Are you planning a trip to Tokyo? I think we can agree that you need to do a lot of preparing for a smooth trip, and you probably have some questions in mind regarding traveling around in Tokyo. One of which is probably “is it easy to travel in Tokyo?”.
This article can help answer that question and give you tips for easier travel in Tokyo. This article can also present to you another way for a more convenient and meaningful travel in Tokyo!
Is it easy to travel around in Tokyo?
You are probably unsure whether it is easy or difficult to travel around in Tokyo with the language and cultural barrier.
I know that traveling in Tokyo can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for non-Japanese speakers and first-timers. With the obvious language, culture, and system differences, it can be difficult.
But don't worry, it can be easy to travel around, it just takes getting used to and it’s important to do proper research beforehand.
English signs available
Tokyo has an efficient transport system, though can be confusing with numerous lines, and exits and entrances in each station. But there are English signs in every train station and train station staffs who can help you, so you don’t have to worry. In the more popular tourist locations, the train announcements are in English as well as in Japanese.
If you are traveling to major cities with many tourists like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, and are visiting major tourist spots, you don’t need to worry because some people speak good English. In some restaurants, menus in English are also available.
There are also many tour pamphlets available in train stations to help guide your way through Tokyo, so you don’t have to worry.
The locals are friendly
Japanese people are very friendly and helpful. Even though some locals speak very little English, they might still be able to help you. In my experience, some locals even took me to the destination I was looking for when I only asked for directions. So, don't hesitate to ask for help from locals, they are very understanding and nice.
You'll do just fine traveling in Tokyo!
Tips to make your travel in Tokyo easier
Do proper research and planning beforehand
I can't emphasize this enough:
If you want a smooth travel in Tokyo, proper research and planning before your trip is needed.
Not only plan and research about what places to go, but also how and when to go. Research for what transportation to use to get from places to places you want to visit. Whether you should take the train, taxis, or buses for more convenient travel.
Research also about which line to use in the stations, and which platform to wait for the train. It can be confusing at first, but you will learn as the day goes by. To save time when you are actually traveling, research beforehand also which exit you should go to from the station, what time do the destinations you want to visit open and close, and other relevant things.
It’s also beneficial to do a little research about Japanese phrases and culture so you don’t feel totally clueless.
Purchase a guidebook
If you don’t have access to the internet, having a guidebook with you is a must even though you have researched beforehand. If you can’t find one or spend money for one, my recommendation for a free, great-quality guidebook is the Tokyo PDF Guidebook for first timers by Planetyze, called “Don’t Get Lost in Tokyo”.
The guidebook contains useful materials and information for your trip in Tokyo. It includes the best places to go in Tokyo, useful Japanese phrases to use, some useful Japanese culture tips, and also city and subway maps, ensuring you a smooth trip in Tokyo, even without a tour guide.
It is especially handy if you don’t have access to the internet. You can download it on your phone for easy-use or even print it in case your phone battery dies.
Have access to the internet at all times
It is not necessary to have access to the internet, but it is incredibly helpful. You can rent a pocket wifi or buy a local sim card to stay connected to the internet. This can come in handy to get directions if you have not done research beforehand, or if you want to find a way back you ever got lost, or look things up on the internet in case you need to.
This is especially useful if the hotel or place you are staying at doesn’t have wifi.
Download useful apps
Download some useful travel apps to use during your travel like Google Maps, Navitime for Japan Travel, Tokyo Subway Navigation, and many other to make your Tokyo travel easier.
Another way for an easier travel in Tokyo-private guide
Even with a proper research, a good guidebook, useful apps, and access to the internet, traveling around Tokyo can still be confusing sometimes.
The most convenient way of traveling around Tokyo is to hire a private guide. This is not necessary, but a tour guide can really enhance your experience in Tokyo, helping make the most out of your trip and make everything more convenient.
Hiring a private tour guide can provide you many advantages, including helping make the most out of your trip, saving your time, and so much more.
Recommended tour guides in Tokyo
There are many places on the web where you can hire one. However, it is difficult to determine whether it’s a good and trustworthy website or not. My recommendation to find a great tour guide is the TripleLights website. The website offers many local tour guides options in Japan from which you can choose according to your needs and preferences.The website allows you to use the trip plan provided by each of the tour guides, and customize it according to your preferences.
Where to hire a guide in Tokyo?
If you decide hiring a tour guide is the best option for you, here is where you can find great tour guides in Tokyo. Here is another one for a list of great Kyoto tour guides, and if you are looking for guides in other areas of Japan, you may want to click here.
If what you are looking for are private tours with set itineraries that you can customize when you book, here are my recommendations for Tokyo recommendations for Tokyo and also the tour recommendations for Kyoto and other areas of Japan.
I hope this article helps you answer your question about is it easy to travel in Tokyo, give you useful tips to make your trip in Tokyo easier, and show you another way for a more convenient and valuable trip in Tokyo! Hope you have a great time traveling in Tokyo!