Our final days in Japan we visited Tokyo! Let me tell you, it was like NYC on steroids but a million times cleaner! We did this at the end of our trip but if I did it again or recommended to anyone I would suggest doing Tokyo at first as it’s sensory overload and very large, by the end of our trip we were pretty exhausted and wish I had more energy to tackle such a big city.
Things to do/see:
Shinkansen– to get from Kyoto to Tokyo we opted to take the “bullet train”, it’s pretty expensive (think Amtrak business class prices) but something different to experience as it’s one of the fastest trains in the world. Do as the Japanese do and get a beer and bento box to bring along and enjoy on your ride.
Imperial Palace– we had hoped to go inside or at least close to the palace but it was shut off from visitors so instead we walked around the gorgeous gardens.
Shibuya Crossing– this is the busiest crossing walk intersection in the world and it’s quite the sight to see! Hopefully you aren’t claustrophobic 😉 you can get a great view from Starbucks’ second floor but the line to order a drink and get up there was very long so instead we paid __ at __ for a view all to ourselves!
Senso-ji Temple– the oldest temple in Tokyo. This temple is not nearly as pretty as the ones in Kyoto as there were not grand gardens but still amazing to see such an old temple in a modern city.
Tokyo National Museum– it was a little chilly and rainy the one day so we opted for a visit to the museum and highly recommend it as their collection is huge and unique. There are many other museums around here too, you could easily make a full day out of just hoping from one to another.
Places to eat:
Tsukiji Outer Market– like any market, here you can find and enjoy local, fresh food. This market had a lot more fish and less sweets than the Kyoto one but still a must! The Kobe beef was a favorite of mine.
Tsukiji Outer Market/ Fish Market– this location changed so we visited the new market. Honestly unless you plan to get there at 5am to see the auction there is no need to visit as you only see sterile empty stalls from below and no action.
Ichiran Ramen– a couple in our tour suggested this ramen place as they also have a few locations in NYC but started in Tokyo. A very cool experience as you place your order on a machine then sit at a bar with a curtain and your food magically appears! We ate here 2x during our visit it was that good!
Robot Restaurant– this was one of my favorite experiences in Japan! It was completely bizarre and as soon as we entered I thought I’d hate it as it was cheesy, over the top, loud and crowded but as soon as the show starts you get really into it as the actors pump you up and you feel the energy from other show goers. Don’t purchases the dinner here, instead opt for a snack and drink and get dinner elsewhere.
Yakitori Alley– this is a short walk from the Robot Restaurant so we headed here right after for some drinks and had the best time ever. There are over 200 bars in this area, most seating less than 10. Our few hours at the bar we met people from India, Sweden, Australia, Japan (obvi) and some more Americans.