In Japanese, Tokyo means ‘east capital’. It was changed from its original name, Edo, meaning ‘estuary’. Tokyo is well known for its festivals and temples, modern buildings and different landscaping and flowers during each season. The most notable is probably the sakura or cherry blossoms in the spring. Other well-known factors of the city are technology, shopping and maid cafes. It is also known for business districts, fashion and entertainment. In Tokyo there is always something to do and plenty to see.
What is the cost of living in Tokyo?
In comparison to New York City, the rent index of Tokyo is 54.69 percent, and the groceries index is 112.45 percent. A combo meal at a fast food restaurant will cost you about $6.60, while a dozen of eggs are $2.43. Fresh fruits like apples oranges and tomatoes range are $5 to $6, and they are likely expensive from being imported.
A one way ticket on local transportation is $1.63, and a regularly priced monthly pass is $100. An hour long taxi ride is a little less than $30 and 4 liters of gas or a little over a gallon is about $6.12. Clothing and shoes seem to run in similar pricing to New York City, if not more expensive. The cost of basic utilities for one month is $188 and cable internet is about $39 for one month. Rent per month for a one bedroom apartment outside of the city center is nearly $700, and inside the city center is close to $1,400. For a three bedroom apartment outside of the city center you will pay about $1,500 and inside the city center you’re looking at over $3,000.
Will I experience a culture shock if I have never been to Japan?
If you’re unfamiliar with the Japanese culture and you have never visited Japan before, it may be very difficult for you to adjust to. You may experience Big City Complex as a result of the extremely fast pace of life here, and as a result you may feel overwhelmed. If you work for an organization in Japan, you will find that the organizations here still operate in hierarchal structures so decisions are made from the top down. Also, Tokyo has an amazing transportation system so you potentially never have to drive, but it will take getting used to and you may be confused and overwhelmed at first.
What will I love about Tokyo?
If you visit the imperial palace on December 23 or January 2, you can see the Emperor of Japan as he makes his public appearance for the two days of the year. If you love shopping, you will find hundreds of youth fashion stores. One electronics store called Yodobashi Akiba has six floors of electronics and three floors of music shops, bookstores, juice bars and restaurants.
The standard of customer service is remarkable high across all of Japan, but particularly in Tokyo. Many state that Japan has some of the world’s best service. There are fine art cafes and vegan restaurants that are reservation-only. There is more to do in Japan than simply shop and eat. There is a fireworks display along the Sumida-gawa River that gathers close to one million viewers each year. Or if you’re looking to relax, you can take a train from Shinjuku station out to the mountains and hike to the top. You can also rest at Umi-hotaru, or ‘sea firefly’, a highway rest stop that features numerous shops and restaurants that will help you relax before continuing your drive.
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