Tokyo: Do It

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.

 

Eat it

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.

 

See it

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.

 

Shop it

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.

 

Sleep it

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.

 

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Tsukiji Fish Market: 35.665486, 139.770667
Genki Sushi: 35.660401, 139.699391
Ichiran Ramen: 35.660978, 139.698663
Robot Restaurant: 35.694319, 139.702843
Meji Shrine: 35.676398, 139.699326
Takeshita Street: 35.671407, 139.703910
Hachiko Statue: 35.659266, 139.701043
Omotesando Street: 35.668450, 139.705400
Tokyo Hands: 35.662132, 139.697807
Loft: 35.661118, 139.699509
Don Quijote: 35.660323, 139.696896
Cerulean Tower Hotel: 35.656325, 139.699608
Shibuya Excel Hotel: 35.657972, 139.698316

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