I spent a few days in Tokyo even though I was staying in family one train stop outside of Tokyo proper. So there’s a lot to go over in this post so this is broken by area.
The easiest way to get around Tokyo is by train which seems very scary when you look at the map but is very easy and easier than NYC’s. There are English translations for each stop but it’s easier to look at the number of the train station (i.e. T-18) since “T” corresponds to the train line and the number corresponds to the station. So you know you’re going in the right direction if you look at the numbers.
The train is super efficient and so are the Japanese. There are transfer maps at each station so it will tell you which car to be in if you want to transfer at a certain station to another line. Plus people line up to get on the train (which blows my mind because in NYC people just crowd the door to get in the train).
But Tokyo is a great city to walk around. It’s safe and clean so if you don’t want to drop the Yen to take the train, walking is another great option.
Harajuku (known for the teens with the crazy outfits)
Takeshita Dori, a street known for shopping and good snacks. You’ll find the famous Harajuku girls hanging out here with their outrageous outfits. We walked down the street which was packed to Kiddy Land, known for famous Japanese cartoon toys.
Shinbuyu (the famous Shinbuyu crossing!)
Hachiko Statute – I’ve never heard of this loyal dog before but according to legend, the dog waited for his master every day in front of Shibuya Station.
Nonbei Yokocho aka “drunkard alley” a street known for tiny bars that only fit a few people each. Don’t be fooled by the looks of the little bars, they aren’t that cheap!
Shinjuku (known for Japan’s tallest buildings & shopping)
This area reminded me a lot of Times Square. The buildings, the lights, everything…
Made a stop by the super small Samurai Museum. It makes up for it’s size with a great English speaking guides plus you can play dress up as well!
Asakusa – a huge tourist hot spot with a lot of history
There are a ton of tourists everywhere but it’s an awesome place. Sensijo Temple and Nakamise Dori are the highlights.
Nakamise Dori leads to the Sensoji Temple. It’s essentially a long “street” where you walk down towards the temple. There’s a lot of good food and little shops to buy souvenirs. As for food, check out this post.
Once you get to the end of Nakamise Dori, you get to the Sensoji “temple” which is really a huge temple with other temples around it.
Also from Asakusa, you get really good views of the Tokyo Skytree which is relatively new. I didn’t get to go (because I got lost a few times) but it looks cool.
Some other cool things I saw….the Tokyo Tower, which has awesome views at the top (large bottom left) and the Imperial Palace (or the outside of it – top right and bottom right).
I also stopped by Roppongi which is famous for it’s nightlife but also the art museums by day. As a relative said, it’s known for it’s yuppie scene. There’s an awesome high end “mall/shopping center” where Mori Art Museum is located which is known for it’s modern art.
Tokyo is amazing and would definitely be on my list of places to visit again or ever live! It reminds me so much of NYC but so efficient!