Guide and information of Japan travel, with embassy, national holidays, immigration bureau, money exchange, post office and more.
ASAKUSA GUIDE
The Style of Antique Tokyo
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Essential Info
Asakusa Kaminarimon Gate
Asakusa Sensouji Temple
Asakusa Sanja Matsuri Festival
Asakusa town represents the style of antique Tokyo (Edo)
It 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 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 left picture with red color lantern). 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).
Feel not good while in Tokyo? This is the whole list of foreign language doctor/hospital and medical institutions => for your safe travels in Japan .
Price Lists (how much do things cost in downtown Tokyo)
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-mc-menu
Softdrink from vending machine : 100yen - 160yen
Same softdrink at super market : 39yen - 98yen
Taxi upto 1km (for example, East-Ueno - Tokyo Ryokan) : 410yen (max. 4 passengers)
Metro between Asakusa and Ueno (2.2km) : 165yen (ic card) or 170yen (cash)
Metro between Asakusa and Shibuya (14.3km) : 237yen (ic card) or 240yen (cash)
Train (TX Line) between Asakusa and Akihabara (3.1km) : 206yen (ic card) or 210yen (cash)
Shortest JR ride (a few stops upto 3km) : 133yen (ic card) or 140yen (cash)
Toei bus ride (for example, Asakusa - Tokyo) : 206yen (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 - 1,000yen
Cheap ramen noodle : starts from 320yen
Kake (plain) soba : 230yen - 600yen
Kake (plain) udon : 230yen - 600yen
Sushi lunch set : 850yen - 5,000yen
Sushi dinner set : 3,000yen - 30,000yen
Domestic post card stamp (anywhere in Japan) : 52yen (tax included)
International post card stamp (anywhere around the world) : 70yen (no tax required)
Pair of socks (including the five-toes) : 108yen - 500yen
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 700Kbps practical speed) contract without limitation : 500yen per month
Fast SIM (around 5Mbps) contract with limitation of 100M per month : 300yen 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 : 63,000yen
Disneysea One Year Passport : 63,000yen
Both Disneyland and Disneysea One Year Passport : 93,000yen (life is wonderfu!)
Baseball ticket : 1,000yen - 5,900yen
Public bath (both Sentou and Onsen) : 460yen
Petrol/Gas per liter : 110yen - 120yen
Toyota Prius L : 2,170,000yen (Rent-a-car 10,000 per 24hrs)
Toyota Mirai : about 7Myen (now government supports 2Myen to make it 5Myen)
Nissan GTR (premium edition 2017) : 11,700,000yen (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 (why free? pls 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 : 85,000yen - 150,000yen
100sqm land (to buy) in Asakusa : 60,000,000yen - 200,000,000yen
A hotel night in Asakusa : 3,000yen - 20,000yen
Minimum wage per hour (in Tokyo) : 907yen (around 150,000yen per month)
A bit of history
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 war, Asakusa returns back into cultural center of Japanese tradition as seen in Edo era. One of the interesting places to live in Tokyo.
Excellent location
Asakusa is located on the north-east of central Tokyo, easy access to many popular sightseeing spots like Ueno (3 min.), Akihabara (5 min.), Tokyo main station (15 min), Ginza (16 min.), Roppongi (20 min.), Shinjuku (25 min.), Harajuku (25 min.), Shibuya (26 min.), and you can also take ferry from Sumida River Park to the Tokyo Bay area, for instance, to visit Odaiba. Nikko can be reached by Tobu Line (direct train). 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. Tokyo Center Downtown Map
Health to live
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. 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 style ER. Amburance needed? Please call 119, no need coin nor telephone card for any public phone in such emergency. And here's your English speaking doctor.
Four seasons climate
Japan's fiscal year starts April 1st, not January 1st, no kidding. Spring blooms flowers, grasses are getting greener, new office, new boss, new classmate are excited to the day for new era (if not scared to be teased on April Fool). Except Hokkaido, whole Japan experiences rainy season in most of whole June and July. Summer is hot and sticky, but Asahi beer is cold, Sapporo beer is tasty, Kirin is spectacular. Summer events represent fireworks throughout the islands, which can be enjoyed from river banks and waterfronts usually. Asakusa has rare "in-city-activities" along with Sumida river. Tokyo Ryokan is in the right spot. Colorful autumn is expected in October, November and December. Next to the rainy season (June and July), actually, autumn front line pours a lot of rain as well. Winter is the season for ski, snowboard and onsen! You might remember the Olympics, both Sapporo and Nagano. December through February or March is indeed fun season in Japan.
Today's Weather Condition with Rain Radar
A simple 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.
One shot Electricity
100 volts AC. 50Hz in Tokyo and eastern Japan, 100 volts AC. 60Hz in Osaka and western Japan. Sockets or power points have a two-pin plug with rectangular shape. What does it look like? This page has a picture with detailed information. 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.
Short Business Hours and sadly short 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), 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 "future" world!
Variety of Japanese National Holidays (15-days-off per year!)
January 1st New year's holiday
The 2nd Monday of January Coming-of-age (20-year-old) day
February 11th National Foundation Day
March 21st Spring Vernal Equinox Day
April 29th Showa Day
May 3rd Constitution Memorial Day
May 4th Greenery Day
May 5th Children's Day
July 20th Marine Day
The 3rd Monday of September Respect for the Aged Day
September 23rd Fall Autumnal Equinox Day
The 2nd Monday of October Health and Sports Day
November 3rd Culture Day
November 23rd Labor Thanksgiving Day
December 23rd The Emperor's Birthday
Enough Money
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. These days, more credit cards and e-money are widely accepted. Rakuten-Edy and Suica can be referred at each page. Are you a mileage fan? Then, ANA 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 SPG points to ANA mileage club. Star Alliance member, Singapore Airlines, has beautiful new A350 with new design 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, 206yen with ic card costs 210yen by cash. Complicated? Money is just a partial game of life, so let's just enjoy playing around (^^)

*Money Exchange*
Exchange Rate today (during office hour, JST)
Exchange Rate in city center (11:00 - 14:30, JST)

*Credit Card Inquiries*
VISA : 0120-133-173 (toll-free)
Master Card : 03-5531-6100
American Express : 0120-020-202 (toll-free)

*ATMs*
Foreign credit card and cash cards can be used at Post Office (there are over 26,000 post office ATMs in Japan) and Seven Bank ATMs (Over 14,700 Seven Bank ATMs are placed at 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan)  throughout Japan. Accepted credit cards include VISA, Master Card and American Express.
Japan Post Bank
Seven Bank
Lawson
FamilyMart
EMS by Japan Post 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 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. If you had ski gear or snowboard gear, Ski Ta-Q-Bin and Airport Ta-Q-Bin are recommended. Let's travel with free hands!

Domestic Mail (8 percent consumption tax included)
Post Card : 62yen
Letter : 82yen (up to 25g for all around Japan)

International Mail (no need to pay consumption tax)
Post Card : 70yen (one price one earth!)
Letter : 90 to 130yen (up to 25g, depending on where in the world)
Foreign Embassy and Consulate in Japan
Officially need help from your own country while here in Japan? Please find your own embassy and consulate at this MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan).
Japan Embassy in Your Country
Working permission is required for those who wants to have job in Japan. Please contact your local Japan Embassy in your country at this page. Good news for those less than 30 years old. Working-Holiday Programme is still available for those come from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Gremany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and the UK.
Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
Address : Konan 5-5-30, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8255
Telephone : 03-5796-7111
Office hours : 09:00-16:00 (except 12:00-13:00 lunch time)
Closed : Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays
Telephone
*Domestic Calls*
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.
City (Area Code)
Sapporo (011) Hakone (0460) Nagoya (052) Hiroshima (082)
Sendai (022) Kawaguchiko (0555) Kyoto (075) Matsuyama (089)
Aizuwakamatsu(0242) Ito (0557) Osaka (06) Fukuoka (092)
Nikko (0288) Nagano (026) Nara (0742) Beppu (0977)
Tokyo (03) Matsumoto (0263) Kobe (078) Kumamoto (096)
Yokohama (045) Takayama (0577) Wakayama (073) Kagoshima (099)
Kamakura (0467) Kanazawa (076) Himeji (0792) Naha (098)
*Which number to dial*
03-XXXX-XXXX from outside Tokyo (in Japan)
090-XXXX-XXXX from anywhere inside Japan
080-XXXX-XXXX from anywhere inside Japan
81-3-XXXX-XXXX from overseas (outside Japan)
81-90-XXXX-XXXX from overseas (outside Japan)
81-80-XXXX-XXXX from overseas (outside Japan)
*Rental Mobile Phone and WiFi*
There is mobile phone and pocket wifi rental service for foreign tourists in Japan. For further information please contact any of the following companies.

Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi
FREETEL
eConnect

b-mobile
Wi2 300
docomo Wi-Fi for visitor
SoftBank PrePaid SIM
iijmio
Pupuru
GAC
Here's your support, Tourist Information Centers
*Tourist Information Center Main Office*
Address : 1st Fl, Shin-Tokyo Building, Marunouchi 3-3-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Telephone : 03-3201-3331
Office hours : 09:00-17:00 (office closed on January 1st each year)

*Asakusa Bunka Kankou Center*
Address : Kaminarimon 2-18-9 (right in front of Kaminarimon Gate of Sensouji Temple), Taito-ku, Tokyo
Telephone : 03-3842-5566
Office hours : 09:00-20:00 every day year-round


*Ginza Tourist Information*
Address : Mitsukoshi Department Floor-B1, Ginza 4-6-16 Chuo-ku (at the famous Ginza-4 crossing), Tokyo
Telephone : 03-3562-1111
Office hours : 10:00-20:00 every day year-round (except new year holiday)
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