Advice

Updated November 5, 2019 | by Chad A. Thiele, 23 year veteran of Tokyo.

I’ve lived in Tokyo for 23 years.

As you can imagine, there is some advice I’d like to offer you — based on things I’ve learned over this time.

Don’t Plan (too much)

First, and probably one of my best pieces of advice is that sometimes you don’t need to plan everything. The best adventures can be completely unplanned.

There’s something to be said about serendipity, or — experiences that happen because you were in the right place at the right time — but you had no idea to expect it.

That’s not to say planning is bad. Planned trips have their own appeal too. But once your plans start running thin, I don’t want you to worry — or feel like you might be missing out on something.

You can have an incredible time in Tokyo without a plan too.

What to Avoid

That said, there are some things to avoid when traveling in Tokyo.

Don’t worry, Tokyo is very safe. These are things that are more annoyances than dangers.

Carry Cash

Oh, and before I forget, you should also consider carrying cash with you.

Tokyo has been getting better about credit cards (and now third-party payment apps like PayPay), but all too often you’ll bump into a mom and pop that won’t accept cards.

And those are some of the best places, especially when you’re on your unplanned excursions around train stations. 🙂


This is simply a start. I’ll be adding more advice here over time. Until then, enjoy your travels in Tokyo!