tour guide in tokyo

Old Mar 25th, 2019, 07:07 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 340
tour guide in tokyo

One more question. Does one need a tour guide to see Tokyo or is it easily navigated by oneself?

Thanks again
David
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Old Mar 25th, 2019, 06:04 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,435
I certainly would not say that Tokyo is "easy" to navigate, but I didn't feel the need to have a guide to explore the city. If you do want a guide, you might consider consider taking advantage of alocal “goodwill guide” – The Japanese National Tourism Organization coordinates free volunteer guides – “Goodwill guides” – who are generally knowledgeable and happy to guide you in return for practicing their English – which can be excellent, but it is a bit of a luck-of-the-draw.
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/tr...deservice.html
You pay any entrance fees and his/her meal if your time with the guide includes one. Do NOT tip these guides, or anyone else in Japan.


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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 04:13 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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You can certainly get around on your own and very easily. A guide is sometimes advisable to enhance and help explore certain specific interests
or to help gain understanding of a particular neighborhood. Many take tours of the famous fish market, which I did on my first visit years ago.
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 04:32 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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You don't need any guide in Tokyo, unless you want to hear about a lot of background info on a particular aspect (like how the Shogun functioned, for example). There are tools like Hyperdia to show you how to get from one place to another by subway or train. If going all over the city for 2-3 days, a 2 or 3-day subway pass can save you some money. Otherwise, an IC card like Suica or Pasmo is a way to avoid constantly calculating fares and carrying a pocketful of change. Places like Shinjuku Station are like a giant labyrinth and easy to get lost, but most of the time, it is not hard to get around the city - of course, the more preparation you do ahead of time, the smoother things will go for you. Use something like Google Maps to see which station exit to take, which direction to go, etc. For some places, like the Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine, you'll always see a long line of international tourists going together - if you follow along, you can often get to where you are going. For others, like Tokyo's many beautiful traditional gardens, there are very few crowds (and that's what makes it so enjoyable).
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