IX Symposium Platonicum: Plato's Politeia
We update this page at any time.
Currency and credit cards
The Japanese currency is "Yen" (for more information, see wikipedia). The exchange rate now is roughly 1Euro=110yen, 1US$=90yen. (McDonald's "Big Mac" is from 260 to 310 yen.)
You will need some cash in Japanese yen during your stay in Tokyo. Remember that credit cards may not be accepted for the local public transportation and at most of small shops and restaurants. Since it may not be easy to find places to exchange foreign currencies (but see below about the ATM machines and banks), we'd recommend you to exchange cash into Japanese yen at the Narita airport.
Near Mita Campus, the bank of "Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ" exchanges foreign currency. But be attention, their business hours are Monday to Friday 9:00-16:00.
However, you can withdraw thourgh ATM. Most of banks have ATM which accept credit cards. You will find ATM even in the convenience stores. (Therefore, if you do not mind the exchange rate, you can cash anytime.)
Tokyo Climate in Summer
The summer in Tokyo is quite uncomfortable, for the humidness prevents sweat from being evaporated. Once you sweat, your clothes will not dry easily, and your temperature will not fall soon.
Of course, the air conditioner works in the public buildings or in the trains. However, if your clothes remain wet, you might feel it is too cold.
Lightly clothes is preferable. We would recommend you to carry a bottle of water, and towel to mop your sweat.
Moreover, carry a portable umbrella since there might be a sudden thunderstorm in the summer in Tokyo.
Transportation from the airport
There are many means of transportation from Narita International Airport (the offical website is here) to central Tokyo.
Several companies offer bus to the main stations in Tokyo. Please check Airport Access Information on the Narita Internaional Airport Offical website. The fees are about 3,000 yen.
There is a direct "Airport Limousine" service from the Narita Airport to the Tokyo Prince Hotel and Celestine Hotel. This is the easiest and most comfortable way. The ticket is available at the Limousine Bus counters. Please visit: http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/bus_services/narita/shiba.html.
N'EX is the JR-East's (East Japan Railway Company) express servise which connects the airport and Tokyo suburbs. If you want to save your time as much as possible, the N'EX can be the best choice. The N'EX takes to Tokyo Station in about 1 hour, and runs every 1 hour at least. All seats are reserved seats. The fee is 2,940 yen for the economy class, 4,430 yen for the first class. If you make IC Card "Suica," the fee will be discounted. For the timetable and more information, please check http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/index.html.
Skyliner is another express servise by Keisei Electric Railway. The Skyliner connects the airport and Ueno Station (near north of Tokyo Station) in about 1 hour. The fee is cheaper than the N'EX, 1920 yen. All seats are reserved seats. For the timetable and more information, please check http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/keisei_us/top.html.
If you wish to save transportation fees, local trains may be the best choice. The fee to Tokyo Station is 1,280 yen by JR Soubu line, and 1,000 yen to Ueno Station by Keisei line. But if your arrival is early in the morning, you should avoid local trains because you will meet deadly rush in Tokyo. The rush-hour in Tokyo is about 6:00-8:30.
"Norikae-Annnai" (Train Route Finder) by Jordan Co. Ltd gives good information about trains. Please visit http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/".
Taxi is the most expensive way to Tokyo; it costs about 20,000 yen. But you may choice the taxi for sevral reasons: your family, big baggage, etc. Some taxies may not accept credit card for the payment. Please check Airport Access Information on the Narita International Airport Official website.
Transportation in Tokyo
Generally, train and subway are most speedy and reasonable. The website of Jorudan has "Train Route Finder" which guides you to your destination.
"Japan-guide.com" has valuable information of the network of train, subway and bus lines in Tokyo. The URL is "http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2017.html".
Taking a taxi is expensive (710yen- ) but easy and safe. Some visitors may get lost, because short and narrow streets in Tokyo compose a huge maze. However, taxi will take you your destination swiftly.
Famous Places in Tokyo
Akihabara is known as the biggest town of electronics stores, and the key site for Japanese subculture:
Shinjyuku gyoen is one of historical garden in Tokyo:
Mt. Takao is a popular hiking spot:
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea are notable theme parks near Tokyo:
Museum and art gallery
The Tokyo National Museum at Ueno is the first place to visit (30 min. from Keio). We strongly recommend its Buddhist arts:
Near Shibuya (30 min. from Keio) there is a small beautiful "Nezu museum":
The National Theatre of Japan: the information and ticket sale:
Unfortunately, The Kabukiza Theatre of Tokyo is now under reconstruction.
This year, Nara (near Kyoto and Osaka) celebrates the 1300th anniversary of Nara-Heijo Capital. There are many special events:
From Tokyo, Nikko is one of the popular places to visit:
The KNT (Kinki Nippon Tourist) office will help you book hotels, get train tickets, and arrange tours.