Guide to Japan & Tokyo
Welcome to our little Japan & Tokyo guide for the 2012 IIHF Semi-Annual and General Congress. Find useful information about the country, the city and the language. Delegates will also get this information in a pocket-size brochure.

Japan in a nutshell
  • Name in Japanese: Nihon/Nippon 日本
  • Capital: Tokyo
  • Largest Cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo
  • Population: 127,700,000
  • Area: 377,944 sq km
  • Highest Point: Mount Fuji (3,776 m)
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time Zone: UTC+9h
    (Moscow +5h, Zurich +7h, EST +13h)
  • Business hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00. Banks until 15:00, shops daily until 19:00-20:00.
  • Electricity: Type A plugs like in North America,
    100 V, 50 Hz (60 Hz in Western Japan).
  • Phone: Japan has its exclusive 2G network (PDC) and foreign GSM mobile phones don’t work here. However, if you have a 3G phone equipped with the UMTS/WCDMA2100 standard and a 3G SIM card, it might work in Japan provided that your service provider has roaming agreements in Japan. For more information consult your service provider.
  • International Dialling Code: +81
  • Internet: internet is available in the hotel and many other places, although wired internet is more common than WiFi. It may be useful to take a cable with you.
Food & Water

Food: White rice, noodles, soybeans (also in the form of tofu), fish and other food from the sea including seaweed, and side snacks such as pickles are among the favorite ingredients of the Japanese cuisine. Despite the heavier emphasis on fish than in other areas of the world, meat lovers won’t be disappointed by specialties such as the famous Kobe beef or the shabu-shabu meat fondue. Most food is eaten with chopsticks. Famous Japanese meals include sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, tempura or various types of rice and noodle dishes.

Water: More than one-and-a-half years after the big earthquake, the drinking of tap water in Tokyo is considered safe and is used by millions of locals – also for the beloved green tea.


The Japanese currency is Yen (¥ or JPY), in Japanese: 円 (pronounced: “en”)

Exchange rate as of mid-September:
EUR 1 = ¥103
USD 1 = ¥79

Note: Japanese commonly pay in cash and smaller businesses may not accept credit cards.

If you want to use cash machines, consider that many may be available only during business hours, but not during nights and weekends. Only a few are available 24 hours, i.e. in 7-Eleven stores. Cash machines supporting many international credit and debit cards include Japan Post Bank and Seven Bank.

Note that tipping is not usual in Japan.

Top Tourist Attractions
  • Mori Arts Centre, Roppongi: Home to some of the country's best modern art exhibitions and also a good spot to take in a postcard-perfect Tokyo City view from its 52nd floor observation area.
  • Ueno Park: Home to a huge number of shrines and temples, museums and galleries, Ueno Park is the perfect place for a taste of Japanese culture.
  • Tsukiji Fish Market: With its endless rows of frequently unidentifiable maritime species, bustling workers and a rowdy pre-dawn tuna auction, it is a must - its highlight being the freshest sushi breakfast possible in one of the venues at the edges of the market.
  • Omotesando: broad tree-lined Omotesando Boulevard, great for shopping and lots of Japanese modern architecture.
  • Imperial Palace East Gardens: Explore the wide lawns, castle ruins and guardhouses that span Kokyo Higashi Gyoen, the walled East Gardens of the Emperor's official residence. Unfortunately, the palace itself is open to the public only on January 2 and the Emperor's birthday on 22 December.
Restaurants around the hotel
  • Tsukiji-Uemura (Japanese); Phone: 03-3443-5371
  • Tsukiji Tamazushi (Sushi); Phone: 03-3443-5346
  • Tempura Tsunahachi (Tempura); Phone: 03-3443-3284
  • Grand Central Oyster Bar (Seafood); Phone: 03-6717-0932
  • New York Grand Kitchen (Western); Phone: 03-6717-0919
  • Ruby Café Shinagawa (Italian); Phone: 03-6717-0928
  • Aux Bacchanales (French); Phone: 03-5798-7070
  • Ginza 4-chome area (department stores)
  • Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi (museums, galleries, many shops and restaurants)
  • Akihabara (area famous for electronic stores)
  • Kappabashi Street (everything needed for the kitchen: pots, dishes, etc)
  • Tokyu Hands (big department store with great variety of products)
  • Tenugui: A thin rectangular cotton towel, about 90cm long, printed with various patterns. It can also be used as a headband, to wrap gifts or as table cloth.
  • Yukata: Casual light cotton summer kimono, widely worn at festivals and at the ryokan (traditional Japanese inn).
  • Japanese Hand Fans: During summer, on the street, in trains or in restaurants, you’ll see a lot of people using fans. Whether they are folding (ōgi) or non-bending flat fans (uchiwa), the hand fans are extremely popular in Japan.
  • Paper Lanterns: Made of washi (traditional Japanese paper), glued on a bamboo frame. A traditional form of illumination. They are used at festivals, in parks and as home decoration.
  • Kendama: A very popular toy in Japan: a wooden, hammer-like object, connected by a string to a wooden ball.
  • Matcha Tea Sets: Matcha is the well-known finely-milled Japanese green tea used at the Japanese tea ceremony (includes bowls, tea caddies, sifter, scoops, bamboo tea whisk)
  • Traditional Japanese Chopsticks: Made from lacquered wood with a pointed end, and comes in several sizes. They are different from the Chinese versions: shorter and more rounded.
  • Bento Box: Bento is a Japanese meal. The boxes made from lacquered wood appeared around the year 1600 and remained popular until today.
  • Japanese Porcelain: There are about 18 major styles of Japanese pottery, many of them with multiple sub-styles, so a huge variety is available.

Japan is in a seismic active zone. Although no destructive earthquakes have occurred since the big earthquake that hit the northeast of the country in spring 2011, noticeable but mostly harmless seismic activities can occur at a smaller scale every few days somewhere in Japan. People in Japan live with it and buildings and infrastructure are built accordingly.

If you are interested in earthquake preparedness information, check the information provided by your embassy in Japan (i.e. material provided by the Swiss embassy) and make sure you know the evacuation plan of the building you’re in, including your hotel. Good prevention information is also provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.


Tokyo is in a subtropical climate zone. The median high at the end of September is 25°C (67°F) and the median low 18°C (65°F). Rainfall over a monthly basis is around 170mm (6.8 inches) and humidity falls slightly below 70 per cent.

Photos: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

Useful Links:

Japanese phrasebook
Below are some Japanese words and signs you may want to know.

Hello / good afternoonこんにちはKonnichiwa
Good morningお早うございますOhayō gozaimasu
Good eveningこんばんはKombanwa
Good night (to sleep)お休みなさいOyasuminasai
Thank youありがとうArigatō
You're welcomeどういたしましてDō itashimashite
byeじゃねja ne
Good bye (long-term)さようならSayōnara
How are you?お元気ですか?O-genki desu ka?
Fine, thank you.元気です。ありがとう。Genki desu. Arigatō.
Do you speak English?英語が話せますか?Eigo ga hanasemasu ka?
I can't speak Japanese.日本語が話せません。Nihongo ga hanasemasen.
I don't understand.分かりません。Wakarimasen.
Ice hockeyアイスホッケーAisuhokkee
International Ice Hockey Federation国際アイスホッケー連盟Kokusai Aisuhokkee Renmei
Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawaグランドプリンスホテル新高輪Gurando Purinsu Hoteru Ara Takanawa
Narita International Airport成田国際空港Narita Kokusai Kūkō
Train stationEki
I'm sick.病気です。Byōki desu.
Japanese numbers
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