Tokyo, the capital of Japan is one of the largest, busiest and most populated metropolises in the world. This vibrant city is also called city of cities. You may think of it as several cities interlinked through an excellent public transport system. It also is a major commercial and financial hub of Japan.
Though Tokyo is called the “Most Livable City” in the world by the magazine Monocle and was ranked first in the 2017 Safe Cities Index, this massive city can be confusing for first-timers.
So here is a quick guide to help any lawyers or legal professionals more effectively navigate Tokyo when they visit.
Getting Around Tokyo
From ultra speed bullet trains to bicycle on rent, Tokyo offers array of convenient choices for getting around. To save you from getting overwhelmed and confused with the available choices we have shortlisted the easiest way of getting around Tokyo.
Trains & Subway – Tokyo has the world’s best and most sophisticated railway system. It is the best way to get to any part of the city. HyperDia is a website where you can find possible routes to get to your destination, including the cost and the transfers involved.
Taxis – Taxis are excellent but considered expensive in Tokyo. They are however, a good option to avoid transfers while commuting from trains. You can always visit the nearest station to your destination and from there take a taxi.
Buses – Buses are not recommended to tourists but if you plan to travel to lesser known areas or would like to avoid the crowded train stations, Toei transportation will serve as a handy guide.
Prepaid Cards – While there are many prepaid cards available, including unlimited rides for day cards, Suica and Pasmo cards are the best prepaid cards that are valid on trains, subways, as well as buses.
Suica card can also be used at stores, kiosks, taxis and for pickup at the airport.
Bicycle – Renting a bike is a great way of exploring the city. They are available through membership plans as well.
Data SIM Card – A visitor SIM will help you stay connected with your loved ones. It needs to be ordered in advance and you can arrange for it to be delivered to you at the airport or the hotel.
Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, and Entertainment
Tokyo is so massive that it’s impossible to explore the entire city in a short trip. Also, it’s easy to get lost so we recommend staying near the JR Yamanote line or any subway station for convenience. We have selected some of the best and attractive places for you to stay in Tokyo, near the Yamanote line that offers the best of hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions, all at a convenient walking distance.
Other convenient locations include:
Nihombashi, Shinagawa, Hamamatsucho and Shiodome
Tokyo Legal Resources
Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA), Chiyoda-Ku – The JFBA, is an organization of mandatory membership and represents all attorneys in Japan.
Bar associations are established in each of the jurisdictions of the district courts, but the Tokyo area has traditionally had three bar associations. Attorneys that have a law firm in Tokyo become members of one of the following three Tokyo Local Bar Associations.
The Dai-Ichi Tokyo Bar Association
The Dai-Ni Tokyo Bar Association
Lawyers qualified as foreign attorneys receive permission from the Minister of Justice and join a bar association as a foreign lawyer registered in Japan.
Inter Pacific Bar Association, Minato-ku, Tokyo – Established in April 1991, IPBA is an international association of business and commercial lawyers who live in, or have a strong interest in, the Asia-Pacific Region.
JCAA – The only permanent commercial arbitral institution in Japan, that contributes to the resolution of disputes arising from international and domestic business transactions
Roppongi Bar Association – Since its establishment in 1982, the RBA has served as a networking organization primarily consisting of foreign legal professionals located in Japan. It is a unique resource for those involved in the international legal community in Japan, or an interest in issues affecting the community.
Tokyo Legal Hackers
If you are interested in exploring innovations in legal tech, and developing creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues at the intersection of law and technology you may join Tokyo Legal Hackers.
They regularly meet up to share information and ideas related to technology that can transform the practice of law.
Top Law Firms in Japan
The domestic market is dominated by the following four major Japanese firms:
- Anderson Mori & Tomotsune
- Nishimura & Asahi
- Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
- Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
Aisalaw has an exhaustive list of industry-specific top lawyers in Japan.
Leading international firms include:
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- Morrison & Foerster
- White & Case
Tokyo is back on the global law firm radar with the advent of international law firms like Mayer Brown, Debevoise & Plimpton and King & Spalding, in Japan, with outbound projects and M&A deals.
Japan was due to open an international arbitration body specializing in intellectual property in Tokyo in September, the first one in Asia designed to facilitate the resolution of a growing number of patent disputes.
Legal Events in Japan
Follow Asia Law Portal to get more news and updates on the latest and upcoming legal events in the Asia-Pacific legal markets.