If you do not participate in a tour that acts with a big group and you travel freely with friends or family in Japan, how do you book and purchase tickets for sports competitions and concerts . Or how do you apply for tours such as activities? There are booking sites for tickets and tours in Japan, but most of them are written in Japanese. So, on this page, I would like to introduce you how to book various tickets and tours for your travel to Japan.
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You had better reserve popular tickets and tours before coming to Japan
Major reservation sites not supporting English
In Japan, we reserve ticket booking sites such as "Lawson Ticket" "Ticket Pia" when reserving a ticket such as a concert. We can receive reservation tickets at nearby convenience store. These services are very useful. However, most of the ticket reservation sites currently do not correspond to English, Chinese, etc. In order to use these sites, Japanese ability is required.
There are many reservation sites for tours such as mountain climbing in Japan, but many of these are only compatible with Japanese as well. You may face a Japanese barrier.
If you are browsing various reservation sites in Japan before you go to Japan and you can not make a reservation by yourself, it is better to book early in the following way.
Popular concerts, sports competitions, activity tours are highly likely to be full of reservations before you come to Japan. Anyway you should take the following actions as soon as possible.
Utilize the following reservation sites
In Japan as mentioned above, most reservation sites for tickets and tours do not correspond to English, Chinese, etc. However, the booking sites below are compatible with English. These sites have limited scope to book, but I encourage you to try first if you can book at these sites.
Travelko : You can check multiple booking sites instantly
"Travelko" is a comparison site that finds cheap accommodation plans instantaneously from many hotel reservation sites like "trivago" and "TripAdvisor". This site also provides information on various tours from a lot of tour reservation sites and offers it. Travelko is operated by a company headquartered in Tokyo, basically posting information in Japanese, recently the English site also started. That is the site below. I recommend that you check this site.
TRAVELKO - Cheap hotels: Price comparison site. Search discount rates at reasonable hotels.
TRAVELKO - Looking for hotels? Our site searches & ...
Voyagin : Recommended reservation site for tourists visiting Japan
"Voyagin" is a reservation site for tickets and tours managed by Rakuten Group in Japan. This site also supports English.
Voyagin is strong in areas such as great sumo wrestling that tourists visiting Japan are particularly interested in. The site of Voyagin is here. Please check if the tours you want to join are posted on this site.
Viator : Worldwide site where you can also book Japanese tours
"Viator" is a worldwide tour reservation site currently operated by the "TripAdvisor" group. Various Japanese activities and tours are also offered in English on this site. Please also take a look at this site. Viator is below.
Popular tickets and tours are filled with reservations soon. Anyway, get it early!
Things to Do, Tickets, Tours & Attractions | 2020 | Viator
Tours, things to do, sightseeing tours, day trips a ...
Ask the concierge at your hotel
If you plan to stay at a luxury hotel in Japan, I recommend you to book a hotel with concierge service. After booking the accommodation you can ask the concierge of your hotel to substitute reservation for various tickets etc. by e-mail.
Concierge service has developed in Europe and the United States, but recently in Japan, there are an increasing number of luxury hotels that gradually introduce this service.
Japanese concierges are still relatively inexperienced compared to Europe. But they work hard in order to get the guests satisfied. I have previously interviewed concierges at Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Palace Hotel Tokyo. They were very professional conscious and they wanted to be helpful to the guests. If you decide to go to Japan, I recommend you to book the hotel as soon as possible and consult with the concierge.
As hotels with a substantial concierge service, I would like to mention the following hotels.
Tokyo: Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Palace Hotel Tokyo, Aman Tokyo, Conrad Tokyo, The Peninsula Tokyo, Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo, Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo, Four Seasons Hotel Marunouchi Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
Kyoto: Hyatt Regency Kyoto
Osaka: The St. Regis Osaka
Hotel with club floor enriched
Some luxury hotels have club floors where guests can obtain concierge service. I think it is a good idea to book these rooms on our club floors and consult the staff about booking your tickets. However, the concept of the club floor varies from hotel to hotel. Depending on the hotel, there is also a club floor where there is only a corner where you can get drinks and sweets.
As hotels with a comparatively substantial concierge service on the club floor, I would like to mention the following hotels.
Sapporo: Sapporo Grand Hotel
Tokyo: The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Palace Hotel Tokyo, Tokyo Marriott Hotel, Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo
Yokohama: Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu
Kyoto: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Osaka: The Ritz-Carlton Osaka
Okinawa: The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa, ANA Crown Plaza Hotel Okinawa Harbor View
For the concierge, I think that you can consult more on your itinerary. If your hotel's concierge will not respond to your request, you may change the hotel. Making maximum use of the concierge service is very important to make your travel satisfactory.
There is no tip custom in Japan, so you do not need to hand chips to concierges. However, if you ask them for a very troublesome task, you may as well as hand out chips.
Concierges have their own cross-network. So, for example, you can consult a tour of Sapporo at a hotel in Tokyo. One concierge in a Tokyo hotel I knew was saying that she had made a reservation for Rio 's taxi for her guests when the Olympic Games were held in Brazil. Let's make reservations for various tickets and tours by utilizing the services of these concierges.
Ask your friend or acquaintance
If your friend or acquaintance lives in Japan, I recommend that you ask them to make a reservation.
As mentioned above, there are many reservation sites useful in Japan. If your friends or acquaintances can understand Japanese even slightly, they will be able to use the booking site. Convenience stores in Japan have special terminals that customers can book various tickets themselves. They should be able to use those terminals.
Buy at Japanese ticket shops
Purchase at stores for foreign tourists
If you book tickets and tours after you arrive in Japan, popular tickets and tours may not be available anymore. In such a case, you may want to go to the shops for foreign tourists to try and check if there are any interesting tickets etc for you.
Tickets Today: You can buy recommended tickets on the spot
For example, in Japan, "Tickets Today" stores are on the rise recently. "Tickets Today" picks over 50 performances everyday and sells those same-day and advance tickets. They are, for example, traditional arts, anime, musicals, plays, dance and so on. "Tickets Today" will open every morning at 9 o'clock, so please check if you are interested. For details of "Tickets Today" please refer to the official website below.
TKTS公式サイト | TKTS Japan
Using a convenience store's terminal
There are many convenience stores in Japan. Finding a convenience store in the city of Japan is very easy. You can also purchase tickets using the terminals inside this convenience store.
Loppi: Let's buy tickets according to the guide of the terminal!
The most famous is the terminal "Loppi" installed at convenience store "Lawson". You can pay utility bills, purchase insurance products, purchase tickets, etc. on this terminal. Follow the instructions displayed on the terminal screen, you can buy tickets for soccer games in Japan, admission tickets for Studio Ghibli, passports for Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan, and more. I wish you can get a great ticket!
I appreciate you reading to the end.
Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.