The Ultimate Tokyo Travel Itinerary Guide for Newbies

For first time visitors to Japan, I have to warn you that this country is very addictive! You’ll always find something interesting and unique no matter what the season is. This Tokyo itinerary is about my recent 10-day trip in Tokyo.

If you’re someone who loves free and easy travel like I do, I would really recommend that you keep on reading this itinerary. Also, it would be ideal that you visit 1 suggested place per day (or 2 if you are feeling ambitious) and take your time while you are at the location and not in a hurry so that you could soak up on the experience and truly enjoy the moment.

Without further adieu, as a Tokyo newbie, the following are suggested main itinerary:

*Suggested Day trips outside Tokyo reachable approximately less than 2 hours by train or bus will be covered in here.

Explore the Streets of Shinjuku

First, on our list would be exploring the streets of Shinjuku– one of the busiest places in the world; which is also surrounded by one of Tokyo’s most popular entertainment and shopping districts. You should include visiting the tranquil Shinjuki Gyoen (Shinjuku Park), the modern skyscraper district of Western Shinjuku, the famous Godzilla head at Toso building, and enjoy a game of baseball at Oslo Battling center. I was told that Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Japan, so I decided to give it a go.

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Shibuya for Shopping!

Although Shibuya is just a ward of Tokyo, you can’t deny the fact that it’s quite famous for its fashion and culture. It’s the shopping haven of shopaholics, but there’s also the famous Shibuya crossing which was featured in many blockbuster movies such as the Resident Evil, The Fast and the Furious etc. OK! The trick of capturing the best shot of Shibuya crossing is either from the walkway between the Keio Station (Inokashira Line), where there is an open spot that you can get some good shots or from Shibuya’s Starbucks’ large windows and seating on the second floor. That was my vantage spot! However, it can be really crowded in the Starbucks to get a good seat.

I highly suggest that you should come back here during the “shopping days” at the end of your 10-day trip.

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Harajuku for Interesting Fashion and Meiji Shrine for History

Do you love crazy and unique outfits? If so, then you’ll definitely love this place! Harajuku is the home of teen fashion and cosplay (especially if you’ll go there during Sundays). There’s plenty of shopping that you can do, but what I loved most are the yummy crepes you can easily get a hold of– there are crepe stands everywhere!

Then, let’s not forget the Meiji Shrine– I’m putting it together with Harajuku because you’ll just use the same train station to go there. Meiji shrine is one of the many shrines in Japan, but what made it very interesting is the fact that it has a lot to offer about modern Japanese history. Don’t forget to write down your prayer or wishes on an “ema”!

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Yoyogi Park for a picnic

the park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo. Yoyogi Park located adjacent to Harajuku Station and Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. Yoyogi Park is divided into two sections by the main road with other parts of the park containing Yoyogi National Gymnasium and an open theatre where community groups hold festivals and concerts. Bring a few beers and your bento box (lunch box). It’s a beautiful and relaxing place for a picnic with your friends.

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Asakusa, which include Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Dori for more History, Yummy Snacks, and Crafts.

Asakusa has the ambience of “old” Tokyo– that’s what I felt upon visiting this place. Then, you can also visit the Sensoji temple, a famous Buddhist temple, and last, but definitely not least, the Nakamise Dory that’s filled with local snacks, crafts, and several shopping lanes.

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Tokyo Sky Tree for Breathtaking Views

The Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and the landmark of Japan’s capital. It’s also the centrepiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town in the Sumida district, and near Asakusa.

What I loved most about Tokyo Skytree is the large shopping complex it has, the aquarium located on the lower decks, and the observation decks that offer a magnificent view of Tokyo. I would suggest that you go around 3.30 PM when the sun is not too bright and yet not too dark to get an aerial shot of Tokyo (I hate my images to be over exposed). Furthermore, watching the sun sets in Tokyo on approximately 634 meters above ground is priceless.

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Alternative: Tokyo Tower

If you are not able to go up the observation deck of Tokyo Sky tree, you can go to Tokyo Tower instead! Tokyo Tower was the main broadcasting and communication tower of Japan from 1958 to 2012  (yes, 54years!) when Tokyo Sky Tree was built. I went there around 9 pm, the perfect time to see the city lights and the tower itself was lit.

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Ginza for More Shopping

If the Shibuya district didn’t satisfy your shopping cravings, then you definitely have to visit Ginza as well. You better bring a lot of cash with you, ’cause there’s a lot of nice (expensive) things that you can buy here. It is more for the upscale or I would say, generic brands.

Akihabara: The Capital of Anime

Do you love customised life-like girl dolls and have been looking for a place where you can buy different parts of the dolls, such as the limbs, legs, eyes, breasts, hair, lashes, and anything else possible? If your answer is yes, the Akihabara is the place to be! This area is very famous for its electronic shops and Otaku culture.

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Ichigaya: Fishing by the River

Give yourself a break and have one “slow” day in Tokyo.  The Ichigaya Fishing Center is one of the famous fishing spots in Tokyo. However, unlike other fishing centres, you have to know that it’s only for leisure fishing. That means, whatever you catch, you’ll have to return it after. However, if you reached a certain weight, then you can fish for another hour!

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Omotasendo: Cafes, Shopping, and People Watching

The first time I tried coming to this tiny little outpost, I’ve wandered for what felt like hours! It’s a lesson of perseverance, but I’m glad that I’ve found the perfect place with the best-tasting coffee as I scour through this shopping district – Omotesando Koffee. I braved freezing temperatures and queued up for an hour to have a taste of the alleged delicious coffee. In the end, I order the Baileys Cappuccino. It was worth it.

There you have it, these are the places I visited during my recent trip to Tokyo, Japan. Though, unfortunately, this article don’t cover my day trips outside Tokyo and my food escapades.

Like I said, suggested Day trips outside Tokyo reachable approximately less than 2 hours by train or bus will be covered in here.

Comments

One comment on “The Ultimate Tokyo Travel Itinerary Guide for Newbies”
  1. Nice guide! I agree, it’s such an addicting city. I tried to see everything during my visit and it was impossible. I’ll have to go back to see Asakusa.

    Like

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