Sharing with you the four-day Tokyo itinerary that we followed in our first ever trip there. I listed down the places we visited and brief comments are available for each one. We stayed there for around six days, but the first and last day was dedicated towards settling into our hotel and packing to go home, respectively.
Towards the end of this article, I’ve also listed popular places that you might have encountered while researching about places to go in Tokyo and reasons why we decided to forego going there.
You can use the information here as a reference in planning your next visit there. And if this isn’t enough, read about our adventures in greater detail through the other blog posts available on the home page. I will be uploading more so stay tuned!
Ueno Zoo and Park: You can easily spend the entire morning here. The park is huge and houses several temples and shrines, museums (the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum), and Ueno Zoo. It is a must-go during the cherry blossom season
Read more by clicking this link: Tokyo: Ueno Zoo and Park
Sensoji Temple: The main highlights for our time in the vicinity of Sensoji Temple, for me, is a stroll through Nakamise-dori (the street leading to the main gate of the temple) and Shin Nakamise-dori (the street parallel to the former). Buy your souvenirs here because there are lots of good ones. The temple is also a trace of traditional Japan that is worth a look, although we did not enter the temple for religious reasons.
Read more by clicking this link: Tokyo: Sensoji Temple
Tokyo Skytree: It’s hard to miss the tower as you go around Tokyo since it is the highest structure in the city. You can go up into their two observatory decks for a 360-degree view of Tokyo or you can go to the shopping area or Sumida Aquarium at its base. I don’t suggest going up as it can get pretty crowded. Other decks can also provide the same view with less people and you can see both Tokyo Tower and Skytree if you go elsewhere.
Read more by clicking this link: Tokyo: Tokyo Skytree
Akihabara: Yodobashi Camera & Anime Plaza: Akihabara is the place for geeks. If you like anime and electronics, then you’ll probably find something that’s for you here. Yodobashi Camera is nine floors of goods that can take you some time to go through. Anime Plaza holds an anime-themed cafe for a limited amount of time as well as anime shops.
Read more by clicking this link: Tokyo: Yodobashi Akihabara
More articles on our Japan trip to come!
Disclaimer: While our itinerary for the first day was really packed, I have to warn you that it killed my legs. I can vividly remember the pain to my legs that felt like a mini heart attack lol. So pace yourself and be prepared for a lot of walking.
Yamashiroya: Since the selection of toys and anime goods available was very delightful for us, we decided to pay a visit to Yamashiroya Toy Store. It houses six floors of unique finds for toys, figures, model kits, character goods, stuffies, and games.
Ameyayokocho: This shopping street is a very lively area to grab a bite, buy affordable clothing, miscellaneous or grocery items and you can also check out its wet market which is famous for their vendors showing off their marine goods such as salmon, crabs, and octopi.
World Trade Center Seaside Top Observatory Deck: It’s the observatory deck we chose because there are less crowds compared to Tokyo Skytree and Tower. This is the best place we visited, in my opinion. Go there in the late afternoon hours so you can see the sunset and Tokyo eventually lighting up for the night. On a good, clear day, you might see Mount Fuji in the distance too.
Shibuya Crossing: Felt the nighttime energy of the world’s busiest crossing with billboards, ads, and shop signs lighting up the night. TIP: don’t go too late in the night as shops may have already closed.
Tokyo Gransta: Tokyo’s central train station is quite a place to explore with Gransta, one of the largest in-station shopping and dining malls. Thousands of commuters rush in and out so they have everything you need for your next destination.
Tokyo Disney Sea: Of course we had to go to an amusement park. Tokyo Disney Sea is unique as it’s the only Disney park that has a sea theme, so we chose to go there instead of Disneyland. Only concern was that everything was in Japanese, but there may be changes in the language recently. Disney Sea easily takes up one entire day.
Ueno Station: Ueno Station is the nearest station to our hotel and there were a lot of good, affordable shopping points in the area.
Shinjuku: As it was our last whole day in Tokyo, it was time to go to the three famous areas to experience Japanese street culture, Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya. Shinjuku is a business district with office buildings, but big brand shops are also located here. If you are aiming to shop for any of the big Western brands, Shinjuku is one area to go.
Harajuku: Harajuku is famous for its cute and unique shops. Cosplay is also very big as cosplay items are widely available. Visit Takeshita-Dori for all the cutesy youthful Japanese feels. There’s always a young crowd here.
Shibuya: Cafes are everywhere in Shibuya so for our last stop, we decided to just chill and reflect on the past few days in Tokyo in one of them. It’s best to go for a cafe with a view of Shibuya Crossing so you can see the people scramble to get to the other side each time the stoplight goes red. Also, don’t forget to visit Hachiko, the famous and loyal dog, at the side of Shibuya Station.
Places Foregone and Reasons Why
Mount Fuji: Travelling time to the best viewing location (which is Shin-Fuji Station) takes hours going back and forth from Tokyo. Aside from consuming too much time, a good view of Mount Fuji is not even guaranteed as it’s based on the weather. We deemed it too risky to go as it could have wasted our time if we could not see Mount Fuji.
Tsukiji Market: Not a foodie kind of traveler and not very keen on trying out seafood.
Odaiba: We had to choose between Tokyo Disney Sea and Odaiba since we had a limited amount of time in Tokyo. In the end, we went to the former because it was more familiar to us, but also provided us with a unique experience since there’s only one Disney Sea park in the world.
Ginza: We weren’t planning on shopping luxury goods at the time. And since Ginza was famous for that, we opted to skip it. But you do, I heard that they sell second-hand items for a lower price so you might get lucky.
Stay tuned to the blog as I write more about our time in Tokyo in greater detail.