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Here is a Japan travel guide on some of the tourist traps in Tokyo and some places you could avoid in Tokyo. I hope the japan travel tips and advice gives you a heads up before travelling to Japan and makes your trip a smoother one! 🙂

Places mentioned in order:

Option: Instead of paying to go up the tower, enjoy Tokyo Tower from the surroundings
— Shiba Park (Shiba koen)
— Zozoji Temple

or go up other places for free views of Tokyo
— Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (in Shinjuku)
— Carette Shiodome
— Bunkyo Civic Center
— Carrot Tower (in Sangenjaya)

Option: Check out the back streets, hidden paths and traditional places
— Brahms Path
— Harajuku Street (Back streets with vintage shops, second hand shops, hipster hangouts etc)
— Tokyu Plaza Rooftop
— Meiji Shrine
— Yoyogi Park

Option: Look at sky tree from other view points and take a short 15 minute stroll to Asakusa
— Solamachi 30th Floor
— Asakusa

Option: Instead of paying the high table charge, check out local Japanese yokocho (back alleys filled with tiny bars and restaurants)
— Shibuya Nombei Yokocho
— Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho
— Ebisu Yokocho
— Sangenjaya Chitai Yokocho
— Yurakucho Sanchoku Inshokugai


Phewwww… that was a lot to write haha, if you read up to here — you are the BEST!! Leave me a comment with your favourite emoji!

See you guys soon in my next videoooooo!!

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69 thoughts on “Tokyo Tourist Traps | Japan Travel Tips

  1. Kat Nguyen:

    If you go to sky tree during the 2-3 last hours before closing theres practically nobody around. Although you might be missing the ultimate sunset view, the city skyline at night is still beautiful!!

    1. Maya Bewsher:

      I went in late December and arrived early, just before 9.00am. There were only around 20 people there and no queue. It was still slightly dark when we got there but brightened up pretty quickly. I really enjoyed it and also the attached Solamachi shopping centre.

    2. Tybera:

      It’s just expensive for a view you can get on another building’s rooftop dining/bar, while dining or having a drink. I would personally rather put that 1000 yen per person to better use.

    3. Björn-Erik Borg:

      I went there on a tuesday I think at around 15 o’clock and had to wait only 10 min.

    4. Disxx:

      Ya, had chance to visit Sky tree twice. First time it was during day and it had lines, but my visit got scheduled for certain time when I should be at tower and in the end I had 2 hours to walk around and see surrounding and center under Sky Tree. And when time was up I got up within 30 mins which I find was not bad. I had much worse experience in Berlin for Reichstag when I had to stand in line for 3 hours to get my time when I could get inside. Then second time I went during night. Then Sky Tree had no line to wait and I gotta say seeing city at night is unforgettable experience which is really worth it. About price.. for some reason I did found it to be reasonable to pay it to see such object.

  2. Gareth Leonard:

    These are great tips, thank you! I am coming to Japan next week, for at least a month. I would love to collaborate if you are interested!

    1. Hello There:

      Chang Stfu you softcore mf!
      Ya’ll need to stop bullying my gurl.

    2. Chang:

      Internationally me U should experience Korean men. We are the best Lovers. I want to lick u from head to toe n pound u 6 ways till Sundays. Our bodies make a good match

    3. The seventh sin:

      You guys are disgusting, just disgusting, shame on you and your mom, your poor mom

  3. Lu-chan:

    I like when people go to another country and expect the locals to speak English, but when foreigners come they get upset over them for not speaking English!

    1. Charlie1821:

      To be fair Japan is the only country that speaks Japanese.

    2. Kaitlyn:

      I agree, I always try to speak the native language, even though I butcher it. I hate/ am ashamed at how egotistical some Americans get.

    3. DPofEternalnessity:

      It’s almost like English is the international language

  4. The Geekazoid:

    greatest city on earth… I’m from UK went to Tokyo for my honeymoon for 2 weeks but hopefully will go again next year

  5. Caroline Scher:

    A big tourist trap that I went to was Gonpachi, the restaurant from the movie Kill Bill. It was very overpriced and I saw the most foreigners there than anywhere else in Tokyo.

    1. scwhk1:

      Tons of foreigners in a local restaurant… that is never a good sign.

  6. MelbourneVape Store:

    Lady at 10.50 so nice of you to respect the Japanese for not speaking English

    1. Europa H2O Alien:

      Euro trash liberals are always the same. Rude and obnoxious and always racist.

    2. DJDanceClassic:

      Japanese soldiers killed people in Indonesia in war!

    3. Boxer Blake:

      Erin Steele As soon I saw you use ‘whitesplain’, I knew you didn’t have the IQ of two sticks rubbed together.

    4. Boxer Blake:

      Smack Pack «White Entitlement» Give your head a shake.

    1. Ky_kharise:

      jricooo I’m coming T the end of the month ..can you help me

    2. Jay Tweezy:

      internationally ME For the Sky Tree. There are two Decks you listed (Tembo Gallery(450m) & Tembo Deck(350m)) why choose the lower deck? And does the more expensive ticket get you both or only one deck? & also Which Deck did you go to?

  7. Snorlax:

    Those queues! D:The worst part about tourist areas is that they are full of other tourists.

  8. Asiacheetah:

    Wow a lot of views already. I’ve been to most of the tourist traps (just not the small bar streets in Tokyo). Also been to some of the alternative areas mentioned. Definitely going to have to check out the roof top lounge in Harajuku next time. Definitely agree that Sky Tree wasn’t really worth the wait and price. I didn’t mind the price of Tokyo Tower and the sky walk (where you step on clear platform) was pretty cool.

    I would add that some of the themed restaurants are overpriced and not worth it. I heard Maid Café aren’t that great, but heard the Robot Café is good (except insanely expensive). I went to Kawaii Monster Café in Harajuku and thought that was cute and the food not bad (really pretty looking). There’s also a show with it. Also went to Alcatraz ER theme café and that wasn’t worth it. Another item I recommend are the animal cafes. I’ve been to several owl cafes, a bunny café, cat café, and a hedgehog café. Definitely recommend the Hedgehog café (it’s in Rippongi). I recommend Owl Village café in Harajuku (not the one of the busy main street but the one facing the Harajuku station.

    1. redfish337:

      Themed restaurants are what they are. They’re basically always going to be super expensive. It’s a shame that Alcatraz ER doesn’t seem to be very good- thematically, it seems like it could really work.

      Robot Restaurant seems to be love it or hate it, and of all things, is probably the closest to a tourist trap. It’s pretty much designed and advertised for foreigners to go to that. Foreigners often mention it (with again, a very positive, or not particularly, review), but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Japanese person (that wasn’t working at a hostel or something) talk about it. On the other hand, while @home and maidreaming in particular seem to draw foreigners by reputation, I still can’t help but think that maid cafes are designed with Japanese clientele in mind. They’re expensive, but the food is super cute, and if you get the right stuff, more or less filling. I’ve been once, a long time ago… and maybe I’d be up for going again, eventually, haha. I didn’t have sky high expectations- I just wanted the weird experience. Service was excellent, and everything else passable. Price, not that terrible, but beyond my usual means. lol

  9. Sean Greene:

    If you think that was crowded at Harajuku when you filmed your walk through, try that on a Sunday around 1pm. You were there when it was maybe at 20%. On a Sunday at 1pm it will be almost impassable. From the west end of the street looking down, it will look like a wall to wall carpet of heads. FYI, makes for an amusing picture.

  10. My Tokyo Paradise:

    Harajuku STREET is great, not Harajuku itself. Tokyo Disney Sea is the best themepark in the world. Do not go on a weekend as the crowds will be huge.

  11. chuntley83:

    Question: How do you know if someone is a Vegan?

    Answer: Don’t worry they will let you know.

  12. Angelus9015:

    The English lady in the end was surprised that not many people speak English in Japan…Did she not carry out any research before going? And it is so nice of her to respect Japanese for not speaking English…

    1. B Sewart:

      If this didn’t really bother the lady, she wouldn’t have even brought it up as a response. Nice by saying she respects it or passive-aggressive, I don’t know — but, I found it odd that she expected more English speaking — perhaps she’s gone to Hong Kong or Phillipines where you can find more English speaking citizens and shopkeeps.

    2. MapleBaconNurps:

      krazibon3 there are bilingual signs in a lot of Sydney’s streets. We have entire suburbs which are cultural hubs for people of different ethnicities…so not sure where you visited.

    3. krazibon3:

      Spiritchii~24 are you positive? The sydney international airport isnt, maybe in Cairns or other places

    4. Spiritchii~24:

      krazibon3 australia does have signs in other languages mostly where other cultures are. The airports have other language signs too.

  13. Tom Smith:

    5:16 the shop up the escalator to the right is the Studio Ghibli shop. Highly recommend it for any fans!

    1. Maya Bewsher:

      I love the Donguri Kyouwakoku shops. I really wanted to buy everything. Didn’t get anything from the shop itself as went to the Ghibli museum the next day and spent a small fortune there. The Ghibli museum was specular but so busy. Waited nearly 2 hours in a queue to enter the straw hat cafe. Definitely get there before 11.30am to make sure you get lunch in good time.

    2. themonkeyhand:

      Skip that and find a Rilakkuma Store!!!!!!!!

  14. Issei Kashima:

    I’ve lived in Tokyo for 3 years and I feel like I’ve learned so much about Tokyo that I never knew after watching this haha. Awesome job!!

    1. internationally ME:

      Lol I’ve been in Tokyo for about a total of three years too 😛 Get out there and explore issei hehe

  15. J Eng:

    Go to the Tokyo Skytree at night. The line is much much shorter and the view of all of the building lights at night is nice.

  16. Jo King:

    10:41 This lady is complaining that a lot of Japanese in Japan don’t speak English, and thank gawd they can still understand what «she needs». Fuqing entitled much.

    1. John Trewhella:

      Why is her being surprised so wrong. You seem surprised at her surprise which must also be wrong. How dare you be surprised by something. Disgusting! People commenting here need to relax for a bit.

    2. musey85:

      It’s the condescending way she said it; the wording was just off. «Oh, I was so surprised that most people don’t speak English here,» as if it’s something to be expected? It’s stuff like that that make all gaijin look bad.

    3. బొక్కిసం Bokkesam बोक्किसम ボッキサムకిరణ్కుమార్ Kiran किरण キラン:

      Haz Hartridge she said she was surprised, that’s the issue.

    4. బొక్కిసం Bokkesam बोक्किसम ボッキサムకిరణ్కుమార్ Kiran किरण キラン:

      TheRiordane that’s not all she said, she also said that she was surprised, and that is wrong.

    5. బొక్కిసం Bokkesam बोक्किसम ボッキサムకిరణ్కుమార్ Kiran किरण キラン:

      musey85 ya, especially the phrase that she was so surprised.

    1. Invictus Jin:

      For someone who is visiting and wants to do touristy things, sure, im going to agree. But i spend 4 months of every year in Osaka and about 2 in tokyo and yokohama, i dont do much touristy stuff anymore. Osaka is a great place to live 🙂

    2. Smalde:

      I live in Osaka and I do like it here, as a place to live. But for tourism I would put Kyoto and Tokyo over Osaka, wouldn’t you agree?

    3. Invictus Jin:

      Oh, the food, the people and the landscape makes it. But the food sure is a big factor :p

    4. Smalde:

      Osaka above everything?
      You clearly care about good food 😉

    5. Holly Wickham:

      We loved Kyoto and Hiroshima. Hiroshima was my favourite I think though. I would really recommend going to Mitaki-dera, the monks were singing and the sound reverberated through the mountains. utterly stunning experience. Tokyo has never appealed to me as it is so busy. 人込みが嫌い。

  17. bayterok:

    Why would you even comment that people don’t speak English in Japan. That annoys me so much. It’s not hard to learn some of the language before you go and I’ve found that the locals appreciate it.

    1. Fernicus Maximus:

      That annoys me too. She’s complaining about Japanese people not speaking English seriously that made my head hurt.

    2. MillalovesHoran:

      +Jamie K. Yeah, depending on how you learn, you can go by yourself sooner too. I learned it by myself so I could apply for a scholarship in Japan and I did it in 1 year and a half yay

    3. DPofEternalnessity:

      An entire year just to be able to get around as a tourist shows an extremely difficult language, though. You’re delusional.

    4. Jamie Nelson:

      Hey you Japanese is officially the hardest language for English speakers.

    5. Jamie Nelson:

      Jamie K. It’s because it doesn’t have any of those things it becomes too ambiguous to an English speaker.

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