Tokyo is one of those cities we would love to stay in for an extended period of time and be a part of the madness (or silence) that comes with it. 3 days was just not enough for one of the best cities in the world. Here is almost full list of things we did, more details coming soon….
Its a good idea to get the metro pass everyday (its like $10 per person per day and super cheap for Tokyo transportation) The JR pass is insanely expensive and not worth it if you’re not going out of Tokyo!!! Also their metro system is probably one of the best in the world. Its color coded and very straightforward.
Shibuya or Roppongi hills.
We stayed at Sakura Aoyoma in Shibuya and loved it. It was a few blocks away from the Shibuya crossing (puts Times Square to shame) and metro station. It is the heart of the city. Sakura was reasonable but very tiny (the room could only fit the bed along with our bags). If budget is not a problem and you plan on staying in the hotel I’d recommend a nice hotel but preferably in one of these areas.
Must go places:
1. Tsukiji Market (the best sushi you will ever have for very cheap, doesn’t matter where you go they are all incredible). We went to this sit down restaurant as the only non Japanese people and had an incredible time eating sushi and drinking beer at 9am!
The earlier you go the better, the market opens at 4am for tuna auction which is a little overrated! If you miss other places its fine, but try to have a meal at Tsukiji
2. Akhihabara (the electronic and futuristic district filled with an interesting mixture of anime and porn) Its again massive with electronic floors being 7-9 floors!!! Sunny couldn’t wait to get here, if you are into technology you do not want to miss Akhihabara!
3. Askusa (Senso-ji temple, Geisha houses, Skytree) We took the rickshaw guys for a tour which was a great experience and faster with limited time. Make sure to go to the shopping street outside Sensoji temple for some green tea or sweet potato icecream with tempuras.
Skytree is the second tallest building in the world and we went around sunset, it was beautiful. Again, if you miss other sights in Tokyo its fine but the skytree is like going to Burj Khalifa or Space needle to take photos for memory sake. Make sure to have cash on you, they don’t take credit cards for photos!
4. Harajuku (A very fun and trendy street with their own fashion) Shop something out of the ordinary, you won’t regret it! Also Meji’s Shrine is there which is a beautiful serene walk surrounded by woods in the middle of the city.
Japan this year has the most number of Michelin 3 star restaurants, if your budget allows and you enjoy sushi I would highly recommend having your hotel concierge make a reservation for you at one of the restaurants now. Believe me they fill very quick. Having lunch at one of those restaurants is also more reasonable. We tried to connect with Jiro’s sushi (after watching the netflix documentary) but couldn’t as it seemed impossible. Also the meal at that time was 300-350$/person.
1. Coco-curry (In shibuya and other branches, the best and spiciest curry I’ve had. They are very creative with varieties)
2. Ramen street (The Ramen will ruin you for anything else here, everything is incredible) There is a Ramen street any neighborhood you go to.
3. Make sure to have Takoyaki as soon as you get off the train for Harajuku. The best fried octopus with potato I’ve had
4. Make sure to have Okonomoyaki (pancakes with excellent flavor)
5. Ometasando coffee (simplistic, modern and the ometasando stop before Harajuku station, you might have to ask for directions to the coffee house)
6. Cat Caffe or any café which is like a hostess place with women entertaining (its a very Japanese thing and different) You will find plenty of them in Akhihabara. We walked into one of them without understanding the language but it was worth the experience.
7. MIDORI SUSHI (family owned incredible sushi place) Every local will recommend it, its reasonable and AAAMAAZING!! We went there half an hour before it opened at 11am and there was already a line of people waiting. Its on the 4th floor of Mark City Mall in Shibuya!
8. Make sure to have tempura, there are divvy tempura stands open late in every variety everywhere
9. Also Yakisoba with shrimp and other fillings, the more hole in the wall looking the better it is!!!
We were pretty much eating every hour there.
1. Absolutely go to Tight or any other bars on Non-bei Yokocho street in Shibuya. Sunny and I had a blast meeting other locals and socializing with the bartender there. Its a unique Japanese experience. The bar can only have 4-6 people at a time. I have a tripadvisor review for them. And they have a picture of us on their facebook page!!!
2. Sapporo, Asahi, plum wines or ask them to sip on pure saki with your meals!!!