Help me with my Tokyo trip! I would love suggestions on how to maximize my experience while visiting Tokyo. What to do see and do, where to eat, getting around the city and more, thank you!
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I am visiting Tokyo in mid June of 2016. No need to ask of course, I am on award tickets flying Business Class, come on! I am staying at the Tokyo Conrad as a Diamond HHonors Elite for 3 nights for, you guessed it, freeeee!
This is my first time that I get out of the Narita airport! I am looking for any input on the following:
What are the MUST places to visit/do? I understand the Fish Market is one…
What are some recommended places to eat? Please be aware I am allergic to shrimp (so sad).
Any tips for my stay at the Conrad? Anyone have the manager’s email? How do I maximize my chances getting the Presidential Suite?
Flying to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific Business Class. What is my best lounge option in Narita and is it worth it getting there early?
Getting around from/to airport to Conrad and in the city? ATMs to get cash work fine?
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!
I am in the process of arranging to meet a few friends already. If you are there and available to meet let me know and I will do my best. If you ever used my links, you are first in line lol.
A colleague suggested I do this bike tour but, sadly, the guy is not doing them for the dates I am in Tokyo. Anything similar that will allow me to see the city in a similar fashion?
I have also downloaded this Google Docs document titled Uncharted Tokyo and will be checking it out.
And I leave you with this.
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When you wake up jetlagged and early the first day go right to the fish market. You pretty much want to get there at the crack of dawn so you don’t miss the auction. Then do sushi for breakfast. There are so many things to do in Tokyo and it is so spread out. Just pick some that interest you and get on public transportation. Just trying to get through the vast train stations is an experience. Enjoy your trip!
Google is your friend:
Been ages since I was in Tokyo so no “real” gems for you. Go to a baseball game if it fits your schedule – unlike any sporting event you have ever attended…
Question: if I fall asleep watching this boring sport in the U.S., will I fall asleep when watching it in Japan?
Yes, but you’ll do it much more efficiently and somehow become better at math and science.
Never been to Tokyo yet, but…
We’ve used the Tokyo Free Guide and I highly recommend it–very efficient, very personal way to see exactly what you want.
Another recommendation for Tokyo Free Guide. Sign up today!
I stayed at that Conrad. It’s nice. The food in the club is good, it’s from the famous chef’s restaurant downstairs. Walk to the fish market, go very early. You can only get cash at ATM at post office and a store like 7-11. Regular ATMs at bank don’t work for US cards.
Walk through the park next to the hotel and take a boat to a touristy temple place other side of Tokyo. Also go to a department store on nearby fancy shopping street at morning opening time. Quite an experience. Eat at restaurant in dept. store.
We flew out from Haneda, took a taxi. Narita is very far, take train or bus.
The Common man says
if you are into anime and Miyazaki in particular, check out the Ghibli museum (need to buy tickets in advance)
Thanks for all the comments, keep them coming!
Going for a long run today. My wife made me download this app “MapMyRun”, she said it is great.
Before I escape to Buffallo Wings to watch the Champions League Final!
Later today we are going to see our daughter perform in yet another dance show.
Not sure about a blog post tomorrow…but knowing me…I probably will!
Be excellent to each other.
Instead try the Strava app, better.
If you’re flying to Hong Kong on CX, I suggest you change your ticket to depart Haneda. The lounge there is great, and the location is much more convenient.
Airport Limo Bus, they have a promo, but r/t get 3-day subway pass, door to door terminal to hotel. Use it.
Get cash at Citi ATM at the airport, always worked for me.
Conrad will upgrade you to Bay view, exec room, don’t expect more than that.
Their sauna, spa, gym is free for you, they have both dry and we saunas, enjoy it before your cocktails.
Fish market is close, but gardens are even closer. Start your day there, take a river boat ferry out, it will take you out the bay, up the inlet, you pass 20 bridges, cool architecture, great way to see Tokyo from water, about 1 hour.
Stop at the Asahi beer tower, go up to top floor, get a nice cold beer at the observation deck, best $5 beer with a view in Tokyo.
Robot Restaurant in Shinjiku, look it up, I would say top 5 spot to visit. Great 2h show, Wooten $60, buy online ticket for discount.
Emperial Palace grounds, nice to walk by, but that’s about it. Akihabara ‘hood has Maid Cafe’s, surreal experience, especially if you like coffee or tea.
Shrines, temples, museums, etc, as any big city, Tokyo has a vast collection.
Enjoy your trip! Too bad I will miss you by just two weeks. I need more Conrad bears, so I will be staying there as well. 😉
I myself am currently looking for Tokyo suggestions, and one that I found interesting (and maybe you will find interesting) is sumo watching. Of course it depends on the time of your visit (I will be there in September, and during that month there is Grand Sumo Tournament going on in Tokyo). Here is a link to “tips for watching sumo in Japan” from The Travel Sisters’ blog:
And I think trying wagyu steak is a must (unless you are a vegetarian). Here is a link from Hungry For Points blog that mentions one of wagyu steak places:
Love the doggy gifs, keep them coming ! ! !
Posting from Florence.
Everyone’s most see/do are different, with 3 days I would stick to the “top things to do”.
I agree you should change airport to HND just so much closer to town. NRT to town is about an hour on the train very comfortable.
I would skip robot restaurant and spend the $$ and time for an after 6pm ticket to Disney Sea. That is the most unique Disney park anywhere. Metropolitan building obersvation deck is free, on a good day, you can see mt Fuji. There is also a cateferia in the building that serves good food to both employee and visitors.
I would recommend eating at 7-11s, any noodle shop with a small line at lunch time, and conveyer belt sushi (it will be an interesting experience). I can bet, most people couldn’t tell the difference between good and bad Japanese ramen (btw ramen is not even Japanese……undon and soba are)
Have a good trip, we will be going back for 4 day on Labor Day on JaL first of course.
I have 3 words for you. Mentioned above. Tokyo Free Guide. They are and we’re an amazing resource for me in February. Have fun. Don’t forget the bullet trains.
Again, thanks to everyone who has commented! What a huge plus of having a blog this is. You are like a travel wisdom brain trust!
Definitely doing this bus to/from the Conrrad.
Not sure I can change to something better to fly out Haneda at this point. It’s mostly because I am not going to have time to deal with it. Or maybe I will use the AA twitter team, they have been really awesome to deal with! I might though…
I am very bummed it looks like I won’t do the bike tour. But I am hoping someone else may register and the guy who does them knows I am still interested.
I think I am not going to go for the Tokyo Free Guide. I knew about it. The reason is mostly I am going to see at least a couple of friends and one lives there so I may have a guide with me anyway. But it is mostly I do not want to commit to a particular day and, in general, I like to do my own thing anyway not sticking to a schedule. The bike tour was VERY recommended by a colleague who lived in Tokyo for years. Did I say I am bummed about it? Oh yes I did.
Not into the robot show and I am not into Disney, baseball, anime and sumo. I so appreciate the suggestions though, thank you again!
I need to be careful with the food. I have a severe allergy to shrimp (which developed in my 40s, how odd is that?). So I usually let my wife order for me when it comes to Japanese restaurants (well, all Asian restaurants actually, she knows what I like).
About 3 weeks to go and I am excited! I need to get out of Dodge and…recharge!
Another thing with the Tokyo Free Guide is….what if the person assigned to me, well, we just don’t hit it. It happens you know. It would be too unfortunate to spend a day with someone you don’t really like. Plus it is within a month too.
That steak looked awesome but I just can’t pay $250 for one, just can’t do it. I enjoy fine dining every once in a while but, deep down, I eat everything (except shrimp and %$# durian!). Plus, I plan to maximize the free food/drinks in the Conrad lounge…I just hope I held myself back so I can be in a state to go out hehe.
I think the parks/gardens and the fish market are in for sure. I have lots of material to go over and I will likely do it on the plane it appears, so much stuff to attend to before departure. All these buyout offers #dreaming Lot will depend on the availability of the two Tokyo based friends, they have a job and you know how hard the Japanese work!
I will print all the comments a week before I leave and add it to my reading material. No movies in my JAL flight, it is Tokyo research time 🙂
Again, thanks to all. I am grateful and humbled for your help.
here’s the link for the cheap bus to/from narita. quite nice if ginza is your destination:
Better By Design says
The above notes are all great stuff (HND if possible, Friendly Airport Limousine Bus, 7-11s for food & ATMs, get cash at the Citi ATM at airport, buy a subway card SUICA etc, fish market first day, etc etc).
If you aren’t in for Disney Sea or the Robot Restaurant, fair enough –
I’d consider at some point visiting Tokyo Station – decent chance you’ll be connecting through it anyways – the underground shopping areas (like Character Street with a lot of Japanese Kawaii character stores, Ramen Street with a bunch of ramen places, etc) connect through the nearby buildings and to some of the famous department stores – lots of local flavor in a single stop.
I’m also surprised no one mentioned the Shibuya area, if nothing else to see the famous mass scramble crossing – it seems everyone takes pictures/videos of that, plus the Hachiko statue there as well.
If you want to get “out of Tokyo”, it’s a short-ish train ride down to the coast and various Buddha temples at Kamakura.