Highly organzed and efficient train kiosks
- stairs, stairs and more stairs
- taxis are generally pricey
- use Tokyo City Atlas
- train (SUICA card)
- ZOMG the Japanese have the most organized transit system in the world
Or you can follow a bishounen
Mostly, you’ll be walking. But take care where you walk. Bicycles have the right of way and they travel on the sidewalks. If you hear a bell, scoot off to the side and let the bicycle pass.
Simply follow the crowds and go with the flow. Tokyo is a “stand left, walk right” culture so bear that in mind when on escalators.
Walking… lots of walking
Walking & Shoes
Bring practical footwear. While many Japanese women are seen in massively high heels (often shoe sizes that are not a perfect match for their feet), they will not be walking as much as you will be. They are also accustomed to such tortures. It’s also why Japan has the highest rate of osteoarthritis in the feet — but that’s besides the point. This is about YOU.
Bring walking shoes. If you must bring a pair of evening or party shoes, please do. But bring practical shoes.
Tokyo is the best natural stairmaster in the world — and the most fun. Buildings are vertical and not horizontal. You will be walking up and down hundreds of staircases, not to mention the stairs that accompany train travel.
Taxis can be pricey for some budgets and the only time I’ve taken them was when the trains weren’t running (4 AM in Kabuki-cho or heading out to the Tsukiji Fish Market are prime examples).
Trains, Trains & Trains
I cannot extol the virtues of Tokyo trains enough. Sometimes crowded, sometimes spookily vacant, fun, adventurous, always on time, the trains are the best way to get around. Buy and load up a Suica card, and away you go. I love the trains so much I have a whole other page on just the trains!
However, be mindful of where you are at all times until you are comfortable with a specific route (i.e. I learned the fine art of cat napping on the train while standing up between Shinjuku and Ikebukuro station by the end of my first trip). Otherwise, you may get on the wrong train (I’ve done that twice now) or exit out of the wrong train station exit (have done that twice too). Some train stations, notably Shinjuku, are like Hotel California — you can check in but you can never leave.