For travel elsewhere in Japan, what do I need to know?

Obtain information from one of the Tourist Information Centers in Tokyo. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, there are two Tourist Information Centers (TIC) operated by the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO). These centers offer a wide variety of literature in English about travel, cultural activities, and so on. Among the most popular free publications are “Your Guide to Japan,” “Tourist Map of Japan,” and “Economical Travel in Japan.” The TIC may also be able to suggest travel itineraries. The Teletourist service provides 24-hour, English-recorded announcements of current events in and around Tokyo.

One TIC office in Tokyo is a short walk from Yurakucho JR Station, in the basement of the Tokyo International Forum. The address is: Tokyo Information Center 10th floor, 2-10-1, Yurakucho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0006, tel: 03-3201-3331. This TIC is open weekdays from 9:00 to 17:00 and Saturdays, 9:00 to 12:00, closed Sundays and national holidays.


Plan your travel well beforehand. If possible, plan to travel during non-peak times, to avoid the mass exodus from the cities to the countryside and back again. During peak travel, almost all long-distance trains, ferries, airlines, and accommodations are booked solid. Peak airline tickets are very expensive, especially during Year end/New Year (Dec 27–Jan 4 and adjacent weekends).

See When are the national holidays in Japan?


Throughout Japan, youth hostels are the best deal for lodging. A superb guide to youth hostels is available for a small fee at the Japan Youth Hostel Association (JYHA) office, tel. 03-5738-0546.  It is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 17:00.  To get there, take the Odakyu Sangubashi Station exit and turn left. Continue down the road and turn left in front of the signboard. Pass the pedestrian bridge and you will see the JYHA office on your left, in the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center.

Also very popular are AirBnB and gaijin houses (guest houses).