Your guide to living in Tokyo

Living in Tokyo can be overwhelming at times – but not with this everyday guide to the capital

Tokyo Tower from Roppongi Hills | Time Out Tokyo
Photo by Riccardo Chiarini

Living in Tokyo doesn't have to be a puzzle. Tips and secrets to the world's greatest city are right at your fingertips – whether it's navigating the banking system, figuring out which phone plan you should get or knowing how to avoid making a fool of yourself on public transit, we've got the essentials to becoming a Tokyo expert right here.

The basics

The basic dos and don'ts for tourists in Tokyo
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The basic dos and don'ts for tourists in Tokyo

Here are some basic courtesy rules that bear repeating and will help you not to stand out for the wrong reasons...  

How to use a Japanese toilet
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How to use a Japanese toilet

Who knew you’d need a manual for a toilet?

Tokyo's disaster survival guide
Things to do

Tokyo's disaster survival guide

What to do and where to find info when the ground starts shaking

How and why to get a Japanese phone number
Things to do

How and why to get a Japanese phone number

If you're planning on staying here for a while, it pays to sign up for a phone number

A guide to public holidays in Japan
Things to do

A guide to public holidays in Japan

The backstory behind our whopping 16 national holidays

Tokyo train etiquette
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Tokyo train etiquette

How to be a good commuter

How to visit a temple or shrine
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How to visit a temple or shrine

Some basic things to know to avoid a spiritual faux pas

How to queue in line like a Tokyoite
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How to queue in line like a Tokyoite

A guide to making the most out of our favourite national pastime

How to phone like a Tokyoite
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How to phone like a Tokyoite

Dealing with things over the telephone often seems harder than it should be

How to give like a Tokyoite
News

How to give like a Tokyoite

Gift-giving is a big deal in Japan and, when it comes to etiquette, there is no give and take

Money matters

How to open a Japanese bank account
Things to do

How to open a Japanese bank account

We guide you step-by-step through two foreigner-friendly bank account application processes

How to pay out like a Tokyoite
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How to pay out like a Tokyoite

Keep your zen while spending the yen

How to make the most of convenience store ‘point cards’
Things to do

How to make the most of convenience store ‘point cards’

Find your favourite card, save up a stack of points and watch the rewards rain down

How to job hunt like a Tokyoite
Things to do

How to job hunt like a Tokyoite

The rules are not meant to be broken

Social life

How to hanami like a Tokyoite
Things to do

How to hanami like a Tokyoite

Getting your hanami on is the highlight of the year for many – here's how to appreciate the sakura like the locals

Onsen etiquette
Things to do

Onsen etiquette

Tips for hot-spring novices

How to drink like a local
News

How to drink like a local

Tips for knocking back a few at an izakaya

How to survive a Japanese wedding
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How to survive a Japanese wedding

Congratulations, you’ve been invited to a Japanese wedding! Now, how not to make a culturally insensitive fool of yourself

How to own a dog in Tokyo
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How to own a dog in Tokyo

Tips from an experienced Tokyo pooch owner

PDA in Japan
Sex and dating

PDA in Japan

You're not going to be thrown in jail for a public smooch, but...

How to play pachinko
Things to do

How to play pachinko

Get the most from Japan's guilty pleasure