Tokyo Japan travel experience: explore the city of 'the capital of the East'

Tokyo is one of the most interesting cities not only in Japan but also in the world. An absolutely massive metropolis with a never-ending list of cool things to do. Check out our Tokyo travel experience to help you make the most of your time in this city.

Tokyo - 'capital of the East'

As the capital of Japan, the largest city in the world with an urban population of more than 38.5 million. It started out as a modest fishing village called Edo before becoming a political center and prominent castle town in the 17th century. In 1868, Emperor Meiji moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo, changing its name to The city is Tokyo which means "Capital is in the East".

 

Tokyo travel experience - modernPhoto: @lensemate


Today, Tokyo is a major financial, technological and cultural center. Home to leading global companies in the arts, media, fashion and entertainment industries. Its many museums, temples, and extensive rail system make day trips to neighboring provinces a breeze. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - beautiful and flashyPhoto: @fuum_aa31


Especially known for many delicious dishes such as: sushi, ramen and monjayaki.  Tokyo is a foodie of the world, boasting twice as many Michelin Stars as its closest rival, Paris . In fact, some claim that the best pizza in the world is not in Italy but in Tokyo.

 

Tokyo travel experience - famous tourist destinationPhoto: @__jaymii

 

Tokyo travel experience: the right time to visit

March - May : Spring is one of the best times to visit Japan. If you're visiting Tokyo to see the cherry blossoms, early to mid-April is the time to go. May is also great but is the peak season for domestic travel in Japan.

June-August : Summer is the peak season in Japan and is one of the hottest and rainiest months. Hotter and more crowded, probably not the most comfortable time to go.

September-November : Autumn is generally one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Japan. Leaves start to change color in late October so the optimal time to see fall colors is in November. 

December - February : Winter is not the best time to visit Tokyo but if you want to go skiing at the ski resorts in Japan, winter is clearly the best time to go. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - beautiful seasonPhoto: @wareesa_boom

 

Travel guide when traveling to Tokyo

 

Go to Tokyo

By plane : direct flights to Narita and Haneda. Once you arrive, you can either board the express train or the Limousine bus that will take you downtown. Alternatively, you can fly to Kansai International Airport (KIX) or Chubu Centrair, Nagoya from abroad. 

By train : the shinkansen (Bullet Train) takes you to Tokyo from other cities around the country. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - meansPhoto: @theaspirer

 

Traveling in Tokyo

Trains and subways : self-sufficient Tokyo travel experience the best way to get around Tokyo. 

Buses : spacious and efficient, but they are not ideal for tourists. 

Taxi : a great way to get around the city, especially outside peak hours or if you have to go to a place near the train station or subway station. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - travelPhoto: @wangxiaolangman

 

Where to exchange money in Tokyo?

Banks and post offices : is one of the most reliable place to exchange currency in Japan. 

Licensed money changer in Japan : reliable reviews and very competitive rates. 

Currency exchange machines:  they are like ATMs but used to exchange currency. Just put in your foreign currency and output the JPY equivalent. Easy to use and can be found in popular tourist areas like shopping malls and major train stations.

- At ATM : help you not to carry too much foreign currency. Just remember to let your local bank know that you intend to use your ATM card abroad so there won't be any problems. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - change moneyPhoto: @cleanfooddirtygirl

 

Where to stay in Tokyo?

 

Area to stay

Because of convenient transportation, you can stay in many areas around the attractions in Tokyo such as:

Shinjuku : a vibrant area with lots of shops and restaurants, one of the most convenient area to stay in Tokyo. The day is already beautiful but even the night is more attractive when all the signs are lit up.

Shibuya : a great shopping area with young people. It is also a major transport hub with many shops, restaurants and cafes.

Harajuku : around Harajuku Station, between the Shibuya and Shinjuku areas. It is famous for being the center of kawaii (cute) culture and trendy teen fashion in Tokyo. 

Ginza : equivalent of 5th Avenue in New York City . It's a luxury neighborhood, home to luxury hotels, big brands and high-end restaurants. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - in Shinjuku areaPhoto: @budihrynt_

 

Some famous hotels

- Ueno hotel 

  • Address: 110-0005 Tokyo-to, Taito-ku Ueno 7-12-9
  • Room price from: 850,000 VND/night

- Red Planet Asakusa

  • Address: 111-0032 Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-11-6
  • Room rate from: 900,000 VND/night

- Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

  • Address: 151-0053 Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-3-1
  • Room price from: 1,300,000 VND/night

- OYO Hotel Florida

  • Address: 171-0014 Tokyo-to, Toshima-ku Ikebukuro 2-36-4
  • Room price from: 700,000 VND/night

 

Tokyo travel experience - hotelPhoto: @princeparktowertokyo

 

Places to visit in Tokyo

 

Meiji Temple

Tokyo travel experience , this is one of the most important shrines of Japan. A Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. It was built in 1920, deep in a 70-hectare forest park, next to Yoyogi Park and Harajuku Station. Admission: free. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - visit Meiji ShrinePhoto: @couucouu

 

Koishikawa Korakuen

Koishikawa Korakuen is one of Tokyo's oldest and most beautiful landscape gardens. Built during the Edo Period (1600-1867), it features walking trails that meander through trees, ponds, streams, and rocks. Best in spring or autumn. A great place for you to spend a few quiet moments and escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

 

Tokyo travel experience - visit Koishikawa KorakuenPhoto: @Funjapan

 

Senso-ji

Like Meiji Shrine, Senso-ji is one of Tokyo's most famous religious landmarks. Built in 645, it is Tokyo's oldest Buddhist temple and dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kannon. Visit Sensoji Temple with its outer gate Kaminarimon, recognized as a symbol of both Asakusa and the city of Tokyo. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - visit Sensoji TemplePhoto: @chenu_gram

 

MOMAT

MOMAT stands for National Museum of Modern Art. As the name suggests, this place is dedicated to the work of Japanese artists from the Meiji period onwards. Comprising four floors, it is well-scaled, showcasing interesting works inspired by Western genres such as cubism and surrealism.

 

Tokyo travel experience - visit the Momat . museumPhoto: @kicikiczka

 

Tokyo Skytree

Modern television broadcasting tower, the tallest structure in Japan. With a height of 634 meters, the Tokyo Skytree has two observatories (350 and 450 meters). Tokyo travel experience standing from here can see the whole city. You can get there from Oshiage station and it takes 1 hour to see it all.

 

Tokyo travel experience - check in Tokyo SkytreePhoto: @bluglutto

 

A must-have experience in Tokyo

 

Enjoy a drink at Omoide Yokocho 

Omoide Yokocho literally means “Memory Alley” but it is often referred to as “Piss Lane”. It dates back to the 1940s when Omoide Yokocho had no public restrooms, leaving drunken customers to vent in the alleys, but has since undergone a major renovation. Located just outside Shinjuku Station, the alley is filled with small izakayas serving drinks and bar food such as: yakitori, ramen, and nikomi.

 

Tokyo travel experience - check in Omoide YokochoPhoto: @d_sun41

 

Rent Kimono

There are many ways to interact with  Japanese culture , one of the most special being wearing Kimono, the traditional Japanese dress (or Yukata in the summer). There are many Kimono shops for foreign visitors at many Kimono rental locations with costumes and makeup. Some suggestions like:

Kimono Kawaii : located in the center of Shibuya, priced from $50.

Maikoya : have their branches in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Prices from $100.

Shunkaen Bonsai Museum : where there is a Japanese garden with many beautiful Bonsai trees. You can freely take photos at the tea room and relaxing garden. Price from $40.

 

Tokyo travel experience - kimono rentalPhoto: @cindyryulla

 

Go to a maid cafe

Maid Cafes are a popular type of cosplay restaurant in Tokyo. The waitresses dress up in maid outfits and act like servants while treating the cafe customers like their masters and mistresses. It is quite popular and can be found in different parts of Tokyo, especially in Akihabara where this trend started.

 

Tokyo travel experience - Maid CafesPhoto: @VisitChiyoda

 

Watch Sumo đấu

The Ryogoku district in Sumida ward is known as the Sumo town of Tokyo. It is home to a sumo stadium, sumo stables, and many chanko restaurants. Sumo wrestling matches are held in January, May and September every year. Tokyo Japan travel experience , this is a rare experience you should try.

 

Tokyo travel experience - watch SumoPhoto: @chrys_remley

 

What to eat when coming to Tokyo?

 

Sushi

Tokyo, the sushi capital of the world, an abundance of fresh seafood and age-old skills help you make authentic sushi. Delicious sushi everywhere in Tokyo from budget to premium. If you are on a budget, visit cheap conveyor belt sushi restaurants or the Toyosu fish market, where you can get a wide selection of seafood without spending a fortune. Or Michelin-starred establishments with expensive prices. Some suggested places:

  • Matsuei (Ebisu, Roppongi)
  • Kyubei (Ginza, Shinjuku,...)
  • Sushi no Midori (Ginza, Shibuya,...)

 

Tokyo travel experience - eat SushiPhoto: @sushifukue

 

Ramen

Perfectly chewy noodles, supple ramen eggs, juicy pork char siu, bamboo shoots and nori leaves in a bowl of hot broth. Having taken the world by storm in recent years, this soul  food to Japanese cuisine dominates in Tokyo. Ramen shops are hidden behind train stations and department stores, tucked away in secluded streets, or sandwiched between rows of food stalls. 

 

Tokyo travel experience - eat ramenPhoto: @thechangechange

 

The bowls of ramen are served with a great variety: tonkatsu ramen, shio ramen, miso ramen, spicy shoyu ramen, tsukemen and cold ramen. Some famous places to eat ramen:

  • Afuri (Ebisu, Nakameguro, Harajuku, Roppongi,...)
  • Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu (Shinjuku Gyoen)
  • Kagari (Ginza)

 

Tokyo travel experience - eat ramenPhoto: @ram_1_4

 

Japanese Curry 

Brought to Japan by the British in the late 1800s, Japanese curry is considered one of the nation's most convenient and comforting dishes. Unlike Thai or Indian curries, Japanese curries are usually sweeter and more refreshing. Tokyo travel experience delicious dishes to try: curry rice, curry udon and Katsu-kare . Famous shops:  Hiroo no Curry (Hiroo), Hinoya Curry (Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya,...).

 

Tokyo travel experience - try curryPhoto: @eiji_ja8088

 

Soba

Sweet buckwheat noodles represent elegant simplicity, typical Japanese food. The best soba is often handmade from scratch, served either chilled with dipping sauce or in hot dashi broth like a noodle soup. When you want something light, healthy, yet satisfying, enjoy a bowl of soba. Good places to eat:

  • Kawakami An (Azabu Juba, Aoyama)
  • Kanda Yabusoba (Kanda)
  • Honmura An (Roppongi)

 

Tokyo travel experience - eat soba noodlesPhoto: @yasukohara33

 

Gyukatsu (Cow Katsu) 

Japan's proud dish - Gyukatsu (beef katsu). Delicious and perfectly crisp, this dish is any meat-eater's dream. Served similar to tonkatsu, served with dipping sauce, rice, cabbage, pickles, and miso soup. You can grill meat to your liking on a small burner right at the table. Popular stores:

  • Gyukatsu-MOTOMURA (Shibuya, Shinjuku, Hamamtsucho,...)
  • Gyukatsu Aona ((Shinjuku, Ueno,...)

 

Tokyo travel experience - eat beef GyukatsuPhoto: @iceshakeats

 

How many days should I visit Tokyo?

Tokyo is a big city with many activities. For a full Tokyo experience, 5 days is ideal, the perfect amount of time for you to come here for the first time. Suggested 5 day Tokyo itinerary :

- Day 1: Visit Meiji Shrine - Yoyogi Park - Harajuku - Shibuya

- Day 2: Ginza - Tsukiji Outer Market - Odaiba - Shinjuku

- Day 3: Yayoi Kusama Museum - Koishikawa Korakuen - MOMAT - Tokyo Imperial Palace - Akihabara

- Day 4: Senso-ji - Tokyo Skytree - Edo-Tokyo Museum - Hie Shrine - Tokyo Tower - Zozo-ji

- Day 5: shopping and preparing to return.

 

Tokyo travel experience - schedulePhoto: @myspiritedway

 

Estimated cost of going to Tokyo

Tokyo doesn't come cheap, but that doesn't mean you can't have a great time. Tokyo travel experience with mid-range hotel, meals, transportation and pocket wifi rental, the budget will be about 6,500 JPY per day.


Some notes when traveling to Tokyo

- Plan your trip.

- Learn to use Hyperdia and find your way using Google Maps.

- Plan long routes and search for travel deals.

- Should buy travel insurance.

- Bring a suitable power adapter.

- Learn basic Japanese etiquette.

 

Tokyo travel experience - costPhoto: @chika._photo._

 

As a city that never sleeps with tons of interesting things waiting for you to discover, refer to your Tokyo travel experience and have a fun-filled trip today.

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