This blog is about my trip to Japan in 2017 and @schmmuck 's trip in 2018. He also travels frequently while managing his full time job. On his trip he had covered some really awesome food joints across Japan. You're sure to drool over the pics.
Documenting his and mine itineraries, food hauls, trips and tricks so you travelers can get the best out your Japan trip
Before we jump into itinerary I suggest please go through my blog about planning your Japan trip https://www.outofofficedaku.com/post/planningjapan This will give you a lot more insight and help you understand Japan. You will not only enjoy this blog more but also will help you planning your trip.
Against each attraction I have tried to mention
(Mode of transportation to reach it/Station name) (Entry fee)
The details of the next destination will have info on how to reach from first destination
Confused...Read on you will figure out...
Get to Japan and as you make yourself comfortable in your hostel/hotel check around for supermarkets. You would love to try out all the unique items to eat and carry on the go.
Supermarkets to look for
Tip: Living in a hostel with residential complex. Just look out for kids going to school or office goers early morning. They tend to pick up snacks on the way to the station. The best places to have a good breakfast and start your day.
Kaminarimon Temple - (Metro/Asakusa Station)
- The Kaminarimon was first built in 941 AD by Taira no Kinmasa, a military commander
Sensoji Temple (Walking)
- Tokyo's oldest temple
Nakamise Shopping Street (Walking)
- Nakamise Street which connects the main gate of Sensoji Temple, Kaminarimon Gate, and the main hall
Ueno Street (Metro/Ueno Station)
- Ueno street is also know as Ameyoko is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations
- Open air market
Tokyo National Museum (Walking)
- Established in 1872, is the oldest Japanese national museum, the largest art museum in Japan and one of the largest art museums in the world
Akihabara (Metro/Suehirocho or Okachimachi Station)
- Famed for its electronics retailers, ranging from tiny stalls to vast department stores
When at Akihabara check the below things to visit:
Maid Cafes - Cosplay themed restaurants
Laox - Tax free souvenir items
Don Quijote - Discount store
Radio Kaikan - Animation goods
Super Potato - All types of video games and consoles
Gamers - Video games, CDs, software related to games
Mandarake - Collectibles
Tip: If you have plans to shop from here suggest keep this visit to the end of your trip
Tsukiji Outer Market (Metro/Tsukijishijo Station/Free)
- Also known as Toyosu Market. If you're here at 5 am you can see fish auctions marketplace. You can visit it any time of the day for some delicious food
Tamagoyaki - Japanese style omelette on a stick
Tip: Please don't come in way of the workers in the market. Early morning is a peak time. Also stay within the marked safety yellow lines if checking out the area which has trucks unloading
This reminds me of how efficiently Japan operates. So I was sitting and watching the sea food trucks come in for loading. The lady supervisor explained me how they do it.
Normal trucks open from the back and need two or more persons to unload and load goods.
This is how their truck opens up. All goods are unloaded and kept behind the yellow line. A single forklift operator unloads the whole truck in <10 mins. And takes another 15 mins to reload it.
During this 30 mins break the driver of the vehicle finishes his morning breakfast and is ready for the trip. Normal trucks which open from back take more then 2+ hours for the same task. Also long boxes are a pain to load in them. Efficient...
Back to the daywise itinerary
Hamarikyu Gardens (Walking 500 meters/300¥)
- Public park in middle of the city
Shibuya Crossing (Metro/Shibuya Station)
- World's busiest pedestrian crossing
Tip: Get to the Starbucks outlet and go on the first floor for some epic views of the crossing. Also good location for your time lapses
Uobei or Genki Sushi - Delivers your sushi at top speeds directly to your table by miniature bullet train
Hachiko Memorial Statue (Metro/Shinjuku Station)
- Bronze statue honoring Hachiko, the famously loyal Akita dog.
Tip: Want to know more watch the movie "Hachiko - A dog's tale. Make sure you have a tissue box handy
Harajuku (Metro/Harajuku Station)
- Center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Should not be missed
Meiji Jingu Gardens
- Public garden adjacent to Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Metro/Tochomae Station/Free)
- Observatory tower. It's is possible to see Meiji Jingu, Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Skytree and Mount Fuji
Omote-sando (Metro/Omote-sando Station)
- Designer boutiques and shops of international brands
- Six narrow alleys make up this place which are connected via more narrow passages or as Schmmuck says " This is where people come to get sloshed"
Eat at Yakitori Alley or the memory lane. Its walking distance from Shinjuku Station
Harajuku Gyoza - Tasty dumplings
Day trips or one night stay trips from Tokyo
Nikko - It's a Unesco World Heritage Site. Small town tucked away in the mountains. It also has many Shinto shrines and temples. On a clear day you can view Mt. Fuji from here.
Hakone - Part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It's on way to Mt. Fuji. Can be stopped here for a night and then headed over to Mt. Fuji
Matsumoto - Mountain town which has the black and white Crow Castle. Stroll along the Nakamachi-dori street.
Some of the biggest Chinatowns. 30 mins from Tokyo
- Uobei - Conveyor belt sushi
Tip: If visiting Yokohama and love cars don't forget to visit Nissan Headquarters and check out the cars. It even has the Nissan GTR. The staff are super cool and helpful.
Spending a week in Tokyo also would be less. Choose your things and make your personalized itinerary. Here's few more in case you would be interested
Yanaka - If your want to experience old Tokyo
Sugamo (Old Ladies' Harajuku) - Series of shops catering to elders. Most shops are wheelchair friendly
Ryogoku - If sumo wrestling interests you this is the place to go
Tokyo water bus - Sightseeing via boats
Ghibli museum - If animation fascinates you
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tip: Don't forget to take the 8 am metro from Shinjuku. Dress well :)
The above itinerary can be done in 2 days or 3/4 days. Depends on your pace and time.
Let's head to Mt. Fuji. This can be a day trip from Tokyo or you can make your hub at Kyoto or even stayover near Mt. Fuji. Or start from Tokyo, do a day trip at Mt. Fuji and headover to Kyoto. Again depends on the time you have.
Mt. Fuji (Train/Otsuki and then transfer to Fujikyu Railway for Kawaguchiko)
- Mount Fuji or Fujisan) is Japan's highest mountain. Don't think I need to give description for this attraction
Tip: Check weather and plan your trip. A clear day would be suggested
When reaching the railway station you can buy a pass which has a cable car + bus trip + a boat trip. It's worth it
- Lovely views of Mt. Fuji and the city