Tour Tokyo

Daydreaming of red & yellow leaves with the cool breeze in clean streets, I found myself missing Tokyo. My husband, sister & I were able to visit Tokyo last December 2016, fell in love with the place, culture & FOOD but never wrote about anything at all about our trip. Today, I am inspired to share about Tokyo for many reasons; I miss my family there, the weather, the FOOD (uh! THE FOOD) & one of my closest friend in the whole wide world together with her soon-to-be hubby, is visiting very soon.

Like any other cities, there are a lot of places to explore but what if you’re only visiting for a day or two? It really depends on what you’re there for but if you’re simply touring & you’re the kind who’s a laid back, take- your- time tourist like us, you might want to choose a few or the top places to visit in Tokyo. (Making an itinerary with kids in consideration would be another story, someday!) Hope this helps & narrows down your search!

TOKYO

The best of both worlds, a mix of traditional & modern, welcome to the capital city of Japan- TOKYO! Kon’nichiwa! Since 1603, Tokyo has been the seat of the Emperor of Japan & the Japanese government when Shogun Tokugawa moved his headquarters here. However, it became the official capital when Emperor Meiji progressed his governance from the old capital, Kyoto, to Tokyo. And it wasn’t till at that time when “Tokyo” became the name of the city from “Edo”.

With many awards like first in the Best Overall Experience (helpfulness of locals, nightlife, shopping, local public transportation & cleanliness of streets” from Tripadvisor World City Survey), Most Liveable City in the World (Monocle Magazine)Most Michelin Stars of any city in the world (The Michelin Guide), first in the 2015 Safe Cities Index, no wonder Tokyo has been one of the top places to visit in the world!

Better save up & start your search for places to visit, accommodations, tickets because come 2020, Tokyo will be hosting the Summer Olympics. That would be one for the books!

TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN TOKYO

1 I Tokyo Skytree

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetYou wouldn’t want to miss the tallest tower in the world! Standing 634.0 meters/ 2,080 feet high, the Tokyo Skytree became the tallest tower in the world in 2011. Guests may go up to the 450th floor or the Tokyo Skytree Tembo Galleria (Floor 445 & Floor 450) & Skytree Tembo Deck (Floor 350, 345 & 340). Besides the view, guests may enjoy meals or have coffee breaks at the Skytree Café & Sky Restaurant. A gallery of souvenirs are available too for guests wanting to have a memorabilia of Tokyo. Just before going up, you can also stroll around Tokyo Solamachi mall.

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)
  • Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan
  • Admission: Between ¥310- ¥2060 from Children to adults
  • Schedule: Open daily 8am-10pm
  • Website: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/ (Check website for details)

Tip I Since you’re already paying a relatively big amount just to go up, might as well take your time when you’re there. Best to go when the sun is up, if the weather is good, you’ll be able to see Mt. Fuji from a distance, then wait till the sun goes down to see the city lights in Tokyo.

Heads Up I Expect a long queue on your visit.

G A L L E R Y

(CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS AS YOU GO THROUGH THE BLOG)

Just before going up, we had Okonomiyaki for dinner. It is a Japanese savory pancake containing different of ingredients like egg, prok, chicken, seafood, noodles & etc. Okonomiyaki is from the word okonomi, which means “how you like” or “what you like” & yaki means “grill”. So choose what you like from the menu & start grilling! This could be an option for you if you don’t know what to have for lunch or dinner. And oh! There’s always room for dessert, especially when it’s Matcha. Matcha desserts are everywhere in Japan. Take advantage of its goodness!

2 I Samurai Museum

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It’s no question that Japan is famous for their Samurai’s. We’ve seen a lot of films about them too. Should you want to know more about Japan & the Samurai history, see actual Samurai ensembles about 700 years old from Kamakura to Edo period & even wear one yourself, this place is perfect for you! Your admission includes a tour guide to make your visit very pleasant.

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour
  • Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kabukicho, 2−25−6 永和第6ビル
  • Admission: Between ¥750- ¥1500 from Children to adults
  • Schedule: Open daily 12pm-10pm (last entry 9.30pm)
  • Website: http://www.samuraimuseum.jp/en/

3 I Meiji Jingu Shrine

20161214_122546Located in Tokyo’s famous Shibuya is a Shinto shrine called Meiji Jingu. Shinto means “place of the gods”. The Shrine is dedicated to the legendary Emperor Meiji & his wife Empress Shōken. Emperor Meiji or Meiji the Great was the first emperor of the modern Japan.

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)
  • Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan
  • Admission: Meiji Shrine FREE/ Treasure House ¥500/ Inner Garden ¥500
  • Schedule: Open daily

Treasure House

– 9am- 4:30pm (4pm from November to February)

– Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time

Inner Garden

– 9am- 4:30pm (4pm from November to February)

Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time

Tip I In between Shibuya & Shinjuku you may visit Yoyogi Park & Harajuku. You may have a bowl of ramen in Harajuku on your break from Shibuya to Shinjuku spots. Check out the Takeshita to have dessert. In every corner you’ll see crepes but there’s one that caught our attention. Try the Croquant Chou Zakuzaku & satisfy your dessert cravings.

20161215_214617Another food option for you to try is what the Japanese call as “Kaitenzushi” or conveyor belt sushi. They are very famous in Japan & would be a good experience for tourists. The conveyor belts rotate  small plates with different kinds of sushi & move along the tables in the restaurant. Guests may place special orders too. We had our Kaitenzushi experience somewhere in Ikebukuro. Most of the top spots when visiting Tokyo are in the Yamanote line, as you can see. Another tip is staying or booking places in these areas to save fare. We were able to book an airbnb at Mejiro, just beside Ikebukuro. The station was just across our place too which was very convinient!

YAMANOTE LINE
YAMANOTE LINE (Photo from Google)

4 I Shibuya

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You’ll know one is in Tokyo when one’s at the busiest crossing in the world, the Shibuya crossing. For some reason, despite of its busyness, it has become a known spot to take photos or boomerangs. This is where you’ll Hachiko too! Shibuya is a shopping district in Tokyo which has a lot of fashion centers. Not only does Shibuya have the busiest crossing, it also has the busiest railways in Tokyo.

Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)

Tip I Here is where you can try Japan’s Takoyaki. Tako-yaki means “octopus-grilled/fried”. It is a Japanese round- shaped snack with pieces of octopus which originated in Osaka. Try the one in GINDACO. My favorite is the one with cheeeeeeese. Yum!

GINDACO TAKOYAKI

  • Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 1 Chome−14−24, 第5寿和ビル
  • Schedule: 11am-10pm

5 I Ueno Park

Ueno Park is one of the known parks in Japan especially during the Sakura or Cherry Blossom season having 1,000 Cherry trees. Because of this, it is known to be Tokyo’s most popular city park where tourists do “flower viewing” or in Japanese, Hanami. This is also where the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum for Western Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and National Science Museum is situated. As well as Japan’s 1st zoological garden- Ueno Zoo.

6 I Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is said to be the most beautiful garden in Tokyo. Besides the enjoying the Cherry Blossom views at Ueno Park, this is another place for you to do just that. Let time stand still, smell the flowers, stroll around & have a picnic.

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)
  • Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan
  • Admission: ¥200
  • Schedule: Tuesday- Sunday 9am-4:30pm

Tip I Just around the area, if you’re looking for a place to have lunch, having Tonkatsu Curry with cheese at Coco Ichibanya will melt your heart! Fell in love with this food. They have a lot of branches in around Tokyo. Check the ones near you to try this!

COCO ICHIBANYA

  • Address: Japan, 〒160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishishinjuku, 5 Chome−8−8, メゾン・ド・新宿
  • Schedule: 11am- 12am

7 I Sensoji Temple I Asakusa Shrine

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Located in Asakusa is Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, Sensoji. Beside it is another Shinto shrine called the Asakusa Shrine or Shrine of the three gods. The shrine pays tribute to the three men who founded Sensoji. Upon entering the temple, guests go through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) which has the symbol of Asakusa & the entire city of Tokyo. Guests are then greeted by Nakamise- a shopping street of over 250 meters with about 89 shops featuring traditional goods & souvenirs.

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)
  • Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
  • Admission: FREE
  • Schedule: 6:30am- 5pm
  • Website: http://www.asakusajinja.jp/english

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Tip I While visiting the Asakasu Shrine, make sure to taste Taiyaki. It is a Japanese fish-shaped cake with red bean paste which is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other shops sell them with other fillings like custard, chocolate, cheese, or sweet potato, gyoza or sausage. Taiyaki originated in Tokyo during the Meiji era. We also had Gyudon (Japanese Beef Bowl) for lunch somewhere there before exploring the temple. You might just want to have that before having Taiyaki as your dessert or snacks.

8 I Akihabara

Into the tech stuff? Akihabara is the place where you can score good deals when it comes to electronic goods. Check out the Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Akeba, Akihabara Radio Center, Mandarake, Gundam Café, AKB48 Café, Akihabara Crossfield & Anime Center & the Kanda Myojin Shrine to get your electronic & anime fix. Geek on!

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)
  • Address: Akihabara, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0006, Japan

9 I The Imperial Palace / Imperial Palace East Garden

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The Imperial Palace is the residence of the Emperor of Japan & his family. The inner grounds are only welcome to the public on January 2 for New Year’s Greeting & December 23 the Emperor’s birthday. This was the former location of the Edo Castle, which was the seat of Shogun Tokugawa’s reign in Japan for 264 years from 1603 to 1867. Beside the inner grounds of the palace are the Imperial Palace East Gardens, which are open to the public throughout the year.

  • Visit Duration: 1 Hour- 2 Hours (or more)
  • Address: Japan, 〒100-8111 Tokyo, Chiyoda, 1−1
  • Admission: FREE
  • Schedule:

The Imperial Palace

Tuesday- Thursday & Saturday- Sunday 9am-5pm

Imperial Palace East Garden

April- August Thursday, Saturday- Sunday 9am- 4:30pm/ November- February Tuesday- Thursday Saturday- Sunday 9am-4pm

10 I Tokyo Disney Sea

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Kids at heart, who doesn’t love Disney?! Need I say more? Here you could explore 7 themed areas or “ports of call” namely Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast & Mysterious Island.

Tip I Like visiting any other theme parks, choose your favorite rides & shows first before going around. Don’t miss the Fantasmic show by the Harbour in the evening.

  • Visit Duration: The more hours, the better!
  • Address: 1-13 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan
  • Admission: Between ¥4,200- ¥6,900
  • Schedule: 8:30am- 10pm (Best to check schedule at the website on your scheduled visit)
  • Website: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/en/

Most of the places you’ll visit in Japan are parks, temples & shrines in general. There are a lot more places to visit in Tokyo if you have more time, these are just a handful. One of the things you’ll surely enjoy is their food, I cannot exaggerate that enough. Hope to be back in Japan to visit family, explore other cities, see Mt. Fuji up close, eat Kobe beef & a whooooole lot more.

PROPOSED ITINERARY

DAY 1

  • Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Samurai Museum
  • Shibuya

DAY 2

  • Tokyo Disney Sea

DAY 3

  • Sensoji Temple/ Asakusa Shrine
  • Ueno Park
  • Akihabara

DAY 4

  • The Imperial Palace/ Imperial Palace East Garden
  • Tokyo Skytree
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