10 Shocks of Visiting Tokyo, Japan

Neon Lights, Robot Waiters, Sardine Packed Subways, Godzilla Climbing Over a Building, 40 Million People & No Trash on the Ground. These are just some of the things that SHOCK Tourists when they visit Tokyo, Japan. The megacity and capital of Japan is a tourist’s dream, tons of amazing sights and shrines, restaurants that will make your mouth water days later, a subway system that defies anything you have ever seen before. Tokyo is amazing and here we cover the 10 Things That SHOCK Tourists about Visiting Tokyo. And yes there are many more than ten things.

  • The Massive Size of Tokyo: Tokyo has anywhere from 35-40 million people and you can feel that throughout the city. It stretches for miles in every direction, but what is amazing is that there are numerous different districts around Tokyo that make it distinct. From electric town to Shinjuku to the shrines, Tokyo is massive and has a massive amount of things for tourists to see, do and take in.
  • The Subway at Rush Hour: yes, the videos you have seen online are true. The subway at rush hour in Tokyo can be claustrophobia inducing. But what is even more shocking is that if you ride the subway at off peak times it can be almost empty. And even when it is rush hour the whole process is efficient and super quiet.
  • How Quiet the Subway & The City Are: Tokyo is a huge city, but it is amazingly quiet at the same time. You will feel out of place speaking loudly, especially on the quiet as a mouse subways trains. So keep your voice down, you may scare the locals. And don’t wake the locals when they are sleeping in the train. They had a long day at work.
  • You Can Pay with Your Subway Ticket: the Pasmo and Suica cards are used for subway entry and exit, but the money you put on them you can use to pay for things in some shops around Tokyo.
  • You Will Feel Safe: with so many people many people think that they have to worry about their safety. This is far from the case in Tokyo. You will notice how safe it is to go out at night or whenever you want. And if you do need help there are a number of small police stations around town where they can point you in the right direction.
  • The Bank ATMs Won’t Take Your Card: you can pay with foreign debit and credit cards all over Tokyo, but cash is the preferred method of payment. The problem is that Japanese banks’ ATMs do not always take non-Japanese cards. The solution? Go to a convenience store like 7-11 or Lawson’s and they will have an ATM that will take foreign cards.
  • The Quality of Products in Convenience Stores: Tokyo and Japan in general have some of the best convenience stores in the world. Whether you want a nice meal, a hot drink or getting cash the Japanese 7-11 will outshine most any other convenience store in the world.
  • Sticker Shock: Tokyo is expensive. I cannot lie about that. Also, for your money you will probably be getting rather small hotel rooms so be prepared to either rent two rooms if you have a family of four or rent an apartment.
  • The Lack of English or Other Foreign Languages: you will not hear a lot of English spoken in Japan, and not every restaurant will have an English menu. Though they may have plastic versions of their food outside the restaurant you can pick from. You should learn a few courtesy words of Japanese before you go to Tokyo. And even if you don’t the people are super friendly and helpful and you will do just fine.
  • The Japanese Toilets: imagine someone from the future came and brought with them the toilets from the year 3000. Those would be Japanese toilets. From remote controls to music to the “self-cleaning” option where you don’t even need toilet paper. Japanese toilets are amazing. Though in public places you may only find squat toilets. But they come with instructions!
  • How Clean the City Is: with so many people you would not think that the ground would be almost clean enough to eat off of, but in parts of Tokyo may feel that way. Tokyo is an amazing city and the people have such pride that they take care of the city and that includes cleaning up. So make sure you put your garbage in the right container.
  • The Crazy Fun Neon Light Tokyo & Quiet Tokyo: All of the films and shows that have shown all the neon lights and glow of Tokyo do not do it justice. This city is bubbling with energy and people, but what is amazing that even in a city so large you can find quiet spots throughout the city to enjoy a rest or a green space.
  • How Many Sights There Are in Tokyo: You cannot possibly see all the sights in Tokyo. There are just too many. From amazing shrines and museums to cool architecture and districts, it really is an amazing city that can fill up your days from morning until late night.

Filmed in Tokyo, Japan at Senso-ji

Copyright Mark Wolters 2018

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