Tokyo

10-DAY Tokyo, Japan | Asia ITINERARY

Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods. The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city's many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art (in the Tokyo National Museum) to a reconstructed kabuki theater (in the Edo-Tokyo Museum), per Google.

Must do, must see, must try:

INK

Tattoos are strongly associated with the mafia and are nowhere near common. You’ll see ‘no tattoo’ signs. So cover up.

FOOD MUST: SUSHI

Without a doubt, one of the most famous foods and tastiest. Have it without rice as Sashimi or battered as Tempura.

CHEERS WITH SAKE

This whilst sake, commonly known as 'rice wine' is the national drink of Japan and the most popular.

The 10-Day Tokyo Itinerary

ACCOMMODATIONS

AirBnB close the heart of Shibuya

Hotel: Shibuya Hotel EN ($$$), Tokyo Stay Tsukiji ($$)

CLIMATE

March to May or October to December offers good weather with cherry blossoms blooming in spring and late fall. Higher tourist seasons last March to April and October to November.

TRANSPORTATION

Do not rent a car. You can get everywhere by foot, train, bus or taxi. Tokyo is made for pedestrians and great for walking until you get to the out-skirts.

ENVIRONMENT

Language is Japanese but hotels and tour leaders know English

Currency: Japanese Yen (JPY, ¥); if your exchange rate here

LIFESTYLE

Tokyo attracts hundreds of thousands of characters, anime enthusiasts, and travelers each year. Besides all the fresh tuna and sushi, Tokyo offers some humbling and beautiful temples, stunning views from high-in-the-sky and an interesting take on fashion that is one-of-a-kind. A busy city with very active tourism that won't break your budget if you're cautious; this was a trip I saved for. The atmosphere is ideal for a romantic getaway or a family vacation.

Before Arriving:
  1. Purchase a JR Pass (Japan Rail-Pass), a prepaid pass only for tourists that allows you to ride just about every train in Japan. The catch is, you can only purchase this outside of Japan.

  2. Confirm with your cell provider about service and verify you don’t need to purchase a SIM card.

  3. Pack an extra bag in your suitcase to bring home all your goodies.

Day One & Two

Take off for Tokyo, you'll lose a day while flying

Day Three

Arrive in Tokyo and take the train to Shinjuku station, then check-in at the hotel and drop off your bags

3 PM – Visit the 'Times Square of Tokyo' called Shibuya

  • Take the Shibuya Crossing, the busiest intersection in the world

  • Get a photo of the famous Hachikō Memorial Statue before doing some shopping

  • Try Ichigo Dafifuku (strawberry mochi) from Ginza Akebono ($, Confectionary shop)

  • If you love CD’s, visit Tower Records store for some oldies

  • Stop in Tokyo Hands store, where you can find almost anything – great for tourists who need to pick up a souvenir

5:30 PM – Stop by the Park Hyatt bar for cocktails, order a Bellini cocktail

  • Movie buffs, you’ll recognize this place from Lost in Translation

7 PM – Dinner, drinks and karaoke in Shinjuku Kabukicho District, the red-light district

  • Wonder and get lost in the countless alleys full of restaurants and bars here in the entertainment capital – includes gaming arcades, pachinko halls, themed bars, karaoke, bowling and more

  • Here’s 101 Things To Do

Dinner at the Robot Restaurant ($$, Music venue), a show with singing, dancing, robots and a whole lot of other things; make reservations in advance

Day Four

8 AM – Tour all of Tokyo and learn about the city, the history, and the attractions on Dynamic Tokyo tour; time spent 8 hours, $110

  • Highlights include: Tokyo tower, Imperial Palace Plaza and Sensoji Temple, a cruise down the Sumida River, a tea ceremony and lunch

Head back to the hotel to rest or venture around Tokyo

8:30 PM – Save room for this 16-course gastronomic dinner at Tapas Molecular Bar ($$$, Japanese Restaurant), located inside the Mandarin Oriental and has the best views of Tokyo; make reservations

A night on the town in Shibuya for top nighttime locations including watering holes, clubs and arcades

Day Five

Breakfast at Kanetanaka Sou in the Cerulean Tower Shibuya, try a traditional Japanese breakfast includes rice, grilled fish, miso soup, pickles and a Japanese-style omelet

10 AM – Experience the Japanese traditional kimono; $45 includes kimono rental and hair

Explore on of Tokyo’s most famous and oldest temples, Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa

Shop around Kaminarimon (‘Thunder’) Gate, lined with large rows of shops and excellent for souvenirs

  • Grab a Daruma and see what color and meaning you picked up

  • Then find the Hōzōmon Gate

Grab lunch on one of the side streets or try out Naritaya Halal Ramen Shop ($$, Ramen)

3 PM – Return the kimono

4 PM – Gaze the panoramic views from the observation gallery at Roppongi Hills, a 54-story skyscraper

6 PM – Dinner at Gonpachi inside Roppongi Hills complex

  • Another movie moment, Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration for the scene in Kill Bill

  • Former Prime Minster of Japan took former US President George W. bush here for dinner once

Day Six

7:30 AM – If you're visiting in May or September, watch a morning Sumo Practice; time spent is 2 hours, $90​

  • After practice, take the opportunity to have your picture taken with a wrestler

12 PM – Venture through Harajuku and have lunch; this neighborhood has great street shopping and fashion goodies

  • Takeshita-dori street is lined with small boutiques, dessert and crepe shops

4 PM – Enter the serene Yoyogi Park and walk through the giant Torii and down the path to Meiji Shrine

  • Buy an Ema card and write down your hopes and wishes and place them on the shrine

  • Grab a snack from a local vendor, try dango, and people watch

Wonder back through Harajuku and snack and pick up dinner for the next experience

7 PM – Bring food and prepare for Sake All You Can Drink tour, at the Shibuya location; time spent is 2 hours, $33

Day Seven

9 AM – Start this morning at Tsukiji fish market, largest seafood market in the world and grab an early lunch at any of the various sushi restaurants in the outer market; or go to Tsukiji Sushi Sei Honten

1 PM – Explore the Tokyo Skytree and area; time spent is 2-3 hours, $37 for the Fast, Combo Ticket

6 PM – Dinner at Ninja Akasaka Restaurant which is serviced by ninjas in a dark restaurant with a magic show, opt for the 5-course menu ($$$, Creative Cuisine)

Day Eight

9:30 AM – Spend the day at Odaiba, a man-made island across Rainbow Bridge with a gorgeous waterfront area and giant shopping malls; find the kit kat that is exclusive to Japan

  • Sights: The Statue of Liberty, Tokyo Joypolis (a gaming arcade with advanced virtual reality games and a terrifying Room of Living Dolls), Fuji Television, the seaside and more

  • Finish your day at Oedo Onsen – they have baths, foot spas, massage treatments and more to help you relax. Don’t forget the fortune tellers and carnival games.

4:30 PM – See a Kabuki Show at the Kabukiza Theatre

  • Most are in Japanese, but this theater has English information guides so you can understand what’s happening

There’s a Higashi Ginza Food park, venture around and find something yummy

Day Nine

Day trip to:

OR plan for a day of fun at Tokyo Disneyland; time spent is all day, $70 entrance ticket

  • It’s very common for friends, families and couples to attend matching outfits. Don’t be the only one not matching!

  • This Disneyland is known for its interesting varieties of popcorn, such as soy sauce, strawberry and curry. Have fun sampling.

  • Don’t forget Tokyo Disney Sea, have dinner here

Day Ten

Evening flight home

  • With the time difference, after a 22-hour flight, you will arrive home on the same day

Goodbye Tokyo. Head Home.

helpful links
Travel a GO-Go

Use the Google map on the left to get a lay of the land and see all the fun spots that you'll visit. Download the free PDF by clicking the icon below to have this itinerary at your finger-tips. 

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