In general, wherever one travels in the world, the best way to get an overview of a city is on the upper deck of double-decker tour bus, with either a live commentary by a local guide or with a choice of many languages into each tourist's ear-bud earphones plugged into a seat-side jack, or some combination of both. Tokyo's relatively new double-decker "hop-on, hop-off" Sky Hop Bus is the worst we've ever done anywhere in the world. A pretty, young, apparently charming and humorous live tour guide chatters on throughout, drawing laughter and smiles from the few Japanese tourists on board during the weekday we were on board. But the English into our earbuds was so sparse and infrequent that we were tempted to ask for our money back. We paid the same 3000 Yen, cash only, as the Japanese tourists, but we received a really poor product, with only an occasional commentary, mostly drowned out by the live commentary in Japanese. From what we understand, Chinese and Korean are also offered through the earphones, although from the looks of the passengers, almost all of them were listening to the English channel. In such an incredibly sophisticated, civilized, and friendly city, this terrible service will clearly improve radically in the months and years ahead. But, as of today, not good.
Three different routes meet at the Tokyo train station. Either one-day or two-day tickets permit unlimited use of all three lines. The blue line is 1:45, the other two each run 1:20 approximately. At this point, don't expect much more than "hop-on, hop-off" transportation. The recorded tour is largely useless at this point.
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