Japan Guide - Tourist Information

JNTO and TIC

The JNTO (Japanese National Tourist Office) has a number of main Tourist Information Centers (TIC) in Japan that have English-speaking staff available. The main offices can be found in central Tokyo (near Yurakucho Station), Narita Airport, Kansai International Airport and in Kyoto. These offices can be extremely helpful in acquiring detailed information on places to go, places to stay, maps and much more. Any questions that you can't find answers to can usually be taken care of here, however, they can't make reservations for you. Many of the publications are available in European and Asian languages as well.  The website also contains lots of info.



Local Tourist Offices

If you can't find what you're looking for at the JNTO office, there's a chance you can get more detailed regional or area information at one of the Tourist Information Offices located throughout Japan. These offices don't always have English-speaking staff, and information isn't always as detailed or reliable as the JNTO, but you can often find specific local information, and the staff may even assist you with reservations. There are over ninety "I-centers" in about sixty cities throughout Japan, so odds are you'll be able to find one wherever you are traveling. The best place to look is near the railway stations. You can also visit the local tourist information office, but chances are they won't have much information in English, and usually have only Japanese speaking staff.  They will more than likely be very friendly though!


Maps

Bilingual maps are sometimes difficult to find. However you can get them at the JNTO or the other tourist offices and the JNTO has a free Tourist Map of Japan that covers the whole country and can be very helpful when planning your itinerary. Another place to find good maps is at one of the large bookstores in the metropolitan areas such as Maruzan or Kinokuniya. Kodansha publishes a bilingual atlas of Japan and Shobunsha's road atlas is indispensable for anyone driving in Japan.  Maps that are more detailed tend to only be in Japanese – so it’s best to either have a Japanese-speaking friend or guide or be prepared to learn some kanji! If you are renting a car, a carnavi system is a useful additon if available - though they are not always in English.


Internet Cafés

Internet cafés are springing up throughout the country, albeit not fast enough for travelers who just can’t resist checking their email or visiting SnowJapan - or even other websites!!. Tokyo has the largest concentration of Internet cafés and travelers should be able to find one near most major train stations. It will be more difficult to find Internet connections the farther you stray from the metropolitan areas. Hotels, guesthouses and other accommodations are now often hooked up wireless, so it’s worth enquiring before you make a reservation. 
 

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Japan General Information

Part 1 Information on Japan
Part 2 Getting to Japan
Part 3 Tourist information
Part 4 Passport and visas
Part 5 Costs and money issues
Part 6 Post and telephone
Part 7 Internet and newspapers
Part 8 Measurements
Part 9 Health and safety
Part 10 Accommodation
Part 11 Food
Part 12 More food!

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