Eccentric, outlandish, exaggeratedly conventional and yet completely unconventional, Tokyo is a wonderful mix of cultural overload, delight and discovery. With more places to eat than you’ll ever manage, a design scene second to none, festivals for everything, and so much to explore, your time here will be nothing short of fascinating.
But if you’ve just arrived, you will be overwhelmed. We were. We moved from Hong Kong to Tokyo just a year ago, and there are a few (okay, many) things I wish I had known.
1. Always carry enough cash
Make sure that you always have enough on you. For many things, Japan is still a cash society and you will be surprised to hear more often than not “crejitto ca-do tsukaemasen” (no credit cards.) Having enough cash means that, if you get stuck, you will be given the opportunity to nip out and refuel.
2. Convenience stores, not banks
Go to the convenience stores for cash – don’t spend time looking for the high street banks. Most mainstream convenience stores like Family Mart and Seven Eleven have ATMs and most of them have English options. Also, banks typically close at 3 p.m., so if you’re working late, regular ATMs or convenience stores are your best options.
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