Eclectic, colorful, changeable, unexpected; in one word: Tokyo. If you are traveling alone in Tokyo, you will glad to know that it is the safest city in the world, which knows how to fascinate both lovers of big cities and those looking for more traditional atmospheres; that knows how to involve, to charm.
Traveling alone in Tokyo: When to go?
It all depends on what you want to see and do in Tokyo. Given that it is a city that can be visited all year round, because of the numerous matsuri (holidays) and events that take place every month, in my opinion, the best times to visit are in the spring, especially towards the end of April and beginning of May. Specifically in December.
After living for two years in Tokyo I noticed that these are the best months to admire and experience Tokyo to the fullest. May is warm, colorful, the weather is finally favorable, the rains give us a break between spring and early summer and most events and matsuri begin at this time of year. December is certainly cold, although very dry and therefore more easily bearable, but the sky is always extremely clear and clean, accompanied by a wonderful light and almost non-existent rains.
It is true that there is also spring with its famous flowering sakura, a show as unique as ephemeral; but if you decide to go there for this reason, know that the best time is late March, the last week on horseback with April, is that almost every day the sky will be gray accompanied by rains more or less strong.
Summer is extremely hot and humid, with the rainy season from mid-June to mid-July; while autumn sees taking the typhoon season, which usually goes from September to early October.
Traveling alone in Tokyo: Getting around in Tokyo
Tokyo has an incredibly dense and efficient public transport system and initially being able to extricate itself within this huge amount of railway and subway lines can be difficult and complex.
But as I often say when they ask me for advice on Tokyo: google maps will be your best friend, because not only will show you the best route to follow, but it will also give you all kinds of useful information such as route cost and lines to take.
If Tokyo is part of a larger itinerary within Japan and you have purchased a Japan Rail Pass (a pass that allows you to take advantage of all JR lines and not just super-fast shinkansen trains) my advice is obviously to use the as much as possible these lines in order to limit additional costs in the case of Metro or Bus. The most famous JR line is the Yamanote, a circular line that touches all the main areas of the city and allows you to get almost anywhere.
If instead you need to take other lines or buses, the best thing is to make Suica: a rechargeable card, usable throughout Japan, with which to pay for all types of public transport, shopping in convenient stores and at vending machines drinks.
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Traveling alone in Tokyo: Where to sleep?
When they ask me for advice on where to sleep in Tokyo, my answer is almost always the same: possibly near a JR Yamanote station. For some very simple reasons: because this line allows you to reach all the main areas of the city without risking to lose too much, because, as mentioned above, if you already have a JRP you do not have to pay additional tickets and because, in principle, use the JR lines cost you less than the Tokyo Metro lines.
Personally I recommend avoiding the most crowded and crowded areas like Shibuya and Shinjuku , both for a question of price and confusion; but rather prefer areas like Ikebukuro, Nippori or Ueno that I adore.
Hotels are not always particularly cheap in Tokyo, while you can find great hostels, even with private rooms, or beautiful, expensive, ryokan for those who want to experience something more traditional.
Traveling alone in Tokyo: Internet in Tokyo
Tokyo is certainly not famous for the amount of free and open WiFi that you can find; far from it.
Although some places, such as cafes or the various konbini (convenient store) 7Eleven, Family’s Mart and Lawson, offer free connection, the best thing is either rent a pocket WiFi or buy a data sim for the exclusive use of internet.
The pocket WiFi can also be booked from abroad through the various websites and then picked up at the airport or sent directly to the hotel; while the sim data you can directly buy or online or in one of the many points of sale both at the airport and around the city.
Personally I find the data sim much easier to have internet always at hand without having to worry about a further electronic object to be recharged.
Among all those tested, the best I have found so far is that of B-Mobile.
Traveling alone in Tokyo: Eating in Tokyo
One of the most fun activities to do in Tokyo, where you will be spoiled for choice.
Ramen, yakitori, gyoza, udon, tenpura, sushi and sashimi, onigiri, tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, takoyaki are just some of the dishes you can enjoy anywhere at any time of the day or night.
But unlike Italy, and most of the rest of the world, in Japan the restaurants are very specific: there is only sushi, the only ramen, the one that only prepares rice and tenpura, or the restaurant to Shinjuku that only makes yakitori.
Eating in Tokyo is quite cheap, the cost of individual dishes is around 400 to 700 yen, about 4/5 dollars, and are usually very abundant.