Cruise liners tend to use the Harumi Terminal. From the observatory in the cruise terminal, you can get a whole view of Tokyo Port with some vessels under anchorage. In the twilight, the window lights of silhouetted buildings begin to shine like jewelry. The outline of illuminated Rainbow Bridge seems a necklace of the port.
The port likes to make a big deal of all ship calls as vessels are met by local fireboats, a musical performance on the dock, and a welcoming ceremony.
The nearest metro station is Kachidoki Station on Toei Oedo Subway Line, a 20 mins walk. Or you can take Toei bus 3 or 5 to Ginza station. The bus terminus, Harumi Futo, is outside the terminal.
Large cruise ships dock at Oi Marine Products Wharf. Shuttle buses will take you to Shinagawa JR train station.
A new terminal, the Shinkyaku Pier, was built in 2019 in Koto Ward, just south of the eastern end of the Rainbow Bridge. This is closer to central Tokyo than the Oi dock, but circumvents the bridge. The new wharf will have to be up and running before 2020, when Tokyo will host the Olympics
Yokohama, 40 km from Tokyo is also at times used as port for Tokyo.
Printable map to take along.
Check here for festivals and events in Tokyo when you are in port.
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Tokyo is vast: it's best thought of not as a single city, but a constellation of cities that have grown together. Tokyo's districts vary wildly by character, from the electronic blare of Akihabara to the Imperial gardens and shrines of Chiyoda, from the hyperactive youth culture mecca of Shibuya to the pottery shops and temple markets of Asakusa. If you don't like what you see, hop on the train and head to the next one, and you will find something entirely different.
Don't get too hung up on ticking tourist sights off your list: for most visitors, the biggest part of the Tokyo experience is just wandering around at random and absorbing the vibe, poking your head into shops selling weird and wonderful things, sampling restaurants where you can't recognize a single thing on the menu (or on your plate), and finding unexpected oases of calm in the tranquil grounds of a neighborhood Shinto shrine. It's all perfectly safe, and the locals will go to sometimes extraordinary lengths to help you if you just ask.
Tokyo has a vast array of sights, but the first items on the agenda of most visitors are the temples of Asakusa, the gardens of the Imperial Palace (in Chiyoda) and the Meiji Shrine (in Harajuku).
Toyosu Market. Unlike the old Tsukiji fish market, the public cannot attend the auction among buyers. In Toyosu, the visitor can watch the market from a second floor viewing deck or, upon registration, from a room at the same level separated from the auction by a window. There is also a shrine called Uogashi Suijinja (shrine for a fish market on the shore) at a corner of the Toyosu buildings near the waterfront. The rooftop is accessible by elevator. There's a terrace with landscaping on the roof, and panoramic views of parts of Tokyo's skyline. Eating or drinking are not allowed there
See the Tokyo in one day tour.
It's easier than ever for English speakers to navigate their way around Tokyo without speaking any Japanese. Signs at subway and train stations include the station names in romaji (Romanized characters). It can be helpful to know some tips for ordering in restaurants, shopping in stores, and asking for directions. Learning the katakana script is not difficult and most words written with it can be understood by English speakers so it can be useful even for people with no Japanese vocabulary. If you plan on asking for directions to Tokyo destinations, it especially helps to carry the name of the destination written in Japanese characters.
It pays to check your route beforehand. The Tokyo Transfer Guide by the Tokyo Metro and Toei subway companies, is an online service that allows you to plan subway and train travel from point A to point B, based on time, cost, and transfers.
Taxis are very pricey, but may be a value for groups of three or more.
When you board a taxi, note that the vehicle's left rear door is opened and closed remotely by the driver. You are not supposed to open or close it by yourself. Furthermore, you are not supposed to tip taxi drivers, as the service is included in the price.
If you do not speak Japanese, or your destination is not a well known place, it is recommended to give your driver the precise address of your destination on a piece of paper or, even better, point it out on a map, since the Japanese address system can be confusing even to local taxi drivers.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
For the first time tourist looking for their image of the 'old Japan', go to the Imperial Palace and Asakusa district. If you want to get into the real Japanese life of today, it'll take weeks. Look for postcard image of Japan in Kyoto, or Kamakura, close to Toyko, where there's a big buddha. By the way the train and subway systems are extensive and excellent. You can get anywhere by using public transportation.
Tokyo has many commercial centers for shopping, eating and simply wandering around for experiencing the modern Japanese urban phenomenon. Each of these areas have unique characteristics, such as dazzling Shinjuku, youthful Shibuya and up-market Ginza. These areas are bustling throughout the day, but they really come into life in the evenings.
The currency in Japan is the yen. It comes in denominations of ¥10,000, ¥5,000 and ¥1,000 notes, as well as ¥500, ¥100, ¥50, ¥10, ¥5 and ¥1 coins.
ATMs in Japan are becoming more useful, and most can be used to withdraw funds from overseas accounts. Post offices also offer ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted at a majority of stores and restaurants in large urban areas, but if you plan on spending any time in rural areas, be sure to carry sufficient cash. Japan is still very much a cash society and some stores, hotels and restaurants-regardless of location-refuse credit cards.
Don't tip, as it's considered rude!
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers are springing up all over the country. Costs vary, with some coffee shops offering free Wi-Fi services and others charging by the hour for cable-enabled PCs
Shops and department stores in Japan are generally open daily, including national holidays (with the exception of New Year's), from 10:00 or 10:30am to 7:30 or 8:00pm. Some specialty shops are closed Sundays and national holidays. Department stores are sometimes closed one day a week on an irregular basis, but since closing days vary for each store, shoppers can always find stores that are open.
Public Holidays in Japan
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