Asakusa is one of the Shita-machi towns in Tokyo, where you can let yourself be enchanted by the air of temple incense. As a contrast to the neon lights of Tokyo's many nightlife attractions, in a Shita-machi (Down-town) you can experience the atmosphere of Edo - the old Tokyo. Tokyo has Asakusa, Ueno, Yanaka, Sendagi and Nezu to relax.It is worth visiting Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center in front of Kaminarimon Gate. The Japanese modern style building has not only all-about information but also nice cafe and terrace where you can get the great view of Tokyo Skytree over Sumida river (no admission ticket required).
Asakusa is located on the north-east of central Tokyo, easy access to many popular sightseeing spots like Ueno (2 min.), Akihabara (6 min.), Tokyo main station (10 min), Ginza (16 min.), Roppongi (20 min.), Shinjuku (25 min.), Harajuku (25 min.), Shibuya (26 min.), and you can also take ferry from Asakusa pier on Sumida River Park to the Tokyo Bay area, for instance, to visit Hamarikyu Garden and Odaiba. Nikko can be reached by Tobu Line (direct train, less than half price of JR). There are also direct connections to both Narita Airport (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) and Haneda Airport (International Terminal and Domestic Terminal). For night owls, Asakusa is not an ideal place to stay since there is no 24-hour-public-transportation in downtown Tokyo. Better to stay Roppongi and Shibuya walking distance or short taxi ride distance.
- Asakusa was founded as fish village. About 1500 years ago (in 7th century?) one fisherman scooped Kannon sama (Goddess Kannon) from Sumida River while netting fish from the river. Dedicated her to the temple which was the origin of Sensouji Temple. Tokugawa Shogun visited and devoted. After Meiji Restration, town becomes one of the shopping and entertaiment district in downtown Tokyo, lasted as such before Ginza took place. After the world war 2, Asakusa returns back into cultural center of Japanese tradition as seen in Edo era. One of the interesting places to live in Tokyo.
- Please refer to this page. Feel not good while in Tokyo? This is the whole list of foreign language doctor/hospital and medical institutions. Or, please contact your Embassies and Consulates in Japan.
- Drinking Water
- Tap water is safe to drink anywhere inside Japan. Although, you may not like a slice bit of taste of swimming pool, you know the white tablet called Chlorine. Even Tokyo Water is getting better each year (you may be interested in reading www.waterprofessionals.metro.tokyo.jp for the improvement), you may dislike the processed water in small island, but please do not worry, there are major water brand such as evian and volvic and vittel sold any super market, and you must try Suntory brand or Mt.Fuji brand water while here in Japan.No inoculations nor vaccinations are needed to enter Japan from anywhere around the world.
- English Speaking Doctor
- Younger doctors are well educated in English these days, medical systems and facilities in Japan are well established so that you can expect to receive a high standard medical treatment if you were not scared of IT/AI style ER. Amburance needed? Please call 119, no need coin nor telephone card for any public phone in such emergency. Once again, here's your English speaking doctor.
- Time Zone
- All of Japan has a single time zone, nine hours ahead of GMT or UTC. There is no system of Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) in Japan, so you don't need to change your watch/clock by season. Hokkaido in summer gets sunrise at 3:30 am, early birds get three yen (JPY3), Hokkaido in winter sunsets at 3:30pm, long hour night owl activities! Interested in Lunar/Solar calender in Japan? Please click here to be "lunatic". Easy to handle your body clock, but watch out for the jet-lag! Wherever you come into Japan from GMT+1 or GMT-7, try stay awake until it gets dark, then finally sleep well like log or child, so next morning (JST = GMT+9) will be super fine without jet-lag.
- Plugs and Electricity
- 100 volts AC. 50Hz in Tokyo and eastern Japan, 100 volts AC. 60Hz in Osaka and western Japan. North Americans, please don't you worry, Japan is as same as yours, almost! Please bear in mind that there is not usually a third pin (the earth) here in Japan.
- Business Hour and Holidays
- Department stores, shopping stores, restaurants are open on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays in Japan. Banks and Post offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays, but some main post offices (including the one in Asakusa and in Tawaramachi) are open seven days a week. Banks open 09:00-15:00, and Post pffices open 09:00-17:00. Offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays. Most museums are closed on Mondays. As robot is taking place of human beings' simple (and usually boring) job, some people can reach earlier retirement than average (say, 50's or even early 40's if you planned and worked very hard in your 20's and 30's), some other people even work less than 20 hours a week, in another words, some does only work 2 days a week, and rest 5 days a week. Welcome to the AI "future" world!
- Yen is the currenty used in Japan. Sometimes people say that we all have
Yen (En) =
Pratiya Samutpada to deal with this life. If you know how the life game works, you know how the happiness appears. Anyway, Coins have 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500, Notes have 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000.
- Credit Card and e-money
- These days, more credit cards and e-money are widely accepted. Suica and PASMO can be referred at each page.
Foreign credit card and cash cards can be used at Post Office (there are around 25,000 post office ATMs in Japan) and Seven Bank ATMs (around 15,000 Seven Bank ATMs are placed at 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan) throughout Japan. Accepted credit cards include VISA, Master Card and American Express.
- Point and Mileage
- Are you a mileage fan? Then, All Nippon Airways is "premiumly" recommended at about JPY10 (ten yen) a mile with PLT status. Or about JPY3.0 (three yen) a mile if you transfer your Marriott BONVoY points to ANA mileage club. Star Alliance member, Singapore Airlines, has beautiful A350 between Singapore and Tokyo (high season the same) including Easter and Spring vacation (small fuel surcharge and airport tax need to pay in addition). For Japan domestic train journey, with IC card, you don't need to pay the cost of paper for each ticket, for example, 157yen with ic card costs 160yen by cash with paper ticket. Complicated? Money is just a partial game of life, so let's just enjoy playing around with (^^)
- Delivery Service
- If you bought too much presents and souvenirs in Japan, don't pay airlines for excess luggage fee, but post them to your sweet home at any post office found in Japan (including airport post offices). It is as easy as Step 1-2-3 as shown at this page. No Japan Post Service around you? Alternate service by cute Black Cat will be right beside you (pick-up service as well as walk-in service) at this page, you may at least send to your departing airport as shown on this page. If you had ski gear or snowboard gear, Ski Ta-Q-Bin are also recommended. Let's travel with free hands!
- Phone Call
- Public telephones accept 10 yen and 100 yen coins and/or telephone cards. A local call (within Tokyo's central 23 Wards and some other metropolitan cities) costs 10 yen per minute. If you put in two 10-yen coins and speak for less than one minute, one of the coins will be returned to you. No change is given for partial use of a 100 yen coin. Prepaid telephone cards cost 1,000 yen from vending machines, kiosks at train stations, and convenience stores. Charges for inter-city calls vary according to the distance.
- SIM card and Pocket Wi-Fi
- There is mobile phone and pocket wifi rental service for foreign tourists
in Japan. For further information please contact any of the companies listed on this
- How much is Japan?
- 2 liter (2,000cc) mineral water : 78yen - 198yen
0.5 liter (500cc) mineral water at station kiosk : 100yen - 130yen
A cup of coffee at cafe : 180yen - 480yen
A cup of coffee at convenience store : 108yen - 150yen
McDonald regular menu and morning menu : official-mcdonalds-menu
Softdrink from vending machine : 100yen - 160yen
Same softdrink at super market : 39yen - 98yen
Taxi upto 1km (for example, East-Ueno - Tokyo Ryokan) : 420yen (max. 4 passengers)
Metro between Asakusa and Ueno (2.2km) : 168yen (ic card) or 170yen (cash)
Metro between Asakusa and Shibuya (14.3km) : 242yen (ic card) or 250yen (cash)
Train (TX Line) between Asakusa and Akihabara (3.1km) : 210yen (ic card) or 210yen (cash)
Shortest JR ride (a few stops upto 3km) : 136yen (ic card) or 140yen (cash)
Toei bus ride (for example, Asakusa - Tokyo) : 210yen (ic card) or 210yen (cash)
A loaf of bread : 98yen - 350yen
Can of beer : 98yen - 250yen
Jug of beer at bar : 280yen - 780yen
Western breakfast : 500yen - 980yen
Japanese breakfast : 380yen - 780yen
An apple : 50yen - 200yen
A mango : 250yen - 5,000yen (really!)
A melon : 500yen - 10,000yen (really!)
A lunch box : 250yen - 850yen
Good ramen noodle : 700yen - 2,000yen
Cheap ramen noodle : starts from 320yen
Kake (plain) soba : 230yen - 600yen
Kake (plain) udon : 230yen - 600yen
Sushi lunch set : 1,000yen - 5,000yen
Sushi dinner set : 3,000yen - 30,000yen
Pair of socks (including the five-toes) : 100yen - 500yen
Domestic post card stamp (anywhere in Japan) : 63yen
International post card stamp (anywhere around the world) : 70yen
Optic Fiber Cable Internet (upto 1Gbps) without limitation : 5,000yen - 6,000yen per month
Optic Fiber Cable Internet (upto 200Mbps) without limitation : 4,000yen - 5,000yen per month
Premium 4G contract (375Mbps) with volume limited : 4,000yen - 7,000yen per month
Slow SIM (around 200Kbps) contract without limitation : 500yen per month
Mid speed SIM (around 1Mbps) contract without limitation : 1,980yen per month
Movie at theater : 1,000yen - 1,800yen
Disneyland One Day Passport : 7,400yen
Disneysea One Day Passport : 7,400yen
Disneyland One Year Passport : 61,000yen
Disneysea One Year Passport : 61,000yen
Both Disneyland and Disneysea One Year Passport : 89,000yen (life is wonderfu!)
Baseball game ticket : 1,000yen - 5,900yen
Public bath (both Sentou and Onsen) : 460yen
Petrol/Gas per liter : 140yen
Toyota Prius S : 2,500,000yen (Rent-a-car 10,000 per 24hrs)
Toyota MIRAI : about 7Myen (now government supports 2Myen to make it 5Myen)
Nissan GT-R NISMO : 24,200,000yen (Rent-a-car 30,000 per 24hrs)
Parking lot in Asakusa and in Ueno : 25,000yen - 50,000yen per month
Water monthly bill per apartment/house : 5,000yen - 10,000yen
Electricity monthly bill per apartment/house : 0yen - 10,000yen (please see below)
Electricity monthly sale (out of your solar panel) per house : 0yen - 30,000yen (yes, you can earn money out of sunshine!)
Apartment 30sqm (to rent a month) in Asakusa : 80,000yen - 150,000yen
100sqm land (to buy) in Asakusa : 60,000,000yen - 300,000,000yen
A night stay in Asakusa : 3,000yen - 20,000yen
Minimum wage per hour (in Tokyo) : 1,013yen (around 160,000yen per month)