An expert guide to Tokyo

An expert guide to Tokyo

British Embassy: No 1 Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku (0081 3 5211 1100; Foreign Office advice:

The basics

Flight time: London to Tokyo normally takes from 11 hours to 12 hours and 30 minutes

Currency: Japanese yen; £1 = 147 yen at the time of writing

International dialling code: +81

Local laws and etiquette

Japan is famously a minefield of often unspoken rules for foreigners. From handling chopsticks to getting into taxis, almost every aspect of daily life is governed by rigorous etiquette. While exceptions are made for foreigners, here are a few tips to avoid turning your visit into a one continuous faux pas:

• There is no culture of tipping, so don’t try to tip in taxis or in restaurants (unless you want them to come running after you to give the money back). Service charges tend to be added in more high-end establishments such as international luxury hotels.

• It’s frowned upon to talk on your mobile on public transport.

• Never wear shoes on tatami mat floors.

• It’s regarded as bad manners to blow your nose in public.

• When receiving business cards, accept with two hands (and optional bow), and don’t immediately put away in your pocket but leave it out to admire for a while.

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