Table of Contents
1. Before traveling to Japan
2. Arriving at Narita and Haneda International Airports
3. Transportation from Narita/Haneda to Tokyo
4. Transportation within Japan
8. Internet / Electrical voltage
10. Map and Direction to ACC Tokyo Office
1. Before traveling to Japan
There are various websites and books, such as Japan National Tourist Organization with extensive information, which may be able to help you plan your travel to Japan. If there is a nearby branch of the JNTO, we highly suggest that you make a visit. They provide an abundance of information, brochures, maps, advices, hotel/lodging catalogs, etc. at no cost.
U.S. citizens can generally enter Japan for business or tourism without a visa for up to 90 days. A valid US passport and a return ticket are necessary for entry into the country. Please note that extensions of the 90-day stay are not allowed, and changes of status may not be permitted. For other country’s grantee coming to Japan, please check your passport/visa is valid and confirm that you can enter and stay in Japan without any problem. For further information, please consult with your country/region’s Japanese Embassy.
No inoculations are necessary for travel to Japan
2. Arriving at Narita and Haneda International Airport
Most of you will be arriving at Narita Airport, which is located 60 km to the east of central Tokyo. Narita has two terminal buildings, but the arrival process is the same for both. After deplaning you will go downstairs, past the quarantine checkpoint, past the immigration officers, to the luggage pick-up, and then through customs. This process is quite simple, and generally does not take a long time. Shopping carts are provided for heavy suitcases. For those who arriving in Haneda International Airport, the procedure is the same as Narita Airport but, Haneda is located much closer to Tokyo and easy access by ether train or bus.
* Money Exchange
After customs, there are bank counters for money-exchange. If you haven’t brought yen from your own country, please take the opportunity to change at least $100 at this time. You can also find banks for money exchange after custom exit.
* Baggage Delivery
At the end of the arrival lobby is a row of baggage handlers’ counters. For a reasonable fee (charge per piece up to 30kg is 2,000 yen), they can deliver your heavy bags and packages to wherever you are staying within Tokyo. The luggage will usually arrive the next day.
* Tourist Information Center
Also located in both the Narita and Haneda Airport, are Tourist Information Centers. They are staffed by multilingual travel experts who can answer questions and provide free maps and brochures.
* Japan Rail Pass Order Exchange
If you have purchased the Exchange Order for Japan Rail Pass (please see below #4), and if you wish to start using the pass from the day of your arrival, you can exchange the order at the airport. Obtain your Japan Rail Pass by exchanging your Exchange Order at the airport’s Japan Railway (JR) ticket counter (open daily: 6:45 am to 9:45 pm at Narita airport/ 11:00 am to 6:30 pm at Haneda). You can also exchange to the pass at major JR stations in Tokyo. The date of validation of your Pass can be any day within 3 months of the issuing date of your Exchange Order. You can use the Pass for the JR train trip (i.e. Narita Express) between Narita Airport and Tokyo.
3. Transportation from Narita and Haneda Airport to Tokyo city center
Three options recommended for the transfer from Narita Airport to the center of Tokyo are:
* JR Narita Express
60 min. ¥2,940 yen non-stop to Tokyo Station. Some trains also go onward to Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shinagawa, and Yokohama. Trains leave on the average every 30 minutes during the day. You need to buy a reserved ticket before you board, but there is a Japan Railways desk at the arrival lobby where you can obtain schedules, reserve a seat and purchase a ticket. You can use your Japan Rail Pass, if activated.
* Keisei Skyliner (airport express train line)
55 mi., ¥1,920 yen to Keisei-Ueno Station and JR Nippori Station. Trains leave every 40 minutes or so. There are also express trains which cost less with more stops (¥1,000). Keisai-Ueno Station is adjacent to JR Ueno Station and several subway lines, walking distance about 10 minutes.
*Airport Limousine Bus
The limousine bus service departing from Narita and Haneda Airports has a vast network of routes across the Tokyo metropolitan area. It links Narita and Haneda Airports with the Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT), the Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT) and most major Tokyo hotels and terminal stations. Right in front of the any custom exits, you can find the Limousine Bus counter where you can purchase tickets. Buses leave from in front of the arrival lobby, taking you directly to the entrance of major sites in Tokyo together with your baggage. The buses operate every day leaving every 5 to 30 minutes. From Narita to the center of Tokyo, it can take about 90 minutes or longer, depending on the traffic, for less than 3000 yen. From Haneda to Tokyo, about 40 minutes for around 1000 yen.
Limosine bus and taxi combination- one convenient and low-cost suggestion for hotels and destinations within central Tokyo is to take a limosine bus to any one of the metropolitan area major hotels where you can easily transfer onto a taxi to your final destination.
4. Transportation within Japan Online train timetable
in English at: HYPERDIA
Japan has a highly developed public transportation system, which is known for its punctuality and safety. In Tokyo alone, there are many different train lines covering the vast metropolitan area. English train maps will be very handy, and are available at various tourist information centers and most major hotels. A online timetable with routing instructions and fare information is found at HYPERDIA for navigating through the public transportation system. Separate fares must be paid for the different lines (one fare for JR destinations, one for subway destinations, one for private line destinations, etc). If you are confused about the fares, you may buy the least expensive ticket and pay the remainder when you get off. There are automatic fare adjustment machines near the exits that will tell you how much more to pay. There are also pre-paid cards for most lines.
*Japan Rail Pass
For visitors, Japan Railway’s JR Pass offers excellent value and convenience. The Rail Pass is available only to sightseeing visitors and must be bought outside of Japan. It gives the bearer unlimited travel on JR lines and affiliated buses and ferries. You must purchase an Exchange Order from an authorized sales office or agent in your home country. After arrival, the Exchange Order is activated at authorized JR train stations, and you will issued your JR Pass will the start date. These passes are sold for one week, two week and three week travel periods. We often recommend purchase of one or more one-week passes for flexibility. Unused passes are refunded with minor service charge fee.
These are the electronic payment cards with embedded microchips. These reuseable cards are first purchased at stations to which yen amounts are added at vending machines. SUICA and PASMO are interchangeably used at JR train stations, various subway lines, bus lines, other transportation hubs as well as newstands, kiosks, and affiliated shops near the stations. A deposit of ¥500 is required for the card and is refunded upon its return.
ACC Tokyo office will help you make necessary housing arrangements in Japan. Costs will vary. Generally for a long term stay (longer than 2 weeks), we will find an furnished rental apartment. In central Tokyo, it can be quite costly, and the rooms are usually small and cozy. For a short term stay, accommodations at business hotels will be arranged. We also help grantee to stay in the Saison Foundation’s “Morishita Studio” for their residency program. Please consult ACC Tokyo office for further information
Japan’s official currency is the yen and most transactions are on a cash basis. Travelers checks are recommended for bringing cash in dollars. Most major banks will exchange foreign currency. Retail establishments will generally accept most major credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard.
If your US bank is on the same ATM network as Citibank, your cash debit card can withdraw yen at Citibank Japan ATMs in Japan, as well as numerous Japan Post Bank ATMs. In major urban areas, convenience stores with ATMs will also accept major US network bank cards. We advise that you check with your home bank to make arrangements and confirm service charges. Also note, banks will often limit total daily withdrawal amounts when in foreign countries.
* Japan Post ATMs
Cash withdrawals can be made at any of the 21,000 post office ATMs in locations throughout Japan. For credit cards: VISA International, MasterCard International, American Express, and Diners Club. For debit cards, financial organizations participating in VISA Electron and Maestro Networks. For cash cards, financial organizations participating in PLUS and CIRRUS Networks.
The ACC may have a prepaid cell phone for loan to our grantees. Please inquire about availability. US cellphones are generally not compatible within the Japanese cellular carrier networks.
8. Internet / Electrical voltage
Internet service are normally provided in any hotels and accommodations.
The electric current in Japan is generally 100 volts A.C., but the cycle varies according to region. Major hotels are configured for both 110 and 200 volts, but a converter may be needed for smaller hotels and guesthouses. Most laptop computers adjust internally and allow usage anywhere in the world.
Medical and health insurance are the responsibility of the grantee.
10. Map and Direction to ACC Tokyo Office
Arriving grantees should plan to visit us in our Tokyo office upon arrival.
We are located on the 8th floor of Toka Building (corner location) in Ginza.
Below is the map to our office.
Google Map, Japan view
1. Helpful telephone numbers and Web Sites
Travel- online timetable: Hyperdia
Online timetable for trains- Bullet and express, subways, airlinesJorudan Online Train Route Finder ANA – All Nippon Airways, domestic flights in English JAL – Japan Airlines, all flights in English
Online museum, art, music guides:
●RealTokyo — A general guide to arts exhibits, concerts, events in Tokyo.
●Tokyo Art Beat–An excellent online directory and listing of art-related events by date and/or venue.
●Artist in Residency Programs — A site, compiled and sponsored by the Japan Foundation, listing all of the artists in residency programs available in Japan.
●Art Scene Monitor — Art news in Japan.
Tourist & Living Infomation:
■Japan National Tourist Organization
Tokyo Tourist Information Center (TIC) 03-3502-1461, 03-3201-3331
Kyoto Tourist Information Center (TIC) 075-371-5649
■Narita Tourist Information Center 0476-34-6251
■TIC Outside Tokyo or Kyoto (toll-free, from Western Japan) 0120-444-800
■TIC Outside Tokyo or Kyoto (toll-free, from Eastern Japan) 0120-222-800
■Townpage — An English telephone directory (yellow pages only) for Japan
■Japan Post (Japanese postal services) 03-5472-5851
■diddlefinger — Online maps in English addresses
■International House of Japan web site for their Japan-US Creative Arts Fellowship, Online Residency Handbook: http://www.i-house.or.jp/en/ProgramActivities/arts/ResidencyGuide.htm
Help & Emergencies:
●Fire/ambulance (24 hrs, toll-free) 119
●Police (24 hrs, toll-free) 110
●Foreign Residency Advisory Service (Tokyo) 03-3211-4433
●Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic 03-3436-5024
2. Japan’s National Holidays
(When the holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes the holiday)
●January 1 Ganjitsu / New Year’s Day
●Second Monday in January Seijin-no hi / Adult’s Day
●February 11 Kenkoku Kinen-no hi / National Founding Day
●March 20 or 21 Shunbun-no hi / Vernal Equinox Day
●April 29 Showa-no hi / Late Shouwa Emperor’s birthday
●May 3 Kenpô Kinenbi / Constitution Memorial Day
●May 4 Midori-no hi / Greenery Day
●May 5 Kodomo-no hi / Children’s Day
●Third Monday in July Umi-no hi / Marine Day
●August 13-16 O-Bon
●Third Monday in September Keirô-no hi / Respect-for-the-Aged Day
●September 23 Shûbun-no hi / Autumn Equinox Day
●Second Monday in October Taiiku-no hi / Sports Day
●November 3 Bunka-no hi / Culture Day (Former Emperor Meiji’s birthday)
●November 23 Kinrô Kansha-no hi / Labor Thanksgiving Day
●December 23 Tennô Tanjôbi / Present Emperor’s birthday