Living with the Apple Watch in Tokyo

After a couple of years trying very hard to stop myself from buying it, I finally gave in and got me an Apple Watch (Series 3 GPS + cellular version). I guess I cannot forever use my strategy of telling myself next year’s model is going to be better.

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular Version + Dark Olive Sports Band
Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular Version + Dark Olive Sports Band

It also helps believing the LTE feature is in line with my life goal of “simplifying my life”. While the ultimate life simplification would be to disconnect from the internet altogether, I don’t think I’m ready for that yet so in the meantime, I can start by leaving my iPhone in my bag or at home, while still being reachable by phone or by messages.

It means I can still be connected, while not needing to be tethered to my iPhone. That in itself is a liberating step in the right direction.

It’s been more than a month since my Apple Watch arrived and for the most part, I’ve been happy with it. I’ve developed a habit of making it a part of my life, and I do see myself wearing it the whole day and remove it only when I take a shower or go to sleep.

It’s a part of me now.

There are many features to like with the Apple Watch but these three are my favorites: Suica, Notifications, and Health.


Suica on my wrist is the feature I like the most. No more need to take my wallet or my iPhone out of my bag when I ride the trains, or buy food. I don’t even need to bring those with me when I go out for a run.

At least here in Tokyo, Suica is supported by all the train and bus systems. It is supported by all the convenience stores and by most places to eat. I can essentially survive the whole day with just Suica.


Notifications on my wrist is another thing I like about the Apple Watch. Gone are the days I would miss notifications because the phone was in silent mode or was in my bag. Also gone are the days I keep on checking the phone to see if there are notifications. I know a lot of people can relate but this “checking my phone” almost inevitably triggers another never ending Facebook / Twitter / Instagram session.

Now, I can afford not to look at my phone but still be confident I am not missing important messages, mostly from my wife.


“Closing my circles”, or making sure I complete my daily move, exercise, and stand goals, as measured by the Apple Watch, has also become part of my daily routine. This actually encourages me to walk more than usual, do some quick outdoor runs, and to make sure I stand up and walk a bit at least once an hour.

Behind the scenes, it measures my heart rate, my daily steps, among others, which help me monitor the impact of any change I do to my daily routine. It also helps me determine if I need to walk some more, or if I need to add more exercise to my routine.

It also helped me confirm my life in Tokyo is relatively healthy as I almost always complete my exercise and stand goals just by going about my normal day. I guess all that walking to and from the train stations are indeed worth it. It’s the move goal that I need to work on because as the Apple Watch realizes I keep on completing it, it adjusts the move goal to something harder to achieve. Need to keep up.


The Apple Watch is here to stay for me. I almost never remove it anymore, except maybe when I’m taking a shower or sleeping. I even wear it when I’m playing tennis just to make sure all that hard work counts into “closing my circles”. Sometimes, I would even leave my phone and my wallet at home or at my office desk, when I go out for lunch or go for a run, all while still being “connected,” all while still being able to access my music.

Luckily, battery life is good as I’ve never seen it go below 40%, even if I wear it the whole day, making phone calls, listening to music, tracking my run, and measuring my heart rate.

Thanks Apple for this amazing product!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sol says:

    Just got mine yesterday and I too live in tokyo. Do you have an app for public transportation? I’m trying to find a good one. Nice post by the way.


    1. For public transportation, I just use the built in Apple Maps just because I’m an Apple fanboy. Hahaha.

      My friends would use either Google Maps or Jorudan.


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