Blog Archives

Japan Sightseeing Guide

Todaiji, Nara

Tokyo obviously has more than plenty to see & do in its own right, and you can easily fill your free time between events (see here). But if you have a few days spare between, before, or after your events, why not visit some of Japan’s other sights and cities?

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Japan Transportation Guide


Transportation Within Tokyo

You’ll mostly travel by train within Tokyo (and probably any other cities you visit), with the majority of Olympic venues easily walkable from their nearest train station (though there are a few outliers which will presumably have shuttle buses provided from the nearest stations).

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Tokyo 2020: how to get online in Japan

Despite the high tech reputation (or perhaps due to it), first time visitors to Japan may be surprised to find things actually more analogue than they’re used to at home. Cash is king, and subway tickets are paper stubs; until very recently it was also quite frustrating to get online as a short-term visitor,

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics: useful links & resources

Where to Stay

In my experience Agoda is best for booking hotels in Japan, with free cancellations and they’ll price match if you see a better rate elsewhere. For recommendations on specific areas to stay in see here

Search Agoda for the best deals on 

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Tokyo Quick Guide

Kabukicho's Godzilla head

Where to Stay for the Tokyo Olympics

For the majority of events it’s best to stay somewhere in central Tokyo. Agoda’s usually best for hotels in Japan – click on each area name to search it on Agoda:

All things considered, Shinjuku is probably the best call,

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Kyoto Quick Guide

Kinkakuji, the Golden Temple, Kyoto

If you’re in Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and looking for one other city to visit between events or just for a bit of sightseeing while you’re in the country, Kyoto is the obvious choice. As Japan’s capital from the late 8th Century to the late 19th Century it’s a living treasure of ancient temples and a living repository of traditional Japanese culture,

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Yokohama Quick Guide

Yokohama Minato Mirai

Yokohama’s often overlooked as just another part of the Greater Tokyo sprawl, but it’s a great city in its own right and with its own character. Yokohama International Stadium (see here) is being used for Olympic football matches (including the men’s final) and Yokohama Stadium (a different stadium!) will host the Olympic baseball &

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Sapporo Quick Guide

View of Odori Park from Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo’s the main city on Japan’s far northern island of Hokkaido, and comfortably the largest Japanese city north of Tokyo despite being in by far the least densely populated part of the country (leaving the rest of the island very sparse). It’s a long way from the capital,

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Yokohama International Stadium

Yokohama International Stadium

This beast certainly isn’t the prettiest stadium in Japan, but it is the biggest. The home stadium of Yokohama F Marinos FC, Yokohama International Stadium has a capacity of 72,300 and played a major role in both the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium

Ajinomoto Stadium, Chofu, Tokyo

A major J-League football stadium, Tokyo Ajinomoto Stadium (de-branded as simply ‘Tokyo Stadium’ for the Olympics) has a capacity of 50000 and is home to FC Tokyo. It was one of the key stadiums in the 2019 Rugby World Cup (hosting the opening ceremony and 5 pool matches,

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Guide to Using the JR Pass

The green Hayabusa train used on the Hokkaido shinkansen

The Japan Rail Pass (or JR Pass) is a nationwide rail pass allowing you unlimited travel on trains operated by Japan Rail (with a few exceptions, see below) for a fixed number of days. It’s amazingly good value if you’re planning to cover a reasonable distance – basically any itinerary exceeding a Tokyo-Kyoto round-trip will work out cheaper using the JR Pass,

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