One of the last stops on this year’s RTW trip, Tokyo is a fan favorite.
It’s weird, wonderful, and a foodie paradise. I’ve taken 10+ trips to Tokyo, so this is an updated list of favorites. Every time I go, Japan excites and confuses me, which is a fun state of mind to be in. The key to having fun in Tokyo is being open to all the craziness it offers.
Tsukiji Fish Market: worth an early wake up and subway ride to get the freshest sushi you’ll ever eat. I’ve never been to the fish auction because I’m usually jetlagged, but a visit to the market for breakfast is a treat.
Genki Sushi (in Shibuya): Conveyor sushi at the next level. You order via screen and robot carts bring you whatever you’d like. There’s usually a line (but you can get chicken fries at the stall across the street to tide you over). You can order traditional sushi, as well as some off-the-wall stuff (cheese fries, anyone?).
Ichiran Ramen: Again, Japanese people love a good queue for food. Ichiran is a popular chain and the Shibuya branch, down a set of stairs across from the Shibuya 109 department store doesn’t disappoint. It’s a snug fit in the ramen “cubicles” and after purchasing from a vending machine, you saddle up in a booth to get served delicious ramen from behind a curtain.
This trip, I stayed between Shinjuku and Shibuya the whole time.
Robot Restaurant: It’s a must-do for first time visitors. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.
Meji Shrine: Some “shirin yoku” or “nature bathing” in this green park between Shibuya and Shinjuku is a nice bit of calm in the chaos that is Tokyo.
Takeshita Street: The ridiculous “shopping street” in Harajuku. Always packed and filled with kawaii.
Hachiko statue: There’s something charming about this dog statue outside of Shibuya station and how it’s used as a meeting place.
Omotesando: The tree-lined street near Harajuku. Lots of brand named shops, but also fun alleyways with good restaurants. If you see a queue, it’s probably good.
Tokyo Hands: The amazing multi-floored department store where you can get interesting things for your life.
Loft: One of my favorite spots for pens, stationery, and stickers.
Don Quijote: If you are claustrophobic, tall, or wide, take a pass. If not, find a lot of weird stuff here.
Vending Machines: I usually can’t help myself and buy tons of stuff from vending machines. Drinks, food, toys.
Hotels can be hit-or-miss in Tokyo. I like staying in Shibuya as a “home base” but Shinjuku also offers great spots, particularly if you’re going for work.
Cerulean Tower: a wonderful (if usually expensive) spot in a great location in Shibuya.
Shibuya Excel: conveniently located in Mark City, the views are amazing and the rooms are solid (if small). Usually a good value.