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By Chris | January 26 2008
Tokyo’s summer weather can be hot and muggy, and it can be very cold in the winter, so the more comfortable weather of spring and autumn – March to May and September to November – are the best times to visit Tokyo. The city is particularly picturesque in March and April when the cherry trees are in blossom.
The Japanese are formal and reserved with a strict etiquette system and visitors are expected to behave politely. Bowing is the customary greeting and you can also bow to communicate thanks or an apology. Some over-the counter medicines, particularly for allergies and sinus problems, are forbidden under Japanese law, so check with the embassy before travel.
Most Japanese dress smartly and conservatively so a smart suit is essential for business meetings, and it is not advisable to go to a first-class hotel, a theater or a restaurant wearing casual clothing or anything too revealing. If you are invited to someone’s home remember to bring clean socks as you are expected to remove your shoes.
Japanese is the official language. English is not widely spoken in Japan.
$1 = JPY 77 £1 = JPY 124 €1 = JPY 106
Fire services: 119
+81 3 3224 5000 (US) +81 3 5211 1100 (UK)
32 million people live in Tokyo.
Shinto and Buddhism are Tokyo’s two major religions.
Shops open from 9am to 6pm weekdays and Saturdays. Friday is the day of rest, when many buildings close.