I had a FANTASTIC 10 Days in Tokyo – I ate some great food, saw some cool sights, and had a blast with my old friend Adam! If I ever make it back (and I’d surely love to), there are some things I’d keep in mind – maybe they’ll help you plan your trip too. Here are my Top 10 Tips for Tokyo!
- Choose your lodging carefully. The Asakusa – Honjo-Skytree is a great, chill area to stay in. Our area was nice and quiet at night and we felt very safe. It did, however, take us 20-50min to get to the majority of the places we wanted to see – sometimes costing $4-5 each way. If I go back, I will try to pick a place a bit more centralized.
- Remember you are on a city vacation. There isn’t too much scenic stuff to do enjoy in the city, other than the parks. The temples aren’t particularly beautiful (compared to Kyoto) and the city is well, a city. It would be fun to tour with one of the go-kart tours, but you won’t be saying “ohh, …. is so pretty”. This city is good for street-photography and architecture photography lovers – NOT for landscape/nature photography.
- Go to Yoyogi park on a Sunday. Definitely take a Sunday afternoon (or the entire day) to spend in Yoyogi Park; take a picnic if you can. It is a great, chill atmosphere and it is one of the best places to people-watch.
- Ignore Trip Advisor. It was a HUGE letdown during this entire stay. We didn’t find a single place they recommended that was good. I’ve never had a problem with Trip Advisor before, but I will never use them in Tokyo again.
- Go to Gachi Ramen in Shinjuku – just go. Have you gone yet? Go… It is a ‘must do’ – that fried chicken was amazing
- Buy a PASMO or Suica pass – This is a rechargeable card that you can use on the buses, subways, and some shops. You’ll never have to worry about fare adjustments again. Remember you can only top up certain cards at certain stations (JR vs other railways).
- Food Halls FTW! Many of the big shopping areas have ‘food halls’ – these are well-worth visiting to get a wide variety of food options. The Ramen area in Odaiba’s Aqua City is really good and you can try out ramen dishes from all over the country. Who knew a pinch of curry powder could make ramen even better!
- Get a Wifi Egg – better yet, get an Air BnB that includes a Wifi Egg. You can carry it around and use Google Maps to your heart’s content.
- Yes, I said it – USE Google Maps! Unlike Korea, Google maps kicks ass in Japan.
- Air BnB is the way to go. I’m not really a hostel kind of girl for long trips. I don’t sleep very well and I like my privacy. There are tons of well-priced, very nice Air BnBs in Tokyo – check it out!
All in all, I would definitely recommend Tokyo for a long weekend or multi-week trip – as a solo traveler or in a group. There is a lot to see, it is a very safe city, and we met some lovely people along the way. Thanks for reading my Top 10 Tips for Tokyo!
Want to read all about my trip! You can view my favorite photos from Japan here and I’ve broken each day down for you here:
- Asakusa & Akihabara
- Asakusa & Shibuya
- Ueno Park and Tokyo Zoo
- Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa Tanabata Festival
- Harajuku and Yoyogi Park
- Odaiba and Tokyo Tower
- Imperial Palace and Yanaka
- Shopping and Owl Cafe
- Shopping in Shibuya
- Narita and BBQ