TRIPals

Experience Japan like a local

Category How to Japan

Business Meets Home: Work Smarter at HIVE TOKYO

Have you ever wished that you didn’t have to waste your precious time commuting to and from your office? Have you ever dreamt of a space that is a smart and calming office by day, and a comfortable and modern home by night? Meet HIVE TOKYO. HIVE TOKYO is a newly renovated business-apartment complex located in the heart of Tokyo. It is a contemporary and stylish fusion of an inspiring workplace and an upscale residence. HIVE TOKYO “The better way to work & stay” Newly opened in Kudanminami, Chiyoda-ku, the luxurious office apartments are targeted towards international businesspeople, offering a wide variety of apartments and office types to suit any kind of

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How To Sort Your Trash Like a Pro in Tokyo

Trash sorting can be a daunting task,whether you are at the convenience store, train station or a vacation rental. So many different containers…what to do? Categories and methods of sorting garbage vary from area to area, so be sure to get detailed instructions from your host. Some areas require you to purchase neighborhood-specific trash bags, while other places allow the use of any plastic bags. If special bags are required, you can usually purchase them at supermarkets, drugstores or convenience stores in that area. Different categories of trash are taken out on different days of the week, and certain categories may only be picked up a couple times a month.

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Emergencies Can Happen: Guide For International Hospitals in Japan

As much as we don’t think it can happen to us, getting sick or injured is always a possibility when traveling. Being so far from your home country during these situations is always nerve racking and stressful. Especially when there is a language barrier. Being able to communicate clearly and accurately is a must. Luckily, Japan has some of the best hospitals in the world with plenty of doctors and staff who speak English. There are several international hospitals in the city that offer foreign language care. Kitahara International Hospital  and St. Luke’s International Hospital are two options when in comes to healthcare for foreigners in Japan. Kitahara International Hospital asks

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A Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Taxis

Perhaps you arrived on a late flight and the trains to your AirBnb have already stopped running. Or maybe you got on the wrong subway line, and now you’re running late for your check-in. What if you have heavy suitcases and don’t want to deal with searching for elevators or lugging your stuff onto crazily packed trains? Time to hail a cab!

How To Travel All of Japan with Japan Rail Pass!

You want to see more than just Tokyo? I’d say that’s a great idea. Even though Tokyo has so much to see, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kyushu, Sapporo, Hokkaido, etc. are so different that you would completely miss out on the other cultures and treasures of Japan. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to travel the whole of Japan? Try the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass for short). The JR Pass is basically an all you can ride train pass all over Japan. Before you get too excited, of course just like anything else, it has a few exceptions. Let me explain the process and timeline from purchasing to traveling all

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Master the City Tracks: Yamanote Line

Yamanote line infographics with recommended landmarks and sights to visit.  Being a Tokyo native, I often see foreign tourists helplessly gazing up at the tangled conundrum that is the Tokyo underground map tacked above the station ticket machines. Sure, even the most seasoned Tokyoite may have to look up the norikae (Train routes) on popular smartphone services like GooRosen or Jorudan, but there are a few train lines in Tokyo that are so central to people’s lives that most people can name at least a few of the important stations on the line. An example of such a line is the JR Yamanote line, or Yamanote-Sen. It is one of the

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How To Catch an Early Morning Flight When Trains Are Not Running

A recent study has shown that out of all the world’s major metropolitan cities, Tokyo residents sleep the least amount of time. The bustling streets and flashing lights never stop. But even in the city that doesn’t sleep, unfortunately the trains and many of the buses do. This can be a real problem if you need to catch an early flight. The train lines in Tokyo stop service between 12:00 AM-1:00 AM depending on the line and begin running again at 4:00 AM. This may not cut it if you have a 6:00 AM or even 7:00 AM flight. Narita International Airport is actually quite far from the center of

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How to get tickets for Ghibli Museum

Just like every child has dreamed of going to Disney Land or Disney World and meeting all the characters, if you’ve watched any of Miyazaki Hayao’s films you’ve dreamt of going to the Ghibli Museum. The Ghibli Museum is nothing in size compared to any of the Disney parks, but it has its own magic to it. Come and meet Totoro or any of your favorite characters from the famous Hayao anime films!

How To Use ATMs in Japan

To many travelers’ dismay, most ATMs in Japan do not work with cards that are issued outside of Japan. I’m sure a number of foreign tourists have that moment of utter shock and horror when they come to this realization. But there is absolutely no need to worry because there are exceptions. In Japan, you can always count on 7-Eleven to have your back. Besides offering a host of services that you wouldn’t expect from a convenient store (copy, print, international fax, etc.), 7-Eleven ATMs work with most international cards and will allow you to withdraw Japanese yen. With over 10,000 locations nationwide, there are easy to find, especially in

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How to Experience the Spirit of Japanese Craftsmanship in Tokyo

A typical tourist’s day in Japan may be going to tourist spots in Tokyo, Kyoto or Hokkaido, eating great Japanese food or maybe checking out Otaku culture. But if you are looking for a different experience than the usual tourist fare or want to experience Japan’s rich history through remnants from the past, I suggest trying some traditional crafts and arts in Japan. When people hear the term “Japanese traditional crafts” they usually think of kimono, bonsai, or pottery but there’s much more than that. There are numerous traditional Japanese crafts that have been passed down from century to century. The modern Japanese traditional artisans are a unique breed. Steeped in

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