For many people from around the world, Tokyo is considered the most populated metropolitan areas in the entire world. With over 38 million people living there, it can be an understatement the city will have many thrills and entertainment for everyone visiting there.
For many travelers coming to Japan, going to Tokyo is basically one of their biggest priorities to go to considering it’s one of Japan’s biggest hotspots. Even though Tokyo has many thrills and entertainment around the city, there might be some challenges that travelers have to think about before going there. In this blog I will tell you about the 5 challenges you might face In Tokyo when you decide to travel there.
The reason is even though Tokyo is really fun to go to, it’s not for the faint of heart. So I gathered information to help you make your travels to Tokyo to be less stressful and confusing.
NOTE: I am not saying this information to scare anyone to not going to Tokyo or talking down on Tokyo. Tokyo is a great city to go to, and you will have tons of fun in the city. I am saying this information to make sure that you’re not hurt in any way shape or form when you visit Tokyo, and to warn you on sketchy situations that could happen.
Tight Living Spaces
One of the main concerns for travelers is having to deal with tight living spaces and getting their personal space violated in almost every corner. While yeah, Tokyo is extremely dense in population compared to most Western cities, the country’s small size would make everyone squished together. That means being shoulder to shoulder to a complete stranger is more common, having to be sandwiched by three or more people in transits, etc.
It would be extremely hard for people that are claustrophobic and can’t handle being in small spaces. It would also be extremely hard for people that are from small towns to deal with adjusting to the tons of people being super close to each other.
In trains, it’s considered acceptable for railway station attendants to push as many people in the trains as possible, especially in the morning and evening rush hours.
So in Tokyo, basically personal space is somewhat of a foreign language because you can be suffocated a lot.
Crime in Tokyo
Japan is always considered to be one of the safest countries in the world compared to many Western countries. So that means crime in Tokyo is considered low and it is extremely safe to go there, right? Yes and no.
It is completely true that Tokyo is really safe to go to, however, just because Tokyo has little crime doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen. Little crime doesn’t equal to no crime.
Wards such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, and Ikebukuro have tons of foreigners that can present more risk of crime. In Roppongi particular, it’s more of Nigerian scam artists, Yakuza (Japanese crime organizations), African criminal groups, and some idiotic and arrogant foreigners.
They would use “Hawks” in order to lure the tourists to entire their bars and other establishments. They would spike their drinks in order for the tourists to lose consciousness, go to the nearest ATMs to withdraw huge amounts of money, and just place them in the streets.
Not just stealing money, they would spike drinks in order to sexually assault their victims. So, ordering your own drinks from the outside is highly recommended. Or just not drink anything for a while…
What I mean by sketchy foreigners, I mean foreigners that had been to Tokyo for a while and know the ins and out of the city. While there are some foreigners that knows the ins and outs can help you, there are others that could lure yours into something that you’re never prepared for (in a negative way).
Those same foreigners might seem friendly at first, but they’re too clever and mostly shallow to put innocent foreigners in trouble. The prime example is Julian Adame from California.
He was arrested in Japan because he broke an expensive lamp after gotten drunk from some foreigners he just met, and those foreigners left him while he was knocked out sleep.
Overall, not all foreigners in Japan will help you out. Some will, but again some won’t.
How Good is Public Transportation in Tokyo?
There are many types of public transportation in Tokyo to choose from. Trains, taxis, and even walking. But, too much transportation can be overwhelming for first-timers because they don’t know the transportation system. So, they can get lost in almost an instant. Out of all public transportations Tokyo offered, the trains are the most confusing to understand.
For Japanese people, the train station map it’s somewhat easy to understand. For foreigners,... It’s a living nightmare to even look at it. To help understand the route you’re going to in trains, ask any Japanese person to know where you’re going, and they’ll show you the trains you need to go in order to reach your destination.
Taxis are an OK thing to use, but be wary of sketchy drivers because they might go for the longer distance to earn more money. My recommendation is to go walking to small-distance so you can save money and get a little exercise.
What to Expect from Food in Tokyo?
I know it can be confusing for many people, but I’ll explain a little bit. While Japan always has the most delicious foods, there are times that food can hurt. Before travelers get to go to Japan, they need to take Hepatitis A and B in order to be safe from food poisoning.
However, without those shots, it does get kinda risky to eat some of the foods. While it can be possible that you can’t take the shots and go to Japan, it is recommended to take it just in case. To be safe.
Also, since Japan doesn’t have many veggie meals, it’s going to be hard for vegetarians to eat delicious foods in Tokyo and Japan in general. While there are some Japanese restaurants that can somewhat adapt to the veggie meals, it’ll be really difficult to find some.
And those are the five things to consider before going to Tokyo. Again, I am not saying to not go to Tokyo. Please go to Tokyo because it’s a really beautiful and nice place to go to. I am just giving out precautions and warnings to consider thinking about so you’ll be safe. If you are not sure should you visit Japan, read my blog post about 5 Misconceptions About Traveling To Japan. You will see that there are not many things to worry about.