Road Trip Guide: Tokyo

Tokyo can be a daunting yet exciting place for road trippers. And by this, I mean travelers who want to have a glimpse of the Tokyo city life without driving a car! Indeed, getting around Tokyo is one of the most challenging experiences for city travelers because of the hazards of everyday traffic and congestion. A road trip to Tokyo is not complete without checking out this guide.


If you want to save money on lodging in Tokyo, look for hotels in Taito.

Men who visit Tokyo can save money by renting capsule hotels.

Many places in Tokyo offer unlikely options for lodging if all you need is a place to crash for the night. Some of them include karaoke bars with couches, manga kisa or internet cafes or even camping out at the park! It may seem something only homeless people would do, but in Japan, being nojuku works for plenty of people and is legal and safe.

Solo travelers will find business hotels in Tokyo such as Tokyu Stay, Sunroute and Chisun as the best  places to lodge as they are fairly affordable at 6000+ Yen with free internet and breakfast.

Many families who wish to stay in Tokyo for at least a week can save money on Weekly Mansion Tokyo apartments that can be rented at 5000+ Yen per day.

Be prepared to shell out at least $500-$1000 a month if you want to rent an apartment in Tokyo.

Used to owning a big house and yard? Try living in 175 sq. ft. apartment spaces, the maximum space you can most likely rent in Tokyo.


Driving in Tokyo requires you to read road signs in Japanese, deal with congested traffic and pay huge parking fees. Take the subway train or bus instead.

In order to take advantage of free subway rides in Tokyo, purchase a Japan Rail Pass in advance – before you actually arrive in Japan.

Buses in Tokyo have fixed fares and do not post signs or announce in English.

If you want to take a taxi in Tokyo, don't expect that the driver knows English, so have a map ready with your destination address marked. Most fares start at 700 Yen for the first two kilometers and will increase with additional kilometers and surcharge. Taxi tips are optional.

You can go on a short cruise to Tokyo harbor and connect to four different towns of Asakusa, Harumi, Odaiba and Hinode.

Riding a bike in Tokyo is possible for those who can deal with congested streets and hilly roads.

You can also walk around Tokyo despite the existence of good public transport, because the city is safe.


  • Imperial Palace
  • Meiji Shrine
  • Tokyo Tower
  • Roponggi Hills
  • Rainbow Bridget
  • Tokyo Skytree


If you want to eat in Tokyo and don't know how to read Japanese menus, ask for Eigo (English).

Romaji is a Romanized version of Japanese words that can be phonetically read by English speakers.

Avoid using credit cards in Tokyo – a lot of shops and restaurants do not take them. Most people carry wads of cash and it's perfectly safe.

In Tokyo, there are more restaurants and cuisine than you can ever imagine, but nothing is more prevalent than noodle, sushi and monjayaki in a variety of bento takeout boxes.

You can find convenience stores everywhere in Tokyo but if you really want to save money, check out the 100 Yen stores, also 99 or Lawson 100, the equivalent of Dollar Stores in the US.

The most popular noodle types served are soba and udon. Soba is thin brown noodles while udon is the thick white one. Shirataki is clear and chewy. Ramen and somen are medium thickness, also made of wheat like udon. All noodles can be served hot or cold, depending on the season.

Some of the best places to eat western style Japanese fast food are Ootoya, Matsuya and Yoshinoya.

Sushi enthusiasts should go for the Kaitenzushi where different types of sushi at different prices can be picked up at a “conveyor belt.”

Another great way to save money on dinner is to go depachikas at 7 p.m. Most of these department store food courts lower their prices before closing time. It's also possible to get a free meal by just picking up free samples from the food stalls! Depachikas are usually located at the basement of department stores and offer some of the best affordable meals in Tokyo and most of Japan.

Tsukiji is where you can find the best sushi in Tokyo.

You have to be 20 years old to buy or drink alcohol in Tokyo (and Japan in general).

Most people who want to have pub-style dinner, drinks and the omnipresent karaoke bar should go to izakaya.


Nightlife thrives everywhere in Tokyo with some popular and trendy places in Roponggi, Shibuya, Ginza, Shinjuku and Ebisu. Red light districts can be found in Shinjuku.

Adapted from: 42 Things You Didn't Know About Tokyo

Marie Puddu is a Contributing WikiTravel Editor. She's on Twitter @WeTravelConnect

Photo: Justwalkedby
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About the Author

Marie Puddu
We like the freedom of open road travel. Whether it's in the streets of London to the outback of Australia, nothing beats driving your vehicle and enjoying your trip -- your way. Join us in sharing ideas on where to go, where to stay, and fun things to do on roadtrip stopovers all over the world.

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