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20 Things Women Should Know About Tokyo


Pampering is always a good thing...

Boudoir is the place to go if you want to treat yourself to some beauty treatments and pampering on your holiday. They have a full English speaking service with monthly specials that you can take advantage of. Whether it's a manicure, pedicure or facial you're looking for, Boudoir has an excellent reputation.

On the subject of pampering, an onsen (Japanese bath) should be on your list while you're here. If you're on an all girl vacation you can give each other moral support as you all head naked to take your rejuvenating dip. I've done it by myself but always feel a little odd with the eyes of every Japanese woman fixed on me or throwing me side glances. With a group of you, however, you're more likely to be left alone so take advantage of a bonding moment and have a good old giggle while you're at it!

Planning on getting your haircut while you're in Tokyo? Be sure to go to a hairdresser who is used to cutting non Asian hair. As strange as it may sound I never realized there was a difference in hair characteristics until I moved here. The first time I left the hairdressers I felt I'd lost half my hair as the hairdresser was used to thinning thicker and heavier Asian hair. Not necessary for my fine and fly away locks! I need the opposite. Now I've found an excellent hairdresser who I've been using for the last 5 years. He also speaks English so you don't need to worry about language. Ask for Kazuhiro Kawai at the Toni & Guy Salon in Ebisu.


Find out more about Japan on Twitter...

A great resource to help you plan your travels to Japan has recently been launched using Twitter. The site is Japan Discovered! and you'll find hosts, Honor (@tokyotopia) and Shane (@ShaneSakata) at All you need to do is send in your Japan travel question with the hashtag #japantravel and Honor and Shane will do their best to answer you. Every Friday between 12:00 and 13:00 JST you'll find them live online. If you can't be there during the show, send in your question and they will include it in the blog show notes that summarize show contents so you can easily find all the links they recommend.

Editor's note: To find out more about Tokyo, including accommodation options, sightseeing tips, and essential city facts, visit Honor's site at:


A word of caution...

It is illegal to bring narcotics (which include painkillers like percocet and vicodin) into Japan without a permit. Some U.S. over-the-counter medications are also forbidden. However, it isn't too hard to get a permit for a 30-tablet supply of painkillers.I have done it twice, once with a tight deadline. See for more information. I was able to get the correct forms faxed to me by the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC, and submitted my request (along with the required letter from my doctor) by fax to the appropriate office in Japan. Be aware that there is a different permit-granting office for each city of entry. P.S. All of this red tape was worth it. With my medication I was able to treat my frequent migraines when they occurred and enjoyed my trips to Japan.
Erica Ginter, Beltsville, USA


Keeping your chopsticks green...

There's a new trend in Japan. Instead of using disposible chopsticks and polluting the environment young people are choosing to carry their own set of My-Hashi My-Heart reusable bamboo sticks instead. Visitors to Japan can buy these at Natural Lawson convenience stores for about US$7.00 a pair. They come in 30 juicy colors which the Japanese women love to mix and match to their lipstick and nail polish shades. I think these would make great gifts to bring home for friends.


Women's words on Japan...

One must learn, if one is to see the beauty in Japan,
to like an extraordinarily restrained and delicate loveliness
(Miriam Beard, 1930)

Americans are so often thrown by Japan. It looks
familiar but, an inch below the surface, it isn't like the West at all.
(Cathy N Davidson, 1993)

'I will do my best' is a favorite Japanese expression,
and, in Japan, one's best must be very, very good.
(Cathy Davidson, 1993)

Everything in Japan is hidden. Real life has
an unlisted phone number.
(Fran Lebowitz, 1994)

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