|DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3|
|BREAKFAST||Konbini Breakfast from 7-11||Konbini Breakfast from 7-11||Sushi Bentomi Tsukiji Market|
-Shopping @ Lumine Est, NewoMan, Keio Department Store
-Nakamise shopping street
-Kagetsudo Asakusa Jumbo Melon Pan
-Suzukien x Nanaya Level 7 Matcha Ice Cream
|LUNCH||Gyukatsu Motomura Shinjuku (deep fried beef cutlet)|
Sarutahiko Coffee Shinjuku
|Rokurinsha Tsukemen Tokyo Sky Tree||Roppongi Hills:
-L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
-Harbs Mille Crepe
-Croquant Chou ZakuZaku (crispy cream puff)
-Santa Monica Crepes
|Tokyo Sky Tree|
|Ginza Shopping District|
-Shibuya Starbucks & Shibuya Crossing
|Ameyoko Shopping Street Ueno|
-OS Drug Store
--Niki no Kashi Candy Store
-M's Adult Concept Store
-Uogashi Standing Sushi Bar Akihabara
-Supper at Yoshinoya
-Departure at 11.45 pm
|DINNER||Afuri Ramen Harajuku||Negishi Ox Tongue Ueno 3153||Ginza Kagari Chicken Ramen|
|STAY||APA Hotel Ginza-Takaracho||APA Hotel Ginza-Takaracho|
We recently traveled to Tokyo where where we spent three full days exploring the city by foot. We instantly fell in love with Tokyo – the food, people, sights, are all some of the best in the world, especially the FOOD.
For a complete Tokyo Transportation Guide, read here.
After spending 3 full days in Kanazawa prefecture and covered Hakone, Odawara, Yokohama and Mt. Obama area, we went to Tokyo for 3 days and split our itinerary by areas:
Day 1: Shinjuku, Harajuku & Shibuya
Day 2: Asakusa, Tokyo Sky Tree, Ueno, Akihabara
Day 3: Tsukiji Market, Roppongi, Ginza
We started our day at Shinjuku Gyoen, where over 1,000 Cherry Blossom trees have been planted. We were lucky to have a few trees in full bloom during our time here, in early February! Having our konbini breakfast (from 7-11) under the sakura tree is bliss!
Hours: 9am – 430pm daily
Admission: 200 yen
Shinjuku Gyoen has three gates:
Shinjuku Gate is a ten minute walk east from the “New South Exit” of JR Shinjuku Station or a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Okido Gate is also a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Finally, Sendagaya Gate is a five minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line.
chocolate flavoured BAKE cheese tart
Come afternoon, nothing says you’ve arrived in Tokyo quite like a visit to the malls at Shinjuku area. There’s Keio Department Store, Takashimaya, Lumine Est, NewoMan and many other malls around the Shinjuku train station.
I had fun browsing through all the cute zakka stuffs at Flying Tiger Copanhagen, salut!, 3 coins, Alice on Wednesday, Natural Kitchen, Franc Franc and etc.
We wanted to try the cheapest 1 Michelin-starred meal at Nakajima (just 2 minutes walk from Gyukatsu Motomura) but it was closed due to public holiday.
For lunch, we queued for an hour before getting a table at Gyukatsu Motomura. We got some coffee from Sarutahiko Coffee while waiting. The deep-fried beef cutlet is the being served to you super rare where you can see the marbling. You can then use hot stone plate to grill to your desired doneness. The beef is so tender it melts in your mouth and is so flavorful. It’s also served with cabbage, potato salad, rice, miso soup and various sauces.
There are three ways to eat your steak katsu: 1) with wasabi and soy sauce 2) with horseradish or 3) with rock salt. We tried all three ways and they were all fantastic. For the rice, you pour the tororo (grated yam) over it and it becomes this heavenly combination.
Our full review here.
Gyukatsu Motomura Shinjuku
Address: Japan, 160-0022 Tokyo, 新宿区Shinjuku, ３−３２−２
Hours: 11AM–10PM daily
Phone: +81 3-3354-0171
Getting Here: exit e9 shinjuku station
After lunch, we proceeded to the Harajuku area. Remember to take a stroll around The Meiji Shrine. This stunning shrine is dedicated to the late 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West. This is Tokyo’s most famous Shinto shrine and is beautifully serene.
1 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station. 5 minutes by foot from Yoyogi Station. 1 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae (Harajuku) Station. 5 minutes by foot from Odakyu Line Sangubashi Station.
Check out our full review here.
Add: 1F Grandeforesta, 3-63-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:30am – 3:00am (Open 7 days a week)
Other outlets here.
Comes night time, we headed to the Shibuya area. Surrounded by soaring skyscrapers, flashing neon lights and gigantic video screens, up to 2,500 people stream over the crossing at each change of the lights at the Shibuya crossing. We enjoyed this sight while sipping on our coffee from Starbucks.
From Shibuya station, we took the Hachiko Exit just to visit the Hachiko Statue that celebrates the life of Japan’s most famous dog, Hachiko, and his legendary loyalty to his owner. It reminds me of the tearjerker movie
APA hotel is everywhere in Tokyo and we managed to secure a room in APA HoteL Ginza Takarachui quite last minute. The hotel is no frills but the rooms are very small (already paid extra for 120 sq feet), so as long as you are okay with that the hotel is absolutely fine.
When in Asakusa, one must try Kagetsudo Asakusa (花月堂)’s famous Jumbo Melon Pan. There’s actually no melon inside the bun, it is just shaped like a melon with crispy crust and soft interior. 200 yen for one.
Our top recommendation however is the Suzukien x Nanaya super intense level 7 matcha ice cream. This is where you can enjoy the richest matcha tea flavored gelato in the world. It was so, so, so good! All level 1 to 6 scoops of matcha ice cream costs ¥340, while the level 7 costs ¥530.
Suzukien Asakusa Honten 壽々喜園
Add: 3-4-3 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 9.30am-5.30pm daily
Getting Here: Walk straight up to Asakusa Shrine and bypass the hospital behind the shrine to a main road. Cross the traffic light and you’ll see the shop.
From Asakusa area, we took a 10-15 minutes stroll to Tokyo Sky Tree, a remarkable landmark of Tokyo. With a height of 634 meters (634 can be read as “Musashi”, a historic name of the Tokyo Region), it is the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest in the world at the time of its completion.
We chanced upon Rokurinsha (it’s good to have an eating list on hard) on the sixth floor of the Tokyo Solamachi mall located right below Tokyo Skytree. Rokurinsha is famous for tsukemen and the broth is made with chicken bones, niboshi (dried baby sardines), sababushi (dried, smoked mackerel flakes) and katsuobushi (dried, smoked bonito flakes), along with vegetables. In the broth were negi (leek), chashu, fish cake, bamboo shoot, ajitama egg and gyofun (dry fish powder). The gyofun is really something – enough to transport us to umami heaven.
Full review here.
Rokurinsha 六厘舎 – Skytree
Add: Tokyo Solamachi, Level 6, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo Japan.
Tel: +03 5809 7368
Hours: 11am – 11pm (last order 10pm)
Getting Here: Oshiage Skytree (Hanzomon, Toei Asakusa and Keisei-Oshiage lines); Tokyo Skytree (Tobu Skytree Line)
We also spent some time at Tokyo Solamachi, a large shopping complex call located at the base of Tokyo Skytree.
Tokyo Sky Tree
Getting Here: Tokyo Skytree Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line, Oshiage Station on the Asakusa Subway Line, Hanzomon Subway Line and Keisei Oshiage Line or 20 minute walk across the Sumida River from Asakusa.
Hours: 8 am to 10 pm daily
First observatory: 2060 yen
Second observatory: additional 1030 yen
(an additional 40-740 yen is charged for time-specific advance reservations)
For foreign tourists only:
Fast Skytree Single Ticket (first observatory): 3000 yen
Fast Skytree Combo Ticket (first and second observatories): 4000 yen
Do you know where is the cheapest place to shop when in Tokyo? It’s Ameyoko, short name for Ameya Yokocho and it is an open air market, just like our pasar malam. This place is always lively with vendors calling out to potential customers and there are countless shops that carry shoes, clothing, and even international knick-knacks.
JR: short walk from Ueno Station Central Exit, Okachimachi Station North Exit
Tokyo Metro: short walk from Ueno Station Exit 5B, Naka-okachimachi Station / Ueno-hirokoji Station Exit A2/A5/A7
Toei Subway: short walk from Ueno-okachimachi Station Exit A7
Takoyaki from this humble little stall call Minatoya is a must try! Remember to go crazy with the mayo, sauce and toppings. 200 yen for 4.
Famous 500 yen unagi specialty shop in Ameyoko.
For dinner, we had some life-changing gyutan (ox tongues) at Negishi Ueno 3153. We ordered a set menu that consists of different part of grilled ox tongue, beef soup, rice and grated yam. The front part of tongue has more lean meat while the hinder part is bit of tender. So tender, so juicy and so good!
Negishi Ueno 3153
Address: Japan, 110-0007 Tokyo, Taito, Uenokoen, 1−57, Ueno3153（ サイゴーサン ）2f
Tel: +81 3-3834-5088
Hours: 11AM–11PM daily
Other outlets are all over Tokyo. Please check here.
Just one station away from Ueno is Akihabara, the electric town of Tokyo. It is also a mecca for Otaku, that roughly translates to “fanboy” or “fangirl” that generally refers to those passionate about manga or anime.
It was an eye opening experience for us as we walked into M’s Adult Department Store, a seven-floor sex goods shop next to Akihabara Station. No photograpgy is allowed in this narrow, maze like space.
M’s Pop Life adult department store Akihabara
Add: 1 Chome-15-13 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Hours: 10AM–11PM daily
For supper, we tried having some sushis from a standing sushi bar. Starting from 75 yen, the sushis were cheap and fresh. You eat at the counter where the chef prepares your sushi right in front of you upon order.
Add: 1-21 Sakumacho Kanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Hours: 11:00 to 23:00 (Monday through Friday);11:00 to 21:30 (Saturdays,Sundays, holidays)
Getting Here: Akihabara Stn, 2min
Other outlets here.
We planned to get up early to visit Tsukiji Market for live tuna auction but failed miserably. Tsukiji Market is the world’s largest, busiest fish market and even if we arrived at 10 am, the market is still bustling with activities.
Getting Here: Tsukiji Market is just above Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Oedo Subway Line. Alternatively, it can be reached in a five minute walk from Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Subway Line. The closest JR station is Shimbashi, from where you can walk to the market in about 15 minutes.
Important: Tsukiji Market is expected to close and move to a new site in Toyosu in the near future. The move was originally scheduled for November 2016, but then delayed indefinitely by the governor. It is now expected to happen around winter 2017/2018 at the earliest.
Needless to say a sushi breakfast is in order. We chose Sushi Bentomi located next to Sushi Daiwa and Sushi Dai because this particular sushi shop has the shortest queue. We tried the 3800 yen and 2600 yen set, both were quite good. The chefs were really friendly too!
From Tsukiji Market, we took the subway to Roppongi, an upscale area where people dress to impress and be seen. Beautiful shops and plenty of eateries in and around Roppongi Midtown and Roppongi Hill.
There are many famous desserts shops in Roppongi area and we managed to try two. One of it was L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon that features a high-end patisserie where you can get all kinds of upscale French pastries and individual desserts to-go. We tried a seasonal yuzu cake and it was so good!
Next up, it was the legendary mille crepe cake from HARBS! Six layers of thin crepes filled with fresh fruits and mixed cream, so heavenly! However they require a every guest to order a drink, which costs 600-880 yen per drink so it is best to take out!
HARBS Roppongi Hills
Address: Roppongi Hills, 6 Chome-10-2 Roppongi, 港区 Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
Tel: +81 3-5772-6191
Hours: 11AM–10PM daily
Just station away from Roppongi is the Ginza shopping district. Featuring the most exclusive stores and brands, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel, this is window shopping at its finest.
Some of the things that impressed us were the futuristic cars at Nissan Crossing, expensive chocolates at Shiseido Parlour, USD 3500 killer heels at Christian Louboutin and artisan tea from Jugetsudo.
For dinner, we went to Ginza Kagari, a very famous ramen shop in Ginza area. The shop does a tori paitan, which means creamy chicken ramen. It is very different from the usual pork based tonkotsu ramen. Instead of the original outlet, we went to their second outlet at Echika Fit and there’s no queue! Our immediate reaction was “wow”, right after we a took a sip of the creamy and thick soup that resembles the colour and consistency of cream.
Our full review here.
Kagari Honten (Main Shop)
Chuo-ku, Ginza 4-4-1, Ginza A Building 1F 中央区銀座4-4-1銀座Aビル1F
Hours: 11 am to 3.30 pm, 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm, closed on Sunday
Kagari Echika Fit
Chuo-ku, Ginza 4-1-2, Echika Fit 中央区銀座4-1-2, Echika Fit
Hours: 10 am to 11 pm
After dinner, we headed to Haneda Airport for some last minute shopping and supper at Yoshinoya. This concludes our short but fruitful Tokyo trip. For more information, feel free to contact us.