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20 Things Women Should Know About Tokyo


In 2001 UK Journeywoman, Honor Dargan picked herself up and moved solo to Tokyo. Since then she has gained some great insights about how to help others make the most of their Tokyo stay. Today she concentrates on making her city as easy as possible for visitors to negotiate. Appropriately, her TokyoTopia website slogan is, Tokyo made simple. We asked Honor to send us a starter kit of tips to help JourneyWomen planning a journey to Tokyo. We're delighted with what she had to say...


Tokyo in general...

Don't be concerned about the extra attention you'll receive as a female. If you visit Tokyo you'll find that most Japanese are used to seeing non Japanese women and most won't bat an eyelid. If you visit the countryside, however, don't be surprised to feel enquiring gazes settle on you as you make your way around. This is not a negative thing, more just curiosity. Although the numbers of non Japanese have risen considerably in urban areas, in the more rural parts of the country you are more likely to take on the status of celebrity - especially if you have blonde hair and blue eyes! Remember, it's nothing personal.

Japanese women sport many different fashions, but whatever their individual style they're always top of their class. If you're a fashionista this is the place to strut your stuff. Don't forget your glam bag and best pair of high fashion shoes.

Japanese food is truly delicious and certainly offers some of the healthiest options in the world. Still, there are those times when you just want to have your favorite chocolate or other snack from back home. That can often be hard to find in Japan so that's why I want you to know about Kaldi Coffee Farm. Don't be fooled by the name. This shop is chock full of the various imported food items you might be craving. Check out this blog post. Website:

Sexual equality may not be Japan's forte but on certain days of the month we ladies can take advantage of our gender. Ladies Day is a common convention where you will get a discount and/or bonus items when you visit a specific location. Check out Spinshell TV for some of the offers currently available - hopefully you'll be able to enjoy some of them yourself.

Of course, we don't always travel just for vacation purposes. You might be coming to Japan on business. If you'd like to meet and mingle with a whole range of empowered business women in Tokyo, come along as a guest to one of the monthly FEW (For Empowered Women) networking events. You can check their website at:


Staying healthy and fit...

If you take any prescription meds, including contraception, make sure to bring enough with you to see you through any unexpected delays. The Japanese have a different regulatory system to the FDA for the moment so it is highly unlikely that you'll be able to get any of your regular medication brands. Some of these laws are due to change at the end of 2009, but for now just come prepared.

Keeping on the theme of contraception. If you're visiting with your guy and you usually rely on condoms for contracteption be aware its better to BYO (bring your own). The sizes here tend to be smaller than those in the US or UK - that's what I've been told anyway. If you're wanting a romantic vacation being stuck with these could cramp your style!

If you're a woman who has ever suffered from yeast infections this is an essential tip. Yeast infection treatments are not available over the counter. You will need to go to a doctor to receive a prescription before you can get the cream or prescription that will sort you out. This is not a pleasant experience, particularly when you're supposed to be on vacation. Pack your Canesten or other brand in your bag just in case.

Bring your deodorant with you. There are a couple of local brands available in drug stores but they're pretty ineffective especially during the hotter months. The last thing you need is to be walking round stressing about personal body odors. Bring your regular deodorant with you and you'll be able to hold your arm up high as you hang on to the handrail during your train ride home.

Keeping fit and staying in a good routine can be hard when you're traveling. For a great yoga workout try Yogajaya. These guys also organize retreats from time to time. It's worth checking in with them before you travel to Tokyo. This way you'll learn if there's anything special happening during your stay in Japan.

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