Tokyo Itinerary & DIY Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors

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Explore the West of Tokyo

◘◘ Shibuya

This is claimed to be a significant nightlife space but it surely’s additionally a significant procuring and leisure venue particularly due to its robust youth presence in the direction of vogue and tradition.

Where to sleep in Shibuya?

  • For sights
    • ★ Shibuya Crossing: Found in entrance of the Hachiko Exit, that is arguably probably the most outstanding landmark of the district and probably the most photographed spot within the space. If you wish to get a great view of it, go to the QFRONT constructing the place a giant Starbucks cafe is discovered. It’s finest to come back throughout rush hour to see a powerful sight however be ready for crowds contained in the cafe. TIP: If you need a greater fowl’s eye view, put together your zoom-in lens and go to Shibuya Hikarie shopping center’s Sky Lobby on the eleventh Floor.
    • Hachiko Statue: Hachiko is the identify of an admired Akita breed canine in Japanese tradition again within the 30s who exemplified very good loyalty to his proprietor even after his proprietor’s demise. Up to this present day, Hachiko has been remembered for these superb traits and that’s why this bronze statue of him in entrance of Shibuya Station stays to be a well-revered level in Japan. With that, don’t neglect to cease by right here on your Tokyo itinerary! ALTERNATIVE: For a lesser crowd, there’s an even bigger statue of Hachiko alongside along with his grasp, Professor Ueno, on the grounds of UTokyo or the University of Tokyo.
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  • For quirky enjoyable
    • Karaoke: You should NEVER go away Japan with out attempting a typical Japanese karaoke! If you’re not from Asia, karaoke is NOT like those that you just see in Europe or within the USA the place the particular person goes on stage and sings in entrance of strangers in a bar. Asian karaokes are extra private and ‘closed’ so you’ll be able to unleash your singing powers in a sound-proof room with individuals that you just truly know (or you too can go alone). Of course, these Japanese karaoke rooms are high-tech and are even well-decorated relying on the place you go to. They would possibly even present free costumes so you’ll be able to cosplay whereas singing your coronary heart out! (And sure, they’ve English songs — a few of them even have Filipino tracks).
    • Love Hotel Hill: This is the place you could find the most important focus of affection motels in Tokyo, and although it’s not a typical merchandise on a ‘things to do in Tokyo‘ list, it can be an amusing thing in itself especially if you’re touring with the one you love — largely due to how the rooms are delightfully themed. Just be warned although that some love motels don’t settle for same-sex {couples} and even two foreigners. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to relaxation in a room for 1-4 hours at round 1,500 yen ($15~) per hour or keep in a room in a single day for as little as 7,000 yen ($68~).
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  • For nightlife
    Two of probably the most sensible golf equipment would first be the mammoth tremendous membership ageHA with over 4 dance flooring, an outside pool, and an outside dance tent; and second, the laser-filled Womb membership with its identifiable large mirror ball. TIP: Better but, get this Tokyo Nightclub Pass that grants you UNLIMITED entry to the highest 7 nightclubs in Tokyo!
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  • For procuring
    • ★ Don Quijote (for every thing beneath the solar), Loft (for stationery), and/or Tokyu Hands: These outlets are nice to incorporate in your Tokyo itinerary for those who’re searching for low cost souvenirs, novelty gadgets, stationaries, and extra! The Shibuya department of Don Quijote is the most important in Japan so be sure that to drop by there.
    • Center Gai, Koen Dori, Spain Slope, and/or Shibuya 109: The first 3 are distinct procuring streets in Shibuya, whereas Shibuya 109 is a posh that you just don’t wish to miss out if you wish to do some severe procuring!
    • Shimokitazawa: This close by district is a superb ‘bohemian’ spot for those who’re searching for classic and second-hand gadgets and garments.

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◘◘ Harajuku

Known for its vogue scene, quirky tradition, cosplay outlets, and a lot extra!

Where to eat in Harajuku?

Where to sleep in Harajuku?

  • For sights
    • Meiji Shrine: Dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji (1st emperor of Japan) and Empress Shoken, the huge Meiji Shrine is a superb tranquil ‘escape’ from the hectic Harajuku. As a customer, you’ll be able to partake within the routine Shinto acts: shopping for amulets, writing out your want on an ema (picket plates) and making choices on the corridor. For correct conduct when visiting a shrine, you’ll be able to learn this information.
      • TIP: If you wish to witness a conventional Japanese Shinto marriage ceremony, head right here round 10AM and check out your luck!
    • Yoyogi Park: A typical assembly place for Japanese individuals from all ‘walks of life’. Since it’s simply close to the fashionable Harajuku, you’ll usually discover crowds of band members, lolitas, cosplayers, and fashionistas in attention-grabbing clothes (they’re generally concentrated round Jingubashi or the bridge close to Meiji Shrine). Taking images of those individuals in fancy clothes is completely wonderful, but it surely’s finest for those who ask for permission first since not all of them are there to please the group — they’re normally simply there to hang around or do practices and so on.
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  • For procuring
    • ★ Takeshita Dori: The birthplace of Japan’s vogue developments, it is a slim avenue that’s stuffed with fascinating outlets and cafes. It’s an especially sought-out place in Tokyo (particularly by fashionistas) so it may get very crowded right here, particularly on weekends. Some of the belongings you shouldn’t miss out on? The entrance — take a photograph right here as you see your self flashed on the display.
      • TIP: Wanna do a guided tour? Take this Harajuku half-day tour that may take you thru Takeshita in addition to grant you entry to among the district’s prime cafes!
    • Cat Street: If you wish to stray away from Takeshita Dori’s crowd throughout your Tokyo itinerary, that is the subsequent finest place to be.
    • Omotesando: If Paris has Champs-Elysees, Japan has Omotesando. If Takeshita Dori is extra for low to mid-level consumers, Omotesando is extra for older or wealthier consumers. TIP: Drop by Espace Luis Vuitton Tokyo which is discovered on the highest ground of its constructing to search out an incredible artwork area — to not point out that the bogs are actually fancy haha.
    • Daiso Harajuku: This is one in every of Japan’s well-known 100-yen variety-store outlets that provide reasonably priced housewares, toys, stationery, decorations, bento provides, items, and extra!
    • Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku: This is a multi-story procuring middle that just lately grew to become much more standard due to its kaleidoscope-like entrance that’s manufactured from dozens of tilted mirrors. Don’t miss out as properly on its rooftop terrace space on the sixth ground in order for you views over Harajuku.
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  • For quirky enjoyable
    • Maison de Jullieta: Kawaii (cute) tradition is a ‘thing’ among the many Japanese and a kind of kawaii vogue types could be the candy lolita look. In Maison de Jullieta in Harajuku, you’ll be able to gown up as one — full with costume, make-up, and hair association at a value of round 10,000 yen ($97~)!
    • Kawaii Cafe: In line with Harajuku’s colourful splash of colours and eccentric ambiance, there exists the Kawaii Monster-themed cafe! With over 5 individually themed areas, the cafe is sort of a rainbowholic’s paradise the place each nook is stuffed with kawaii ornament and Instagram-worthy scenes.
    • Purikura: Purikura runs like a photograph sales space — however completely different in a Japanese sort of manner and it’s broadly standard amongst females. Through these machines, you’ll be able to take images of your self or your mates in a studio-esque sales space; after which, you may be digitally enhanced. By that, I imply mechanically Photoshopped in a kawaii method: larger eyes, whiter pores and skin, and narrower face.
    • Mameshiba Cafe: If you wish to snuggle lovely Shiba Inu canines for half-hour, there’s this small cafe in Harajuku that you possibly can go to. Personally, I don’t discover it price it (nor do I help animal cafes on the whole) however I go away this up right here so you’ll be able to resolve what to do.

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◘◘ Shinjuku

As a significant metropolis middle, Shinjuku has the busiest practice station on this planet (Shinjuku Station), it homes the administration middle for the Tokyo authorities, and holds a plethora of wonderful issues to do in Tokyo!

Where to eat in Shinjuku?
Other than going to Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho or Shin-Okubo Koreatown, go to…

Where to sleep in Shinjuku?

  • For sights
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building: Towering at 243m, this construction has two towers and every of those has an observatory that guests can go to for FREE with a purpose to get a fowl’s eye view of Tokyo. TIP: I like to recommend the southern tower because it reveals a greater ‘side’ of Tokyo (closes at 5:30PM), whereas the northern tower is finest for evening pictures because it closes later into the evening (till 11PM).
    • Shinjuku Gyoen: Best visited in the course of the sakura and fall season, this place is only a stone’s throw away from Shinjuku station and it is among the metropolis’s largest and most favored parks. Here, you can find three completely different gardens, a conventional Japanese panorama backyard, a French backyard, and an English panorama backyard.
    • Samurai Museum: As a Japanophile, I’ve additionally been enchanted by the tradition and historical past of the samurai (or bushi) — Japan’s notable navy warriors. Adults can enter for a charge of 1,800 yen ($18~) with a purpose to see the spectacular reveals; however the spotlight of this place might be the experiences you can attempt: photoshoot with primary samurai gear (500 yen $5), sword battle efficiency with an actor (free), samurai calligraphy lesson (500 yen or $5~), {and professional} picture shoot with full samurai gear (begins at 32,000 yen or $320~).
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  • For nightlife
    • Omoide Yokocho: This is often known as “Piss Alley” however relaxation assured, it’s not as disgusting because it sounds. Based subsequent to the practice on the west facet of Shinjuku Station, that is virtually just like Yurakucho close to Ginza — besides that Omoide Yokocho options extra various tiny eateries that serve ramen (Japanese noodle dishes), sushi, kushiyaki (skewered grilled meat), amongst many others.
      • TIP: The outlets predominantly solely converse Japanese so it’s finest that you just guide right here for a guided tour so that you don’t miss out on something throughout your Tokyo itinerary!
    • ★ Golden Gai: Made up of a community of 6 slim alleys related with even smaller passageways, Golden Gai is an enchanting website to go to for a drink. With over 200 tiny bars and eateries, it may undoubtedly offer you a glimpse of Tokyo’s previous. However, don’t let the seems to be of those bars idiot you; although they’re small (becoming solely round 5 clients), the costs aren’t low cost. After all, they usually serve well-off shoppers resembling celebrities, musicians, artists, and so on. But don’t again out simply but as a result of even when most bars solely welcome their ‘regulars‘, you as a foreigner can still get to experience the glory of Golden Gai because there are those who welcome non-regulars — this is best signified by the English menus that they would display outside their bar. (Take note that these bars don’t open till round 9 or 10PM).
      • TIP: Book right here for a guided tour so that you don’t should fumble round.
    • Kabukicho: This is the leisure and red-light district in Shinjuku which is usually known as the “Sleepless Town”. Unlike Amsterdam which options prostitutes on home windows of their buildings, Kabukicho has a extra subdued assortment because it solely consists of hostess golf equipment, love motels, therapeutic massage parlors, and extra (prostitution is prohibited in Japan). Unless you wish to avail these sorts of companies throughout your Tokyo itinerary, I simply discover this an attention-grabbing place to see in Tokyo as a daily vacationer. Rest assured, I felt completely secure strolling round right here because it didn’t really feel seedy. In reality, you may not even discover that you just’re already in Kabukicho! Also, one specific factor about Kabukicho that I finest appreciated to see or observe was the pachinko parlors. (Pachinko is an insanely standard sport in Japan that one way or the other resembles pinball.)
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  • For quirky enjoyable
    • ★ Robot Restaurant: Tokyo, the land of the bizarre (as some would say) lives as much as its identify as a result of it provides a number of themed eating places like The LockUp (prison-like), Zauo (fish on your personal meals), and Alice in Wonderland Restaurant (self-explanatory). But probably the most entertaining and weird themed restaurant I’ve visited? That could be Robot Restaurant in Kabukicho space. A construction of glitz, lasers, and robots, my ‘ordeal’ on this restaurant was… undescribable — in a great way!
    • Godzilla: Japan’s well-known large monster and popular culture icon, Godzilla, could be seen right here atop Toho Cinemas. It’s a pleasant spectacle as a result of he seems to be like he’s taking a peak from the constructing — seconds away from wreaking utter havoc.
    • Animal Cafes: Plenty of individuals would advocate that you just go to Tokyo’s well-liked animal cafés such because the cat café, owl café, rabbit café, goat café, and so on. (There are numerous them discovered round Shinjuku resembling Cat Cafe Calico, and so on.). I don’t like them although as a result of I’m uncomfortable with the concept of conserving a number of animals in such a small area with strangers that they’re not that accustomed to — however, I go away it as much as you to resolve what you’d do.

Explore the East of Tokyo

◘◘ Asakusa

This is mentioned to be the middle of Tokyo’s shitamachi (“low city”) — which implies that it’s an ‘olden’ district the place you will get a really feel of how Tokyo was previously a long time.

Where to sleep in Shibuya?

  • For sights
    • ★ Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa Shrine: Take word {that a} shrine is devoted to the Shinto religion, whereas a temple is devoted to Buddhism. These two locations are the principle spotlight of Asakusa with Senso-ji being the oldest temple in Tokyo. There can be an spectacular “Thunder Gate” known as Kaminarimon (which is an emblem of Asakusa and Tokyo) in entrance of the temple.
    • Sumida River and Park: For a leisurely stroll throughout your Tokyo itinerary, go over to Sumida River and lounge by Sumida Park which stretches on either side of this physique of water. Like what you’d count on, there are cherry blossoms right here that come alive in spring, after which throughout July on its final Saturday, this turns into an incredible spot for viewing the Sumida River Firework. (If you see a golden constructing with an odd golden construction on prime that appears like a teardrop, that’s the Asahi Beer Tower with its ‘Asahi Flame’.)
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  • For actions
    • Kimono rental: This is your likelihood to attempt on Japan’s elegant conventional put on: a kimono! Putting on a kimono could be VERY intricate, however don’t fear as a result of there are rental outlets unfold out all through Japan (catered each to women and men) that allow you to put on it outdoors for a day for a value that begins at 3,000 yen ($25~).
    • Samurai Armor rental: You can take a step additional and hire to put on Japan’s well-known conventional warrior’s (samurai’s) armor! If you guide this exercise on-line, you’ll be able to actually have a skilled photographer take images of you.
    • Rickshaw journey: To full your kimono look, I like to recommend that you just hire a conventional Japanese rickshaw which is able to take you round key spots in Asakusa.
    • Tea ceremony: Highly influenced by the rules of Zen Buddhism and a well-respected passion, the Japanese Tea Ceremony (also called the ‘Way of the Tea’) is a conventional cultural exercise that’s elaborate and refined, and during which matcha or powdered inexperienced tea is ready and drunk by a number. To be frank with you: it is a very lengthy ceremony the place you’ll sit immobile for hours as you observe a set of pointers… however it’s a hanging instance of Japan’s superb tradition that’s distinctive for immersing one’s self. For a great place to do that in, go right here.
    • Hanayashiki: If you’re up for it, that is mentioned to be Japan’s oldest amusement park (in-built 1853) and it may be a unusual factor to do in your Tokyo itinerary.
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  • For meals and procuring
    • ★ Nakamise procuring avenue: Stretching at about 250 meters from Kaminarimon to the principle grounds of Sensoji Temple is that this picturesque procuring avenue with over 50 outlets that provide native specialties and the same old array of vacationer souvenirs.
    • Shin-Nakamise: Also known as “New Nakamise”, this runs perpendicular to the Nakamise Shopping Street and is in step with varied outlets and eating places.
    • Asakusa Kagetsudo: This is a well-known melon-pan retailer that has been working since 1945. Melon-pan is mainly a candy baked bread with an outer layer that appears like a melon — so it’s simply named that due to its look and never as a result of it tastes like a melon. When you purchase from this retailer, it’s best to eat it when heat.

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◘◘ Akihabara

Dubbed the otaku* cultural middle and tech procuring district of Japan, strolling via Akihabara’s predominant avenue known as Chuo-dori will already offer you an thought of what this district is all about.

You see, Japan might have an incredible historical tradition, BUT it has additionally developed an equally superb fashionable tradition over the current years, and it’s in Akihabara you can get a glimpse of this considerably wacky ‘evolution’.
*Japanese time period for individuals who have obsessive pursuits generally in the direction of anime and manga. A synonymous phrase in English could be ‘geeks’.

Where to eat in Akihabara?

Where to sleep in Akihabara?

  • For quirky enjoyable
    • Maid cafe: Lots of people in Tokyo like to cosplay — a type of roleplaying the place individuals put on costumes to characterize a personality (usually present in animes and mangas). One of the nice ol’ favorites of the Japanese on the subject of cosplaying or dressing up are waitresses wearing frilly Victorian maid costumes. In line with their character, they’ll even act as in the event that they’re servants after which deal with others as their masters. Now apply that concept to a café, splash it with small video games, cutesy demeanor, temporary performances, and picture-taking with clients and that’s the place you get the famed maid cafes of Japan. TIP: Another good spot to attempt in Akihabara apart from Maidreamin could be @Home Cafe.
    • ★ Arcades: I’ve been to so many arcades BUT, they’re not as insanely superb, vivid, thrilling, and quite a few as what Tokyo has! One of probably the most recognized gaming arcades in Tokyo could be Taito Station. (You may additionally do purikura inside these arcades).
    • ★ Go Kart: Come reside on the sting and discover downtown Tokyo in a cool Go Kart when you’re wearing standard cosplay costumes! With this enjoyable driving tour in your Tokyo itinerary, you’ll be able to decide to do a one-hour expertise or a whole-day affair.
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  • For procuring
    • Yodabashi: If you may have time to go to just one tech gadget retailer within the district, then this 9-story constructing is your finest wager! After all, it’s confirmed that their gadgets are normally cheaper than in Europe.
    • Mandarake or Tokyo Anime Center: A gigantic 8-floor complicated that is filled with merchandise associated to anime and manga; so it’s the finest go-to area for those who’re a hardcore otaku or no less than a educated one at that. Whereas I consider {that a} go to to the Tokyo Anime Center is finest completed first by individuals who do not know of the otaku scene with a purpose to acquire a greater understanding of it.

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◘◘ Sumida

The most noteworthy sights that you need to go to on this ward must be the next:

  • Tokyo Skytree: At 634m, that is the tallest tower on this planet. It is primarily a tv and radio broadcast website for the Kanto Region; however for vacationers, you’ll be able to go to the big procuring complicated, aquarium, and planetarium which might be situated at its base. And after all, for sky-high views of the town, Tokyo Skytree has two statement decks and you should purchase your tickets right here.
  • ★ Ryogoku: If you’re inquisitive about Japan’s nationwide sport of sumo (wrestling), then you could head to this place which is its so-called historic middle. You can discover right here Tokyo’s sumo stadium (Kokugikan), sumo stables, and different sumo-related sights. If you wish to watch official matches, come round January, May, or September and guide your ticket on-line. NOTE: To boost your Tokyo itinerary, attempt chanko nabe in any of the eating places within the neighborhood. This is mainly a sizzling pot dish that could be a staple meals of sumo wrestlers.
    • TIP: To reserve your sumo tickets for Japan’s Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament, go to this hyperlink. For the months whereby tournaments aren’t held, you will get a close-up take a look at the sumo wrestlers’ morning combat practices by way of this tour.

Mt. Fuji Tour

◘◘ Mt. Fuji

Chureito Pagoda from Shutterstock.com

It’s time to take a look at Mt. Fuji or ‘Fuji-san’ (it’s how the locals generally name it).

As the nation’s tallest peak, it has been thought of some of the iconic sights in Japan so it will be a good suggestion to briefly escape Tokyo’s bustle and dedicate this present day to a little bit of nature.

Now, there are a number of methods for seeing this energetic volcano in all its glory however beneath are the most effective places for viewing it that you could embrace in your Tokyo itinerary.

– Some individuals do one of many locations beneath as a day journey, whereas others as an in a single day journey to additionally expertise staying in a ryokan (conventional Japanese inn). It’s completely as much as you, however naturally, for those who’re quick on time, making it as a day journey could be sufficient.
– Clouds usually block the view of Mount Fuji so you must contemplate your self as fortunate for those who get a transparent view of it (it’s solely seen for about 80 days a yr). It is claimed that visibility tends to be higher in the course of the colder seasons of the yr than in summer season. Otherwise, it’s nice within the early morning or late night hours in comparison with the center of the day.

  • ★ Hakone: (1hr from Tokyo) This is a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and it’s well-known not just for its pure magnificence and lake views of Mt. Fuji, but in addition for its sizzling springs (onsen). Other sights you can take a look at listed here are the: big scenic torii gate by the lake, Owakudani (sulfurous vapor rivers), Hakone Shrine (the world’s most well-known Shinto shrine), Hakone Tozan Railway (scenic mountain railway line) and Hakone Ropeway (nice views over the energetic Owakudani valley).
    • To save up on transportation prices, get a Hakone Free Pass to realize limitless journey on eight transportation choices together with the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise (Pirate Ship), Hakone Tozan Train, Hakone Tozan Bus, Hakone Tozan Cable Car, and Hakone Ropeway.
    • For a hassle-free expertise, you’ll be able to take a Hakone day tour that already features a cease at Mt. Fuji and another attention-grabbing actions like a lake cruise and extra.
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  • ★ Fuji Five Lakes: (2hrs from Tokyo) The Fuji Five Lakes is a area that lies on the northern base of Mount Fuji and amongst them, Lake Kawaguchiko is the best to entry with loads of attention-grabbing issues to do. This is a superb inclusion to your Tokyo itinerary particularly for those who additionally wish to check out a typical Japanese onsen (provided that it’s a sizzling spring resort city). Don’t neglect to additionally attempt the Kachi Kachi Ropeway for panoramic views of the world.
    • For a hassle-free expertise, you’ll be able to take a Mt Fuji day tour to this lake area with the inclusion of Kachi Kachi Ropeway, and extra.
    • A special possibility is to relatively go to Chureito Pagoda (pictured above) which continues to be a part of Fuji Five Lakes however not discovered inside Lake Kawaguchiko. This spot is a favourite amongst photographers, particularly throughout spring or autumn and it’s simple to see why! (This tour consists of this pagoda as a cease).
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  • Kamakura: (1hr from Tokyo) Apart from providing nice views over Mt. Fuji, Kamakura can be well-known for its Great Buddha bronze statue that towers at round 11 meters. If you’re into nature, this coastal city additionally has nice mountain climbing trails and seashores. Not to say that it holds quite a few temples and shrines just like the well-known Hasedera Temple and Hachimangu Shrine.
  • Enoshima: (1hr from Tokyo) This is a touristic island that gives a wide range of sights (Enoshima Shrine), seashores, parks, an statement tower, and caves (Iwaya Caves).  If I say so myself, doing a Kamakura + Enoshima day tour could be supreme if you wish to take a look at each of those cities.
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  • Fuji Shibazakura Festival: (2hrs from Tokyo) This is a well-known time-limited occasion that’s normally held at Fuji Motosuko Resort from the center of April to late May. If you may have the time, I like to recommend doing a sakura tour of this competition because it options over 80,000 blooming shibazakura (pink, crimson, and white mountain phlox flowers) over 6 acres of sloping hills. Pair this off with an incredible view of Mt. Fuji and it immediately turns into an Instagrammable spot!

Other Options Near Tokyo

◘◘ Other Day Trip Options from Tokyo

Below are different attention-grabbing day journeys that you are able to do on your Tokyo itinerary!

  • ★ Nikko: (2hrs from Tokyo) As a city discovered on the entrance to Nikko National Park, it’s most well-known for its Toshogu Shrine which is elaborately adorned. Other than this, because of its mountainous terrain, sights just like the Kanmangafuchi Abyss (a strolling path via a gorge) and Shinkyo Bridge (a sacred bridge resulting in Nikko’s shrines) are a should to do on your Tokyo itinerary.
    • TIP: For a hassle-free expertise, you are able to do a Nikko day tour from Tokyo that features stopovers at Tochogu Shrine, Kegon Falls, Tsukiji Hitachiya & Futarasan Shrine.
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  • Yokohama: (1hr from Tokyo) This is Japan’s second-largest metropolis and it has one of many world’s largest Chinatowns. A variety of guests additionally have a tendency to incorporate Yokohama of their Tokyo itinerary due to its Cup Noodles Museum and Ramen Museum. Otherwise, Yokohama’s waterfront is a sight to see for those who simply head to the town’s park.
  • Kusatsu: (3hrs from Tokyo) This is a sound journey to make if you wish to go to one in every of Japan’s most well-known sizzling spring resorts. In reality, Kusatsu Onsen is blessed with giant volumes of high-quality spring water which makes it standard amongst locals and vacationers alike. You will love the ambiance right here as you discover virtually everybody carrying yukata/kimono on the streets. Otherwise, when winter comes, the city turns into an incredible ski resort to go to.
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  • Chichibu: (2hrs from Tokyo) This metropolis is a superb place to flee to throughout your Tokyo itinerary if you wish to get away from the town. After all, its forested mountains present spectacular nature views and mountain climbing alternatives. One of probably the most sought-after occasions right here, it’s the Chichibu Night Festival in December and its Hitsujiyama Park in Spring (for its stunning pink moss park).

Explore the Rest of Tokyo

Naturally, there’s extra to Tokyo than the sights I’ve talked about in days #1 and #2 above. So with a purpose to replenish your Tokyo itinerary with different actions on your further days within the capital, beneath are some concerns you can make.

◘◘ Other Places West of Tokyo

Where to eat in Roppongi?

Where to sleep in Roppongi?

  • ROPPONGI HILLS: Up to do partying on your Tokyo itinerary?! If your reply is a convincing YES, come dive into the most effective nightclub scene over at Roppongi! This district is legendary amongst locals and expats alike — which isn’t shocking given how Roppongi Hills is one in every of Japan’s richest and largest property developments.
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  • Mori Tower: As the centerpiece of Roppongi, Mori Tower is primarily an workplace constructing; however its decrease flooring are stuffed with greater than 200 outlets and eating places and its prime ground has an statement deck that provides you with a wonderful view of Tokyo that open from 10AM to 11PM (1AM on Fridays and Saturdays).
    • To benefit from the picturesque rooftop views on Mori Tower’s 52nd ground, simply guide an Observation Deck ticket on-line.
    • Below Mori Tower, you can find an enormous spider sculpture known as Maman which suggests ‘mother’ in French. This is made by the artist Louise Bourgeois.
    • Tokyo Midtown is yet one more constructing you can go into for those who’re up for extra procuring and leisure.
    • During Christmas, head to the world in Mori Tower that faces Keyakizaka Street in Roppongi Hills to see an incredible view of Tokyo Tower being illuminated by the road lights. Whereas for those who go to Tokyo Midtown, you can find the Starlight Garden which has over 280,000 lights which might be magically unfold out on the grounds!
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  • ★ Tokyo Tower: At a peak of 333 meters, this is sort of a duplicate of the well-known Eiffel Tower. Made after Japan’s post-war rebirth, this was the nation’s tallest tower — till Tokyo Skytree was made in 2012. Despite this reality, the tower’s prime location continues to be a splendid place to see a panoramic view of the town. There are 2 observatories right here: the principle one at 150m excessive and the particular one at 250m excessive. The entrance is 900 yen ($9~) for the principle statement deck and 1,600 ($16~) yen for each decks. To guide your tickets, go right here.
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  • Nightlife: Clubs and bars in Roppongi could be a dizzying encounter for a first-timer; so it’s truly preferable for those who go to this with an area. Otherwise, only a bit of recommendation: keep away from the boys (typically African males) who would attempt to push you into going to their golf equipment! More usually than not, these are seedy ones, and afterward, they may even overcharge you. For the most effective golf equipment to go to, I recommend Jumanji55, V2 Tokyo, or Club Brand Tokyo which all have a great mixture of locals and foreigners. Better but, get this Tokyo Nightclub Pass that grants you UNLIMITED entry to the highest 7 nightclubs in Tokyo!
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  • Hie Shrine: For your Tokyo itinerary, you don’t have to journey all the best way to Kyoto to witness a Shinto shrine with a number of iconic crimson torii (conventional Japanese gate) as a result of you could find this proper within the coronary heart of the capital! Otherwise, there’s additionally the same one known as Nezu Shrine.

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◘◘ Other Places East of Tokyo

  • MARUNOUCHI: Chiyoda is known as the political middle of Tokyo and it’s right here in Marunouchi the place you will note the aforementioned authorities establishments.
    • Imperial Palace: This is the principle residence of the Emperor of Japan and it’s truly a large park surrounded by moats. It comprises buildings together with the palace, personal residences of the Imperial Family, workplaces, museums, and extra.
    • Chidorigafuchi: Located simply on the northwest part of the Imperial Palace is that this moat part. This space is extremely advisable throughout sakura season because it is among the finest spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). To add: they frequently gentle up the bushes at evening throughout that interval after which you’ll be able to even hire boats there!
    • Tokyo Central Railway Station: This is the busiest railway station in Japan by way of the variety of trains per day and it’s fairly a sight to see! For starters, you’ll immediately discover this constructing due to its crimson brick look — a glance that survived from when it was first opened in 1914.

Where to sleep in Odaiba?

  • ODAIBA: As a man-made island, it was initially constructed to guard the town towards attainable sea assaults; as we speak, nevertheless, the island remodeled right into a futuristic enterprise and residential space.
    • DiverCity Tokyo Plaza: This is a eating, leisure, and procuring complicated that additionally options sights associated to the well-known Gundam anime collection. Truth be advised, it additionally has a life-size Gundam statue in entrance of its constructing.
    • Fuji TV Area: This is known as such due to how the Fuji TV Building (one in every of Japan’s largest TV stations) towers above every thing else. As a customer, you possibly can undoubtedly go into Fuji TV’s observatory deck that’s situated within the round portion of the institution. Other issues to see round right here could be the shopping center of Decks Tokyo Beach and the scenic Rainbow Bridge (which seems to be dashing at evening, and the place you too can discover a duplicate of the Statue of Liberty.)
    • Palette Town: If you’re up for some severe leisure and procuring spree actions, I recommend that you just head on to Palette Town! Here, you could find the next venues: Venus Fort (a mall that appears like a European city), Toyota Mega Web (a automotive showroom the place you’ll be able to take a look at drive automobiles), and Leisureland (a big gaming complicated).
    • TeamLab: Yet one other Instagrammable attraction, this interactive museum is well-known for digital and lightweight artwork. It’s an incredible inclusion to your Tokyo itinerary and with a purpose to guide your tickets, simply go right here.
    • Oedo Onsen Monogatari: If you’ll be able to’t afford to go to a sizzling springs resort city, that is the subsequent neatest thing on your Tokyo itinerary! This is mainly a sizzling spring theme park that emulates the ambiance of the Edo Period. You can take pleasure in varied kinds of indoor and out of doors baths, eating places, therapeutic massage, video games, and different leisure whereas carrying a yukata (conventional Japanese put on). To reserve tickets for this, go right here.
    • Tsukiji Market: Fish is a giant enterprise in Japan and the Tsukiji Market is a wonderful level for observing this vigorous trade in addition to tasting its contemporary produce. To date, this market has been divided into two, one in every of which continues to be discovered close to Tsukiji Shijo Station and the opposite close to Odaiba. If you need a guided day tour right here, guide an expertise right here.

Photo from Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

  • GINZA: Tokyo’s most well-known upmarket procuring, eating, and leisure district.
    • Yurakucho: Yurakucho is a hanging but enjoyable distinction to the close by upscale Ginza district, primarily due to its traditional-looking eating places which might be constructed beneath the practice tracks of the JR Yamanote Line — known as Gado-shita (which accurately means: beneath the girders). As a customer, I guarantee you that one take a look at Yurakucho will make you are feeling as for those who’ve taken a visit again in time throughout Japan’s early postwar interval! Nowadays, loads of Japanese salarymen have made this location their favourite eating place after work as they flock to izakaya (Japanese-style bars highlighted by their crimson lanterns known as akachochin) and yakitori (grilled skewered hen dishes) eating places.
      • TIP: Make probably the most of this space’s native flavors and consuming spots throughout your Tokyo itinerary by doing a ‘Tokyo After 5‘ tour!
    • Chuo Dori: As the main shopping street in Ginza, you will find here all the major brand shops, department stores, and restaurants possible. Come nighttime, you will definitely be feasting upon its blinding yet beautiful neon lights. Some of the notable buildings here would be of the Wako (that has the iconic Hattori Clock Tower), Hermes, Dior, and Zara among many others.
      • If you want the best ‘festive’ expertise of this avenue, I recommend strolling via right here on weekends from 12PM to 5PM (till 6PM throughout April to September) as a result of it’s usually closed to car site visitors — an occasion referred to as ‘Pedestrians’ Paradise’.
    • Depachika: This is a mixture of the phrases depato (division retailer) and chika (basement). In Japan, a lot of the large shops resembling Mitsukoshi have their basement ground made into some kind of meals market — however truly, if I’ve to explain it myself, I’ll name it a ‘food theme park’ as a result of you will get to have a enjoyable but fast introduction into the VAST number of Japanese meals there — together with sq. watermelons and insanely priced strawberries! Anyhow, the stalls are very beneficiant with giving freely samples too; so for those who’re on a price range, you actually don’t have to purchase one thing (although it is going to be respectful to take action, naturally haha).

Extra Activities and Destinations

Naturally, there’s extra to Tokyo than the sights I’ve talked about in days #1 and #2 above. So with a purpose to replenish your Tokyo itinerary with different actions on your further days within the capital, beneath are some concerns you can make.

◘◘ Near Tokyo

  • ★ Disneyland and DisneySea: For some good ol’ enjoyable with your loved ones and/or pals, take a look at the favored Disneyland and DisneySea on your Tokyo itinerary. You can go to each theme parks but it surely’s finest to dedicate 1 day to every place. If you’ll be able to solely go to one, I personally suppose that DisneySea could be an incredible alternative as a result of it’s one in every of its type in the entire world!
  • Sanrio Puroland: Enter the kawaii world of Japan’s well-known Sanrio characters comprising Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Melody, and so many others! It’s primarily geared towards youngsters, however for those who’re a Sanrio fan, this theme park is right for individuals of all ages! I’m an enormous fan of Gudetama and I fell in love with this place immediately.
  • Ghibli Museum: This is the animation and artwork museum of Miyazaki Hayao’s Studio Ghibli which is among the nation’s most well-known animation studios that produced world-known motion pictures like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro.

– – –

◘◘ Outside and Far from Tokyo

  • SOUTH OF JAPAN
    • ★ Kyoto: Naturally, this historic place is a given and it may be simply reached by way of the shinkansen or bullet practice.
    • Osaka & Nara: Osaka is understood for its nightlife and avenue meals, while Nara is for its deer parks. See this Japan itinerary information for what you are able to do.
    • Hiroshima: Mainly well-known for its aspirations of tranquility with its Peace Memorial Park, this web page can assist information you in your prime must-dos.
    • ★ Kinosaki: Located about 3 hours away from Kyoto, it is a nice onsen city that has an incredible ambiance. I stayed right here earlier than for two nights and I liked strolling across the city in my yukata and geta (picket clogs), feeling like an area! After all, everybody (locals and foreigners alike) who go to the city virtually at all times wears the identical apparel when going concerning the place onward to the general public baths — so it’s fairly a sight to see. Truly an incredible addition to your Tokyo itinerary!
    • ★ Okinawa: As Japan’s southernmost prefecture, that is usually a alternative vacation spot for locals in the course of the summer season because of its considerable marine wildlife, pristine seashores, and delightful coral reefs. Consequently, snorkeling and scuba diving are the highest predominant actions when on these islands.
    • Himeji: This place is most well-known for its Himeji Castle which is usually thought of to be Japan’s most stunning surviving feudal fortress. Because of this, it’s each a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a nationwide treasure.
    • Kobe: As the capital of Hyogo prefecture, I assume the very first thing that pops into your thoughts now could be the favored mouth-watering Kobe beef, a well-known native model of wagyu (Japanese beef) meat. Truth be advised, you’ll be able to eat Kobe beef in any restaurant round Japan that’s accredited to promote it so that you don’t essentially have to go to this place — nevertheless, for those who’re a real aficionado, this place is nice to see! Either manner, as a port metropolis, Kobe is well-liked not just for its tasty native beef but in addition for its sake breweries, Mount Rokko, Chinatown, Harborland, and extra.
  • NORTH OF JAPAN
    • ★ Hokkaido: With magnificent unspoiled nature, Hokkaido is a haven for lots of out of doors lovers, most particularly throughout winter time as it’s a good spot for skiers and snowboarders (most particularly the ski resort city of Niseko). Moreover, the capital of Sapporo holds an annual Snow Festival which options giant snow sculptures. Of course, Hokkaido doesn’t disappoint in spring and summer season both with sights like Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, Furano lavender fields, Tenjin Wisteria, Sapporo Lilac Festival, and extra.
    • ★ Niigata: This is a prefecture inside Chubu or Central Japan and it is among the nation’s prime culinary and getaway hotspots. I went on a journey spree right here earlier than and I liked my keep! To see an entire itinerary information, see right here.
    • Nagoya: Also discovered throughout the Chubu area is Nagoya which is understood for its towering fortress. Other notable websites are as follows: Korankei, City Science Museum, Atsuta Shrine, and Railway Museum. For meals, take a look at Sekai no Yamachan, a well-known izakaya (Japanese pub) within the metropolis that serves flavorful “legendary chicken wings”.
    • Kanazawa: This is the capital of the Ishikawa prefecture and it boasts historic sights in addition to its ‘Kenrokuen‘ — said to be one of the 3 best landscape gardens in Japan.
    • Kiso Valley: Nestled within Nagano prefecture is this valley which holds an ancient 70km trade route called Kisoji which was later on combined with other routes forming the 500km long Nakasendo. Today, nearby post towns of Magome, Tsumago, and Narai are flocked by visitors not only to hike through the Nakasendo but to also revel in the traditional stone paths and wooden buildings of these quaint towns.
    • Matsumoto: One of Japan’s best cosmopolitan cities that also have that rural really feel. Rest assured, that is the sort of place that may hold you occupied, with its gorgeous fortress, fascinating districts, and enchanting vistas.
    • ★ Shirakawa-go: There is not any scarcity of picturesque conventional villages in Japan and among the finest from all of them could be the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Shirakawa-gō and Gokayama.
    • ★ Takayama: If you’re searching for a totally outdated and genuine conventional Japanese village, touring to the town of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture is a should. Truth be advised, because of its well-preserved antiquity, it has earned the title of being Japan’s “Little Kyoto” — a title which I agree with!
      • Things to do in Takayama
      • Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route: If you’re up for unbelievable and distinctive nature actions in Japan, it’s a MUST to go to the gorgeous mountain sightseeing route that’s generally known as the “Roof of Japan”. A crowd favourite as of late is its grand ‘Snow Wall’ that’s open from mid-April to late June! For extra information, learn right here.
    • ★ Yamanouchi: This is a municipality in Nagano prefecture that has the beneath notable sights…
      • Jigokudani Monkey Park: Have you ever seen these lovely images on-line of monkeys bathing in a pure onsen (sizzling spring)? Well, that is the place the place you could find them! The monkeys are known as Japanese Macaques or ‘Snow Monkeys’ and they’re very accustomed to people so you’ll be able to watch them play up shut on this park (which is their pure habitat). The park is open all yr however in order for you the most effective images of the monkeys, come from January to February when the park is roofed in blinding white snow and the monkeys come bathing within the sizzling spring.
        • You can do that as a tour in your itinerary with Klook.
      • Shibu Onsen: An old school sizzling spring city
      • Shiga Kogen Resort: The largest ski resort in Japan.

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