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Tokyo Sonata 1966

6 Oct

This is a short documentary shot by some German photographers in 1966. This is a nostalgic showing of a working class family at the start of the “Showa” era. The successful industrial boom in Japan.


Renting a SIM card or Phone in Japan.

1 May

An everyday gadget most you probably use every day is of course the cell phone. And by a small statistic prediction, I guess that you who read this text might be one with a smartphone and with a daily use of mail, social networking, news updating etc. So when traveling to Japan, your phone will work as long as it supports the 3G network. But It’s going to cost you…. a lot. But luckily there’s a solution to this. Rental SIM or phone.

One alternative we have used several times is this SIM-card or phone rental page:

This page looks a bit shady at first glance. But believe me, they are very trustworthy and VERY helpful if you need assistance. One example of this is when one of my friends accidentally ordered the wrong kind of SIM card. The new correct one arrived at the hotel desk the day after he mailed them about it. Talk about service! And this is something you’ll start to get used to during your travels around Tokyo.

What happens when you order from this site is that the SIM card or the phone you rent will be waiting safe in a closed zipped envelope at the hotel reseption.

My recommended deal at this page is the free data plan. This really comes in handy while using google maps and translate. And if several of the people you’r traveling with has a smartphone its free to chat, message and send locations for easy finding each other or tell if you are lost 🙂

This is a selection of the apps we use and recommend: (please comment if you have others to recommend)

  • AR Tokyo:Augmented reality for easy direction to the closest convenient stores.
  • WhatsApp Messenger:SMS replacer that uses data traffic. Also has a nice localization function for telling someone where you are using google maps. Also sends pictures, audio and video. Uses the phones internal phonebook for easy accsess to friends.
  • Tokyo Metro:Nice app for planning your route on the evergrowing metro and JR trains. Also works offline.

The most beautiful train map in the world?

25 Apr

We at TokyoHandsup are constantly looking for ways to show our affection for Tokyo, so when we found this awesome map of the Tokyo railways our hearts melted on the spot! This looks great in any apartment (ours included!), but there is an added coolness to this map, it doubles up as a calender!

It even includes cute small post-it stickers to mark those all important dates, like  “Next trip to Tokyo” and “Studio Apartment Band @ Ageha” (more on Studio Apartment in a later article house music fans!)

.. And then there´s the name of the map,  it´s called Tokyo Universe Railway System , how cool is that?

We found the Tokyo Universe Railway system at White Rabitt Press.

PS: It even comes as a handy map, the perfect companion to you SUICA card:-)

Lets explore the Tokyo Universe!

Starting a new life in Tokyo this spring?

20 Apr

So you just moved to Tokyo? And you also like clubbing? Well you are in luck, cause club Womb “supports everybody starting a new life in Tokyo this spring” (TokyoHandsUp also supports everybody starting a new life in Tokyo by the way), and what do they mean by this?  Well, if you are going out in a group of five people you get 2 free entrances! And with cover charges usually between 3000 to 4000 Yen per person thats actually quite a nice discount!

So check out the womb calender, and I´m sure you will find a night to your taste! (PS: Offer ends on 28th of May)

“WOMB supports everybody starting a new life in Tokyo this Spring, university freshmen, newly hired employees and students.
From 8th April (Fri) to 28th May (Sat), every group of 5 people will get 2 free entrances. You do not need to be a freshman or a student, bring friends and get the discount!”

No photo!

2 Mar

Its kind of strange, japanese tourist are known for taking pictures all the time, but when it comes to taking Photos in stores in Tokyo its super strict.

My typical scenario is that I see something really cool I want to share with someone, or want to ask my girlfriend if she likes something I´m planning to buy, followed by a clerk hastily rushing over saying “no photo” and making a cross with his fingers. I can understand they want to protect the privacy of their shoppers, and its not like im taking hundred of pictures, its me with my iPhone pointing at some product. (And lets face it, japan has so much cool stuff, that you cant possibly buy it all:-)
Ive spoken to some japanese friends asking why most stores have this policy, but the didnt have any answers other than, “thats the way it is”. So if you want to take a photo, be fast and act dumb, and then you can atleast score one “check out this cool product!”picture in each shop;-)


The wonders of SUICA

27 Feb

If there is one thing you need in Tokyo, it´s this card.

Super Urban Intelligent CArd or Suica for short is exactly what it sounds like, an essential item in for super urban living.

Its primary use is that of transportation, swipe once on entry on trains and subways, and reswipe on the way out for smooth travel, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Suica can also be used in convenience stores, vending machines, restaurants, shops and more. You dont even have to take the card out of your wallet!

Hot tip: All the FamilyMart stores takes Suica, so thats makes it our favorite convenience store in Tokyo!

Anybody who´s been to Tokyo knows how annoying it is to carry all that loose change, so Suica is like a dream to the Tokyo traveler. I even used it to buy a pair of sneakers in Shibuya on my last trip. Suica can be loaded with a maximum  of 20.000 yen, so charge your card up! You can always refund what you dont use, or just simply do as we do and use your Suica at the airport when you (unwillingly) leave Tokyo. Cause all shops at Narita takes Suica!

So look for this logo, and use your Suica whenever you can!

(Suica can also be used in shops with the Pasmo logo..)

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