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Visiting Tokyo

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abbby
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Visiting Tokyo

Post by abbby » Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:48 am

I had been researching for a few weeks on travels to Tokyo and was trying to work out the cost of having a guide and driver who can take us around rather than having to figure the train system. I am rather surprised to know a driver is costing around 65,000 Yen a day ($550+??) Excluding guide's fees.

That's very expensive!

Anyone been to Tokyo with family? How do you get around the trains, booking of tickets for places of interests? Still trying to figure out...
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by x9200 » Thu, 21 Dec 2023 8:34 pm

I visited Tokyo longer time ago (15y++) and had no problem using the trains, taxis etc. And it was still pre-smartphone Internet popularity era. Actually our mobiles didn't work with the Japan gsm bands if I remember correctly. And as my Japanese vocabulary extends not much beyond harakiri and sayonara, I believe it was still possible to get around using English.

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by abbby » Fri, 22 Dec 2023 10:50 am

I took a glance at their train maps and that got me stressed out. It's confusing and I can't read Japanese.
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Dec 2023 2:18 pm

abbby wrote:
Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:48 am
I had been researching for a few weeks on travels to Tokyo and was trying to work out the cost of having a guide and driver who can take us around rather than having to figure the train system. I am rather surprised to know a driver is costing around 65,000 Yen a day ($550+??) Excluding guide's fees.

That's very expensive!

Anyone been to Tokyo with family? How do you get around the trains, booking of tickets for places of interests? Still trying to figure out...
Get around via train. Public transport is some of the most efficient in the world. Attractions can be booked online eg through Klook.

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Dec 2023 2:19 pm

x9200 wrote:
Thu, 21 Dec 2023 8:34 pm
I visited Tokyo longer time ago (15y++) and had no problem using the trains, taxis etc. And it was still pre-smartphone Internet popularity era. Actually our mobiles didn't work with the Japan gsm bands if I remember correctly. And as my Japanese vocabulary extends not much beyond harakiri and sayonara, I believe it was still possible to get around using English.
I actually find that Japan is pretty English friendly. Most locals speak very poor English but are very willing to help.

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 22 Dec 2023 2:19 pm

abbby wrote:
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 10:50 am
I took a glance at their train maps and that got me stressed out. It's confusing and I can't read Japanese.
You will have a much easier time there. Everyone is very helpful and signs are very clear.

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by x9200 » Sat, 23 Dec 2023 1:08 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 2:19 pm
x9200 wrote:
Thu, 21 Dec 2023 8:34 pm
I visited Tokyo longer time ago (15y++) and had no problem using the trains, taxis etc. And it was still pre-smartphone Internet popularity era. Actually our mobiles didn't work with the Japan gsm bands if I remember correctly. And as my Japanese vocabulary extends not much beyond harakiri and sayonara, I believe it was still possible to get around using English.
I actually find that Japan is pretty English friendly. Most locals speak very poor English but are very willing to help.
I had the same impression. And their English was also interesting in a way, sort of mixed with Esperanto or something. E.g. we asked some staff at the train station what platform the train was going to depart and he told us "trakko eleven". Like they added sometimes [-o] suffixes to some words"

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by x9200 » Sat, 23 Dec 2023 1:25 pm

abbby wrote:
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 10:50 am
I took a glance at their train maps and that got me stressed out. It's confusing and I can't read Japanese.
You are in much better position now than myself 15yo :) There is this google translator ("Translate") application and it has a camera option. Install it, point you phone camera at the Japanese text and enjoy. You can check how it works even on your laptop screen. Just google some images, "Japanese text", anything to see how it works.
We spent earlier this year a week in Mainland China and I am equally skilled in all Chinese dialects as I am in Japanese. We relied on the Translate and had no problems nowhere. It also works well translating speech form and to. Try it too, you will be surprised how well it actually works.

Having said that, I am very sure there must be maps in both English and Japanese.
https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/index.html

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 23 Dec 2023 2:07 pm

x9200 wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 1:08 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 2:19 pm
x9200 wrote:
Thu, 21 Dec 2023 8:34 pm
I visited Tokyo longer time ago (15y++) and had no problem using the trains, taxis etc. And it was still pre-smartphone Internet popularity era. Actually our mobiles didn't work with the Japan gsm bands if I remember correctly. And as my Japanese vocabulary extends not much beyond harakiri and sayonara, I believe it was still possible to get around using English.
I actually find that Japan is pretty English friendly. Most locals speak very poor English but are very willing to help.
I had the same impression. And their English was also interesting in a way, sort of mixed with Esperanto or something. E.g. we asked some staff at the train station what platform the train was going to depart and he told us "trakko eleven". Like they added sometimes [-o] suffixes to some words"
Yeah, for a country with as many English speaking tourists/such an advanced population, they sure are poor at English.

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 23 Dec 2023 2:11 pm

x9200 wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 1:25 pm
abbby wrote:
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 10:50 am
I took a glance at their train maps and that got me stressed out. It's confusing and I can't read Japanese.
You are in much better position now than myself 15yo :) There is this google translator ("Translate") application and it has a camera option. Install it, point you phone camera at the Japanese text and enjoy. You can check how it works even on your laptop screen. Just google some images, "Japanese text", anything to see how it works.
We spent earlier this year a week in Mainland China and I am equally skilled in all Chinese dialects as I am in Japanese. We relied on the Translate and had no problems nowhere. It also works well translating speech form and to. Try it too, you will be surprised how well it actually works.

Having said that, I am very sure there must be maps in both English and Japanese.
https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/index.html
There are also some apps that are voice powered - you can speak into them and they will translate and say what you just said in the foreign language. Makes for easier conversations.

x9200
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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by x9200 » Sat, 23 Dec 2023 2:14 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 2:11 pm
x9200 wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 1:25 pm
abbby wrote:
Fri, 22 Dec 2023 10:50 am
I took a glance at their train maps and that got me stressed out. It's confusing and I can't read Japanese.
You are in much better position now than myself 15yo :) There is this google translator ("Translate") application and it has a camera option. Install it, point you phone camera at the Japanese text and enjoy. You can check how it works even on your laptop screen. Just google some images, "Japanese text", anything to see how it works.
We spent earlier this year a week in Mainland China and I am equally skilled in all Chinese dialects as I am in Japanese. We relied on the Translate and had no problems nowhere. It also works well translating speech form and to. Try it too, you will be surprised how well it actually works.

Having said that, I am very sure there must be maps in both English and Japanese.
https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/index.html
There are also some apps that are voice powered - you can speak into them and they will translate and say what you just said in the foreign language. Makes for easier conversations.
This is the "speech" option I mentioned. The Translate app can do it too.

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by abbby » Sun, 24 Dec 2023 9:40 am

I heard from friends it's possible to engage a goodwill guide to take tourists around in Tokyo? And no fees..?
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 24 Dec 2023 5:52 pm

x9200 wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 2:14 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 2:11 pm
x9200 wrote:
Sat, 23 Dec 2023 1:25 pm

You are in much better position now than myself 15yo :) There is this google translator ("Translate") application and it has a camera option. Install it, point you phone camera at the Japanese text and enjoy. You can check how it works even on your laptop screen. Just google some images, "Japanese text", anything to see how it works.
We spent earlier this year a week in Mainland China and I am equally skilled in all Chinese dialects as I am in Japanese. We relied on the Translate and had no problems nowhere. It also works well translating speech form and to. Try it too, you will be surprised how well it actually works.

Having said that, I am very sure there must be maps in both English and Japanese.
https://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/station/index.html
There are also some apps that are voice powered - you can speak into them and they will translate and say what you just said in the foreign language. Makes for easier conversations.
This is the "speech" option I mentioned. The Translate app can do it too.
Have you tried the one on the iPhone? Much better than Google imo.

Lisafuller
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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by Lisafuller » Sun, 24 Dec 2023 5:52 pm

abbby wrote:
Sun, 24 Dec 2023 9:40 am
I heard from friends it's possible to engage a goodwill guide to take tourists around in Tokyo? And no fees..?
Never heard of this...

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Re: Visiting Tokyo

Post by malcontent » Tue, 26 Dec 2023 11:54 am

What helped me on my first trip to Tokyo (over 20 years ago) is to ignore the spaghetti maps and focus on the main loop around Tokyo called the Yamanote (ya-ma-no-tay) line. This covers many of the popular “anchor” stops like Tokyo, Shibuya & Shinjuku, etc.

On my first trip I got the 7 day pass so that we could explore all of Tokyo, but they also have 1 day passes, plus regional passes. More information can be found at source:

https://www.jreast.co.jp/multi/en/pass/

On subsequent trips we have just gotten an IC card (equivalent of EZ Link here) as we became more surgical in our itinerary.

To get to Tokyo from the airport — depending on where you are staying, how much luggage you have and how many you are traveling with, you can either take the local train from the airport or the limousine bus. The limo bus is definitely more convenient if you are staying at or near one of the hotels they serve directly (recommended).
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

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