Tokyo was our final stop in Japan and we spent 4 days there. As with all big cities, it is so hard it fit everything in, especially if you have a short holiday. You won’t be bored or looking for things to do in Tokyo. Here are some of my recommendations and top tips.
Accommodation is expensive in Japan. We mostly opted for hostels and booked out 4 person dorms between us for privacy. We stayed in the Shinjuku area. It was clean and central. Everything is easily accessible with the subway system too. Here are some options
- Imano Hostel Tokyo – Shinjuku area
- Air B and B – Shinjuku area
- Shinjuku Urban Hotel
- Richmond Hotel Asakusa – Taito Area
- Akasaka Excel Hotel – Chiyoda Area
In Shinjuku, we had so much to do. On our first day we went to the Samurai Museum. This was interesting, as you got to see all of the armour, swords etc and there was a short samurai show at the end. I felt like the tour was slightly dragged out, but at the end you get to dress up in samurai and geisha clothes to take photos which was cool. If you have time, it’s worth having a look here, but I wouldn’t rush to do it if you’re stuck for time.
That evening, we went to the Robot Restaurant for a show. To be honest, I didn’t think I would enjoy it at all, but it was a good night out. It was full of crazy costumes, storylines and songs, but just roll with it and you will enjoy yourself. You will need to book these tickets in advance because they book out. We got ours on voyagin.com before we left for Japan and even got 33% off the price.
For nightlife, you need to head to Golden Gai. This is an area full of tiny bars, some able to hold less than 10 people. They all have different vibes and it’s cool to bar hop here. Definitely worth doing. We had a great night there. Roppongi is another popular area for nightlife. It is one of the main expat areas in Tokyo.
One of the highlights of my trip was the Mari Car experience. We drove around the main roads in Tokyo for 3 hours in go-karts, and the best part, we were dressed as Mario and Luigi. Not only was it hilarious and something totally different, but we got to see all of the main sights of Tokyo, including Tokyo Tower, Shibuya Crossing, Rainbow Bridge etc. We did the long tour to fit it all in. If you’re only going to do one thing in Tokyo, this needs to be it! You need to book this in advance because it can book out and you will need to get an international driver’s licence too. We got ours with AA for only €15 here. We did the nighttime tour and seeing everything lit up was so nice.
Shibuya Crossing is another place you need to visit. It is crazy! Literally at every green pedestrian light, there are HUNDREDS of people crossing at a time. We got the subway to Shibuya and walked across the crossing just to experience it. You can look at everyone crossing from the subway station, but we went to the Starbucks and watched from our seats. We had to wait a while to get window seats so we didn’t order until after that. One of us went down to order and the other watched the seats!
Harajuku is not far from Shibuya. You can get a subway or walk. It is a street full of crazy shops, themed cafes and colourful clothes. Anything goes. The Meiji Shrine is also in Harajuku.
To see the Cherry Blossoms, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is so nice. There is a small entry fee, but you can go in there and chill out for hours. There are some many areas to see, with ponds and walkways and people have picnics there too. There is a Tea House too where you can take part in a Tea Experience. It is a nice break from the craziness of the city and there are some many good photo ops!!
- Good restaurants can be hard to find at times. Tripadvisor will help show you the best rated. We went to a restaurant called Teppan Baby where the food was cooked in front of us and it was lovely. Try to make a reservation.
- Mt Fuji can be organised as a day trip from Tokyo
- Google Map the Metro routes before you travel to make it easier to get around
- Check out my Kyoto and Osaka posts
- If you don’t want to plan your trip yourself, inside Japan Tours will organise a trip for you.
- Watch my adventures on my YouTube Channel
Top Tip Traveller 🙂