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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I've taken fairly large groups of europeans to Tokyo a few times, and unless you are extremely picky about food, you will be fine. There are a couple of things that get people though. Pasta will always be spaghetti by default, unless you ask otherwise. Food that claims to be french, will not be. Getting vegan food can be very difficult unless you have a native japanese speaker, vegetarian food is a little easier, but still tricky. If the price is not written on the menu, enquire before you order - it might be much more expensive than you expect.

    Learn a few basic phrases which you can parrot while pointing at what you want, and you'll do much better. Most people speak english much the same way you speak japanese. You might get lucky, but don't count on it - so have a phrase book and memorize the important stuff (how much?, this one please, excuse me, where is the ?, left, right, straight).

    Some general advice.
    Get a metro/JR map and keep it with you always, you will be much more mobile
    in the city if you understand how to get places on the tokyo metro and JR. If you are going to
    be there for more than a few days, get a Suica card for the JR and a Passnet card for the metro
    as they are way more convenient. Write down the name and phone number of the front desk of your hotel, when you are drunk and lost in a cab with no one who speaks english, get the driver (who will always have a cel phone) to call the hotel. They'll be able to explain how to get there. Which brings me to my final bit of advice. Never ever, ever, think you know where something is because you have an address. Addresses are useless in Tokyo (apparently they are assigned temporally), Anytime you need to go somewhere, get a map, bring it with you and figure out which stations are closest.

    Price wise, my experience is that eating and
    drinking in Tokyo is a lot like doing so in London. Expect to pay about the same, although the food will be better ;).

    Also Freshness Burger rocks!