This is the planning Inspire Holidays suggests for a three day stay in Tokyo.
This is the old neighbourhood of Tokyo. The most popular street is called Nakamise (Nakamise-dori in Japanese), which has lots of shops to buy souvenirs and other japanese things like yukatas, traditional hanzashis, fans, japanese dolls, postcards, magnets, etc. Apart from this we can find specialised shops in sembei rice cookies, and other sweet pastries such as the agemanju (tempura pastry filled with red beans). Nakamise Street leads you from the Kaminarimon door to the second door of the Sensoji temple, which is called Hozomon.
We recommend having lunch in Daikokuya, in 1-38-10 Asakusa. This restaurant must be in your list if you want to try delicious tempura at a very affordable price.
Nearby is Kappabashi-dori, a street full of shops with plastic food that is sold to restaurants.
If you have more time, you can visit Ueno Park. It has some ponds, Benten-do temple, Kiyomizu Kannon-do and some museums inside the park.
Nearby is Ameyoko market, but we did not have time to go.
This area is a must see. It is full of electronic shops such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi, Sofmap, Laox, Labi and Apple. They sell “tax free”. There are manga shops, shops where small miniatures of animation films and series are sold, and really big stores where people play games. This area has a few maid cafes. Maid cafes are coffee shops where girls dressed up as maids serve drinks and food in an artistic sweet childish way. They paint hearts on your drinks, draw your face on it, sing for you, play board games with you, etc. Usually these cafes are mainly visited by Japanese men, but when we went there were couples as well. Apparently, Japanese men like the feeling of having the full attention of a maid girl, who will listen, sing and play board games with them.
This area overlooks Tokyo bay.
Our tip is to go around the sunset time, go for a stroll in the area, enjoy the sights, see the sunset, etc. From Odaiba, there are good views to Rainbow Bridge, which will lighten up after the sunset. Tokyo tower can be seen from there as well.
There are a couple of things to do in Odaiba:
– Visit the Fuji TV, not only to learn a bit more about its programmes and artists but also to enjoy the amazing views of Tokyo from its rooftop.
– Take a picture with the copy of the Statue of Liberty, which overlooks the bay.
– See the huge Gundam and enjoy the hourly mini-show with sounds and effects. Gundam is just in from the shopping mall DiverCity.
– Try to go to Odaiba in the first car of the Yurikamome line. This train is automatic, and is quite funny to go on it, as it has no driver. In addition, you will have the best views when crossing the Rainbow Bridge.
– If you do not fancy taking the train, you can take the boat which departs from Asakusa in order to go to Odaiba.
HARAJUKU STATION AND SURROUNDINGS
The best day to go to Harajuku Bridge (located between Yoyogi Park and Harajuku Station) is on a Sunday. If you go around 13h00 or 14h00, you will see groups of lolitas usually gathering on the bridge. It is quite interesting to see all of them dressed up and full of accessories.
You should visit Meiji Shrine.
After that, go to Takeshita Dori, a long street with lots of shops of trendy and fashionable Japanese style clothes.
If you fancy shopping, you can head to the nearby shopping mall Omotesando Hills, which has many design and luxury shops.
Tip: go for lunch to Harajuku Gyoza Lou to try their popular speciality: gyozas. Address: Harajuku Gyozaro, 6-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya.
Due to its atmosphere, we suggest visiting this area both during the day and night time.
Here you will see the famous crossing and the Hachiko statue.
We suggest you go to the Love hotels Hill in Dogenzaka. Love hotels are neon decorated hotels that people usually book for a couple of hours to spend some time with their lover. There are all kind of love hotels, each of them with different features like a karaoke inside, a Jacuzzi, etc. Prices will vary depending on the facilities they offer, and depending on how many hours you want the room for. It is curious to get inside of at least one of them (even if you do not stay). You will see some screens on the lobby with different pictures advertised for each room. The screens will show you only the unoccupied rooms. Usually rooms can be booked using those screens by yourself and following the steps, but if you have any doubt, there is usually a person in the reception that will be more than happy to answer to your questions. To keep it confidential, there is a blind between that person and you, so you will not see each other.
This is one of the busiest areas in Tokyo.
Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and enjoy one of the best views from Tokyo, and for free! It is located in floor 45.
You can go for a stroll in Shinkuku park (Shinjuku Gyoen in Japanese).
We strongly recommend you to have dinner in the nearby Yakitory Alley, also called Omoide Yokocho, located in the northwest of the station. This alley is full of tiny restaurants specialised in yakitories (skewers of different types of meat, vegetables, etc). It was there where we had one of the most delicious meals in our trip to Japan. This restaurants are mainly visited by local business japanese men, who go there after work.
5 minutes walk from the Yakitori alley, you will see the red district Kabukicho. This area is full of adult entertainments stores, discos and love hotels.
Tsukiji is Tokyo’s fish market. There are two markets; located 5 minutes far from each other. The main market is the fish one. The other one is the outer market, with some narrow streets packed with stalls selling food and other items.
If you want to explore the fish market at its best, bear in mind that you will need to go early, as by 9 am business starts to wind down. If you go later than that, you will still see fishmongers but not as many as in the first hours of the morning.
This main fish market is surrounded by small sushi counters where you should definitely try its sushi. It will probably be the most delicious and fresh sushi you will ever have. We recommend you to try “Sushi Dai”, the small restaurant with green little curtains with Japanese symbols hanging over the door. We had to wait around 3 hours to get a place on it, as it can only seat around 12 people, but it was totally worth it! Each fresh piece is between 300 and 800 yen. Do not forget to order the fatty tuna, called otoro in Japanese. It is delicious!
This area is around 15 minutes walk from Ginza, so we recommend you to go to both places on the same day.
Ginza is the posh neighbourhood of Tokyo. The area is full of expensive shops.
Kabuzi-ka theatre is located in this area.
Shiodome-Shinbashi is the area where most of the office buildings and skyscrapers are. As this area is close to Ginza and Tsukiji market, we suggest you visiting this area on the same day. The area will be interesting for you if you like architecture.
There are several buildings in Tokyo to enjoy the skyline: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (mentioned before), Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo City View. In all of them except in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, there is an entrance fee to be paid. If you have to choose one of them, our tip is to choose the Tokyo City View in Roppongi Hills, not only for its views but also because of its rooftop and location. This is classified as one of the best buildings to enjoy Tokyo’s skyline.
Entrance fees as follows:
|Adults||Age 65 and above||Students (high school, college, and university)||Children (from four yrs, of age to jr. high school students)|
The main ticket allows you to go to a rounded shape big floor where you will have Tokyo’s views through its enormous windows. It is not open air, so bear in mind that a glass will be protecting you.
There is an additional fee to pay if you want to go to the Sky Deck. This is an open air rooftop terrace where you will enjoy the views without having a glass in front of you.
If you want to party in an international atmosphere, this is the place you should go to.
The area is full of discos and pubs where you can spend the afternoon/night.
If you have time, you can visit the Asahi TV building, which is near the Tokyo City View. You can take some pictures with Doraemon and Shin-chan.
We had dinner in an izakaya called Warayakiya in Roppongi. All the food we had in there was soooo delicious! Warayakiya is known for a special method of grilling meat and seafood that originated in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Instead of charcoal, chefs use straw which burns at a very high temperature — 900 degrees C (about 1650 degrees F). The tuna is a must try, simply awesome! Watching the chefs cooking the tuna over the flames was a real show. Address: 6-8-8 Roppongi, Minato-ku; +81 (0) 3 5410 5560; Monday-Saturday: 5 p.m.-5 a.m., Sunday and holidays: 5-11 p.m.