Tokyo is one of the world’s great cities. It is a combination of hi-tech modernity and the traditional soul of the Japanese orient. The city is mysterious and exotic, yet remains comfortable and luxurious for its visitors. Tokyo is a food-lover’s paradise and the shopping opportunities it provides are incredible. There is a famous saying for the city in Japanese language which translates to something like this: “if you can’t find it in Tokyo, it probably doesn’t exist”. In short, it offers an experience unlike any other city in the world.
Tokyo is a big city where so much is happening at the same time that you better plan ahead to make the most out of your trip. The aim of this post is to help first-time Tokyo visitors have the best trip of their lives.
Tokyo has two international airports: Narita and Haneda. Although located on the outskirts, both are well connected with the public transport system and you can come to the main city easily.
Tokyo’s public transport system is one of the best in the world. You can cover the entire city by subway and bus. Tokyo’s 13 metro lines transport more than 3 billion people a year, more than anywhere else on Earth.
Once you land in Tokyo, we advise you to get yourself a SUICA or PASMO train card. These cards will make your life very easy during the stay, as they allow you to tap in and out of each station without having to buy a ticket every single time you take the train. You can top-up the card at any train station conveniently.
To keep yourself informed of the train schedule and routes, you can use Google Maps or install an app called NaviTime. Both work equally fine and give results in English language.
Since the availability of living space in Tokyo is scarce, you’ll find Tokyo to be an expensive city when it comes to accommodation. Hotel rooms are also of smaller size than elsewhere. You’ll have trouble finding anything reasonable for under $40 per night.
We would recommend you to look for a place close to a train station to make travelling easy for you. The suburbs Shibuya, Shinjuku and Asakusa are famous among tourist hotels, so you can also look for suitable places there. For a comprehensive review of your accommodation options in Tokyo visit Find Late Hotel.
Tokyo is a city of incredible size. You will be overwhelmed if you try to visit all of it at once. Tokyo is better experienced in smaller chunks at a slower pace. A much better strategy would be to visit the city according to its neighborhoods. In this article we cover three of its most famous municipalities.
Taitō is located on the east side of Tokyo. Ueno Park and Senso-ji temple are two major tourist attractions here.
Ueno Park is an absolute must visit when you go to Tokyo. It is the most beautiful Sakura tree spot in the city. Sakura or the pink cherry blossom is the unofficial and the most popular flower of Japan
Built in 628, Seno-ji is the oldest and most important Buddhist temple in the city.
Shinjuku is a western district of Tokyo and is one of the most happening places in the city.
Omoide Yokocho is a narrow lane in Shinjuku. It gives tourist a feel of the traditional Japan with its use of wooden exterior, and lamps and lanterns for lighting. All shops in this lane are small, can accommodate a maximum of 5 to 6 people at a time and offer traditional Japanese food.
Robot Restaurant is a famous tourist spot in the region. Although it has the word restaurant in its name it is more famous for the dazzling performances and shows that take place there than for its food.
Shibuya is located in the downtown Tokyo and is especially popular with younger Tokyo residents as a shopping and entertainment district.
Shibuya Crossing is amongst the most famous crossings in the world. It is an intersection of four roads where all the pedestrian lights turn green simultaneously and literally hundreds of people cross the intersection at any one time.
Close to Shibuya is another very famous place and a must visit site for Japanese anime fans. It is Studio Ghibli. At the studio, you can watch their animations and buy Ghibli merchandise.