I like to keep things positive around here, but I just scanned the umpteenth itinerary forwarded to me by a coming-to-Japan friend, and I can’t believe that trip planners keep … Continue reading What NOT to do in Tokyo: The top ten overrated experiences (and what to do instead)
You’re craning your neck to see some gorgeous gold-leafed carving, and suddenly you’re overcome with traveler joy. “Isn’t this the most gorgeous…?” Uh oh. Shrine or temple? Because you know … Continue reading Shrine or temple? The Quickie Guide
Thinking about taking an autumn trip to Japan? Dreaming of strolling through divine gardens bursting with red maples, and serene temples robed in fall leaves? I’m with you: it’s totally my … Continue reading Hacking Leaf Season: How to beat the crowds, duck the peak prices, and still see beautiful fall leaves in Japan
Japan is stuffed with (mostly) more and better goods than anywhere in the world, but there are a couple of things you should definitely bring with you, if you think … Continue reading Stuff you should bring with you, because you can’t get it in Japan
People always ask me if they should get a guide in Japan or not, and it’s the one question that I can’t really answer for you! Here’s a quiz to … Continue reading Travel quiz: Should I hire a guide in Japan?
I know. The whole reason you’re on The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had is to figure out how to have fun in Tokyo without someone showing you around. And don’t … Continue reading Problem solved: How to do all the fun Tokyo stuff that’s nearly impossible if you’re not fluent in Japanese
How do you deal with allergies when traveling in a country where information about food ingredients is written in characters most Westerners can’t read? The first time I lived in … Continue reading How can I travel in Japan if I have food allergies?
The Borderless Digital Museum is the hottest ticket in Tokyo right now, but it’s also the great grandaddy of FOMO. Some days they sell out, so how do you make … Continue reading 12 tips & tricks for maximum fun at the Borderless Digital Museum
As someone who likes to save her hard-earned cash for eating great food and buying tickets to see great stuff, I like to spend as little as is comfortably possible … Continue reading Where should I stay in Tokyo? How to pick a hotel
How to use your phone in Japan without forking over all your savings We’ve all heard the horror stories about crippling phone bills after accidentally using a phone overseas. But if … Continue reading How to use your phone in Japan without breaking the bank
If you have a smartphone, the easiest and fastest way to plot your routes anywhere in Japan is with a train finder app You can get the train app before … Continue reading Navigating around Japan: How to get where you’re going if you don’t speak Japanese
Here’s how I buy bullet train tickets: There are lots of sites that will tell you how to buy a long-distance train ticket in detail (this is a good one) … Continue reading How to buy tickets for the bullet train if you don’t speak Japanese
Some drivers speak English, but don’t count on it. Here’s how to be sure you get where you’re going Your best bet is to hand the driver a written copy … Continue reading How to take a taxi in Tokyo if you don’t speak Japanese
Narita airport must get the worldwide prize for being farthest from the city it serves. Seriously, what the heckin’ heck were they thinking? But sadly, there’s no time to move … Continue reading How to get into Tokyo from Narita airport
Nothing is more mortifying than hearing that the restaurant where you just ate the best lunch ever doesn’t take credit cards… Credit card use is spreading, but outside the big … Continue reading How & where to get cash in Japan
The train system in Japan is one of the best in the world, and you can go anywhere in Tokyo with only a short walk at either end. Subways and … Continue reading Get around Tokyo fast, easy & cheap: How to buy & use a transit card