The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) has an office in Tokyo. The JNTO-affiliated International Tourism Center of Japan also has more than 140 counters/offices nationwide. Look for the sign showing a red question mark and the word "information" at train stations and city centers.
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Contacts
Japan National Tourism Organization/Tokyo. Tokyo, 100-0006. 03/3502–1461; 212/757–5640; 213/623–1952; www.jnto.go.jp/eng.
Tourist Information Centers (TIC)
Tourist Information Center Kansai International Airport. Kansai International Airport Terminal 1, Bldg. 1, Osaka, 282-0004. 072/456–6160.
Tourist Information Center Marunouchi. 1st fl., Shin-Tokyo Bldg., 3–3–1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0005. 03/3201–3331; www.jnto.go.jp.
Tourist Information Center Narita Terminals 1 and 2. Arrival Floor, Terminals 1 & 2, Narita, 282-0011. 0476/30–3383; 0476/34--5877.
Online Travel Tools
Online cultural resources and travel-planning tools abound for travelers to Japan. Aside from the expected information about regions, hotels, and festivals, Web Japan has offbeat info such as the location of bargain-filled ¥100 shops in Tokyo and buildings designed by famous architects. Another good source for all-Japan information and regional sights and events is Japan-guide.com.
Urban Rail maintains a useful subway navigator, which includes the subway systems in Tokyo and the surrounding areas. The Metropolitan Government website is an excellent source of information on sightseeing and current events in Tokyo.
Check out the websites of Japan's three major English-language daily newspapers: the Asahi Shimbun, The Japan News, and the Japan Times. Entertainment information is available on the sites of Metropolis and Time Out Tokyo; both have up-to-date arts, events, and dining listings. In the Kansai region, Kansai Scene is definitely worth a look.
Avoid being lost in translation with the help of Japanese-Online, a series of online language lessons that can help you pick up a bit of Japanese before your trip. (The site also, inexplicably, includes a sampling of typical Japanese junior-high-school math problems.) Order Japan's tastiest dishes with confidence by checking translations on Bento.com.
All About Japan
Web Japan. web-jpn.org.
English-Language Media Sources
Asahi Shimbun AJW. ajw.asahi.com.
The Japan News. www.the-japan-news.com.
Japan Times. www.japantimes.co.jp.
Time Out Tokyo. www.timeout.jp.
Hitachi's Hyperdia-timetable. www.hyperdia.com.
Jorudan Train Route Finder. www.jorudan.co.jp/english.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government. www.metro.tokyo.jp.
Urban Rail. www.urbanrail.net.