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> 10 Practical things to know in Tokyo
starlagurl
post Sep 9 2008, 01:56 PM
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Uktokyoite will like this blog:

The Tokyo Traveler is probably really helpful if you're heading off to Japan anytime soon.

Check out this post, all about things you should expect when visiting Tokyo:

http://www.thetokyotraveler.com/tokyo-trav...u-need-to-know/

I was surprised by these ones:

Tip # 10 - Donít assume that you can use your credit card everywhere.
Many establishments in Tokyo do not accept credit/debit cards! Also, your ATM/debit card will only work international ATMís so donít expect to be able to pop your card in any old machine and punch a few numbers to get some cash. If you do run out of cash in Tokyo you will need to find an international ATM. Japan Post Bank, or ďYuchoĒ as it is commonly referred to, operates over 20,000 International ATMís which are located outside of most post offices with some exceptions. Beware though, many of these ATMís are not open 24 hours so you will want to do some advance planning to ensure that you donít run out of cash.

Tip #5 Donít touch the taxi door! When you hail a taxi in Tokyo donít reach for taxi tokyothe door or you will get a puzzled or annoyed look from the white gloved driver. The rear left door on taxis in Tokyo, and throughout Japan, are opened and closed automatically by the driver. Even if you are sitting on the right side of the car it is recommended that you slide across the seat and exit on the left in busy areas so you wonít be stepping out into oncoming traffic.

Tip #4 Donít expect your server to bring you the bill when you dine out. It is normal to pay a restaurant or bar bill at the register rather than taking care of the transaction at your table. You may also find that Japanese wait-staff tend to be elusive and need to be hailed to provide service - this is not considered rude in Japan, quite the opposite, they want to ensure that you have a good dining experience and donít want to bother you. So donít be shy when dining out - a polite ďsumimasen (excuse me)Ē will usually be enough to get your servers attention and when you are finished your meal simply look to see if the bill has been left on your table (or in a slot under it) and take it with you to the register and pay for your meal before leaving. Otherwise just head for the register where your bill will be waiting for you.

Tip #3 Accept Free Tissues! You may notice that when you are out exploring the city that at many major intersections and train stations there are often people handing out free tissues as part of an advertising campaign. Donít be shy, take them! Stash some in your handbag or backpack as many public restroom facilities do not offer towels or air dryers for you hands and toilet paper can sometimes be elusive in older areas of the city. Speaking of restrooms, western toilets are fairly commonplace but there may be instances where your only option is a squat toilet which may come as a bit of a surprise but wonít hurt you - I promise!


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kitkatgo
post Sep 9 2008, 01:59 PM
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I can vouch for Tip#3. Those tissues are handed out all over the place and they are handy to have! crying_anim.gif


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uktokyoite
post Sep 13 2008, 12:52 AM
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Absolutely right Starlagurl!

I follow the RSS feed for the Tokyo Traveler and often comment on Shane's stories. It's a really good blog and well worth checking out if you're coming to Tokyo.

The tips are great if you're a first time visitor, especially knowing about credit cards and money issues. I know people who have been stranded without dosh because they couldn't access their cash! Not a nice position to be in.


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starlagurl
post Sep 15 2008, 09:27 AM
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Aw, Kit.

Honor: That's crazy, and really sucks! Especially in a place like Tokyo where everything is expensive!


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uktokyoite
post Sep 15 2008, 07:49 PM
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Hello again Starlagurl : )

Yup - it definitely sucks! Hard to believe in a city this size as well but it's true.


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uktokyoite
post Sep 17 2008, 06:32 AM
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Good point. Funny thing is it's because they're so polite that you shouldn't touch the door. You are the customer and it is their job to make your ride as comfortable for you as possible- including opening and closing the door. It's automatic and works at the press of a button. If you do it instead it's like the taxi driver hasn't done their job properly punk.gif


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inasia2008
post Sep 17 2008, 06:01 PM
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Yeah I dont think the driver would necessarily look annoyed! I mean its normal for us to want to open the door ourselves! They would probably be (like Honor says) more worried they aren't doing their job!
They do get worried over the slightest little things, they are real perfectionists and want everything to be just as!
Oh and another thing if someone bumps into you or walks in front of you don't usually expect an excuse me (its not the Japanese being rude), they are very shy when it comes to speaking to Gaijin in either english or japanese as they are "again" worried about making a mistake! But if you want to know the word for sorry is "Gomenai Sei" and excuse me is "sumi masen"!
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