A local’s guide to Tokyo
- By Yukari Sakamoto
- Photos by Irwin Wong
The sprawling metropolis is so big that even lifelong residents will never really know certain neighborhoods. There is always something to uncover or a new area to explore.
The food is amazing, and it’s easy to eat like an emperor, even on a budget. There is respect for others, which explains why packed trains are quiet. The city is devoid of litter despite the relatively few trash cans. The country is so safe that 6-year-olds are expected to walk to school by themselves, and attention to detail is evident across the landscape, from how stores present items for sale to how food is packaged. It’s a peaceful society. Our transit system cars are clean and frequent. And we have the best toilets in the world. It all makes visitors fall hard for Japan.
Meet Yukari Sakamoto
Born in Tokyo, raised in Minnesota and drawn back to the Japanese capital to be closer to relatives, Yukari is the author of “Food Sake Tokyo.” She offers tours to local markets and cooking classes out of her home. On her days off, she can be found relaxing in onsen, or hot springs.
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Explore more of Tokyo
- Consideration for others, especially in public spaces, is valued. Be quiet on the train and in restaurants, and carry your backpack in front of you during rush hour.
- Morning trains are crowded beyond your imagination. Don’t even think about traveling with your suitcases during rush hour. Use a luggage-delivery service to avoid that situation.
- Leave the ripped jeans and beach sandals at home. In our more-formal society, well-dressed tourists will probably be better received at restaurants, tourist sites and stores.