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