10 Things About Tokyo

10 Things About

  1. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. There are about 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone.
  2. 2 airports serve Tokyo – Narita Airport (成田空港) and Haneda Airport (羽田空港). Narita handles most of the international flights while Haneda handles most of the domestic flights.
  3. Increasingly Haneda Airport is playing a more pivotal role in expanding Tokyo’s capacity to accept more international flights.
  4. JR Narita Express and Airport Limousine are the most preferred airport transfer options from either Narita or Haneda. The former option takes about 60 minutes to reach Tokyo Station (東京駅) while the latter takes about 80 minutes. Both cost ¥3,000 for a one-way trip.
  5. The Japanese language is written with a combination of 3 scripts – hiragana (ひらがな), katakana (カタカナ) and kanji (漢字).
  6. English-speaking travellers would be able to get by in Tokyo without any knowledge of the Japanese language as most of the signs at train stations and major tourist attractions include romaji (romanised characters) version of the names.
  7. Tokyo lies in the humid sub-tropical climate zone and has 4 distinct seasons. Summers are usually hot and humid, and winters mild. Snow is a rare occurrence.
  8. The cherry blossoms bloom for a week between Mar and Apr, and Ueno Park (上野公園) is arguably the best place to view the blossoms.
  9. Contrary to popular belief, accommodation in Tokyo can be relatively affordable – Japanese Inns (旅館 or ‘ryokan’) are good alternatives to hotels, and typically feature tatami-matted rooms and common bathrooms. A night’s stay could be as affordable as S$100.
  10. Tokyo has arguably the most extensive, efficient and complicated world-class urban train system in the world. Hyperdia is a good online resource to help you plan the best way to get from point A to point B.

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