I’m really excited to interview Anthony Joh of Tokyo Podcast about Tokyo, Japan. Anthony’s tips for the best things to do in Tokyo are awesome because he has lived overseas for 11 years and chose Tokyo over all others. Anthony feels that Tokyo is the easiest big city to live in.
Tokyo is the capital of Japan and is a mix of modern skyscrapers lit with neon and historic temples that take you back in time. It is the world’s most populous metropolis and is broken into 23 wards. Tokyo is one of 47 prefectures (similar to our states) within Japan.
The city is built around the office worker, otherwise known as a “salary man.” However, the city is very spread out and there is no central business district. After work, you’ll find many of these workers stopping at Japanese pubs called Izakaya.
Anthony says that the best time of year to visit is in the Spring or Fall. At the end of April and early May, visitors will experience the Cherry Blossom blooms which are so beautiful. Air conditioning is a rarity in Tokyo, so you should avoid the Japanese summer. The weather can be brutal with temperatures nearing 100* with high humidity. During the winter, you’ll find clear skies with temperatures in the 40s.
If you love sushi, obviously a visit to Japan is a must. Much of the sushi we know of in America is kaiten sushi, which is the “fast food of sushi.” You’ll often find these sushi dishes on a “sushi train” conveyor belt that rotates around the restaurant. When you’re visiting Tokyo, you need to experience high-end sushi. During an Omakase sushi experience, there is no menu. Instead, the sushi chef prepares specials every day and no two experiences are the same. Anthony recommends watching the Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary to learn more about these skilled sushi masters.
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out the Tourist Information Center, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests. There are ways to save money during your visit, including the Tokyo Grutto Pass. It is a ticket booklet that provides complimentary entrance and discounts for one affordable price to 99 museums and facilities in the Tokyo area.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Getting around Tokyo
There are two airports to choose from when flying into Tokyo. Depending on where you stay will depend on which airport you will want to use. Haneda Airport (HND is about a 20-minute ride on the train to downtown Tokyo while Narita Airpot (NRT) is about 90 minutes away when taking the Skyliner train.
Anthony says that you should not rent a car while visiting Tokyo. Although the city is very spread out, public transportation is superb. The Suica Pass is perfect if you’re staying in Tokyo, while the JR Rail pass is what you need if you’re visiting other parts of Japan. Anthony recommends hopping on and off the Yamanote line, which forms a circle around Tokyo, as you explore different parts of the city.
Once you are in the district of your destination, walking around is easy to do. Uber is also a good option.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Anthony Joh about Tokyo, Japan. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Tokyo, Japan
- Green dots = best things to do in Tokyo, Japan
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Tokyo, Japan
Who is Anthony Joh?
Anthony Joh is a digital marketing consultant for the travel industry. He is originally from Canada and has lived all over the world. Tokyo has been his home for several years because he feels that it is the easiest big city to live in.
The Tokyo Podcast explores what it’s like to live and work in Japan. Anthony was an early adopter of podcasting when he launched his show in September 2011. He took a break from releasing episodes for a few years and resumed episodes with Season Two in November 2017. Episodes aren’t released on a defined schedule, but there are over 40 episodes for listeners to learn about life in Tokyo.
Here are a few podcast episodes that he’s released:
- Can You Live, Work, Or Travel In Japan Without Speaking Japanese?
- Seven Things That Make Japanese Convenience Stores Amazing!
- Five Things I Love And Hate About Living In Japan
Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Acorns
This episode is brought to you, in part, by Acorns. With Acorns, you can invest spare change automatically on every purchase that you make. Plus, you can earn Found Money by shopping at participating retailers. This is a great way to easily build up your travel fund.
For a limited time, when you sign up at wetravelthere.com/acorns, we’ll both earn $5.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Dan Hughes of Dan Hughes Music shares the best things to do in Jeonju, South Korea. Dan and I talk about the Jeonju Hanok Heritage Village, Korean BBQ, and the birthplace of bibimbap. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.