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Business Attire/Practices

Japanese businesspeople tend to be more conservative than their Western counterparts. A dark gray or dark blue suit with a conservative tie is the normal business dress for men. Women will want to wear suits.

Always address a business associate by a surname. Instead of shaking hands, bow from the waist, with eyes lowered and hands at sides. Present business cards (and also gifts) with both hands. Remove shoes upon entering a Japanese home.


English is widely spoken by people associated with the tourist trade. However, it's not normally understood by taxi drivers or in most Japanese restaurants.


The yen is the only acceptable currency in Japan. As we went to press, the exchange rate was „109 to the U.S. dollar, „79 to the Canadian dollar, „87 to the Australian dollar, and „165 to the British pound. Japan is a "cash" society, and Japanese people think nothing of carrying „50,000 to „100,000 in their wallets. Credit cards are accepted by hotels and department stores, but not all restaurants



Time Zone

Passport/Visa Requirements

Passport and visa required of Australian travelers, just passports needed by travelers from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. All need proof of onward passage. Reconfirm documentation requirements with carrier before departure.

Important Telephone Numbers

For ambulance and fire emergencies, dial 119. For police assistance, dial 110 (an interpreter is provided).

Health Advisory

Standards are equal to or surpass those of highly industrialized countries. Water is safe to drink; food is safe everywhere. No vaccinations needed.

Emergency Health Care

Dial 119 for an ambulance, 3212-2323 for hospital information in English. Tell-Tokyo English Lifeline: 5721-4347. All major hotels have emergency medical and dental services with English-speaking doctors and dentists on call. For dire emergencies, contact the U.S. Embassy at 3224-5000; Canadian 3408-2101; British 3265-5511; Australian 5232-4111.

Emergency Pharmacies

Prescription drugs are not dispensed at pharmacies, but by hospitals and doctors. However, many drugs that call for a prescription in North America are sold over the counter in Japan. Call the Hospital Information Hotline at 3212-2323 for information in English, or the Tell-Tokyo English Lifeline, 5721-4347.

Time Zone

Nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Japan does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Area Codes

Country code is 81, Tokyo city code is 3 (03 when calling from elsewhere in Japan).


One of the great joys of traveling in Japan is the virtual nonexistence of violent crime. If you leave your briefcase or camera in a taxi, often it will be returned before you realize it's missing. It's probably safer to leave your bags unattended in Tokyo than it is in other cities (though it's best to exercise prudence).

Currency Exchange

Most convenient place: your hotel. Next best choice: a bank displaying the Authorized Foreign Exchange Bank sign. Some North American banks' cash cards can be used in Japanese cash machines. Check with your bank before leaving and make sure to have a numerical access code. (However, it's best not to depend on using ATMs for securing cash.) U.S. dollars cannot be used as currency.

Banking Hours

Monday-Friday 9 am to 3 pm.


Standard voltage in Tokyo and eastern Japan is 100 volts AC, 50 cycles, but in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka) it's 100 volts, 60 cycles. 200 volts AC, 50-cycle voltage also available. Razors and hair driers normally running on 110-120 volts AC will usually run okay on Tokyo's 100 volts, though they'll run a little slower or not get as hot. Check that your appliance operates on 50 cycles before plugging in. Major hotels have 110- to 120-volt and 220-volt outlets as well. Electrical outlets are not quite the same and may not fit your appliances. Ask for an adapter if this is the case.


Consumption tax of 3% on all purchases, including hotels and restaurants. Foreign visitors are exempt from this tax on major purchases outside of hotels and restaurants; rebate counters exist in large stores. Additional 3% sales tax on hotel bills over „15,000 and restaurant bills over „7,501 per person.


Tipping is the only bargain in Japan; there is none. Porters at airports and train stations charge a flat fee of about „300 to „350 per suitcase. A 10%-15% service charge is added to most hotel and restaurant bills in lieu of tips.

Mail and Package Service

All hotels provide postal, package and messenger services. The Tokyo Central Post Office, near Tokyo Station, has a 24-hour counter, as does a special Tokyo International Post Office (Kok'sai Yubin-kyoku) for foreign mail in Otemachi, also near Tokyo Station. FedEx is at Kyodo Building, 16 Ichibancho, Chiyoda-ku 102, 0120-003200, fax 5275-5272.


Four daily English-language newspapers: The Japan Times (best coverage), Mainichi Daily News, Asahi Evening News and The Daily Yomiuri. For local financial and business news, The Nikkei Weekly. All major international papers and magazines available at hotel newsstands and foreign book shops. Try Meruzen (near Tokyo Station, Yaesu Exit) for a good selection of U.S., British, Canadian and Australian papers.

Further Information

Travel information centers at Kotani Bldg., 1-6-6 Yurakucho 1-Chome, Chiyoda-ku 100 (near Tokyo Station), 3502-1481, and at Narita Airport, first floor (south side) of Terminal 1, 0476-32-8711. Japan Travel Phone in operation Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday to noon: 3503-4400.



Airport Transportation

All international flights to Tokyo, except those of China Airlines (CAL), land at New Tokyo International Airport (Narita). Narita is located some 40 mi/65 km outside Tokyo, a distance that will feel much longer because of the heavy traffic. It takes at least an hour and a half to get from Narita to the city, and during very heavy traffic (which is most of the time) it can take more than three hours. Always allow at least four hours between the city and Narita to make an international flight. Most domestic flights land at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), about a half-hour bus ride from downtown Tokyo.


Taxis do run between Narita and the city, but they're going to be astronomically expensive and take just as long as the commercial limousines (see below).

Commercial Limousines

The best way to get between Narita and Tokyo is by the commercial buses (called limousines). You'll find them just outside the main entrance. Each bus serves two to four different hotels. Check with the curbside conductor for the one to take to your hotel. You don't have to be staying at the hotel to take the bus, and if your hotel isn't served, the conductor will put you on a bus to the hotel nearest yours. Fare between Narita and the city is approximately „2,900.

A shuttle service runs between Narita and the Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT), which (unfortunately) is not very convenient to subways or hotels. Runs every 10 minutes, costs „2,700. From the TCAT take another shuttle bus to Tokyo Station or catch a subway at Suitengu Station.


Keisei and JR (Japan Railways) trains run regularly between Narita Airport and the city. You may save some time and a little money by using them, but you're going to have to lug your bags around and up and down stairs. Unless you're traveling light, take one of the commercial limousines. Information: Japan Railways (JR) Infoline, 3423-0111.

Rental Cars

Rental cars from most recognized international rental companies (Hertz and Avis among them) and some purely Japanese companies (Orix, Nippon and Toyota) are available at Tokyo airports and numerous city locations. However, because of the traffic in and around Tokyo, driving on the left side of the road, parking problems and unfamiliar signs, we do not recommend driving.



Tokyo is a city of superb hotels. They may be classified in three categories: international (Western style), efficiency (business) and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns). You're likely to come in contact with only the first category during your stay in Tokyo. The efficiency hotels, called "business hotels" by the Japanese, cater almost exclusively to Japanese businesspeople. These generally have very small rooms, limited services and little or no English-speaking staff. A factor to consider before deciding to stay in a business hotel is the degree of prestige sought by you and your company. Your Japanese counterparts may expect you to stay in one of the top-class international hotels, not in a business hotel where their salespeople stay. It may seem pretentious to stay somewhere expensive simply for this reason, but in Japan, as in the rest of Asia, "face" can be important.

The third category of hotel, the traditional Japanese inns (ryokans), are not as a rule found in Tokyo. Almost exclusively patronized by middle-and upper-class Japanese, they're found more typically in the countryside, small cities and towns. Their rates, which can be astronomical (ranging from „20,000 to „40,000 per person) include a private Japanese-style room (where you sleep on futons on tatami mats). You receive breakfast (usually Japanese-style: fish, rice, miso soup, eggs, pickles) and an elaborate Japanese dinner. Distinguished ryokans are not to be found in Tokyo. For this kind of experience, we suggest Tawaraya :an outstanding example :in Kyoto (two-and-a-half hours away by bullet train).

Following is a sampling of Western-style accommodations recommended by our correspondents; it is not intended to be a comprehensive list. Always check for special rates that may be in effect.


With the way traffic can be around Tokyo, it's not a bad idea to book a room near the airport for your last night in town, saving you a great deal of rush and worry on the morning of your departure.

Near Narita Airport

ANA Hotel Narita :Comfortable, spacious facility with sleek lobby, restaurants, lounge, fitness rooms. (We should mention that it's the public areas that are spacious; the rooms themselves will seem small by Western standards.) Meeting facilities for 270. Extremely popular. Single room „14,000 and up, including tax and breakfast. 68 Horinouchi, Narita 286, phone 0476-33-1311.

Hotel Nikko Narita :Ten minutes from the airport. Top-floor restaurant and pool. Meeting facilities for 200. Single room „12,000 plus tax and service charge, but special discount rates for those flying on Japan Airlines. 500 Tokko, Narita 286, phone 0476-32-0032.

Near Haneda Airport and Yokohama

Royal Park Hotel Nikko :A new hotel atop Japan's tallest building, the Landmark Tower. This unique hostelry occupies the 52nd through 67th floors of the Tower. With magnificent views of Tokyo Bay and Mt. Fuji, swimming pool and fitness center, the Royal Park is a good choice. Single room (called "double" for one double bed) „24,000 and up. Conference facilities accommodate 1,000. 1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220, phone 045-221-1111.

Yokohama Grand Inter-Continental Hotel :Located in the historic port of Yokohama, next to the Yokohama Convention Center and offering an indoor pool and health club, Jacuzzi, fitness room, sauna and massage. Meeting space for 250. Single room „26,500 and up. 1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220, phone 045-223-2222.


There are several hundred hotels to choose from in Tokyo. Nearly all international (Western-style) hotels offer 24-hour room service, fully equipped business centers and the other amenities you'd expect in any top-flight hotel. And there are two other features you're going to like about staying in Tokyo: The staff is never, but never, surly. They will always bend over backward to help you at any time of the day or night. And nobody looks for a tip.

Hilltop Hotel :A nice hotel with Old World charm near the center of the city (Ochanomizu Station) in the university district. The Hilltop has long been a hangout for artists and writers. Meeting facilities for 100. Single room „25,000 and up. 1 Kanda Surugadai 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku 101, phone 3293-2311.

Hotel Okura :A luxury hotel with the subtle charm and nuance of Japanese tradition, centrally located across from the U.S. Embassy and near the business districts. One of the best hotels in Tokyo, with a well-equipped business center. In-room fax and modem outlets, and a splendid Japanese garden. Will accommodate 1,260 for meetings. Single room „32,000 and up. 2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku 105, phone 3582-0111.

Palace Hotel :It sits tucked along the moat of the Imperial Palace. Wonderful views of the Imperial Palace, an imperial garden and impeccable service. Will accommodate 650 for conferences. Single room „23,000 and up. 1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku 100, phone 3211-5211.

Hotel Seiyo Ginza :One of the most uniquely styled, intimate luxury hotels in Asia, exclusive and expensive. Each room has its own individual design, color scheme and layout. It's an oasis of tranquillity amidst the world-famous Ginza, in the heart of Tokyo's fashion district. Meeting facilities for 120, limousine service. Single room „48,000 and up. 1-11-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku 104, phone 3535-1111.

The Westin Tokyo :Tokyo's newest and most dynamic hotel, located in the center of dramatic Yebisu Garden Place, the headquarters of many multi-national firms. Space abounds here, with the largest standard rooms in the city and 25 acres/10 hectares of landscaped gardens, promenades, shops and cultural spaces. Beautiful neoclassical interiors, meeting space for up to 600. „28,000 and up. 1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku 153, phone 5423-7000.

Park Hyatt Tokyo :One of the newest and most luxurious sites. Very private atmosphere, on the 45th to 52nd floors of a tall, futuristic building. Library, indoor pool, fully equipped exercise room. Ten minutes' walk from bustling Shinjuku. „40,000 yen and up. 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, 163. Phone 5322-1234.


There are only two nearby areas where you may want to spend a night or two. By far the most popular of the pair :with families, at any rate :is Tokyo Disneyland on Tokyo Bay, in Chiba. The other is the new Makuhari Messe business and convention center in Makuhari New City, also in Chiba.

Near Disneyland

Sheraton Grand Tokyo Bay Hotel & Towers :A city resort and tower hotel set on 2.5 acres/1 hectare of landscaped gardens near the gates of Disneyland, with views of Tokyo Bay and Mickey's world. Indoor/outdoor pool and tennis courts, simulation golf, racquet ball and running track make it a workout fanatic's dream. Can accommodate up to 700 at a conference. Single or double occupancy „32,000 and up. 1-9 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279, phone 0473-55-5555.

Tokyo Bay Hilton :The official hotel of Tokyo Disneyland. On Tokyo Bay, adjacent to Disneyland with indoor/outdoor pool, health club, squash and tennis courts. Huge conference facilities :for up to 2,000. Single room „25,000 and up. 1-8 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279, phone 0473-55-5000.

Near Makuhari Convention Center

Hotel New Otani Makuhari :Located next to the new Makuhari Convention Center, 30 minutes from Narita and close to Disneyland. Business center, sports club, swimming and tennis. Meeting facilities for 900. Single room „17,000 and up. 2-2 Hibino, Mihama-ku, Chiba 261, phone 043-297-7777.



Staying well fed in Japan can be an expensive proposition, but it doesn't have to be: If menu prices shock you, you can always stop at a noodle stall for a tasty and filling :if not particularly hearty :meal. (Then again, even expensive Japanese meals are seldom described as hearty.) And while you can survive on noodles, we think you'll want to plan at least a few meals at sit-down restaurants. In our selections below, we've looked for value, and our recommendations include many restaurants serving high-quality food that is :by Japanese standards :very reasonably priced for what you're getting. Incidentally, when you enter a Japanese eatery, you'll be happy to discover that the language barrier that can make Tokyo so perplexing at times is not a big problem in restaurants :many have plastic displays of menu items for you to point at. And although many strange and wondrous things will be presented to you during the course of a Japanese meal, you'll undoubtedly do just long as you remember that the bowl of hot water presented at the conclusion of the meal is a light broth to clear the palate, not a finger bowl.


Ukai Toriyama :Though not exactly in town, this is a beautiful restaurant in a setting quintessentially Japanese. It's deep in the green hills about 90 minutes from downtown. Guests are led to very private tatami rooms with magnificent views of carp ponds and a neatly trimmed Japanese garden. Delicious and filling dinners („5,000-„8,000) of chicken or steak grilled on a hibachi. Reservations only. Major credit cards. Minamiasakawa-cho, Hachioji-shi. (Courtesy bus service from Keio Takao Station. From downtown, take JR Chuo Line to Hachioji Station and change to Keio Takao Line.) Phone 0426-61-0739.

Wako :A good source for traditional Japanese food (kaiseki ). Many small dishes of superb Japanese delicacies. Reservations. Lunch around „15,000-„25,000, dinner „20,000-„40,000. Cash only. 16-3 Mejiro, Toshima-ku, phone 3982-2251.

Hoshigaoka-Saryo :Try this venue for kaiseki, a set meal that shows off Japanese cuisine at its height. It combines taste, decoration and presentation in a memorable meal. Reservations recommended. Lunch „1,500 to „5,000, dinner around „8,000. Most credit cards. 1-26-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, phone 3344-4011.

New Tokyo Takao :Here is where you go to try shabu-shabu, a fondue of thinly sliced beef or pork cooked in a boiling stock with bean curd and mushrooms and eaten in a vinegar sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner are the same menu: „3,000-„16,000. Most credit cards. 2-2-3 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, phone 3575-4800.

Tableaux :A mouth-watering international menu with incredible decor. Dinners only. Reservations. „6,000-„8,000. Most credit cards. Sunroser Daikanyama Building, B1, 11-6 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, phone 5489-2201.


Matsuya :Try this for soba (thin, long homemade buckwheat noodles in a mild stock). A giant bowl of noodles in a thick soup for lunch or dinner will cost about „1,000. Cash only. No reservations. 1-13 Kandasudacho, Chiyoda-ku, phone 3251-1556.

Tsunahachi :A chain of reasonably priced, excellent tempura restaurants. Set lunch and dinner, „1,500-„4,000. Major credit cards. Ask your hotel's front desk or concierge for the location nearest you.

Genrokuzushi :Sushi on the run (rather, sushi on a conveyor belt!). You sit at a counter encircling the chefs and pick sushi plates from those going around. Each plate costs „120-„240. Genrokuzushi is one of the oldest and biggest chains of kaiten (round and round) restaurants. Ask at your hotel for the one nearest you, or stroll on Omotesando and stop by the very popular one at Jingumae 5-8-5, Shibuya-ku, phone 3498-3968.

Sanjiro :Great sobo noodles in a unique setting. For a big plate of zarusoba, „2,000. Reservations unnecessary. Cash only. 1-8 Kouji-machi, Chiyoda-ku (near Hanzomon Station on the purple Hanzomon subway line), phone 3263-6762.

Nambantei :All kinds of yakitori (chicken) are grilled right before your eyes. Open for dinner only. „4,000-„5,000. Major credit cards. 4-5-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku, phone 3402-0606.

Yasuko :Oden is a stew of fish cakes, vegetables, fried tofu and seafood, simmered in flavorful stock in a big, flat copper pan. Just point and choose a few delicacies and eat them with a dab of fiery mustard, washed down with warm sake. Each piece ranges from „300 to „1,000. No credit cards. 5-4-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, phone 3571-0621.

Tonki :Great tonkatsu (big, juicy pork cutlet). This place is so popular you may have to wait in line a few minutes :but it's worth it. „2,000-„3,000. No credit cards. 1-1-2 Shimo Meguro, Meguro-ku, phone 3491-9928.

Izakaya New Tokyo Well :An appropriate place for yakitori :every part of the chicken cooked over a charcoal brazier. Dinner only. No reservations. From „2,000 to „10,000. Most credit cards. NKI Building, B1, 2-23 Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku, phone 3265-8595.

Ninniku-Ya :A favorite of Tokyoites for its exotic, garlic-spiced food and huge servings. Dinner only. No reservations. About „4,000. Cash only. 1-26-12 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, phone 3446-5887.

Hassan :This restaurant serves high-quality shabu-shabu (paper-thin slices of beef, vegetables and noodles dipped in soup and eaten with condiments), as well as sushi. Both shabu-shabu and sushi are all-you-can-eat. „5,300. No credit cards. 6-1-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku, phone 3403-8333.

Shoto :In this cozy restaurant, you can choose among the three best ways to eat beef in Japan: shabu-shabu, sukiyaki (renowned beef-and-vegetable concoction) or Korean barbecue. „2,800-„3,800. No credit cards. 3-18-4 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, phone 3354-1881.


L'Incontro Trattoria :Superb Italian cuisine. Reservations recommended. Lunch „900 to „5,000. Dinner „3,500 to „5,000. Most credit cards accepted. Kami Pulp Kaikan Building, B1, 3-9-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku (near the Ginza Station on the orange Ginza subway line), phone 3248-4881.

Hotel De Mikuni :An exquisite French restaurant in a homelike setting. Reservations suggested. Lunch „6,500 to „11,000, dinner „15,000. Most credit cards. 1-18 Wakaba, Shinjuku-ku, phone 3351-3810.

The Aegean :Authentic Greek dining. Open for dinner only. No reservations needed. About „5,000. Most credit cards. Oriental Building B1, 3-18-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku (near Shibuya Station on the orange Ginza subway line), phone 3407-1783.

Luncheon Aoyama :An American-style bistro with an international cuisine. Reservations suggested. Lunch „1,200-„2,500, dinner around „6,000. Most credit cards. 1-2-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, phone 5466-1398.


New Peking :Satisfies a craving for Chinese. Reservations recommended. Lunch „2,000-„6,000, dinner around „8,000. Most credit cards. At the Hilltop Hotel (Yamanoue), 1 Kanda Surugadai 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku 101, phone 3293-2311.

Moti :Good Indian restaurant, reasonably priced. Lunch „1,000-„2,000. Dinner „3,000-„5,000. Major credit cards. 3-8-8 Akasaka, Minato-ku, phone 3584-3760.

Saimon :Gooey-good Chinese food. No reservations. Lunch is a smorgasbord for about „1,000, dinner about „3,000. Most credit cards. Mitsuya Yotsuya Building 2F, 2-14 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku (near Yotsuya Sanchome Station on the red Marunouchi subway line), phone 3355-6906.


Healthy-Kan :For vegetarian and health-food fare, jog over here. No reservations needed. Lunch and dinner both „1,200-„1,600. Cash only. Asahirokubancho Mansion 2F, 4 Rokubancho, Chiyoda-ku 102, phone 3263-4023.

Coffee Shops :There are zillions of coffee shops in Tokyo. On nearly every street corner and in every large building, they offer about the only place to sit down and rest awhile. A cup of American (weaker) or regular (stronger) coffee normally runs about „350 to „800; sometimes refills are free. Coffee shops usually offer a set breakfast (normally thick buttered toast) and a bargain set lunch for about „800 to „1,000. In a coffee shop chain such as Pronto, you can get good coffee, (cheap at „160-„180) and a decent pastry („200-„250), though you may wind up standing if all the stools are taken.



All international (Western style) hotels in Tokyo have business centers with computers, secretarial and messenger services, audiovisual equipment, copiers and faxes. Additional business services are listed below.

Audiovisual Equipment

Rental ACOM at either 1-11-3 Shinbashi, Minato-ku 105, phone 3432-8522, fax 3432-6885, or 1-34-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku 160, phone 3350-5081, fax 3350-5599.

Cellular-Phone Rental

Cellular phones are still not easily available on a daily or weekly rental basis in Tokyo. Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) requires proof of local residency or a „100,000 (about $1,200) deposit, refundable 30 days after rental is terminated. Some hotels are beginning to offer low-power cellular phone rentals and investigating high-power phone rentals. Check to see.

Computer Rental

Best bet is your hotel's business center. For long-term (a month or more) rentals, try Katena Rental System, 2-10-24 Shiomi, Koto-ku 135, phone 5690-8441.

Convention Services/Meeting Planning

Japan Convention Services, Nippon Press Center Bldg., 2-2-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku 100, phone 3508-1211.


Kinko's, 1-22-12 Toranomon, Minato-ku, phone 3508-2644, open 24 hours. Fugi Technos, 4-29-6 Shinbashi, Minato-ku 105, phone 3432-7661.

Messenger Service

Best bet: your hotel's messenger service. For across-Japan, overnight services: Sagawa Express, 2-1-1 Shinsuna, Koto-ku 136, phone 3699-3311. Federal Express, Kyodo Bldg., 16 Ichiban-cho, phone 0120-003200, fax 5275-5272.

Secretarial Services

Alpha Corporation, 2-5-7 Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku 102, phone 3230-0090, fax 3234-5336; Adia Staff, Sampo Akasaka Bldg. 4F, 2-5-7 Akasaka, Minato-ku 107, phone 3505-3241, fax 3505-3430.

Translators and Interpreters

ILC, Urban Point Sugamo Bldg. 4F, 1-24-12 Sugamo, Toshima-ku 170, phone 5395-5561; Adia Staff, Sampo Akasaka Bldg. 4F, 2-5-7 Akasaka, Minato-ku 107, phone 3505-3241.

Guides and Escorts

Japan Federation of Licensed Guides, 2-1-10 Kamitakada, Nakamo-ku, phone 3319-1665, fax 3319-1960.



Meiji Shrine. Famous Shinto shrine surrounded by lovely park, close to the Iris Garden (especially beautiful June-July). In Harajuku.

Imperial Palace Grounds. While the Inner Palace is open Dec 23 and Jan 2 only, the lovely outer gardens are perfect for strolling. In Marunouchi.

Tokyo National Museum. Largest collection of Japanese art in the world. 13-9 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, in Ueno Park, phone 3822-1111.

Ueno Park. Surrounds the Tokyo National Museum (above) and contains temples, shrines, zoo and aquarium. Prime cherry-blossom-viewing spot.

Ginza. Tokyo's Fifth Avenue, in the heart of the city.

Edo-Tokyo Museum. Comprehensive display of Tokyo life from 17th century through World War II. 1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, (Ryogoku Station on JR Sobu Line), phone 3626-9974.


Tokyo is an exciting -- albeit pricey -- place to shop. Visitors are apt to be looking for electronic goods and cameras as well as traditional Japanese handicrafts such as lacquerware and dolls.

Cameras and Electronics: First make your selection at a manufacturer's showroom and then head for Electric City and the discount camera stores, where you can often bargain 30% or more off the retail price. Electric City's in the Akihabara area; discount camera stores in Shinkuku. Don't look for discounted computers in Tokyo.

Traditional Japanese Wares: Find these along the Ginza and in department stores: Ceramics, ironware and stoneware, porcelains, dolls, lacquerware, netsuke, swords, kimonos and cultured pearls.



Kabuki (ornately costumed melodrama) at Kabukiza Theater, 3541-3131; Bunraku (life-size puppets) at the National Theater of Japan, 3265-7411; Noh (ancient song-dance-drama) at Kanze Nohgakudo, 3469-5241 or the National Noh Theater, 4-18-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, 3423-1331. Takarazuka (all-female song and dance) at Ueno Takarazuku Theater, 3831-3431.


Live Jazz

Blue Note Tokyo, 5-13-3 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, 3407-5781; Birdland (acoustic jazz), Roppongi Sq. Bldg. B2, 3-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku 106, 3478-3456.


Oh-Garcon (all-male girlie revue), Sumitomo Bldg. 49F, 2-6 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku 163, 3344-6591; Area (rock 'n' roll), Nittaku Bldg. B2, 3-8-15 Roppongi, Minato-ku 106, 3479-3721; Yellow (crowded, popular), near Roppongi Station on gray Hibiya line, 3479-0690; Velfarre (young crowd), 7-14-22 Roppongi, Minato-ku, 3402-8000.


Ichinochaya (sake and sashimi), 2-21-10 Kanda Awajicho, Chiyoda-ku, phone 3251-8517; Cervessa (beer varieties), 3-11-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, 3478-077; gay/lesbian bars in the Sinjuku 2-chome area.



Most of the world-class golf courses outside of Tokyo are membership only. Some do allow foreign guests, who might pay „30,000-„40,000 for the privilege of playing 18 holes. Check with your hotel.

Health Clubs

Few, if any, allow one-time use by travelers. Best bet for fitness facilities is your hotel.


Best place: Around the Imperial Palace.


Wild Blue Yokohama (indoor pool) is unusual, with beach, palms and waves all simulated. Open year round. 2-28-2 Heian-cho, Tsu­rumi-ku, Yokohama, 045-511-2323.

Spectator Sports

Sumo is Japan's unique 300-year-old wrestling sport. Don't miss the January, May and September sumo tournaments at Kokugikan Hall Arena, 1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, 3623-5111. Check with hotel for dates.