Before you Travel
Bookings needed & things you can prepare in advance to make the most of your time once in Tokyo
The huge majority of travelers visit the following attractions. They need to be booked to avoid huge queues or to guarantee availability.
The first tickets you should book are the ones for the Tokyo Skytree observation platform. The view from the tallest structure in Japan is amazing and it attracts lots of visitors, so it's better to be prepared before you go! You can choose to go up just to the platform at 350 meters or also go higher, up to the one at 450 meters.
The second tickets you should book in advance are the ones for the Robot Restaurant. It can seem a little too touristy, but the show with robots, samurais, dancers, singers and ninjas is definitely a unique experience!
Japan Rail Pass
Before traveling, consider if it's better for you to buy a Japan Rail Pass. It's a ticket valid to travel on the network of JR national trains through all of Japan. It includes Shinkansen bullet trains and the Narita Express. You can choose the days that it will be valid for, each with a different price: 7 days cost ¥29110 for the standard and ¥38880 for the Green Pass which is First Class; 14 days cost ¥46390 for the standard and ¥62950 for the Green Pass; 21 days cost ¥59350 for the standard and ¥81870 for the Green Pass.
You HAVE to buy the pass before arriving to Japan, that's a must, and you'll recieve an Exchange order that you need to activate when you arrive to Japan and exchange it for the JR Pass. Only tourists can get this pass, that's why you have to purchase it before arriving to the country.
It's also very common for visitors to get a Pocket WiFi for the length of their stay. It will help you get directions in case you're lost, get information and have a handy translator, believe me, it's always good to have it!
The first pass you should consider buying is the Japan Rail Pass, in case you travel to other cities than Tokyo. This ticket is valid to travel on the network of JR national trains through all of Japan. It includes Shinkansen bullet trains and the Narita Express. You can choose the days that it will be valid for, 7, 14 or 21, and each has a different price also depending on if it's standard seats or First Class. Only tourists can get this pass, that's why you have to purchase it before arriving to the country.
In Tokyo, there are different ways to get to the city center from both airports. As for Narita Airport, the best options are:
The easiest and cheapest way: trains
- Narita Express: this train belongs to the Japan Rail lines, so if you have the JR Pass it's included. Tickets cost between 3000 and 6000 ¥ and it gets to different stations like Shibuya, Shinjuku and Shinagawa.
- Keisei Skyliner: this train goes to Ueno Station. Tickets cost around 2400 ¥.
The best door to door option: Private Transfer
With this service you'll have a driver waiting for you at the arrivals hall and will take you directly to your accomodation. It costs from ¥ 23,750 per group up to 5 people.
The best options from Haneda airport are:
The cheapest way: train or Monorail
The Keikyu Main Line gets all the way to stations like Ginza, Tokyo station, Ueno, Shibuya and Shinjuku. The fare starts at 410¥ and it varies depending to which station you're going.
The Tokyo Monorail is an express service that gets to Hamamatsuchō station where there are connections with the Yamanote line to other parts of the city. Tickets cost around 500¥.
The best door to door option: Private Transfer
With this service you'll have a driver waiting for you at the arrivals hall and will take you directly to your accomodation. It costs from ¥ 13.600 per group up to 3 people.
Once in the city, there are many options to move around:
The cheapest way: Public Transport
The JR Pass, in Tokyo, only works for JR lines and not the subway or buses. If you don't have a JR Pass and want to travel on JR lines only you can buy the Tokunai ticket which costs 750 yen and is valid for one day.
For subway and buses you can get the SUICA card, which is a prepaid and rechargable card. It costs 2.000 yen at the beginning.
For subway, buses and JR lines you can get a PASMO card. It's prepaid and it can be charged with amounts between 1.000 yen and 10.000 yen.
To use the subway only you can buy a Metro Pass. It's valid for either 24, 48 or 72 hours for the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines. The cost goes from 1.482 yen per person.
The comfortable and panoramic way: Hop On- Hop Off buses
With these buses you'll get to go around the city and get off and on at your desired stop. The ticket is valid for 24 hours and you can change between 2 different routes. The price goes from ¥ 3,500 per person.
Book your tours, guides & activities: the best tours sell out fast. Try to do your research and book before you go. Have a look at our Love Your Trip selection, we have the best services and experiences in town.
If you need advice to choose your activity or you’re looking for something specific, send me a message.
Have you just started to plan your trip? Too many things to decide? Too long do it all by yourself? Special needs or wishes? Then, you should plan your trip with a local to get tailored travel plans & advices.