ¥480
12:00nn – Lunch – ¥1000
01:30pm – Explore Odaiba, shop around
06:00pm – Dinner – ¥1000
07:00pm – Back to hotel – ¥480

10:00am – Check out
11:30am – Tokyo to Narita – ¥1030

TOTAL: ¥34,538 (USD295, PHP14,661)

Using ITINERARY #3, if you’re from Manila and you are able to snag a P6500 roundtrip ticket (yep! Always watch out for JetStar SALE!) and have your visa processed for only P800 (Discovery Tour or Rajah Travel Corporation), you can enjoy 6 days in Tokyo for only P21,961.

See more itineraries here: SAMPLE JAPAN ITINERARIES

More Tips for the Poor Traveler

  • Tipping is not common in Tokyo. To settle your bill, you are expected to approach the cashier on your way out. The cashier is usually stationed by the entrance/exit.
  • Some restaurants and eateries have a ticket machine by the entrance. The menu is displayed and you just need to press the buttons corresponding your order and enter payment, and it will dispense your tickets.
  • Many vending machines serve both cold and hot drinks. Most people are surprised to learn about the hot options. Really helpful when you’re out in the cold.
  • Japanese bills look alike (same color). What varies is the size of the bill. The ¥1000 and ¥10,000 can be confusing so be careful. However, the Japanese are highly UNLIKELY to take advantage. They will even be the first to tell you.
  • When using the escalator, keep left if you’re not moving.
  • Be quiet inside the train. It’s seldom that you find people having loud conversations onboard. When it happens, they’re usually tourists.
  • If you have a cold or cough, wear surgical masks in public. Locals wear those not because they don’t want to get sick but because they don’t want to pass on the illness to others.
  • Learn a few Japanese phrases. The most useful would be Sumimasen (Excuse me, sorry) and Arigatoo gozaimasu (Thank you).

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Yoshke Dimen

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Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at
Yoshke Dimen


      • Julie Manuel says:

        Really??? with less than Php 25,000 you can travel around tokyo? I never expect it to be this affordable. this is so helpful. Thanks for the tip. :)

  1. John says:

    Great post Yoshke! You’ve given great detail to almost anything I can think of any traveller would need. Plus your pictures are gorgeous.

  2. Riza Buning says:

    Appreciate your information, we plan only to visit Tokyo Disneyland, and a bit of tokyo, plan to be in Tokyo Disneyland on a Sunday, will it be good to arrive Friday or Saturday and leave on Monday? Would you suggest a good itinerary and cheap and reasonable expenses to go with? thank you so much

  3. Bing O says:

    Great post and with detailed itinerary within budget!
    Can I ask what is the recommended itinerary for senior persons first time travelers?

    • yoshke says:

      Hi Bing! If you have seniors traveling with you, I’d suggest you pick a hotel near Yamanote line and just visit attractions along Yamanote (Akihabara, Sugamo, Ueno, Shibuya, Harajuku, Yoyogi, Shinjuku), although I would probably just insert a visit to Disneyland too haha.

      • Bing O says:

        Thanks very much Yoshke! Yes will definitely recommend the senior couple the theme park , and they will only go as a couple as what they wanted :)
        Have read your blogs and the Ueno area is the most appropriate area for you to stay. May i ask … sorry have many questions though …

        1.) When i tried checking the Hyperdia site , when entering the Ueno there are choices of = Ueno , Ueno-Hirokojii, Ueno-Okachimachi.. which one to choose?
        2.) Should they buy Tourist Train Pass or per ride ticket is for the suggested attractions that you mentioned?
        3.) Are there decent hotels in Ueno area in their front desk that can offer tours or day tours for the couple also? as they are not that techie in searching places via smartphones?
        4.) Would you recommend the Smart travel wifi? I have seen ads they started the service for traveller, for the couple to use :)
        5.) Can you recommend few cheap and decent hotels in Ueno? , the couple plans to stay for 4 days
        6.) Are there cheap shops in areas that is for pasalubong and good stuffs to buy? :)
        Thanks again :)

        • yoshke says:

          Hi Bing!

          1.) When i tried checking the Hyperdia site , when entering the Ueno there are choices of = Ueno , Ueno-Hirokojii, Ueno-Okachimachi.. which one to choose?
          — Ueno. Ueno only. :)

          2.) Should they buy Tourist Train Pass or per ride ticket is for the suggested attractions that you mentioned?
          —- If you’re referring to the Tokyo Free Kippu (Tokyo Tour Ticket), no. Hehe.

          3.) Are there decent hotels in Ueno area in their front desk that can offer tours or day tours for the couple also? as they are not that techie in searching places via smartphones?
          — Hmmm, I’m not sure, I never asked any reception because I always traveled DIY. What I can tell you though is that you can book tours online as early as now. Just make sure HOTEL PICKUP is included.

          4.) Would you recommend the Smart travel wifi? I have seen ads they started the service for traveller, for the couple to use :)
          —- We haven’t tried that yet. :(

          5.) Can you recommend few cheap and decent hotels in Ueno? , the couple plans to stay for 4 days
          —– I love staying at Hotel MYSTAYS Ueno East because it’s clean, cheap, and not too far from the train station. (There’s still a bit of walking involved, though.) If they’re fully booked, there’s another Hotel Mystays branch in an adjacent street, just a block away. Here’s Hotel MYSTAYS Ueno East:

          6.) Are there cheap shops in areas that is for pasalubong and good stuffs to buy? :)
          — Yep, Takeya is also in Ueno. They sell discounted chocolates and other products at a discounted rate. And if they spend more than 5000 yen, they can opt with tax-free. May mga katabi ring ibang similar stores ang Takeya. Takeya lang yung natatandaan ko na name right now. It’s located here:,LTD/@35.707338,139.7744132,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x60188ea1bfbdcdb9:0x88d64d6002df7d48!8m2!3d35.707338!4d139.7766072

          Thanks again :)

          • Bing O says:

            Hi Yoshke thanks much for answering all questions !
            The couple is now more excited if the trip will push through this coming december :)

            And i told them the apps you recommended for them to familiarize before going.
            More blessings to you guys for having a great blog ! :)

  4. Kristianne Abegail Soriano says:

    Do you recommend buying disnet tickets from Klook? Thanx

  5. hannah buenaobra says:

    Hi! Just want to ask if you bought a ticket first then to follow na lang yung visa? ok lang ba yun?

    • Hi Hannah! Ideally, dapat mauna yung visa para if madeny, hindi sayang. But if you’re confident you’re in good standing (has a full-time job, may funds sa bank, etc.), oks lang if mauna ung ticket. Pero syempre may risk yun pa rin. :)

  6. Alain Dizon says:

    Thanks for your blog my planning was made 100x easier.
    I’m planning to just copy one of your suggested itineraries, since we’re also staying 5 nights, 6 days, but was wondering if we can go to Mt. Fuji instead of the Yokohama destination. Would you recommend that too?

    Thanks a lot!

  7. Riza Gonzales says:

    This is really cool. I’m planning to insert mt. Fuji in the itinerary but I just wonder if you ever had blogged or discussed abouth going there? How-to and how-much, i mean.
    This blog made me feel more confident to explore Tokyo! So friendly and budget-wise. Thank you!

  8. Juensan says:

    Thank heavens for a blog like yours, Yoshke! Leaving for Tokyo this Friday, took note of your suggested itineraries and if weather permits we’ll do it all, plus a trip to Mt Fuji :)

  9. Djon Santiago says:

    I learned alot in reading this guide. Thank you sir for this detailed guide.

  10. Eds says:

    Hi! I think i need help haha! Im planning to go to Japan in December and I might book a flight from Manila to Nagoya, my problem is, i need to meet someone at Haneda airport and i dont know how am i going to get there (the cheapest way possible). Im thinking about taking the bus but im not sure if there’s a bus station outside nagoya airport or i need to ride a train first or if the bus will drop me at haneda airport it will be my first time in Japan and I’ll be traveling alone from manila to nagoya thats why im so nervous

  11. Joanne says:

    Hi, What will I search in Klook if i want to buy the JR Yamanote line pass?

  12. Jc says:

    Would you know if the 4G Wifi rental can be picked up at Kansai and returned at Narita?

  13. Dre says:

    Hi! If I already purchased a JR Pass. is it advisable to still purchase an IC card or ICOCA card for Osaka to ride the trains? Because there are local trains that are not JR lines. Same with Tokyo, do I need to purchase SUICA? Please enlighten me. We’re leaving soon! Thank you!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      It really depends on your itinerary. if your itinerary involves a lot of destinations near subway lines, then yes. SUICA and ICOCA are both refundable too.

  14. Laarni says:

    Hello! We are going to Tokyo end of May- first week of June. I was thinking of going to Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko but I’m afraid that we may not see Mt. Fuji. Is it advisable to try to go and try our luck (a lot of it?) Thank you very much again for all that you do.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Laarni. Just check the weather forecast. Pero usually, kita ang Mt. Fuji kapag morning and late afternoon. Kapag around noon, maulap.

      Eitherway, I would still recommend going to Lake Kawaguchi kasi maganda ung lugar with or without Mt. Fuji. :)

  15. Jem says:

    Hello po. Magkano budget need pag mga 10 days in Tokyo japan for 2 people?

  16. Tin says:

    Hello! Your blog is super helpful though I’m still confuse sorry, what train tickets do you recommend I buy. I will be staying only for 4 days and plan to go to maybe the top 10 destinations in Tokyo only? Also staying near Shinjuku station. Thanks in advance :)

  17. Bhe says:

    Hi there Yoshke. Ok b ang suica card if um planning to travel in ueno, shibuya, asakusa ung loop ng yamanote loop.
    Thanks alot

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Bhe, yep, okay lang yung Suicard kasi di naman sya pass talaga. It’s just a stored value card that will make your train travel easier. :)

  18. Mei says:

    Hi Yoshke, planning to go to Tokyo fro 4 days come November (2nd week). Is it wise to use Pasmo card if 1 day will be spent in Hitachi Seaside Park, 1 day Mt. Fuji Tour (book through klook), 1 day disneysea, and the last day just shopping around Tokyo and Shinjuku Gyoenmae? Thanks.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Mei, PASMO isn’t a pass. It’s simply a pre-purchased stored value ticket. So no savings there.

      If you really want to save and you want to see Hitachi Seaside Park, drop the Klook tour and visit Mt. Fuji DIY style. Then purchase the Tokyo Wide Pass, which covers both sites and the two airports for 10,000 yen. The only catch is, the pass is valid for 3 consecutive days. This means you need to rearrange the itinerary and visit farther destinations (Hitachi, Mt. Fuji, and Disneyland) within 3 days.

  19. Mei says:

    Thanks for the reply Yoshke. Will take your advice. Can you please lead me to the link of the DIY to Mt. Fuji. Thanks.

  20. Cha says:

    Hi sir. Im a first-timer sa japan om an 8-day solo trip..inquire ko lang. I have an 8 day trip in japan.. osaka-kyoto-tokyo ang plano ko po.
    3 days in osaka 1 day in kyoto and 4 days in tokyo.

    Mostly city sightseeing lang po gagawin ko. And sa tokyo po option 3 ng itinerary nyo ung halos kapareho ng akin but naka-base ako sa asakusa. Do you think a combination of ICOCA and tokyo subway metro is the best option for transpo. Pag sa unli ticket ng subway, okay po ba ang 72 hour ticket? Or 2 days unli ticket will do? Dahil pabalik nko s 4th day ko po via narita airport naman.
    Would highly appreciate your advise po dahil hindi biro mahgawa ng itinerary for japan Thank you.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Cha, I don’t think okay sayo yung subway ticket kasi mukhang mas magagamit mo yung JR lines.

      • Cha says:

        I understand. So stick na lang po ako sa ICOCA. Pwede naman kung sakali ang ICOCA sa tokyo di po ba. Maraming salamat po at naliwanagan ako

  21. Ralph Cruz says:

    Hi! Please help me choose
    Odaiba or Tokyo Tower
    sa first night namin, bali mga 4pm pa kami aalis sa hotel Thanks po

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Ralph, ang hirap naman. Haha.

      Ang maganda sa Tokyo Tower, malapit lang sya sa Roponggi so marami pa kayong ibang pwedeng puntahan before or after.

      Yung Odaiba naman, medyo malayo pa. So mas pipiliin ko siguro ung Tokyo Tower area kung limited ang time.

      • Ralph says:

        Hi! Salamat po sa answer. BTW, safe po ba sa Roppongi? Heard a lot of stories na madami daw touts dun kaya medyo di ako sure about going there

        • Yoshke Dimen says:

          Wala naman akong naexperience na panget when I was there. Just be cautious na lang din as always. :)

  22. Kat says:

    Hi, thank you for all the info. Your blog is really helpful. Been actually checking this since i was able to get a piso fare last dec2017 and yes finally our much awaited trip will be next month, hurray for that! But i need help, can you please advise if we need a subway pass or the kippu pass or just buy the stored value? Will be around asakusa, akiba, shinjuku, shibuya, imperial palace on day 1. Day 2 need to be in shinjuku for mt fuji tour, day3 on disneysea. Will be staying in nipori. Thank you so much!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      I don’t think you need any pass. Just stick to SUICA/PASMO.

      If you want to be sure, go to the Hyperdia website, enter your destinations/stations and compute yourself. If the total cost is lower than the price of the pass, then you don’t need that pass.

  23. Shen says:

    Hi! What’s the best way to get Yen? I have both PHP and USD and I don’t know what option gives the best rates. Did you exchange money in the Philippines or at Japan?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Shen, I usually exchange money in the Philippines. Peso to yen.

      Sometimes, we withdraw yen from ATM.


    Hi Yoshke! San po pwede ma experience ang snow near tokyo? around end of Dec?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      December snow is rare in Tokyo, but it has happened before. I once experienced snow in Tokyo in November. But generally, January is the best bet for first snow.

      You can go to Yamanashi prefecture. If you want to experience snow activities, you can visit Fujiten Snow Resort at the base of Mt. Fuji, near Lake Kawaguchi. I have tried it before and it’s great for snow newbies. The view of Mt. Fuji from the resort is also unforgettable.


        How about in Gala Yuzawa? it is safe to go there with kid?

        • Yoshke Dimen says:

          Hi! We haven’t been there pero it’s a snow resort so siguro naman.

  25. Trixie says:

    Hi! Your blog is very helpful. We are going there this December and staying near the Shinjuku area, would you know of any Catholic church that has an English mass near that area?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Not sure if they have English mass, but check out St. Ignatius Church, just a short ride from Shinjuku.

      From Shinjuku Station, just take JR Line to Yotsuya Station.

  26. Mc says:

    Hi! Is it advisable to go by Train to Kawaguchiko lake from Tokyo
    and ride a taxi going to Fujiten Ski resort? Is it hard to get a taxi ni kawaguchiko?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Mc, what I did was take the bus to Kawaguchiko and then taxi to Fujiten. I think train is okay too.

      In Kawaguchiko, it’s easy to find a cab that will take you to Fujiten. It’s just so darn expensive. Haha

  27. pad says:

    hi, may i know how to get back to Narita from Ueno? my flight will be at 10 in the morning , so i have to take the train before the rush hour (maybe around 6.30 am) and i plan to buy the skyliner ticket online but i’m confuse if thats able to redeem the ticket the day before my flight day? i read in some article that i have to exchange the e-voucher in harajuku and ueno, is that correct?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Just go to Keisei-Ueno Station. You can take either the Skyliner or Limited Express. Just buy the ticket at the station so no need to redeem. :)

  28. cathycis says:

    Hi Yoshke! We will be in Tokyo for 8 days after Christmas until Jan. 2. Travelling with 2 teenagers. Would you know of any New Year’s Countdown celebration in Tokyo? How about in Yokohama? We are planning to go there for the fireworks but not sure of train schedules.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Cathysis, I don’t know anything about fireworks, but most locals go to the temple on New Year’s Eve for “hatsumode”. Meiji Shrine in particular seems to be popular.

  29. soc says:

    Reading this help me to plan our upcoming trip. Thank you so much.
    Would you know if tokyo wide pass cover hitachi seaside, ashikaga flower park and mt fuji areas?
    thanks again

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hitachi Seaside and Mt Fuji, yes. I can’t remember if Ashikaga is covered.

  30. Greg says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the helpful post. Quick question, is shopping at Gotemba worth it. Also, do kids below 1 year old have to pay for trains or subways? thanks again and all the best.


    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Greg,

      Re Gotemba, personally, I don’t really enjoy shopping stops, haha, so it’s not for me.

      Kids below 1 year can use the train/subway for free unless they occupy a reserved seat. Otherwise, free of charge.

  31. Hope says:

    Hi po, I’m planning to visit Tokyo next January but I’m still ambivalent if I should purchase a roundtrip ticket right now (because idk if it’s still too expensive lol). Any tips on when should I purchase a roundtrip ticket to get the cheapest rate if I want to go to Tokyo in January? Also how will I know if sulit na or okay na ang price ng roundtrip ticket for January? How much po usually ang average or cheapest rate for January? Thanks po. :)

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Hope, both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific will have a major seat sale on March 1. Try mo book on that date, at midnight! :)

  32. Sharwan says:

    Really very gud collection What a fantastically useful list. Thank you so much

  33. Dianne says:

    Hello may I ask po regarding sim card? :) pwede po ba hotspot un? Isa lang bibilin. Dalawa lang po kasi kami nung friend ko mag travel. Parang un po ung cheapest option.

      • Dianne says:

        Thank you po! Sobrang dami ko po natutunan sa blogs niyo. As in kayo ung japan bible ko. Hahaha. Sana maging successful po ang trip namin ng friend ko. ❤️ Thanks for everything ❤️ Saan kami pupulutin kung wala kayoooo ❤️

  34. Kitty says:

    Hello. I’ll be in Tokyo for 8 days and I’m planning to get a Tokyo subway Ticket pass. Can I buy 3 x 48hr passes in advance? Or do I need to buy everytime a 48hr pass expires? Thanks

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Kitty, you don’t have to use a pass for the entire duration of the trip. Use it only on days when you feel like you’re taking a lot of subway rides. Otherwise, just buy single tickets.

  35. Inna says:

    Hi! How will we know what stations will the Express/Rapid train stops?

    • Annie Renaud says:

      Hi. This blog is very informative. We are planning a trip to Japan this November 2019. My question is…can we change the port of entry to go to Japan from Narita to Haneda? In our Japan tourist visa application form, we stated NRT but I am seeing that the plane fare is cheaper if we fly to Haneda airport plus it is near the Tokyo area. I appreciate your help.

  36. IIN SUSANTI says:

    I plan to visit Tokyo and go to Ashikaga flower park.
    I read about Tokyo free kippu (Tokyo combination ticket).
    Is this ticket valid for my trip from HAneda airport to Ashiakgashi?
    Can I buy the ticket in HAneda airport?
    Thank you.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Iin, you will need a Tokyo WIDE Pass for that, not the free Kippu.

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Froglet, we haven’t tried teamLab Borderless, but we’ve been to teamLab Planets and we loved it!!! ❤️

  37. Michael Cayetano says:


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