tokyo travel plans : itinerary

12:32 PM Sian Mei Yeoh 5 Comments

i mentioned in my last tokyo entry that i would be posting my four-day japanese itinerary and try to provide as many tips that i think might be helpful to you :)

yes, this is hand made.. all on my own :)
i knew four days was a short time to try to cover most places but i narrowed it down to a couple of attractions in tokyo and keeping my fingers crossed it will all work out as planned.

this was a summary of my schedule ::
{sunday} harajuku
{monday} tsukiji fish market . asakusa . tokyo sky tree . akihabara
{tuesday} akihabara . kamakura . shinjuku . shibuya .
{wednesday} yukata dress up (possibly) . tokyo tower (?) . shinjuku . shibuya . ginza .

so i didn't to do a few of the stuff i had planned. but considering we covered a lot of the main attraction spots, i was pretty happy.

initially, i had wanted to do a half day trip to hakone but considering we'd lose 3 hours in travel time, it wasn't worth it which i replaced with kamakura but that didn't happen either since we were quickly losing momentum from being jet lagged. i think i was most disappointed about not having a yukata dress up experience but perhaps there would be a future opportunity :)


read more from the original entry :: tokyo ed.o1
o1 . it's best to visit harajuku on sunday mornings where there are more cosplay happening then. when i visited in the evening, i only managed to one cosplay sighting.
o2 . focal point of harajuku's teenage culture is at takeshita dori (takeshita st).
o3. access :: JR harajuku station on yamanote line. located conveniently next to the entrance to meiji jingu (one of tokyo's major shrine and also an attraction in the area) and the beginning of omote-sando.

tsukiji fish market

i've covered this quite extensively on my second blog entry about tokyo.

read more from the original entry :: tokyo ed.o2  part o1
o1 . check online of the tuna auction is open to public.
o2 . you will have to either walk or take a cab because in order to do be one of the 120/day visitors, you'd have to get there rather early -- preferably by 4am. and trains don't run at that time - it's such an ungodly hour lol.
o3 . visit tsukiji's outer market! and fresh sushi breakfast is a must while you are in the area. patience is a virtue in this case.
o4 . access :: marunouchi subway line; to ginza then transfer to hibiya subway line to tsukiji market. it is located just above tsukiji shijo station on the oeda subway line.


read more from the original entry  :: tokyo ed. o2 part 2
o1 . the home of sensoji temple, a popular buddhist temple. one of the two large entrances called kaminarimon (kaminari gate) can be found here. 
o2 . nakamise shopping street is a great place to do some souvenir shopping since you can find a ton of little petite shops selling from snacks to cute little prosperity cats or chopsticks and anything in between. 
o3 . access :: asakusa subway line.

tokyo skytree tower

another destination i covered rather extensively in my past entry.

read more from the original entry  :: tokyo ed. o2 part 2
o1 . open 0800-2200. 1st observation deck (tembo deck) is at 2000¥ and 2nd observation deck (tembo galleria) for an additional 1000¥. the ticket for tembo galleria can be purchased on the tempo deck.
o2 . on a good weathered day (clear and not foggy/hazy), you could even catch a glimpse of mount fuji at a distance.
o3 . access :: oshiage station (skytree). from tokyo station, take the JR sobu rapid line and transfer at kinshicho for the tokyo metro hanzomon line. the station is just at the base of the tokyo sky tree tower.


read more from my original entry :: tokyo ed. o3
o1 . perfect for manga/anime and electronic fanatics :) it's also nice to just have visited a part of tokyo which is quite interestingly significant especially for the diehard fan culture.
o2 . maid cafes and cat cafes can be found in this area.
o3 . access : 2 stations north of tokyo station by JR yamanote/keihin-tohoku line.


read more from my original entry :: tokyo ed.o3
o1 . you could experience both the relaxing atmosphere of shinjuku gyeon (national garden) and tokyo's skyscraper district in the same area.
o2 . other attractions include koreatown at shin-okubo and omoide yokocho (a.k.a piss alley "memory lane) where narrow lanes are filled with dozens of tiny eateries serving ramen, soba, sushi, yakitori and kushiyaki.
o3 . access : shinjuku station.


read more from my original entry :: tokyo ed. o3
o1 . the home of one of the most prominent landmark -- large intersection in front of the station's hachiko exit (five-way "scramble crossing").
o2 . tokyu food show is also located below shibuya metro station if you are looking to get some quick fresh take out food -- this departmental store food court offers a ton of selection.
o3 . my tip is to get there in the late evening before it turns dark so you can enjoy both the view of the intersection in both daylight and night time when the neon lights illuminates the district.
o4 .  access :: shibuya station.

tokyo tower

read more from my original entry :: tokyo ed. o4
o1 . modeled after the eiffel tower (world's tallest self supporting steel tower) at 333m.
o2 . main observatory at 150m (820¥) ; special observatory at 250m (1420¥).
o3 . access : onarimon station, municipal subway mita line. it takes about 10-15 minutes to get  to the tower by foot. 

if you are interested in reading more about my experience, you are more than welcome to check out those links to the original posts where there are more details of my ups and downs during my travel.

since we figured that taking a cab everywhere is not a viable option since it can get very expensive, tokyo has such a great subway network that it was a shame to not make full use of it. however, i am not going to lie. subways in tokyo is confusing. comparing the subway system in seoul and in tokyo, it is a lot easier to adapt to the one in seoul since there is a one subway company, only with multiple lines.

on the other hand, there are a two japanese subway systems (tokyo metro & toei subway) in operation so occasionally transfers involve purchasing a second ticket for transfer at a different location. so much so that i was intimidated and to be quite honest. i am still confused as to how the subway works. however, i think that doesn't happen to often since you'd mostly be using the tokyo metro subway. i'll try to share some pointers that might be helpful.

o1 . if you have an iphone, there is an app that might be slightly helpful - zuti metro for tokyo. you could route your destination from your departure station, with a couple of route options and take which one works best for you. the apps work offline as well, so that is a huge plus.

o2 . if you concerned, you could always look up routes online for the day's travel if you know itinerary. the tokyo metro website is useful for planning your travel and fares if you are taking the tokyo metro.

o3. there is always the option to ask for help from locals but there is a chance that a lot of them can't speak in english. 
o4. fares -- if you can identify your destination on the map, the fares are posted under the name of the station (just be sure it's not the code of the station which usually starts with an alphabet and the fares are in the hundreds)

o5. it is vital to know how much the fare is because sometimes when you purchase a ticket from the machines, they do not post destinations but instead prompts you to enter the fare amount. but no worries, these machines operates in english language as well.
o6. i didn't look into special passes for the subway since i was there for such a short period of time but it might be worth it for travelers who are exploring tokyo for more than 4 days.
o7. be prepared to walk long distances since on occasion it's more than a couple hundred of meters to get to your transfer or to get to your destination. flights of stairs also included in the package. lol. comfortable shoes? yes, please!

there another website that could help you understand the subway system a lil better before your trip to tokyo --  wa-pedia :: tokyo transportation

a few other ups while traveling in tokyo --

there are a lot of vending machines with "healthy" drink options, almost everywhere especially when it's freaking hot during the summer, it was vital to keep ourselves hydrated.

if you are looking for a recycling bin after you are done with your bottle of drink, you could usually find one next to these machines.

my tokyo travel was very tiring yet worth it because classifying the trip as amazing is an understatement. i have dreamt of visiting japan for a lot of years that i'm the first to admit that i'm really lucky to have been able to experience its cultures and food. oh, and i can never say this enough but japan is freaking clean. like seriously.. very, very impressive.

i hope these few tips would be more than helpful when you are planning your next trip to tokyo, japan. i will be posting my food itinerary in a near future. so please watch out for it :)

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opionion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


jake first said...

I've never been to japan but it looks like such a vibrate and lively place to be. I shall have to make plans to go visit one day

@jake first
japan is a lovely country with many different fun activities catering to different interest of people - cultural, traditional, modern city life or even appeals to otakus and artsy people. i loved my short visit to japan and hope to return again once more

London is a city of plenty. It houses an amazing mélange of history, culture, art, science, technology, industrialization, and modernity.

Peter Russo said...

Gosh I miss Tokyo. We stayed in the main area of the city together with my friends. We booked from the Cheapest Hotels in Tokyo list using the website

Anonymous said...

Great Stuff, do you have a bebo profile?