Tokyo, Japan City Information

There is so much to see and so much to do in Japan.  We hope you get a lot out of your program by taking advantage of all that Japan has to offer!

Tokyo City Information

Huge, stylish, exciting, bold, and incredibly fun—Tokyo is a one-of-a-kind city. The Tokyo metropolitan area is the most populous place in the entire world, and it’s home to absolutely everything. You can step from a bustling market into a quiet park, from a frenetic dance club to a serene temple. The best thing to do in Tokyo is to embrace it all, including the food, the festivals, and the karaoke.

It would take several lifetimes to explore all that Tokyo has to offer, but CISabroad will show you some of the best sites during the January in Japan program. The university and its housing are smack dab in the middle of all the action. Every day will be filled with the unforgettable sights and scenes of Japan’s capital city.

You can spend your free time visiting world-famous markets, shrines, and museums. For a more low-key experience, ride a bike around a quiet neighborhood, where you can interact with street vendors, food cart owners, and friendly residents. Your time in Tokyo will fly by, and we guarantee you’ll always want to come back. The city is that special!

Seisen University

Located within the Shinagawa ward, Seisen University is a serene and peaceful campus that feels isolated from the electrifying city of Tokyo.

Sitting on the grounds of a former Samurai Mansion, the Seisen campus has roots tracing back to 1935, where it was founded by a group of women for the purpose of providing higher education for women. Though it’s a women’s, Catholic liberal arts university, Seisen’s curriculum is internationally-focused and international students of all genders and religions are welcomed by both staff and students.



Before arriving to Tokyo, we strongly recommend that you have some Japanese Yen on your person when you first arrive. Depending on when you arrive and how much time you might have before the bus to your housing departs, you may or may not have time to change money at Narita International Airport or withdraw money at an international ATM.

In Japan, most ATMs do not accept foreign issued cards. Only the ATMs located inside 7/11s accept foreign issued cards, but sometimes a 7/11 is not easily accessible everywhere. So come prepared with a couple of hundred dollars worth of Japanese Yen for your first couple of days so you will have time to settle in and know more about your surroundings before needing to access an ATM.

While credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, AMEX) are accepted at most places in Japan, not all small shops do. So having a bit of extra cash for those unexpected moments will make you better prepared.

Phone and Internet Access

If you intend to obtain an international SIM card for your phone for use in Japan, please be sure to organize this prior to arrival.

You will be able to access free Wi-Fi located on the Seisen University campus and in your housing, but elsewhere free Wi-Fi is not so accessible in Tokyo and Japan overall. However, Starbucks has free and good Wi-Fi, so you may want to stop by and order a coffee while roaming the city. Other options for accessing internet and Wi-Fi throughout Japan can be found here.


Tokyo shopping has it all: high-end and offbeat fashion, traditional crafts, vintage wares, all manner of only-in-Japan souvenirs, and that gadget you didn’t know existed but now desperately want. Whether you prefer department-store browsing or rummaging for secondhand treasures, there’s a Tokyo neighborhood to meet your shopping needs.

Some districts that you may want to visit could include:

Ginza – Great for those who want to peruse through boutiques and departments stores.

Asakusa – The perfect place to scrounge through vintage wares and souvenir trinkets.

Shibuya – A place to shop for music and general apparel such as clothing and gadgets.

Harajuku & Aoyama – For those in search of quirky fashion and secondhand stores.

Shinjuku – The one-stop place to shop. Here there’s a large variety of stores, from electronics to fashion and more.

Akihabara – For the otakus in search of anime, manga, games and J-pop culture.


Still can’t decide? Here are some more suggestions and tips:

Japan Guide Shopping in Tokyo

Trip Advisor

The Guardian: 10 of the Best Otaku Shops in Tokyo

Timeout: 100 Best Shops in Tokyo


Japanese cuisine offers an abundance of gastronomical delights with a boundless variety of regional and seasonal dishes as well as international cuisine. Restaurants range from mobile food stands to centuries old ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurant), atmospheric drinking places, seasonally erected terraces over rivers, cheap chain shops and uniquely-themed restaurants about ninja and robots. Many restaurants are specialized in a single type of dish, while others offer a variety of dishes.

If you’re a Japanese foodie or a first time newbie, be sure to try some of the local delicacies such as ramen, tempura, sushi, soba, and much, much more!

Resources for navigating Japanese cuisine:

A Guide to Eating Japanese

Lonely Planet Restaurant Suggestions

Trip Advisor 10 Best Tokyo Restaurants

Time Out Tokyo Budget Eats

Local convenience store chains such as 7/11 and Family Mart are also widely available. They stock a variety of convenient and reasonably priced takeaway meals that are perfect for locals on-the-go, as well as students on a budget.

*Included in your accommodation is a mini-kitchen, microwave, and everything you may need to cater for yourself throughout the program. In addition to this, Seisen University has a café, meal hall and convenience store that you will be able to access.

Things to Do

In your spare time you’ll have opportunities to explore the city of Tokyo at your own pace. The only problem you may have is where to start?

For the students wanting to expand upon the cultural experiences that they’ll have in the included excursions, how about exploring more of the Buddhist Temples or Shinto Shrines dotted across the metropolis? Some popular locations you may be interested in could be Yasukuni Shrine, Zojo-ji Temple or Tenno-ji Temple.

If temple or shrine hopping isn’t for you, how about taking a trip to visit the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, stroll through Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, relax and unwind at a cat café, take a shot at some karaoke, or discover your inner gamer-girl/boy by exploring the many gaming arcades in Akihabara (HINT: visit a Super Potato store for all things Japanese retrogaming).

Still don’t know what to do with your spare time? Check out these websites for some inspiration:

Trip Advisor: Things to Do in Tokyo

TimeOut: 88 Things to Do in Tokyo

IGN: 5 Essential Things Every Gamer Needs to Do in Tokyo

Japan Guide: Tokyo Anime Guide

US News: Best Things to Do in Tokyo


Clean and virtually crime-free, the transport system in Tokyo is some of the most efficient in the world. The most useful way to get around is by the train and subway system, which is easy to navigate thanks to English signage.

Your accommodation will be easily accessible from Nakanobu Train Station and is within a 20-minute commute from campus, as well as within easy reach of many other popular locations in Tokyo by train. Other stations easily accessible are Gotanda Station (4 min), Shibuya Station (11 min), Shinjuku Station (18 min), and Tokyo Station (16 min).

*Students will receive a transport card pre-loaded with ¥1,500. Additional transport costs above ¥1,500 will be at the student’s own expense.

  • Subway – The quickest and easiest way to get around central Tokyo. Runs 5am to midnight. Information about the Tokyo subway lines can be found at Tokyo Metro.
  • Train – Japan Rail (JR) Yamanote (loop) and Chuo-Sobu (central) lines service major stations. Runs from 5am to midnight. Information about trains in the Tokyo area can be found at East Japan Railway Group.
  • Taxi – The only transportation system that runs all night; unless you’re stuck, taxis only make economical sense for groups of four.
  • Cycling – A fun way to get around, though traffic can be intense as bike lanes are almost nonexistent, and you’ll see no-parking signs for bicycles everywhere. Many locations do have bicycle parking lots that offer day parking for relatively cheap.
  • Walking – Subway stations are close in the city center, so save cash by walking if you only need to go one stop.