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Ultimate Tokyo Travel Guide

I hope I was able to start easing the emotional rollercoaster that you may be experiencing from planning your trip to Tokyo, Japan.


To recap, in How to Get Around Tokyo, Japan, I covered the following:

  • Flight

  • Airport experience

  • Transportation from Airport to Hotel

  • Getting Around Tokyo


Now, that you've mastered transportation, I'm going to walk you through how I planned to make the most of this trip with my Tokyo Travel Guide.


Happy woman standing in famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo, Japan

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Vector Art


Vector Art

I was in Tokyo for six (6) days. This may feel like a lot of time. It really wasn't with all there is to see and do in Tokyo and throughout Japan. I initially planned on traveling outside of Tokyo, but quickly abandoned those efforts because I realized:

  1. I wouldn't have adequate time to explore Tokyo in addition to other cities

  2. It added a layer of stress I wasn't prepared to handle. Next time, I'll stay for a least two weeks to ensure I'm able to travel additional cities.


Happy woman standing in front of colorful mural in Tokyo, Japan

Location of Picture: Unknown



Typically, when I create an itinerary for a trip, I plan the destinations to be visited by date and when possible, I include time as well. I totally abandoned that process this go round. Here's what I did this time:

  • First, I researched Tokyo compiling a list of destinations to be visited and things to do.

  • Next, I looked up the ward (area) the destinations and things to do were located.

  • Then, I started to construct my itinerary by ward instead of by day or time.


Why? It dawned on me that in order to make the most of my six (6) days I needed a better plan. My new plan of action allowed me to see more during my stay. It also cut down the time spent commuting back and forth or revisiting wards to see something I could've saw during my first visit. I was able to check a ward off my list and set my sight on another ward to explore the next day.


Please be advised, it was not as seamless as it seems! There were days I ran out of steam and didn't get to see everything on my list. This meant I had prioritize the activities/experiences that were important. If I had a chance to do more, great, but at least I got to experience the things that were at the top of my list.



Woman looking through travel scope in the Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan


Woman looking out of window at the Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan


Views outside of window at the Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan

Vector Art


Vector Art

TOKYO TRAVEL GUIDE

ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCES BY WARD


Shinijuku Station (Similar to Times Square)



Famous Kabukicho aka the Red Light District in Tokyo, Japan


Kanda Station

  1. Sensoji Temple (Asakusa)



Woman posing at the Sensoji Temple (Asakusa) in Tokyo, Japan


Man and woman backs turned at the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo, Japan


Shibuya Station

  1. Shibuya Crossing (iconic sight / busiest pedestrian crossing)

  2. Party in Shibuya (all night experience)

  3. Karaoke Kan

  4. Bellovisto, Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel

  5. Womb – Nightclub

  6. Don Quijote (open 24 hours – souvenir shop)

  7. Bar Ishinohana – Cocktail Claudia won competition in 2005



Happy woman posing at famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo, Japan


Biggest discount store in Japan, Don Quijote


Tamachi Station

  1. Rainbow Bridge (Minato City) (connects Tokyo to Odaiba / Great for photos)



Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo, Japan


Vector Art


Vector Art

Shinagawa Station

  1. Mario Kart Experience

    1. We booked through Tokyo Bay Street Kart

    2. There are cheaper options available through Viator and Get Your Guide

  2. Tokyo Skytree (Tallest building in Japan/2nd in the world, open until 10pm)

  3. Yakatabune Harumiya Cruise (6pm, $100D, email two days in advance to book)

  4. Togoshi Ginza Shopping District (Longest shopping street in Tokyo)



Two women doing the Super Mario themed go-kart tour in Tokyo, Japan

Hamamatsucho

  1. Tokyo Tower (Eiffel Tower in Paris)



Super Mario themed go-kart tour stops in front of Tokyo Tower in Japan


Akihabara Station

  1. Electric Town, Akihabara (shops devoted to anime and manga)



Woman at an arcade in Tokyo, Japan

Ebisu Station

  1. Yebisu Garden Place (Blue Cavern – wonderland of twinkling lights)



Tokyo Station

  1. Eat on Nakamise Street

  2. Omotenashi Nihonbashi (reserve by 5p day before, start by 3p, end by 6p)

    1. Kimono fitting $45USD / Geisha Dance $45USD



Restaurant on Nakamise Street in Tokyo, Japan


Shopping on Nakamise Street in Tokyo, Japan


Shopping for Kimonos on Nakamise Street in Tokyo, Japan


ADDITIONAL THINGS TO DO

  1. Photoshoot

    1. 1 Hour Private Photoshoot in Tokyo

  2. Free Tour guide

    1. Check out Tokyo Free Guide - a volunteer service offering free tours (Book in advance)

  3. Cooking Class

    1. Sushi Making Experience in Asakusa

    2. Ramen and Gyoza Cooking Class

    3. Small-Group Wagyu Beef and 7 Japanese Dishes Cooking Class

    4. Local Hosts | Food Tour, Cooking Class, or Dinner

  4. Michelin Restaurants (Tokyo has the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world)


Hotel Accommodations



Transportation Options from Narita Airport

Transport

Approx Cost

Travel Time

Frequency

From US$15*

1 hr

Every 15-20 mins

US$19.61*

 1 hr

Every hour

US$8.00*

95 mins

Every 15-20 mins

US$23.00*

90-120 mins

Every 15-20 mins

Regular Taxi (Grab outside of terminal)

From US$174*

90 mins

Generally available outside of the airport

From US$56.00*

 1 hr

Pre-book

US$146.00*

1 hour

Pre-book

*All of the details above were calculated on travel to Tokyo Station. Exact fares, times, and transfers will vary depending on your destination.


For more information on transportation options to/from Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport, click here.


Transportation – Local

  1. Japan Rail Pass | 7, 14, 0r 21 Day Pass

    1. Learn more about the Japan Rail Pass here.

    2. Read about the most important train line in Tokyo - JR Yamanote Line, which connects Tokyo's major city centers here.

  2. Tokyo Metro Pass | 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour Ticket


Woman posing on the train in Tokyo, Japan

Not only did I run out of steam, two other things led me rearrange the things we did during our trip: the free tour guide and Mario Kart experience.


Remember when I shared in part 1 I was anxious to ride the train? This led me to select options for the tour guide that I thought would be harder to commute to using public transportation. In addition, the Mario Kart experience was preset route (there were three (3) route options available). So I changed our game plan to account for what we saw during the Mario Kart experience and with the free tour guide. I did eventually ride the subway. I was told it was quite difficult to navigate. So I tried my hardest to find ways around having to ride it. Well, I ended up riding it and I'm happy to report that it wasn't challenging to navigate at all! It's similar to any city with subway lines.


In part 3 of this guide, I will take a deeper dive into my itinerary by highlighting the top 14 things to do in Tokyo. I'll also share a few activities that were on my list, but due to time limitations and/or availability, I wasn't able to do. There's always next time! Lastly, I'll share some tips for navigating the language barrier.


Ready?! Read Best Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan here.







Free Tokyo, Japan Travel Guide





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Hey Y'all!

I'm Santeka - a colorful, outspoken Southern woman that landed in New Jersey. Welcome to my corner of the internet where I share travel, food, twirlable moments, DIY pjojects, and fixer upper inspiration all while living my life out loud! My favorite gig is helping entrepreneurs leverage their table to grow their business.

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