How one can Spend Your Time in Tokyo: A Instructed Itinerary for 2019

a peaceful garden in Tokyo, Japan
Posted: 4/25/2019 | April 15th, 2019

Tokyo is without doubt one of the most wonderful cities on this planet. It’s fast-paced, futuristic, and bursting with bizarre actions to maintain you busy, together with attractive shrines, palaces, and temples; hip golf equipment and bars; and trendy individuals and buying, to not point out cherry blossoms.

Tokyo lives as much as all of the hype you’ve heard about it.

You by no means know what you’ll discover right here. One second you’ll run into a bunch of ladies wearing pig masks and ’80s clothes and the following you’re in a robotic café.

Or a centuries-old temple.

It’s additionally one of many greatest cities on this planet, dwelling to over 13 million individuals — virtually 40 million should you rely the Higher Tokyo Space. It’s huge!

Not surprisingly, it’ll take a while to see all of it. And there are such a lot of nooks and crannies to discover that it’s simple to get misplaced.

Right here is my recommended itinerary on learn how to go to the perfect eating places, websites, and actions in Tokyo:

Tokyo Itinerary: Day 1 – Ueno Park, Museums, and Asakusa

the Meguro river in Tokyo surrounded by cherry blossoms
Go to the Tsukiji and Toyosu Fish Market
As of 2018, the principle fish market moved to Toyosu. The brand new market is twice the scale of Tsukiji, making it the most important fish market on this planet. Simply be sure that to get a customer’s move whenever you enter.

Eat just-caught sushi for breakfast and marvel on the chaotic environment on the world’s largest tuna market. The public sale right here powers a lot of the world’s sushi provide, and it’s actually breathtaking. Throughout you’re fish with colours and shapes you didn’t know existed. I’ve by no means seen extra seafood I couldn’t establish.

The previous outer market the place yow will discover meals and retailers remains to be in the identical location, in Tsukiji. You’ll be able to nonetheless head there to eat and go searching however the principle market is now in Toyosu.

Tsukiji Fish Market: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, +81 3-3542-1111. Admission is free.

Toyosu Fish Market: 6 Chome-6-2 Toyosu, Koto, +81 3-3520-8205. Open Monday-Saturday from 5am-5pm, although most retailers don’t open till 7am. Admission is free.

Chill out in Ueno Park
Ueno Park is a stunning spot to spend the day. It’s an ideal spot to {photograph} the numerous cherry bushes and have a picnic. Don’t miss these websites within the park:

  • Tokyo Nationwide Museum – This museum is within the north finish of the park. Established in 1872, this huge constructing homes one of many world’s largest collections of artwork and artifacts from Asia, notably Japan. 13-9 Uenokoen, Taito, +81 3-3822-1111, Open every day 9:30am-5pm (8pm on most Fridays). Admission is 620 JPY.
  • Tosho-gu Shrine – This 17th-century Shinto shrine may also be discovered within the park. It’s lovely with carved gold doorways and ornate carvings. 9-88 Uenokoen, Taito, +81 3-3822-3455, Open every day 9am-5:30pm. Admission is free, although to go additional into the shrine, you’ll must pay 500 JPY.

Nationwide Museum of Western Artwork
Opened in 1959, this is without doubt one of the solely artwork galleries within the nation to deal with Western artwork. The gathering of just about 5,000 items extends from the Renaissance all the way in which to the 20th century.

7-7 Uenokoen, +81 3-3828-5131 , Open Tuesday-Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm (8pm on Fridays). Admission is 500 JPY for adults, 250 for school college students, and free for seniors and anybody below 18.

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Artwork Museum
In-built 1933, this small museum was once the official residence of the Prince and Princess Asaka. The prince had studied in Paris and needed to convey the artwork deco fashion to Japan, which explains the constructing’s fashion and decorations. In 1983, the residence turned a museum and is now dwelling to a rotating sequence of contemporary artwork exhibitions.

5-21-9 Shirokanedai, +81 3-3443-0201, Open every day 10am-6pm. Admission is 200 JPY, with reductions accessible for college students, kids, and seniors.

Stroll Alongside the Meguro River
The Meguro River weaves virtually 5 miles by means of town and makes for an impressive stroll. There’s a path with a little bit of inexperienced area that follows the water, so loads of locals stroll or train there. Within the spring, you’ll be capable of see numerous cherry blossoms.

Take a look at Asakusa
If you wish to try a few of Tokyo’s historic spiritual websites, you should definitely spend a while wandering round Asakusa. Two locations that I’d recommend you go to are:

  • Senso-ji – That is Tokyo’s hottest and well-known temple. It’s fantastically painted and sits in a scenic spot close to a pagoda and the attractive Kaminari Gate. There’s an enormous statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, inside the principle corridor. Take a look at the “wood needs” playing cards hanging off to the aspect: you possibly can write your personal and be a part of the inventive show. It’s very busy throughout the day, so possibly try the grounds within the night. 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, +81 3-3842-0181, The grounds are open 24/7, although the temple itself is open every day 6am-5pm. Admission is free.
  • Asakusa Shrine – Not removed from Senso-ji is that this Shinto shrine. That is way more peaceable than Senso-ji as there are fewer individuals and also you’ll in a position to see individuals praying, meditating, or performing conventional rituals. It was constructed throughout the Edo interval and survived the air raids of World Battle II. 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, +81 3-3844-1575, Open every day 9am-4:30pm. Admission is free.

Have Dinner with Ninjas
For a novel eating expertise, head to Ninja Akasaka, a ninja-themed restaurant designed like an Edo-era constructing, with waitstaff clothed in stereotypical all-black garb and skilled in all kinds of tips and illusions. You’ll order off previous scrolls whereas being entertained by the skillful tips of your server! It’s tremendous enjoyable.

Tokyu Plaza Akasaka, +81 3-5157-3936, Open every day 5pm-10:30pm (9:45pm on Sundays)

Drink in Golden Gai
In case you are searching for one thing attention-grabbing to do at evening, this alley of backstreet bars is a cool spot to start out at. There isn’t a lot occurring right here throughout the day, however come sunset, these zigzag hallways and closet-sized beer rooms are stuffed with attention-grabbing individuals and low cost drinks.

Tokyo Itinerary: Day 2 – Imperial Palace, Under the Girders, and Quirky Cafes

a peaceful garden in Tokyo, Japan
Cease by the Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace, dwelling to the Emperor of Japan, is a terrific spot to study Japan’s historical past and tradition. Previously Edo Citadel, it was constructed within the 15th century, and among the partitions and moats from that point are nonetheless in use to this present day. When the Emperor moved from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1869, he took Edo for his new palace and renamed it the Imperial Palace.

Although you possibly can’t go inside (or get tremendous shut), the constructing is wonderful. It’s surrounded by lovely grounds and a park, and there’s a moat across the stone partitions. You may as well see the altering of the guard ceremony, although it’s comparatively low-key and unassuming. Admission to the grounds is free.

Go to the Nationwide Artwork Middle
Opened in 2007, this museum and gallery doesn’t even have a everlasting assortment however fairly homes a endless sequence of non permanent exhibitions, from impressionism to fashionable artwork. Verify their web site to see what’s presently being proven.

7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, +81 3-5777-8600, Open Wednesday-Monday 10am-5:30pm. Admission varies by exhibit.

Eat Under the Girders
Not removed from Ginza is the Yurakucho neighborhood. Under the elevated practice tracks at Yurakucho Station is a 700m-long stretch of eating places and bars. There are wine bars, beer pubs, and informal eating places stuffed with businessmen. If you wish to get a way of native metropolis life, this can be a good neighborhood to discover after the workday is over.

Superhero Go-Karting
Need to pace across the streets of Tokyo in a go-kart whereas sporting a fancy dress? In fact, you do! MariCar is a real-life Mario Bros. go-kart firm that allows you to costume up and race across the metropolis. So long as you might have a world driving allow (which you may get you probably have a legitimate driver’s license), you possibly can participate.

4-12-9 Sotokanda, +81 80-8899-8899, Open every day 10am-10pm. The course will take 1-2 hours and prices 9,000 JPY per particular person. There are a number of areas across the metropolis.

Take a look at a Sento
A sento is a conventional Japanese public bathhouse. The Japanese aren’t shy in sentos so that you must be snug with nudity! They’re sometimes separated by gender. A budget-friendly sento will value you slightly below 1,000 JPY.

Go to a Quirky Café
Tokyo has all kinds of wonderful, bizarre, and great cafés. Monster cafés, owl cafés, cat cafés, vampire cafés, canine cafés, religious-themed cafés, and way more! In the event you’re searching for one thing uncommon to do, see what bizarre and quirky cafés are close to you (they’re throughout town so that you by no means must go far to seek out one!). Listed here are some recommendations:

  • Kawaii Monster Café
  • Vampire Café
  • Christon Café (Christian-themed café)
  • Canine Coronary heart (canine café)
  • Cat Café Calico

Tokyo Itinerary: Day 3 – Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Robots

the busy streets of Toky at night
Stroll Round Shimokitazawa
Brimming with classic retailers, this Bohemian neighborhood, usually in comparison with the New York’s East Village showcases the quieter aspect of Tokyo. Whether or not you’re seeking to store or simply need to take within the scene, it makes for a cool neighborhood to discover.

Stroll by means of Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard
This park is over 144 acres with some 20,000 bushes. Many of the unique park was destroyed in World Battle II throughout the air raids however was rebuilt and reopened in 1949.

Throughout spring, this lovely park is without doubt one of the greatest areas to see cherry blossoms. My favourite half is the Japanese panorama backyard, which has a number of ponds with bridges and islands. It’s a peaceable little oasis inside the hustle and bustle of town.

11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, +81 3-3350-0151, Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-4pm. Admission is 200 JPY.

Go to Shibuya Crossing
That is fairly presumably the busiest and most well-known intersection on this planet. This space is buzzing at evening, with brilliant lights and frenzied exercise, like Occasions Sq. on steroids. Make sure that to go to the statue between Shibuya Station and the intersection; it’s a tribute to Hachiko, the loyal canine made well-known within the movie Hachi: A Canine’s Story.

Eat on the Robotic Restaurant
This restaurant is an absolute sensory overload. Lasers, robots, monsters…it has all of it! It could be a vacationer entice (not low cost), however it’s epic, not like something you’ve ever seen and definitely worth the worth if you wish to do one thing fully out of the abnormal!

1 Chome-7-1 Kabukicho, +81 3-3200-5500, There are three performances a day on weekdays beginning at 4:45pm, with afternoon matinees on weekends.

Dangle with the Harajuku women
Harajuku is an electrical and quirky a part of city. You’ll usually see teenage “Harajuku women” strolling round city in distinctive clothes and colourful hairstyles — think about a 1990s Gwen Stefani video come to life. There’s additionally a month-to-month Harajuku Vogue Stroll, during which costumed cos-players parade round — for dates, try the group’s Twitter account (@harajuku_fw).

Expertise a Tea Ceremony
No go to to Japan is full with out experiencing a conventional tea ceremony. Whereas these are often lengthy and costly experiences, there are positively some budget-friendly choices for anybody seeking to expertise the ceremony with out breaking the financial institution. Listed here are just a few price testing:

  • Kyoto-kan (500 JPY per particular person, Yanmar Tokyo Constructing 1F 2-1-1)
  • Nadeshiko (2,700-4,400 JPY per particular person, 2-7-24-2F Asakusa)
  • The Method of Tea (5,500 JPY per particular person, Coredo Muromachi Three 3F)

Watch Conventional Japanese Theatre
Kabuki theatre is a conventional type of Japanese efficiency involving dance and drama. The costumes and make-up are closely stylized, making for a really visible efficiency. The Kabukizaka Theatre, situated in Ginza, is the perfect locale to see one among these unbelievable shows. You should purchase tickets for a whole present or only one act should you’re not able to decide to an extended efficiency (they’re in Japanese and final just a few hours).

Four Chome-12-15 Ginza, +81 3-3545-6800, Performances are held virtually every day. Verify the web site for probably the most up-to-date schedule. Count on to pay no less than 1,000 JPY for a single-act ticket.

Tokyo Itinerary: Day 4 – Take a Day Journey

the giant Buddha statue near Tokyo called Daibutsu
Time to take a break from town and head out on a day journey. Listed here are some recommendations:

Go to Daibutsu (the Nice Buddha)
Make a day journey to Kamakura, the place you possibly can see a 13m bronze statue of Buddha. In-built 1252, the statue was initially constructed inside a temple, however the temple was washed away — on a number of events — by storms. The statue now sits within the open air.

Four Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, +81 467-22-0703, Open every day 8am-5:30pm. Admission is 200 JPY.

Get Touristy at Tokyo Disneyland
I’m a sucker for Disney points of interest! This can be a enjoyable selection for anybody touring with kids, but additionally for any adults who simply love amusement parks. Opened in 1983, it has seven themed areas to discover and is the third most visited theme park on this planet!

1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, +81 45-330-5211, Open every day 8am-10pm. Admission is 7,400 JPY for adults and 4,800-6,400 JPY for kids, relying on age.

Hike Mount Mitake
Positioned simply over an hour from Tokyo is Chichibu-Tama-Kai Nationwide Park. The park covers 1,250 sq. kilometers of rolling hills, mountains, and forests. There are many climbing trails, although you can too take a cable automobile to the highest after which hike to the shrine that sits on the height, some 930m above sea degree.

Stare upon Mt. Fuji from Hakone
Positioned simply over an hour from Tokyo, Hakone is without doubt one of the greatest locations to get away from town, calm down for just a few days, and take within the view of Mount Fuji. There are quite a few guesthouses within the space, many with their very own non-public onsen (sizzling springs).

Go to the Ghibli Museum
In the event you’re a fan of famed director Hayao Miyazaki’s work (Spirited Away, Howl’s Transferring Citadel, Princess Mononoke), then you definately’ll need to try this wonderful exhibition. It was designed by Miyazaki himself and is an immersive expertise that any movie buff will recognize. There may be additionally a brand new quick movie each month, solely accessible to guests. The museum received’t take up a complete day, however it’s not in a really central location so that you’ll must plan accordingly.

1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, +81 570-055-777, Open Wednesday-Monday 10am-6pm. Admission is 1,900 JPY for adults, with reductions accessible for youth and youngsters. There are restricted tickets accessible every day so ebook prematurely.

Tokyo Itinerary: Day 5 – Tokyo Tower, Sumo Match, and Samurai

The Tokyo Tower at sunset in Tokyo, Japan
Go to the Tokyo Tower
In-built 1957 and resembling the Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Tower is taller (at 333m) than its European model and made completely of metal. You’ll be able to pay to go all the way in which to the highest flooring to absorb the view, however frankly, the principle statement deck presents one which’s simply nearly as good.

Four Chome-2-Eight Shibakoen, Minato, +81 3-3433-5111, Open every day 9am-11pm. Admission is 900 JPY for the principle deck or 1,600 JPY for the highest.

Go to the Samurai Museum
No journey to Japan can be full with out studying about samurai. Whereas they have been recognized for his or her martial talent, there was way more to the tradition than simply mastering the katana (a conventional sword). The museum has some unbelievable shows of conventional weapons and armor, a few of which you’ll be able to even attempt on.

Kabukicho 2-25-6, +81 3-6457-6411, Open every day 10:30am-9pm. Admission is 1,900 JPY per particular person. You’ll be able to discover the museum by yourself or in a bunch tour, that are carried out each 30 minutes.

Stroll throughout the Rainbow Bridge
That is town’s hottest bridge and presents some pretty views of each side of Tokyo Bay. In-built 1993, the intense lights up at evening with rainbow colours — therefore the title. It makes for a nice stroll throughout the day or at evening.

Watch a Sumo Match
Kokugikan, Japan’s most well-known sumo wrestling area, hosts tournaments thrice annually. The sumo wrestling that we see immediately dates again to the 17th century, although its origins date again even additional, and it’s nonetheless one of the vital well-liked traditions within the nation. In the event you’re on the town on the proper time, this can be a must-do! Tickets promote out rapidly so act fast. A go to to one of many sumo stables close by may be attention-grabbing however have to be organized properly prematurely.

1 Chome-3-2-Eight Yokoami, Sumida, +81 3-3623-5111, Ticket costs range, however anticipate to pay round 2,200 JPY.

Drinks on the Park Hyatt
New York Bar is the enduring bar from Sofia Coppola’s 2003 movie Misplaced in Translation. Positioned on the 52nd flooring, it truly lives as much as the hype of the movie. The environment is stylish, the drinks are nice, and the view is totally beautiful. There may be dwell jazz each evening, and whereas there’s a cowl cost (round 2,500 JPY), it’s positively price it!

3-7-1-2 Nishishinjuku, +81 3-5322-1234, Open Sunday-Wednesday 5pm-12am and Thursday-Saturday 5pm-1am.

The place to Eat

sushi in Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is so large and has so many eating choices, that it could be unimaginable to select simply two or three favorites. Listed here are only a few of my favourite eating places in Tokyo:

  • Bifteck Kawamura Ginza – The steak right here mainly melted in my mouth and exploded with taste. I discovered it a bit too high-end and overpriced for me although. 6 Chome-5-1 Ginza, Ginza MST Bldg. 8F, Chuo, 104-0061, +81 3-6252-5011,
  • Ichiran Shibuya – This ramen spot served among the best meals I had my whole journey. The thick, flavorful broth is to die for. I additionally like the way you eat in your personal little non-public sales space. Funky. Count on a wait throughout peak lunch and dinner occasions. 1 Chome-22-7 Jinnan, Shibuya, 150-0041, +81 3-3463-3667,
  • Isakaya Juban – A bit of hole-in-the-wall izakaya restaurant (assume Japanese tapas) with locals getting drunk on sake and consuming tasty small plates. I used to be large fan of its salmon and grilled squid. 2 Chome-1-2 Azabujuban, Minato, 106-0045, +81 3-3451-6873,
  • Kakimaru – A tremendous seafood and tapas place. Make sure you get the oysters. Notice: Whereas Google Maps will listing the restaurant as Kakimaru, whenever you go there, the restaurant can be known as Uohama. 6 Chome-1-6 Roppongi, Minato, 106-0032, +81-3-5413-3689.
  • Standing Sushi Bar – This standing sushi location is one among many on the town. It’s nice for a fast chew: you stand, eat sushi, and get out. It has a strong menu and it’s low cost! 1 Chome-12-12 Nishishinjuku, Kasai Bldg. 1F, Shinjuku, 160-0023, +81 3-3349-1739,
  • Tenmatsu Tempura – The tempura right here is well-known for its lightness. It’s a small institution with set tempura menus. 1 Chome-8-2 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo, 103-0022, +81 3-3241-5840,

For extra locations to eat, try this submit on the perfect locations to eat in Tokyo.

Further Sources

the bright signs and busy streets of Tokyo at night
To see what different enjoyable and attention-grabbing actions are occurring within the metropolis throughout your go to, listed here are just a few magazines and web sites you’ll need to try:

Tokyo is an enormous metropolis. You possibly can spend a lifetime right here and nonetheless not uncover every little thing there’s to see. However should you comply with the itinerary and recommendations above, you’ll be capable of have a enjoyable and insightful go to and depart this sprawling capital with a nuanced perspective of what life in Tokyo is like. Better of all, you’ll be capable of do it with out breaking the financial institution!

Guide Your Journey to Japan: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

Guide Your Lodging
You’ll be able to ebook your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve probably the most complete stock so they’re greatest for reserving a hostel. If you wish to keep in a resort or guesthouse in Japan, use as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost accommodations. They’re the perfect reserving website on the market. My favourite locations to remain in Japan are:

  • Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki (Tokyo) – This is without doubt one of the greatest hostels within the nation. The workers go above and past, every room has its personal lavatory, and it’s in an excellent location that will help you discover town.
  • Sheena and Ippei – This hostel is tremendous homey, and the homeowners are each useful and knowledgable. The lounge is open to everybody, and you’ll take pleasure in appetizers and sake on the weekends.
  • Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo – This can be a small, family-run hostel in Asakusa. There’s an excellent view of the river and the dorms appear new and immaculately clear.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes flawed. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

On the lookout for the perfect firms to economize with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect firms to make use of whenever you journey! I listing all those I take advantage of to economize after I journey – and I feel will aid you too!

On the lookout for extra journey suggestions for Japan
Take a look at my in-depth Japan journey information for extra methods to economize, prices, recommendations on what to see and do, recommended itineraries, studying, packing lists, and far, way more!

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