Category Archives: Travel Information

VISA/Invitation letter

VISA for visiting Japan

In order to check whether you need a VISA or not, please carefully consult the following page provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Participants from mainland China and Philippine need a VISA; please proceed to the next section. Participants from other areas (including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan) can be exempted, but please be warned that the exemption can be only under some requirements, for example, the use of IC based passports. Carefully consult the conditions declared in the above home page.

If it turns out you need a VISA, please carefully read the instructions at

and follow the steps below to make a request for necessary documents.

If you need to apply for a VISA

Send the following information to our VISA handling team (easiam2018-visa(at_mark) to request necessary documents.

  • Your name, sex (male/female), birth date (year/month/day), occupation, country (of your valid passport),
  • your travel schedule (day by day) including the hotel you are planning to stay.

NOTE: If some people from a same group apply for VISA at a same time, they can share one set of the documents, provided that they share the same trip plan. This greatly reduces the efforts of both applicants and us. Please contact our VISA handling team for this possibility.

If you need an invitation letter

Send the following information to the local committee (easiam2018(at_mark) to request one.

  • Your name, sex (male/female), birth date (year/month/day), occupation, affiliation, country (of your valid passport),
  • the aim of the participation (presenting a talk or just attend),
  • whether you prefer signed printed copy mailed or just the scanned PDF is fine,
  • and other special requests, if any.


In EASIAM 2018, the local organizing committee do not provide an official hotel. Please kindly secure a room yourself.

Tokyo has a wide variety of accommodations, from cheap hotels to luxury ones. But whatever classes of hotels you hope to use, since Tokyo is a crowded city with many tourists, we strongly recommend that you secure a room as soon as possible if you hope to have it in a relatively moderate price. Most reservations can be cancelled without charge if you cancel it before some prescribed deadlines (consult the term of reservation when you make a reservation); thus even if you are still wondering whether you come or not, we recommend to reserve a room as soon as you read this.

You can simply use some sites including If you make a reservation early, it is very likely that you can find a single room in standard hotels for 7,000yen–10,000yen. Just before the conference, it would be difficult to find a room below 15,000yen.

Types of accommodations

Tokyo has a variety of accommodations.

Standard hotels

By “standard” we mean “hotels other than those mentioned below”; they are the hotels such that you find in many other countries.

Standard hotels vary from cheap ones around 5,000–6,000yen (a single room) to luxury hotels. Please consult any of the major reservation services such as, tripadvisor, and so on.


In tokyo, it is also possible to find the so-called “guesthouse” style accommodations, including youth hostels. They are popular also for foreign tourists, and now many guesthouses accept foreign tourists.

Ryokan is somewhat similar style of accommodation as guesthouse, but is more traditional style of accommodations in Japan; it often comes with Tatami floor (see, for example, Japanese style rooms in Today, we the Japanese do not often use them in business trip and rather prefer standard hotels, but they are popular rather for foreign tourists since there you can enjoy truly Japanese atmosphere. Ryokan varies from cheap ones to very luxury ones, and sharing a room in cheap Ryokan by several people might be a good idea to suppress your accommodation cost. See, for example, the following sites, which have information in English.

Capsule hotels

This is not what we see in other countries—this is a very peculiar accommodation style, where people take rest in a small “capsule”, which is as small as 1m x 2m x 1m or something like that: see Capsule hotel (Wikipedia). This was originally for short time stays, for example, after midnight just for waiting for the first train or so. But nowadays young Japanese people use as a cheap hotel, and even some foreign tourists prefer to stay there (at least one night) for an exotic experience.

Capsule hotels usually have some common areas including lounge, baths, and/or showers, and thus you do not have to be packed in a capsule all throughout your stay. You only go back there when you finally get sleep. The security is not high in capsules (no keys for entering there), but usually the hotels offer lockers where you can safely keep your belongings. (Still we recommend that you keep valuables with you.)

Several capsule hotels can be found in Ueno area. They can be found in the Cheap Hotels in Tokyo site above.

Hints to suppress accommodation fees

We understand and are afraid that fee for accommodation can be expensive in Tokyo, and that can be a barrier for some people, in particular, students. Below are some hints to make the necessary cost as low as possible.

  • Make your reservation as early as possible, which is the most important general rule for suppressing accommodation cost. Middle ranged ones (say, around 8,000yen — 10,000yen) are generally occupied first (typically some months before the dates, or even a half year before), and after that, the remaining options are to pay more (10,000yen–), or on the contrary very cheap guesthouses or capsule hotels.
  • In Japan, hotel room fees are set for each person, not by rooms as in the western countries. Still, if you share a twin room with your friend, it is likely that you can save some money. Consider to find an accompanying colleague and share a room with her/him.
  • Tokyo is a “dense” and “big” city. UTokyo locates in the heart of the Tokyo city, but if you go away to some suburb area (most suburb cities can be easily and conveniently accessed by metros and/or trains), it is likely that you can find a better hotel with more moderate prices. Study the train network (which is really dense!) and try to escape to the outer Tokyo area. Within one hour distance by train, generally speaking trains are quite frequent and you should find no difficulty in getting to the conference site (except for the heavy congestion in rush hours).

From/To Airports

Tokyo has two international airports, both are one hour distance by train from the conference venue.

Narita Airport

The Narita Airport is located in the east of the Tokyo city.
There are mainly three ways from the airport to the central Tokyo area.

  • By Keisei railway trains:
    If you directly comes to Ueno area (the area UTokyo is in), then this is the first choice.
    If you can pay around 2,500yen, then after arriving the airport goes down to the underground area where the Keisei station locates, and purchase a ticket for Skyliner. This will take you directly to Ueno station in around 40 min.
    If you hope to save your money, then, at the Keisei station, just purchase a normal ticket to the Ueno station, which costs around 1,300 yen, and will take around 80–90 min.
    If you hope to go to other stations in the central Tokyo area, a good way is to get off the trains (either Skyliner or normal trains) at Nippori station, where you can change to JR East railway trains.

  • By JR East railway train:
    If you can afford around 3,000 yen, and also hope to go to a place other than Ueno area, then another choice is to use N’EX (Narita Express) operated by JR East railway company. This gives you a direct and convenient way to some major places in the central Tokyo, including Tokyo (station), Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro in 60–90min depending on your destination (the last three locates in the west area in the central Tokyo; see the map in About Tokyo city section of this site).
    It is also possible to save your money by using normal trains of JR East, but in that case, we feel Keisei is better both in riding time and fee.

  • By airport bus:
    Depending on the destination (from the airport), using airport bus will also be a good way. See Public Bus page in the Narita Airport HP. It offers various destinations inside/outside Tokyo (buses are run by several companies, but in the above site you can search all buses). For example, it connects Narita airport and the Tokyo station in 60min by 1,000 yen.

Note that there are two terminals: 1, 2 in the Narita airport. Carefully consult the above links depending on your arriving terminal and first destination (contact the local organizing committee if you find some difficulty).

In order to get to the airport from the central Tokyo, simply follow the instruction in the reversed way. Be careful if you decide to use (non-reserved) normal trains to the airport, the train might be very heavily crowded depending on the day and time (you might hope to read about Rush hours in Tokyo), and getting on a train with a large baggage will be an extremely challenging task.

Haneda Airport

The Haneda airport locates in the south area of Tokyo, along the Tokyo bay.
There are also three ways to get to the central area.

  • By airport bus:
    Since there is no trains with reserved seats for tourists (with large baggages) available from Haneda airport, maybe the best way for you is to use airport buses. See the Buses page of the Haneda airport HP. For example, you can get to the Tokyo station by 1,000 yen/ 60min, Shinjuku station by 1,200 yen/ 40 min.

  • By Tokyo monorail:
    Still, if you hope to use trains, a good way to get to the central area is to use Tokyo Monorail, which connects the airport and the central area in 13min (at minimum) with 500yen. At the Hamamatsucho terminal, you can exchange to Yamanote line (by JR East railway company) by which you can get to Ueno area.

  • By Keikyu railway train:
    You can also take a Keikyu train, which brings you to Shinagawa station in 400yen/15min, where you can exchange to Yamanote line mentioned above.

Haneda airport has three terminals: one international (the one you may use), and two domestic terminals.

To the airport, simply follow the instruction in the reversed way.

Some other suggestions

Right after arriving at Japan, you might hope to do the followings.

  • Exchanging money.
    There are currency exchange services at airports.

  • Purchasing an electric money card.
    As described in About Tokyo city section, electric cards are extremely useful in Tokyo for moving around and buying things. If you get a card at the airport and charge some money there, you can basically forget using vending machines at stations when you use trains/metros.

About Tokyo city

A googlemap for EASIAM 2018

We offer a googlemap in which several points for EASIAM 2018 are marked for your convenience.

EASIAM 2018 map.

(We are sorry for some people who cannot access google sites. Please contact local organizers if you need assistance.)

Some basic useful sites

The following sites may be useful to collect basic things about the Tokyo city, including several maps.

  • GO TOKYO (official site offered by the Tokyo city).
    There you find a rough sketch of the city: “area guide”. UTokyo is in the Ueno area, in the north east part of the central Tokyo.

  • Some maps offered by JR East railway company is useful.
    Tokyo Sightseeing map (PDF), which gives a good rough view of the entire city.
    More precise railway system map can be found as Network Map(PDF).

  • Into JAPAN (general information site for Japan, run by the Japan government).

Moving around in Tokyo

Tokyo has a convenient transportation system, and most places can be reached safely by trains (this “train” includes metros (subways), mono-rails).
For the way to buy tickets, see How to buy tickets (a page in the GO TOKYO site above).
Be warned that in Japan credit cards are not typical when buying tickets, and in most cases you need cash.

A better, far more convenient way of moving around is to use electric card. There are two major electric cards in Tokyo.

  • Suica (service run by JR East railway company)
  • PASMO (run by Tokyo metro company)

Strictly speaking they are different services (i.e., Suica is basically for the ride on JR trains, while PASMO is for using metros), but inside the Tokyo city (including some neighboring areas) the services mutually accept each other, and practically you can enjoy all the services that the two systems offer whichever card you are using.

Obtaining an electric card, you can enjoy the followings.

  • You can ride trains, metros, monorails, buses (i.e. almost all the transportation systems) in Tokyo. When you ride a train, you simply touch the gate at the entrace, and re-touch it again when exiting your destination station. (See, for example, Using your PASMO on the train.)
  • Some taxis accept such electric cards (but some do not; be careful!).
  • You can use the cards at shops including convenience stores (almost all stores allow the use of the cards).

When purchasing a card, you need to pay a deposit (we think it is around 500 yen). The deposit can be refunded if you return the card, but we recommend that you keep the card without returning for your possible next visit to Tokyo. (This is also because, as the cases for most of the similar cards in other countries, it takes some time and requires a cumbersome procedure to get a refund.)

The card can be recharged (topped up) at stations and convenience stores.

You can purchase a card as soon as you arrive at Tokyo airports: you can use automatic vending machines at the airport train stations (see the site for Suica or PASMO, depending on your arrival airport. See the From/To Airports page of this site).

Weather in Tokyo

The temperature in Tokyo typically goes up to 23–30 (degrees Celsius) in the afternoon, and down to 16–20 in the morning.
Be warned that unfortunately June is the most rainy season in Japan, and also in Tokyo. We strongly recommend that you bring an umbrella (most Japanese keep a compact umbrella in their bag in June). Or it might be a good idea to buy a compact umbrella in Japan, as a souvenir for yourself.

Money issues

The currency in Japan is Yen.

In Japan, most shops/restaurants accept credit cards, but in some (usually smaller) places they do not, or set a minimum purchase for the use of the card (e.g., 5,000yen). At least, it is not typical at all to buy just a drink at a bar. Also note that it is not typical to buy train (subway) tickets by credit cards (Japanese people use cash). Thus it is safer to prepare some cash in order to move around the city. (A good way to survive this is to use electric money cards mentioned above!).

There are currency exchange services in the airports. There are also some places where you can exchange money in the central Tokyo, but be warned that they are not so many, and it is safer to check the places when you plan your trip so that you do not get lost in Tokyo without any cash. Some banks offers exchange service, but they are not convenient, and close on the weekend (recall that EASIAM will be mainly held on an weekend!).

In some ATMs, including those in Seven-Eleven convenience stores, you can use cards with VISA/Cirrus Plus/Mastercard/UnionPay/AmericanExpress among others to withdraw Japanese yen directly. See, for example, Seven Bank page.

Safety issues

Tokyo is basically a safe city, even if you walk around the city in the midnight. Still there are some crimes, and it is better to avoid getting into darker places in busy areas in the midnight.

Life in Tokyo

Shops and restaurants are basically open for Fridays and weekends. You can find convenience stores on every corner, which are open 24hours, so there should be no difficulty in getting basic things. On Monday, some shops/restaurants/museums are closed (in Japan, most shops/restaurants close on a prescribed day in the week).

The electricity in Tokyo (Japan) is 100V, type-A (see, for example, Plug & socket types).

Tap water is drinkable (unless otherwise is explicitly stated).

Most taxi drivers (unfortunately) do not speak English, although in many cases they try to catch your intention. It is safer to prepare a map by which you can locate your destination visually.

In Japan, prepaid SIMs are not popular (basically most SIMs can be purchased only with subscriptions). Still, there are a few exceptions. Consult, for example, How To Buy A SIM Card In Tokyo

Conference venue

The conference will take place in the University of Tokyo, Hongo campus. For the access, consult the following links.

  • UTokyo general access guide
    In this link, you further find the followings.

  • UTokyo access guide(PDF):
    In this map you find that UTokyo has several different campuses. EASIAM 2018 will take place in Hongo campus, which locates at the heart of the Tokyo city, in the east area of the most busy area.

  • Hongo campus map(PDF):
    This map describes the structure of the Hongo campus in detail. The conference will be held at Faculty of Engineering Bldg. 6 (No.78 in the map), and Faculty of Engineering Bldg. 2 (No.74).