At the end of September my brother met me in Tokyo for a week between leaving South Korea and going back home. We spent days exploring the city, eating our way through different suburbs and saw a heap of sites in a short amount of time. I thought I’d finally put together a little Tokyo Travel City Guide, including where to eat, where to visit and what to do for a short trip.
If you haven’t seen it already, I also put together a video of our trip which gives a little bit of a deeper overview of what we got up to. As I was really focused on capturing video I would suggest checking it out after reading this post so you can get a better understanding. Tokyo is huge by the way (aka un-walkable) and a week was in no-way long enough to see everything so I suggest planning ahead if you have a short amount of time like we had!
We stayed in the Granbell Hotel Shinjuku and while I didn’t get any photos inside of the actual hotel (oops) it really was a great place to stay. Located really close to a lot of restaurants and shopping malls in Shinjuku, as well as not being a 5 minute walk to a train station. Plus, there’s a rooftop bar with an awesome view for those nights when you can’t be bothered venturing too far away from home – see photo above.
It costs about 800 yen to get up to the top but I think it’s worth it if you’re visiting for a short time. You get a 360 view of the city and it’s such an iconic building to go up – if you didn’t know, it was modelled on the Eiffel Tower and looks just like it. The view is particularly stunning at sunset on a clear day which we were lucky enough to experience.
We briefly saw this on our way to another location, but it’s the oldest temple in Tokyo and it’s beautiful. Completely the Japanese architectural experience you would want to see and a must if you’re looking for a good temple. It can be quite busy though so keep that in mind – it’s a definite tourist attraction.
Need I say more? We spent one of our last days at Disneyland and I was stoked to finally get to go. Plus, I loved all the Halloween inspired rides they had. I mean, how insane are these pumpkins!? Excuse the iPhone quality.
And I thought motes were only in fairy tales… We only walked around the edge but it was impressive. Such an awesome piece of history to see and it isn’t far from parks if you need to give your feet a rest like I did.
You can see the view in my video (below). If you’re looking for a free lookout you can go up both towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for free and it’s just as good as the Tokyo Tower.
It doesn’t look like much during the day but at night it’s pumping. This is a classic place to visit in Tokyo and it was right around the corner from where we stayed. Basically, there is an area of tiny alleyways that house over 400 tiny bars that fit only 3-6 people. It goes off at night, filled with both locals and tourists. I particularly loved one we went to and the karaoke was in full swing. Try the sake here and celebrate – you’re in Tokyo!
Omoide Yokocho (translated to ‘Memory Lane’) came across to me like the food version of Golden Gai. The alleys are filled with small bars and restaurants that fit only small numbers of people and at lunch this place can be packed with lines. The food looks awesome though and if you’re on the run it’s a good place to stop to get a quick bite.
This cruise was all you can drink and took you on a boat ride around the Tokyo Bay for only around $30NZD. Such a great way to end our trip in Tokyo and it was fun to meet other travellers on board that we went out with later.
I don’t think this one needs much of an introduction but don’t forget to go there! Plus, there’s heaps of shopping around if you’re looking to pick up some pieces.
Another one of my favourite areas. We walked from Shibuya so it’s not too far, but it has so much life and great food. This is the place you can pick up your quintessential Japanese goodies – from food to stationary. Oh and if you’re a crazy cat lady the famous Cat Cafes are here.
This sushi was SO good and fun – the Tokyo tourist food experience you need to try. You order everything on the screen and it comes out on a conveyor belt pretty quickly (see video). It’s reasonably priced too which was great.
To be fair, we didn’t actually visit the shop but it was close to where we lived – this one is an Ubereats must-try. Their burritos were our favourites and the perfect hangover cure after the Tokyo Bay Night Cruise. You’re welcome.
You can’t go to Harajuku without grabbing a crepe, and they’re everywhere! We went to Angels Heart Crepes and they were amazing.
We lived off these and they’re a must if you’re there in summer. Super cheap too but definitely not as strong as the kiwi’s make them.
That pretty much sums up our Tokyo Must-See and Must-Do places, so all that’s left is to share some snaps. I have to admit that the food in Tokyo was the absolute highlight for me, especially the dumplings below.
Let me know if you go to Tokyo and what places were your favourite in the comment section below – I always love hearing more recommendations.