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Worth Visiting Tokyo?

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Worth Visiting Tokyo?

Old 06-07-08, 11:58 PM
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Worth Visiting Tokyo?

I'll be traveling to Vietnam in three weeks and I've got a substantial layover in Tokyo on the return, from 7:20AM-5:45PM, would anyone think that gives me enough time to take a railway or other transport into the city to visit for the day? I don't speak any Japanese either, so if anyone has a recommendation for accessible places to see, bikeshops would we great and some food to load up before an 18 hour flight, I'd be very appreciative. If anyone has a spare sanrensho and wants to grab some beer and rolls, i'm down!
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Old 06-08-08, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Accident View Post
I'll be traveling to Vietnam in three weeks and I've got a substantial layover in Tokyo on the return, from 7:20AM-5:45PM, would anyone think that gives me enough time to take a railway or other transport into the city to visit for the day? I don't speak any Japanese either, so if anyone has a recommendation for accessible places to see, bikeshops would we great and some food to load up before an 18 hour flight, I'd be very appreciative. If anyone has a spare sanrensho and wants to grab some beer and rolls, i'm down!
Count on 1.5 hours travel to Tokyo station each way + 2 hours required for getting back to the airport (unless you can check in before you head out then you can do 1 hour). From Tokyo station, you'd hop the Yamanote line to ?Shibuya? and go see the bike shops around there. I'd assume, if you can get checked in before you leave the airport that you'd have 4 hours to wander the area. There are fun bike shops around there. Lots of fun bike shops around Nakameguro and other areas as well, but nowhere quite as convenient for you that I can think of .
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Old 06-08-08, 12:15 AM
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FYI: You can't check in for your next flight before you leave the airport. You'll have to go through immigration on your way out and also when you return for your flight.
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Old 06-08-08, 12:21 AM
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I'm hoping I can do an early check-in, but past experience has been that they won't let you that much in advance. Even if all I got to do was ride the train and see the city briefly I think I'd be well worth it. Hell, if I get stuck at Narita eating sushi and reading manga/bike forums it'd be better than some days here in Florida. Since all I'm carrying is a mid-size backpack I shouldn't be delayed too much, I'll see what I can do.
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Old 06-08-08, 12:23 AM
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Do it!
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Old 06-08-08, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sake bomb View Post
FYI: You can't check in for your next flight before you leave the airport. You'll have to go through immigration on your way out and also when you return for your flight.
I just realized this!! If I can get the "1" day visa without too much delay, I think it'll be worth it. My biggest concern is getting on the wrong train on the return, are there service desks like the MTA in NYC?
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Old 06-08-08, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Accident View Post
If anyone has a spare sanrensho and wants to grab some beer and rolls, i'm down!
beer and ecstasy = not good.

you should definitely visit tokyo, even if it's only for 1-2 hours...I'd still go. you don't need to speak japanese. I found my way around just fine using one word translations from an english-japanese dictionary.
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Old 06-08-08, 03:57 AM
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You have enough time, assuming your flight's not late into Tokyo. An alternative is that there is a small town near the airport (Narita village I think) where some friends of mine visited on a short layover.

IIRC, the train journey from Narita into Tokyo central station is about 1 hour each way.

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Old 06-08-08, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Accident View Post
I just realized this!! If I can get the "1" day visa without too much delay, I think it'll be worth it. My biggest concern is getting on the wrong train on the return, are there service desks like the MTA in NYC?
I wouldn't worry.The trainsystem is super easy to use and the platforms are well marked with signs in japanese and english.If you'll go to shibuya as suggested earlier you can't mess up on the yamamote line as it makes one big loop around the city,so even if you get on it in the wrong direction you'll still get back to tokyo station.BTW the narita express also runs to shinjuku, wich is only 3 stops from shibuya(on the yamamote)so that might be little quicker.
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Old 06-08-08, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Accident View Post
I just realized this!! If I can get the "1" day visa without too much delay, I think it'll be worth it. My biggest concern is getting on the wrong train on the return, are there service desks like the MTA in NYC?
As an American, you just get a 90 day visitor visa in about 2 seconds. For . . . not so much, I can't remember, you take the Narita Express to Tokyo station. One leaves every 10 minutes or so, and it takes like 70 minutes to get to Tokyo station I think. From there, you can go to any of the major tourist destinations in another few minutes, and they pretty much all have signs/directions/etc in English.
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Old 06-08-08, 01:52 PM
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When taking the train,keep the ticket.Unlike here in the US you'll need it to exit the station @ your destination.
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Old 06-08-08, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Build your own View Post
When taking the train,keep the ticket.Unlike here in the US you'll need it to exit the station @ your destination.
Great advice! Thanks everyone, I'll definitely make the effort to visit!
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Old 06-08-08, 07:08 PM
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dear sir, i'm in tokyo now just took the train the same everyone is saying, the biggest inhibitor for you is the time it takes to get from rice field narita to tokyo, but if i you plan carefully it shouldn't be hard. If you scan the airport most service desks have someone who speaks some english or at least will understand enough to direct you to someone who does. I needed to double check my directions for the train and there was an attendant next to the ticket terminals who spoke near fluent english so don't feel too much like a fish out of water... i barely speak any japanese and i got along fine. I'm not sure where the concentration of bike shops would be but i do know there is a fair amount in the harajuku yoyogi koen area.
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Old 06-08-08, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by theetruscan View Post
As an American, you just get a 90 day visitor visa in about 2 seconds. For . . . not so much, I can't remember, you take the Narita Express to Tokyo station. One leaves every 10 minutes or so, and it takes like 70 minutes to get to Tokyo station I think. From there, you can go to any of the major tourist destinations in another few minutes, and they pretty much all have signs/directions/etc in English.
I'm pretty sure the NEX leaves every 30 minutes.
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Old 06-09-08, 10:50 AM
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There are little booths where train station folks are there to help give you information in English. I was pleasantly surprised by this and there English was quite good. You really don't need them because of what other people have said in this thread, but they are there. Have a great time! Tokyo is one of my favorite big cities of the world. Shibuya is great!
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Old 06-09-08, 10:51 AM
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My English sucks, obviously!

Originally Posted by penanaut View Post
There are little booths where train station folks are there to help give you information in English. I was pleasantly surprised by this and there English was quite good. You really don't need them because of what other people have said in this thread, but they are there. Have a great time! Tokyo is one of my favorite big cities of the world. Shibuya is great!
"there" English, HA!
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Old 06-09-08, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by theetruscan View Post
Count on 1.5 hours travel to Tokyo station each way + 2 hours required for getting back to the airport (unless you can check in before you head out then you can do 1 hour). From Tokyo station, you'd hop the Yamanote line to ?Shibuya? and go see the bike shops around there. I'd assume, if you can get checked in before you leave the airport that you'd have 4 hours to wander the area. There are fun bike shops around there. Lots of fun bike shops around Nakameguro and other areas as well, but nowhere quite as convenient for you that I can think of .
the narita express actually goes straight to shibuya station.
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Old 06-10-08, 05:58 AM
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Go into Japan, just went on a two week vacation there, no regrets.
No Japanese, no problem (as long as you stay in tokyo).
It's an amazing place, clean, friendly... amazing.
Just use your common sense navigating the subway and you'll do fine. Don't be afraid to ask for directions as most of the staff at the information booths speak english.

Don't want to get flamed here but I was way more impressed with the cars than with the bikes (I'm kind of more of a car nerd than a bike nerd even though I commute by bike). I saw bentleys and mercedes and ferraris gallore. Not allot of fixed gears but definately more than here in Saskatchewan.
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Old 06-10-08, 08:42 AM
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No, Tokyo is closed.
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