What to see in Tokyo in 3 days

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Tokyo is a unique city. Here you can feel a bit confused because of the crowd, the incomprehensible ideograms and the streets apparently all the same and without addresses.
Here every neighborhood has its own soul, they are real cities within the city: you can immerse yourself in the crowd of Shibuya, crossing the busiest intersection in the world, rediscover peace and contact with nature in the wonderful city parks, find a contemplative dimension in the sanctuaries, almost all of which can be visited for free.
Here is ours 3 days itinerary, perfect for a first approach to this city.



Index

  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Tokyo cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

Morning: Asakusa and Senso-ji district

To start our trip to Tokyo, the advice is to visit the more traditional neighborhoods, those located east of the city, Ueno and Asakusa. These two neighborhoods are close to each other, so they can be easily visited on the same day.
It starts from Asakusa and its Senso-ji temple. It is easily reached from the Asakusa metro station, where the Ginza line (Tokyo Metro) and the Asakusa line (Toei) pass.

Senso-ji is the most important Buddhist temple in the city. It is accessed through the Kaminarimon, the "door of thunder". Crossing the door, you find yourself along the Nakamise Doori, a lively street full of typical shops, where you can find the most varied souvenirs. At the end of the street is the second door, Hozomon, which leads directly to the temple. Entrance to the temple is free, and can be visited from 6:00 to 17:00.
On the west side of Asakusa is Kappabashi Doori, a street famous for kitchen utensils: here you can find lots of sampuru (from the English "sample"), that is the incredible reproductions of plastic food traditionally displayed in restaurants.



Afternoon: Lunch, Ueno Park and Tokyo National Museum

For lunch reach Daikokuya (1-38-10 Asakusa) restaurant famous for tempura, fried vegetables and / or fish, which offers lunch menus at pretty good fixed prices, but be prepared for a long line. If you don't want to queue, a good alternative is Sometaro (2-2-2 NishiAsakusa), a rustic restaurant located in an old wooden house, where the specialty is okonomiyaki: a kind of frittatone / pancake based of savoy cabbage and with various ingredients of your choice. You sit on the ground where there are tables equipped with teppan, the plate where you can directly cook your okonomiyaki. After your meal, move to the Ueno area, where you can dedicate the afternoon to the beautiful park and the museums and sanctuaries present. To reach the district, get off at the JR station of the same name, where the Yamanote line passes.

Ueno Park is the first public park in the city, one of the most popular in Tokyo, an ideal destination especially in spring, with cherry blossoms, or in autumn, with the red leaves of maples. Inside there are important museums (Tokyo National Museum and Shitamachi Museum) but also a zoo and several sanctuaries (Kaneiji, Bentendo, Toshogu).

Our advice is to visit the Tokyo National Museum: the oldest museum in Japan and also the one with the largest collection (Tue-Sun 9: 30-17: 00, admission 620 Yen / € 5,00 for the permanent collection, extra 1.000 yen / € 8,00 for temporary exhibitions). If you still have time after the tour, you can visit Ameya-yokocho, a lively shopping area that deserves a visit to get lost in the shops and crowds, located opposite the south exit of the station.



Evening: Shinjuku and dinner

For the evening, move to Shinjuku, the beating heart of Tokyo's nightlife, where you will find plenty of places to eat. You can stroll through Kabukicho, the red light district and get lost in the alleys of Golden Gai, where you will find many microscopic bars where you can sit and have a drink.

For dinner go to Omoide Yokocho, a popular street where you can buy yakitori, delicious chicken skewers. Alternatively, if you prefer to sit at a restaurant, we suggest Sushi Zanmai (1-1-13 Okubo - Shinjuku): it is a guarantee, a chain of sushi restaurants that you can find scattered throughout the city, with an excellent quality-price ratio. .

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 11,9 km / 2 h 36 min
  • Places visited: Asakusa district, Senso-ji (free), Ueno Park (free), Tokyo National Museum (€ 5,00), Shinjuku district
  • 70-minute open-air sightseeing bus with audio guide Asakusa: Senso-ji Ueno Park Tour Guided Temple Tour Shinjuku Walking Tour by Night
  • lunch at Daikokuya (Get directions), dinner at Omoide Yokocho (Get directions)

2 day

Morning: Shibuya109, Omotesando, Meiji-Jingu

The second day we dedicate it to the most lively and eccentric neighborhoods of Tokyo
After a breakfast, perhaps at Starbucks overlooking the famous intersection, you could explore the colorful streets of Shibuya and indulge in unbridled shopping. Here you can see the statue of the dog Hachiko, the busiest intersection in the world, shopping at Shibuya109, where you can discover youth fashions. You arrive with the Yamanote line to the JR Shibuya station, you will find Hachiko in front of you.

From Shibuya you can reach Omotesando, a tree-lined avenue with a vaguely European appearance, with boutiques and shops: you can get there by walking for about fifteen minutes along the Aoyama Doori, or by metro to Omotesando (Ginza and Hanzomon lines).

Going all the way slightly uphill, you arrive directly at the entrance of the Meiji-Jingu, the most important Shinto shrine in the city, immersed in a wood. As with other temples and shrines in the city, admission is free here too. It can be easily reached from JR Harajuku Station. On the other hand, if you want to discover the craziest corners of the city, take a trip to Takeshita Doori, the youthful shopping street, teeming with people and full of shops.



Afternoon: Lunch, National Art Center or Roppongi Hills

For lunch we recommend Maisen (4-8-5 Jingumae): a place specializing in tonkatsu, breaded and fried pork cutlet, usually served with thinly sliced ​​cabbage sprinkled with a particular sauce.

In the afternoon you can then move to Roppongi, where you can visit the National Art Center: it is Japan's largest contemporary art museum, which boasts a rich calendar of temporary exhibitions. The structure is immense and is an architectural masterpiece (price based on the current exhibition, open every day except Tuesdays from 10:00 to 18:00). You can get there from Roppongi station, or from Nogizaka station, Chiyoda line.

Alternatively, you could get lost in the huge shopping complex of Roppongi Hills, a real city within the city. It includes a magnificent observatory, a contemporary art museum and a commercial area full of shops and restaurants. It can be reached from the Roppongi metro station (Hibiya and Oedo lines).

Evening: Shibuya and Dinner

For the evening we return to Shibuya, the perfect place to admire the humanity that populates this city. Here you will find hundreds of places to spend the evening.

For dinner, the place is Sagatani (2-25-7 Dōgenzaka): specialized in soba, buckwheat noodles. The order is done through the machines where you just have to insert the cash and select what you want to eat, in a few minutes you will find your dish ready, all spending about 1.000 Yen / € 8,00 (even less) per person.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 9,7 km / 2 h 7 min
  • Places visited: Shibuya District, Omotesando Avenue, Meiji-Jingu Shrine (free), Roppongi District, National Art Center (price based on exhibition) or Roppongi Hills Shopping Center
  • Private Tour from Shibuya to Harajuku Harajuku Omotesando Architecture Tour
  • lunch at Maisen (Get directions), dinner at Sagatani (Get directions)

3 day

Morning: Tsukiji market, Hama Rikyu garden or Ginza district

The third day starts very early: go to Tsukiji market before dawn, the largest fish market in the world (Tsukiji metro station, Oedo line). In this way you can attend the famous tuna auction. Admission is limited, only two small groups of 60 people can access at 5:25 and 5:45. Alternatively, you can take more time to take a tour of the internal market which opens to visitors at 9:00 in the morning.

From Tsukiji you can easily walk to the beautiful Hama Rikyu garden, built at the mouth of the Sumida River (daily 9:00 - 17:00 / admission 300 Yen / € 2,50). It is about a 10-minute walk from JR Shinbashi Station, and a 5-minute walk from Shiodome Metro Station (Oedo Line). Inside the park it is possible to enjoy green tea in the tea house located on the islet in the center of the large Shioiri lake, there is also a peony garden and several cherry trees.

If you are not interested in the garden, you can dedicate the rest of the morning to discovering the Ginza international fashion district, upscale shopping area full of shops, boutiques and malls.

Afternoon: Lunch, Oedo Onsen Monogatari or DiverCity Tokyo Plaza or Miraikan

For lunch we suggest Ippudo (4-10-3 Ginza): excellent chain specializing in ramen in the traditional style of Fukuoka, you can find a bit of a queue at the entrance, but the ramen is delicious (excellent value for money).

Then take the subway to Shimbashi and from there the elevated Yurikamome to Odaiba, where you can spend the whole afternoon. In particular, it can be fun to enter the Oedo Onsen Monogatari thermal baths, a real theme park dedicated to the thermal baths, which reproduces the atmosphere of the ancient city of Edo (every day 23:00 - 9:00 / admission 2.840 Yen / € 24,00). It can be reached with the Yurikamome line, from Shinbashi station, Telecom Center stop. Attention, access is forbidden to those with tattoos.

Alternatively you can go to DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, a shopping center where you can spend an afternoon of pure shopping. The peculiarity is that the entrance is presided over by a giant Gundam statue, which is the main attraction of the place (10:00 - 21:00, restaurants inside until 23:00). It can be reached from the Daiba stop, along the Yurikamome line.

Another alternative could be the Miraikan, National Museum of Emerging Sciences and Innovations. It is an ideal interrative science museum even if you are traveling with children. Here you can watch the demonstration of the Asimo robot, android designed by Honda as a multifunctional mobile assistant: the robot moves, walks and looks just like a person (demonstrations at 11:00, 14:00, 16:00). The museum is open every day (except Tuesdays) from 10:00 to 17:00, the entrance price is 620 Yen / € 5,00.

Evening: Akihabara, @home cafe

The day ends in Akihabara, the electronic city, a real toy land, loved by otaku, fans of manga, anime and electronics.
In truth, this neighborhood does not offer places where you can eat particularly well (if not the classic chains Jangara Ramen and Sushi Zanmai). Therefore we suggest you forgo the "classic" evening meal to try a different experience at @home cafe, that is a fantastic maid cafe where cute waitresses serve dog-shaped pancakes and make "magic" by pouring colored drinks.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 22,7 km / 5 h
  • Places visited: Tsukiji Market (free), Hama Rikyu garden (€ 2,50) or Ginza district, Oedo Onsen Monogatari (€ 24,00) or DiverCity Tokyo Plaza or Miraikan (€ 5,00), Akihabara district
  • fish market tour and sushi workshop walking tour at Tsukiji market and sushi class Tokyo luxury district: explore Ginza with a guide Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari spa in Odaiba
  • lunch at Ippudo (Get directions), dinner at @home cafe (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Tokyo cost

Visiting Tokyo you will realize that the costs of transport and food are not excessively high; the greatest incidence is in the flight, an expense that could be contained perhaps by booking well in advance!

  • Costs to eat: about € 45,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 40,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 30,00 per person for the entire weekend
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 30,00 per person per day (snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Tokyo: from € 395,00 per person (flights excluded).

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Tokyo: April and May, for cherry blossoms and pleasant temperatures - find out more
  • there are two international airports. Narita is 70 km away and is connected via the Narita Express, Hanedadista is 20 minutes by monorail. From Rome or Milan there are about 12/13 hours of flight, with direct or with stopover (Paris or Brussels). Prices generally start from € 700,00 - Compare flights to Tokyo - from € 479,00
  • the most beautiful area in Shinjuku for its excellent transport links and the vibrant nightlife - Hotels and b & b in Shinjuku from € 85,00 per room
  • Getting around: with the Japan Rail Pass (duration of 7,14 or 21 days, prices from € 236,00), useful for traveling on regional trains within Tokyo (for example, the Yamanote circular line touches all the key points, the Chuo-Sobu instead crosses the city from east to west). The JRP is not valid on the metro. For the latter use the Tokyo Subway Day Tickets, day tickets for the Tokyo Metro and Toei lines (the two companies that manage the metro). They can be purchased at Haneda (at Tokyo Tourist Information Center, Terminal International, 600nd floor) and Narita (at Keisei Bus counters, ground floor of the South wing and zone A) airports and cost around Yen - find out more
  • Required documents: passport has a residual validity of at least 3 months. An entry visa is not required for tourist stays of less than 90 days

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