City Guides, Japan, Kanto, Tokyo
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First Time in Tokyo? The Complete Tokyo Guide for First Visit

Traveling to Tokyo for the first time? Boy oh boy, have I got the goods for you. If you are reading this as a first-timer in Tokyo – I am so happy and jealous of you. The feeling of visiting Tokyo for the first time is one of my fondest memories of all of my travels, by far.

A bit of backstory: it started innocently enough – my friend Lachlan messaged me this afternoon asking for Tokyo recommendations, as he will be visiting for the first time. Tokyo is one of my favorite cities in the world so I got way excited and wrote him a novel-length Tokyo recommendation. While writing my novel, I realized that… for someone who has been to Tokyo a million times (read: okay, four times since my first visit in 2014), I’ve never actually written anything about Tokyo on this blog! So I’m on a mission to fix the lack of Tokyo-ness in this blog.

An Introduction to Tokyo

Tokyo is MUCH bigger than you expected

Let me repeat that again – Tokyo is MASSIVE. On my first trip to Japan, I went for 7 days and had aspirations of doing a few day-trips outside of Tokyo. That was quickly trumped when I realized just how big this city is. In the end, I allocated 5 days in Tokyo and only managed to squeeze two days in Hakone. It was still not enough to cover the city. I ended up coming back a few more times and on subsequent return visits, I kept discovering new areas of Tokyo. So in short, I recommend setting aside a minimum 4 days in Tokyo alone.

Fly in and out through Haneda Airport

Find a flight that flies to/from Haneda (Codename: HND). Unless the flight is much cheaper, don’t even think about going through Narita. It will save you both money and time because Haneda is so much closer to the city. In fact, it’s pretty much already in town – it would take you about 30 minutes to Shibuya using the local train. Narita, on the other hand, takes about 1.5 hours by airport express train (!). Slightly faster if you are using the bullet train but of course it will cost you more.

What is a JR Pass and do I need it?

Getting a JR Pass makes sense if you are planning to visit multiple cities in Japan. The trains between cities aren’t cheap and you’ll be saving a lot more this way.

If you are coming to Japan and you’ve decided that you want a JR Pass, you HAVE to have already bought the JR Pass before your trip. You cannot buy the pass inside Japan. You can buy the unlimited JR Pass online here (Use code GIRLEATWORLD for 5% off!)

JR pass is a form of rail pass that gives you unlimited access to all JR trains in Japan for 7, 14 or 21 days. I bolded the JR train part for emphasis since this gets confusing for some people – in Japan, there are many train companies and Japan Rail (JR) is one of them, and this pass is only valid for JR trains!

Getting connected in Tokyo

Data SIM Card

I am very lucky that one of our providers StarHub in Singapore has an awesome traveling SIM card called Happy Prepaid, which allows us to roam in various destinations at the same cost as it is back in Singapore. I’ve been using this card for the past year and glad to report they have worked very well.

If you are not living in Singapore, you can look into getting b-mobile visitor SIM card. You have to order this two weeks before your arrival to Japan, where you can arrange for it to be shipped to the airport or your hotel. I used this for my first visit to Japan in 2014 and it worked swimmingly well.

Travel Router

Another option is to rent a travel router at the airport. This usually provides unlimited data and you can connect multiple devices to it, but it’s more expensive and you have to charge the router every day and also remember to return the router at the end of your trip. So I’d recommend getting this only if you are travelling in a group.

Getting around Tokyo with Train

Buy a SUICA card online (use code GIRLEATWORLD for extra 5% off) and pick it up as soon as you land. This SUICA card will be your lifeline during your stay – 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 then refill the credit at any train station.

In terms of train schedules and routes, I’m happy to report that Google Maps work really well in Japan! So you can use it as per normal but set it to the public transport mode, and it will give you the best way to get from point A to point B by train.

Example Tokyo Train Route on Google Maps - Shinjuku to Asakusa

Example Tokyo Train Route on Google Maps – Shinjuku to Asakusa

I’d say that’s good enough for tourists. My boyfriend (who grew up in Japan) tells me locals use a more comprehensive transit app called NaviTime which will tell you even more details such as which train car you should board so that you can get to your transfer faster.

But for me, google maps was enough.

Trains stop running at midnight

Cab is expensive in Tokyo so if you’re out late, you want to make sure you still catch the last train. Most stations have trains running until midnight but you should try to be at the station by 11:30PM, especially if your travel involves changing lines. In one of our nights out, we missed our last connecting train in Shibuya and had to take a cab back to our accommodation. The short 20-minute ride cost us $50 😐

Be mindful of train peak hour

I try to stay away from using the train in the morning during peak working hour – this means any time from 8AM to 9:30-10AM on a weekday. I’m sure you’ve heard about people getting pushed by sticks to encourage them to move more inside the train so that more people can get on, and you end up packed into the train like sardines.

Tokyo is the perfect city for a solo travelers

Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world. Two of my trips to Tokyo was done on my own and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Okay, I know there are incidents involving perverted peeping toms in the train, and I’m sure crimes do still happen, but I personally have never felt scared or threatened even when I was walking alone at night.

Where to stay in Tokyo

With Tokyo’s extensive train system – anywhere close to a train station is a great place to stay. For a first timer, I’d try to stay close to Shibuya, Shinjuku or Asakusa. This means you should look for a place within 15-minute walking distance or 1-2 stations away from these places.

Here are places I’ve personally stayed at in Tokyo:

  • Retrometro Backpackers Hostel ($) in Asakusa. I stayed at the 6-bed female dorm for roughly 1,500 yen (US$14) per night. It’s a very basic hostel and on the smaller side compared to say, european backpacker hostels, but i imagine it’s average size for Japan. The location is very convenient as it’s quite close to the train Asakusa station. The hostel is small and quiet so you’ll get a good rest.
  • A private Airbnb room in Sendagaya ($), 15 minutes walk to Harajuku for about US$31 a night. If you are new to Airbnb, you can sign up using my link to get some discounts. The room is small and only has a single bed so it can only fit one person, but the location is amazing and you get to stay in a Japanese-style apartment. You do have to share the apartment and bathroom with two other roommates, but I barely saw them. When I did see them though, they were very friendly. One of them even drove me all the way to Umegaoka to have dinner at Midori Sushi.
  • The Strings by Intercontinental ($$$$) in Shinagawa. This one is a more expensive option as I stayed here during a business trip, but this hotel was very nice and convenient. It’s right on top of Shinagawa station, which is close to both Shibuya and Haneda Airport. There are several convenience stores and a shopping mall in the same complex as the hotel. Also, it’s one of the taller buildings around and on a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji.

Tokyo Daily Itinerary

Again, Tokyo is a massive metropolitan city. It’s worth planning your trip and grouping the days by areas so that you don’t waste time. This is the basis of how I’ve structured the itineraries below: I’ve put together some of Tokyo must-visits in sections based on their proximity to each other so that you can optimize your trip by choosing which sights you want to visit in the same day.

These itineraries are not meant to be done chronologically so you can mix and match your days. Also, don’t feel bad if you did not get to do everything! It’s just an excuse to come back 🙂

Alright then – let’s get into it:

Itinerary 1: Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Omotesando and Roppongi

Choose one of the days on a weekend for this itinerary, because the places I’m going to mention are more happening on weekends!

You can start your day by exploring Yoyogi Park. It’s a huge park with a pleasant shaded walk and all of the walking routes will go through Meiji Jingu, a beautiful Shinto shrine, where you can buy an amulet and other traditional souvenirs. Don’t forget to do the water purification ritual at the temple entrance! Read more on the etiquette of visiting a temple in Japan. If it’s on a weekend, you might even see a Shinto wedding there as well. I was lucky enough to see one when I visited.

Prayer boards at Meiji Jingu

Prayer boards at Meiji Jingu

A Shinto wedding at Meiji Jingu

A Shinto wedding at Meiji Jingu

The Meiji Shrine

Next, you can check out Harajuku, a walkable distance from Yoyogi Park (it’s actually right across) and walk along Takeshita Dori. Harajuku embodies everything you’ve probably heard about modern Japan – It’s a crazy area filled with people, trendy shops, and street food. Harajuku became well-known as the hangout spot for the trendy youngsters who would wear their most outrageous, fashion-forward outfit. Sadly, this is a dying culture and they’re not seen as often as they used to, so to increase your chance you might want to visit on a weekend. Aside from that, you can easily spend 2-3 hours in Harajuku just walking and looking at the various shops. Oh, and you’ve gotta try the Japanese Crepes while you’re here!

Harajuku's Takeshita Dori

Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori

If you keep walking along Takeshita Dori towards the east, you’ll end up in Omotesando and then Roppongi.  In total, this is about ~3km walk from Harajuku station and totally walkable because the entire route is lined up with shops and food.

I recommend visiting the Tokyo City View And Sky Deck in Roppongi where you can take the lift up to the rooftop and get an amazing view of the city, including the iconic red Tokyo tower, for just 1,800 yen. If you’re lucky and the day is clear, you might even see Mount Fuji! I recommend going close to sunset to get the best lighting for photos. Make sure you stay a little bit after sunset too for night time photography. You can buy the Tokyo Citi View and Sky Deck ticket online here, which I recommend so that you don’t have to stay in line. (use code GIRLEATWORLD for extra 5% off)

If you are a museum person, Mori Art Museum is also in the same building. They might have an interesting exhibit to check out.

At the rooftop of Tokyo Skydeck in Roponggi

At the rooftop of Tokyo Skydeck in Roponggi

Tokyo Tower just before sunset

Tokyo Tower just before sunset

Tokyo Tower from the Sky Deck

… and Tokyo Tower just after sunset

Sunset from the Tokyo Sky Deck roof top

Sunset from the Tokyo Sky Deck roof top

Where to eat

Harajuku Crepes

Harajuku Crepes at Takeshita Dori

Japanese Crepes at Harajuku. This can be found all throughout the famous Takeshita Dori in Harajuku, so just snap them up whenever you see a stall. It wouldn’t be a very big stall, usually just enough for one person to serve you the crepes through the stall window. You can customize your crepe with different fruit toppings and sweet syrup. More information on Harajuku Crepes here.

Zaku Zaku Ice cream. “Zaku-zaku” is Japanese onomatopoeia for something crispy/crunchy (I swear, Japanese people have sounds for everything). As soon as you enter the shop, you can smell a delicious buttery sweet and savory aroma wafting in the air – similar to caramel popcorn but BETTER. This place is actually famous for their creampuff, filled with Hokkaido cream which is made fresh on the spot and coated with their crispy ‘croquant’ made from baked almonds. But the Harajuku store also has an ice cream version which is exclusive to this branch.

Kurobuta Cutlet Rice bowl at Maisen Tonkatsu

Kurobuta Cutlet Rice bowl at Maisen Tonkatsu

Maisen Tonkatsu at Omotesando (maps). While walking around Omotesando, be sure to stop by here for one of the best tonkatsu in town. Their specialty is Kurobuta aka the japanese black pork. I have to say their tonkatsu set can get pretty pricey, but there are cheaper alternatives such as the cutlet rice bowl. More on Maisen Tonkatsu by my friend Daniel.

Vegetarian Meal at Sincere Garden

Vegetarian Meal at Sincere Garden

Sincere Garden (maps). My friends are going to be surprised I’m recommending a vegetarian restaurant, yet here we are. Long story short, I made a friend at the hostel I was staying at in Asakusa and ended up tagging along for lunch with him and his Tokyo friends. We ended up at this vegetarian place that serves all organic food in Omotesando. For someone who loves meat as much as I do, this was actually a very decent meal! I feel that it fits perfectly with the trendy vibe of Omotesando. The entire cafe has this light wooden theme and made me feel good about eating healthy food.

Itinerary 2: Shibuya and its surrounding areas (Ebisu, Nakameguro, Daikanyama, and Shimokitazawa)

Check out Shibuya for the famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing road, where every few minutes the pedestrian light would turn green and the entire crossing will be filled with a ton of people coming from all directions. Located just outside the Shibuya station, this is the crossing has been featured in many movies, video games, and music videos. It’s a crazy scene and the true definition of an organized chaos – everybody is going everywhere but amazingly, nobody is bumping into each other!

I recommend doing this during the day so you can see the craziness in all its glory. There is a famous Starbucks branch where people love to sit and watch the scramble crossing from, but I find it to be quite crowded so I preferred to just watch from the ground zero (plus it’s free!)

The famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing

The famous Shibuya Scramble Crossing

At one corner of the scramble crossing, you can check out the famous Hachiko Statue. Hachiko is the legendary Japanese dog, famous for being extremely loyal as he kept waiting for his owner’s return at the train station years after he had passed away. Shibuya is a major train station and it can get pretty confusing when you are trying to meet up with friends, so Hachiko statue has become a famous meeting point.

Hachiko, the loyal dog

Hachiko, the loyal dog

You can spend some time exploring more of Shibuya. It’s a huge shopping district and you can even say it’s the center of Tokyo, along with Shinjuku. Check out Shibuya Loft for floors of random goodies, each floor with its own theme. You can also check out Don Quijote for even more random stuff.

If you are tired or shopping is not your thing, I recommend going to Dogenzaka area. Formerly a yakuza hangout, Dogenzaka is now filled with ramen shops, pubs, and izakaya (small stalls selling skewered meats) – good place to be if you are there for the nightlife.

Famous 109 Shibuya Building

Famous 109 Shibuya Building. This exact angle was featured in one of my favorite video games – The World Ends With You.

Dogenzaka at night

If you still have some energy after the madness that is Shibuya, you can take the train to Shimokitazawa, Daikanyama, Naka-meguro or Ebisu for some cafes and check out the nightlife. These are more laid back residential areas, so it’s probably not the place to go if you want to be around lots of people.

Chilled-out streets of Shimokitazawa

Chilled-out streets of Shimokitazawa. There was even an ambient music playing for a loudspeaker

Where to eat

Ichiran ramen at my cubicle

Ichiran ramen at my cubicle

Ichiran Ramen (maps) for the famous Tonkotsu Ramen from vending machine. Basically, you go up to a vending machine outside the restaurant, punch in your order, receive a ticket based on your order and pay, then wait to get seated in your own personal cubicle to slurp on your ramen. They have many other branches around the city, so you don’t have to eat this in Shibuya.

My Okonomiyaki at Hiroki in Shimokitazawa

My Okonomiyaki at Hiroki in Shimokitazawa

Hiroki (maps) for Okonomiyaki in Shimokitazawa. There are only 8 seats in this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Try to sit on the counter if you can, this is where you can watch the action as it happens! The chef will cook and mix your Okonomiyaki for you according to order and once done, he would push it to the hot plate area in front of you so the Okonomiyaki stays warm as you eat it off the counter’s hot plate. For each Okonomiyaki, you get to pick soba or udon as the noodle base, then add-on toppings as you want!

There was no English menu, but here are some toppings I can remember off the top of my head. This is how it’s written on the menu (in hiragana and katakana), how to pronounce them and its translations.

  • イカ – ika – squid
  • ホタテ – hotate – scallop
  • エビ – ebi – shrimp
  • タコ – tako – octopus
  • もち – mochi – sticky rice cake
  • チーズ – chiizu – cheese
  • ネギ – negi – spring onion
  • シソ – shiso – japanese basil
  • レタス – retasu – lettuce
The lively Ebisu Yokocho

The lively Ebisu Yokocho

Ebisu Yokocho (maps) – This was a random surprise find for me. I was just aimlessly walking around Ebisu when I decided to go into a random building that seemed very unassuming on the outside. Once inside, I was greeted with a lively atmosphere of people eating and drinking in rows upon rows of small restaurants. Sure enough, none of them had an english menu, but just put on your brave face and try something new. I randomly chose a modern sushi joint and was able to order with my very limited Japanese. I ended up with a plate of beef and mushroom sushi… which is interesting as that’s not what you’d normally expect from a sushi.

Daikanyama – I have an entire guide on places to visit in Daikanyama, which has been dubbed the Brooklyn of Tokyo. You can check out the guide below:

Itinerary 3: Akihabara, Ueno Park, and Asakusa

As a first time Tokyo visitor, you have to check out Akihabara for all those outrageous things you’ve heard about Japan – the infamous Maid cafe, cat cafes, electronics, comic books, floors and floors of arcade games, just to name a few. If you go on a Sunday, they close up the street from cars and open it up for pedestrians so you can roam around freely.

Akihabara on a Sunday car-free day

Akihabara on a Sunday car-free day

Video games and cafes at Akihabara

Then once you’re done with Akihabara, you can walk to Ueno Park for an afternoon stroll. If that’s not your thing, then you can head to Asakusa and check out Senso-ji, a famous Buddhist temple. There is a cool street in front of this temple too, called Nakamise Shopping Street, which has lots of street food you can try and souvenir stalls.

PS: This was where one of my earliest Girl Eat World was taken! Asakusa is a backpacker district so there are lots of cheap food and shopping you can do here. If history is your thing, the Edo-Tokyo Museum is also nearby this area.

Black Sesame Agemanju from Nakamise Street

Black Sesame Agemanju from Nakamise Street

The food street in front of the Asakusa Sensoji Temple

Nakamise Shopping Street in front of the Asakusa Sensoji Temple

I went to a smaller shrine and found a mikoshi!

The small festival around the temple

Where to eat

Beerbal ビアバル NAGAOKAYA (maps) – I actually came across their stall while I was at Fuji Rock Festival through an acquaintance recommendation. Their lamb chops were seriously the best I’ve had. I still dream about it, so I stalked them down and found out that they have a full-blown restaurant/beer garden in Ueno! Please give them a visit and let me know how you like it!

Itinerary 4: Shinjuku

Shinjuku deserves its own itinerary because this area is massive.

A typical sight in Shinjuku

A typical sight in Shinjuku

First, visit Omoide Yokocho. “Omoide” means memory and “Yokocho” is a lane / small alley, so loosely translated as you are walking down the memory lane… everything here feels nostalgic of traditional Japan. There are tons of little stalls (izakaya) and while most don’t have any English menu, some had pictures. I suggest going with google translate if you plan to know everything you are eating, otherwise just point your fingers and be surprised. They mostly serve small skewered meats but be warned that they aren’t exactly cheap. You can drink beer or whiskey highball here too!

Omoide Yokocho

Me and my new friends at a small izakaya! Juuuust kidding, I was eating alone 😛

The result of pointing randomly at pictures

At night, go to the famous Robot Restaurant for dinner, drinks, and incredibly Japanese show. You must purchase the ticket ahead of time. I suggest booking online through Voyagin (use my code GIRLEATWORLD for extra 5% off). I wouldn’t bother getting the food there since there are other better options for a meal around Shinjuku.

Us + Robots in Shinjuku

Us + Robots in Shinjuku

Where to eat in Shinjuku

Kushiage at Tatsukichi in Shinjuku, Tokyo

One of the deep fried veggies at Tasukichi

Tatsukichi (maps). We went for dinner on a local Tokyo friend recommendation. They were quite packed during dinner so be prepared to wait. It’s an omakase-style restaurant, meaning they will just keep serving you whatever they are cooking until you ask for the bill. Their specialty is Kushiage – deep-fried vegetable/meat skewers – and although it might seem daunting and unhealthy to eat fried food for a meal, I swear all of them were good, super crispy and not overly oily. With each skewer, the chef will tell you which sauce to use. If I remember correctly, we each spent S$50 after 10-12 skewers and 2 whiskey highballs.

Golden Gai (maps) for some nightlife. This area was super cool! It was filled with tiny bars with different themes, so you can easily bar hop to your heart’s content. Keep in mind the last train in Tokyo is just before midnight so you have to make it or else you will have to fork out some cash for the taxi.

Looking for more? There are so much to eat and drink in Shinjuku! Check out my friend Daniel’s Shinjuku eating guide.

Itinerary 5: Tsukiji Fish Market and Ginza

If you are a foodie like me, visiting Tsukiji Market for a sushi breakfast is a must. It’s not necessarily the best sushi in Tokyo, but it’s still very good and you can’t beat the atmosphere at this market!

Visiting Tsukiji Market does involve waking up at crack of dawn early and getting there by 6AM, but it’s worth it! If you want to visit the Tuna Auction, you have to come earlier (5AM or earlier) and apply for a spot once you get there as it is limited to 120 people per day.

Take note that the market is closed on public holidays and Sundays, so make sure to check their calendar before you go. I tried to go during one of their public holidays and had to come back the next day. They are also scheduled to move to a new area sometime in October 2018, so do double-check their location!

Tsukiji Market is huge and it can be intimidating since it’s a very fast-paced market. If you think going on your own is too hectic, you can also book a private Tsukiji Market tour through Voyagin which has the option to add the Tuna Action viewing. You can use my code GIRLEATWORLD for extra 5% off!

Tsukiji Market after the crazy morning bustle

16-piece sushi for breakfast? Why not!

16-piece sushi for breakfast? Why not! For the record, I finished them all by myself

I recommend to first check out the sushi stalls and have breakfast there since the market itself is off limits until 10AM. The market is extremely busy during the morning as the fishermen are rushing to sell their catch of the day and buyers are rushing to get the best ingredients, so don’t be surprised if you get yelled at for obstructing their way. In terms of where to get your sushi, I know some blogs would recommend one sushi stall over another, but if you’re like me and didn’t want to queue then just pick a random stall with the shortest queue. I did exactly this and it turned out just fine. You can either order a sushi set or do an omakase set, where the chef will serve you whatever sushi they can make with the day’s ingredients.

After your sushi breakfast, you can then go inside the market to see what’s on offer and perhaps eat even more! There is also an outer market area you can visit for some more street food. Once done with the market, you can walk back to the direction of the train station and walk around Ginza for the high-end shopping and visit the Imperial Castle which is also nearby.

Other Places worth visiting

Onigiri at any Konbini

Rows of neatly stacked Onigiri - my personal heaven

Rows of neatly stacked Onigiri – my personal heaven

Convenience stores (called “Konbini” in Japanese) are an integral part of Japanese cities. The Konbinis that can be commonly found in Japan are Family Mart (Famima for short), Lawsons and 7/11. My fondest memory of Japan has always been going into a konbini first thing in the morning to see what Onigiri they have that day. Onigiri is this triangle shaped rice wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with various fillings, perfect to eat as a snack on the go. My personal favorite is the salmon onigiri!

Midori Sushi at Umegaoka

Loooooooong tailed sushi at Midori sushi

Eating sushi while you are in Japan is undeniably a must-do. While staying at an Airbnb apartment in Tokyo, I got to know one of my roommates, a Japanese guy who kindly offered to drive me to his favorite local sushi joint. It’s called Midori Sushi – they are famous for being affordable yet offering high-quality food.

They have a few branches in Tokyo, but the original one is at Umegaoka and located in a very local residential area. They are famous for shaping their nigiri such that the meat topping forms this very long “tail”, much longer than normal.

Studio Ghibli

Any Japanese anime fan must make a visit to Studio Ghibli. Yours truly included, of course. The studio is located it Mitaka – not too far away from Shibuya. At the studio, you can see their early sketches, watch a short animation and buy some Ghibli merchandise. It’s a bit small though, so I would say this is doable for a half day trip.

Visiting Studio Ghibli has gotten easier over the years. A few years ago, you used to have to buy tickets a few days in advance at Lawsons and the instructions were all in Japanese. Lucky for you, these days the Studio Ghibli tickets can be booked online and even purchase them outside of Japan! You can read here for instructions on how to obtain a ticket, but you still have to do this in advance and book for a specific time and day.

If you need ticket last minute or can’t be bothered to get the ticket on your own, you can try your luck by booking a Studio Ghibli online at Voyagin, but it will cost you more due to the extra services they provided (you use my code GIRLEATWORLD for extra 5% off)

Shop at Japan’s variety stores

I love shopping for random goods while in Japan, especially for home goods. In my recent trip, I discovered LOFT at Shibuya and I was just blown away by the sheer amount of shopping you can do there! They sell everything and anything, from home goods, kitchen wares, stationeries, and clothing. Another similar shop is Tokyu Hands.

I also love checking out eclectic discount stores like Don Quijote and Daiso, guaranteed to be fun and easy on your wallet. Living in Singapore, we have a lot of Daiso stores around but not Don Quijote, also known as Donki to Japanese people. They also have everything from home goods to makeup and groceries.

… And even more places to visit!

STILL looking for more places? Let these articles guide you!

Alright, that was super long. If you end up doing any of my itineraries, please comment below and let me know how it went! Also, if there is any information you want to know about Tokyo, let me know in comments below and I’ll try to answer them. I want your first visit to Tokyo to be as magical as possible 😀 I love Tokyo.

Are you planning a trip to Japan? I’ve written loads about the beautiful country. Check out the ‘Japan’ category of this blog for some travel inspiration!


  1. Zebeth says

    Thank you soooo much for this!! It’s so nice that you grouped activities based on location. It’s gonna make it much easier to see all I want to see. Wish more bloggers did this.

    • Melissa Hie says

      Thank you Zebeth! That was what I was thinking when I was visiting Tokyo, since I had limited time. So I made this guide 😀

  2. Enjoyed your Tokyo itinerary! Impressed that you made it to Shimokitazawa. It’s a great neighborhood and doesn’t show up on many “first time visitor” itineraries. You always can tell the difference between an itinerary from someone who spent a few days in Tokyo and someone like you who has visited several times for work and holiday alike.

    On your next visit to Tokyo, you might also enjoy Jimbocho. It receives even fewer visitors than Shimokitazawa, but likewise is a great place to explore.

    • Melissa Hie says

      Thank you for stopping by! I feel Shimokita is getting more and more popular these days, I guess because it was featured in Vogue as one of Coolest Neighborhoods in the world. But yeah, it’s definitely more low-key. I personally made it there due to a friend’s recommendation and I ended up loving it so much that I had to include it here 😀

      Definitely will keep Jimbocho in mind for my next Tokyo trip. I love how your blog recommends not-so-common things to do around the world too!

      • You’re quite welcome! Wasn’t aware of the Vogue mention for Shimokitazawa, but that is the kind of mention that will raise its profile, no doubt.

        Thank you for the kind words about travelgasm, as well!

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  4. Opster says

    Thank you for this post, it helped me out alot in planning my stay here in Tokyo and I managed to do everything I wanted :). My favourite places to eat were definitely Hiroki (they actually had an english menu too) and Asakusa were I tried tons of the little snacks (agemanju was delicious)

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  6. I loved your post and all you colourful pictures! I was actually thinking of visiting Japan next but I was wondering which periods of the year you think are the best to visit? Also, could you let me know which camera do you normally use? Xxxxx Cheers!

  7. I agree with you that Tokyo is very safe for solo travelers. I was there alone and I enjoyed it. 3 days in Tokyo isn’t enough *sigh*

  8. Bless you, I swear. Thanks for this! If I ever blog about my Japan experience next year I’ll definitely credit your for a few of these things.

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