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Tokyo 2

A Five Day Guide To Visiting Tokyo

Tokyo, unlike any place we’ve travelled to, a culturally rich, hustling city with a somewhat eerily quiet calm. You can find yourself in a traditional Japanese shrine one moment and at the Shibuya Crossing the next. Take a read through our quick guide to a quick visit in Tokyo, our favourite places to see, things to do and where to stay.

Before we get into it, if you’re planning to visit Tokyo, whether that’s during your travels or on holiday you’re in for a treat. It’s a vast city with fantastic travel connections, public transport, incredible food and amazing people. We would recommend you experience the city for all it has to offer, eat sushi, talk to strangers on the JR Line and party with locals, drinking Sake into the night (check out our latest article for more travel tips, 10 tips to remember when travelling).

So here is our quick run through of a five-day trip in Tokyo…

Tokyo

Day 1

If you’re landing at Narita airport (international arrivals) and want to get straight into the city, jump on the either of the two direct JR lines. You have two options to fit your budget or time preference, the cheaper yet longer Sobu Line or the quicker yet more expensive express line.

JR Narita Express – Direct line, 60 mins around 3,000 Yen

JR Sobu Line – Direct line, 90 mins around 1,320 Yen

Book a hotel in the heart of the city, if you’re feeling brave we recommend a pod, or ‘capsule hotel/hostel’ to get the adventurous and cultural juices flowing (watch out for the traditional communal bathrooms though)!

Day 2

Your first full day in the city, it’s time to explore. Grab a pass to any of the train lines that run throughout the city, we would recommend the Tokunai Day Pass (around 700 Yen) which will grant you access to the major central JR Line. In particular, look out for the Yamanote Circle Line which will run through all the major stops in the city centre.

Check out Shinjuku, Shibuya and Tokyo central station, you can spend hours walking and gazing at the city and it’s people. Make sure you cross the famous Shinjuku crossing during both the day and at night.

Day 3

Visit the many shrines and gardens available to you throughout the city (a must see is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden), try the local cuisine and visit a vending restaurant. Yep, you heard us, we ordered our meals using a vending machine system and some very broken English, the results were a delicious and hilarious encounter every time.

In the evening, it’s time to hit Roppongi’s famous nightlife…karaoke bars and clubs galore, sink a few Sakes and cold beers with friends. Roppongi is fairly accessible by train but don’t get caught out if you’re not planning on a taxi as the trains don’t run too late into the night.

Day 4

Change locations or hostel, if you tried the capsule hotel for your first few nights, try something a little more homely and welcoming for your last couple of days. We’ve recommended a great hostel alongside the Sumida River below, the guys at the Khaosan Original are welcoming, friendly and can provide some top Tokyo tips themselves (it’s pretty cheap as well – bonus).

If you choose to stay with the guys at Khaosan Original, or just pass through Asakusa station, the Tokyo Skytree is only a short walk away. A must see during your stay in Tokyo, if you’re afraid of heights then check out the towers fascinating architecture, not to be missed.

Day 5

An early start, book onto one of the many day trips available that take you outside of the city, we’d recommend a visit to see Mt Fuji in all of its glory. Dependent on the excursion you choose, there may be some time left in the day to visit a few of Tokyo’s vibrant shopping centres, or if not, finish the trip with a well deserved meal at one of Shibuya’s top restaurants.

Remember, our guide only touches the surface of the many things available to a traveller in Tokyo, but highlights some of our favourites. Feel free to chop and change the itinerary, move days around and maximise your adventure, let us know your tips in the comments below.

 


A great place to stay:

Khaosan Original Hostel

1 night from 2,200JPY (around £16.00)

Flights:

Return flights to London Heathrow are around £500 in October 16 – Skyscanner

Things to do:

Tokyo Skytree

JR Line ticket – Explore

Mt Fuji day trip

Gardens & Shrines, check out the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Walk, eat and observe!

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