8 days in Tokyo Fun-tinerary

We spent about  7 nights in Tokyo and 1 day in Hakone.  It might be too many days to spend in 1 place for a lot of the people but we likxe to explore one place fully without feeling rushed.  Our next stop is going to be 2 weeks on the other parts of Japan: Kyoto, Osaka, etc!IMG_3867.jpg

We tried to organize each day most efficiently by location so we don’t have to waste time with commuting back and forth.  

Lodging:  In retrospect, we would have liked to stay in Shinjuku because we ended up visiting the area at least 3-4 times!

Things we didn’t get to do:

  • Owl restaurant
  • Spending a night at Haokone Ryokan  or hiking there

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Tuesday, November 8

  • Woke up at 7am.
  • Shibuya Crossing:
    • Starbucks: observe the craziness from the 2nd floor of starbucks.
      • Address: 2-15-1 Shibuya, Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture
  • Hachiko: Just a quick glance of the doggie statue and took a picture.
  • Meiji Shrine:
  • 11AM Fuunji:  Bomb Ramen!  Gotta get there 10 minutes before they open (11am), because there will be a line later!IMG_3527
  • Yasuda Sushi
    • Great experience here! Reserve  in advance, so you can sit at the sushi bar.  Sitting at the table is not as fun!  Every piece of sushi was phenomenal, especially the rice, which was extraordinary and each piece of fish was delicious-like no sushi I have ever tasted before. Chef Yasuda was had some hilarious stories.  2016-11-08 17.52.56.jpgEnter a caption

Wednesday, November 9

Shinjuku

Breakfast

Lunch:

  • On the way back, stop by: Top 10 Depachik
  • Pm:
    • Daiso 100JPY store
    • Shinjuku pretty Christmas lights (location: Odakyu: 1-1-3 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku 160-8001 Tokyo Prefecture )
    • Yasukuni Street: long street that cuts across central Tokyo (including Isetan’s Men’s). In East Shinjuku the street is lined with neon-lit buildings filled with Karaoke and Izakaya. It’s the most photogenic street in Shinjuku.  (we didn’t do this)
    • Golden Gai for izakaya bars located in a small alley. 

Harajuku

Thursday, November 10

  • Disneyland (50 minutes from Shibuya) (opens at 8 am)
  • 2016-11-10 10.03.06We packed lunch with bento boxes from Isetan Department store.    They checked our backpacks very superficially and we had no problem bringing the food in.  Food prices in Disneyland are relatively cheap though compared to America one.  Churros were $3 and waffles were only $4.  
  • We forgot our souvenirs last night at a bar in Golden Gai, so we ended up going back to grab it.  We ended up stopping by Toraji restaurant since it was on the way.  
  • Toraji: Korean bbq restaurant with very good quality Wagyu meat.  Imagine GyuKaku but with fancier meat.  We shared a 6000yen dinner set between 2 of us and we were both pretty full.   
      • Tori-No-Ichi at Ootori Jinja Shrine: It was like a Night market/Rake night at Shinjuku
  • A little tip on foreign transaction fees:  If you use your card without foreign transaction fees, they are still using the conversion rates similar to what a  post-office  would when you exchange cash.  But the benefit of using credit cards is that at least you get points and convenient to carry!  

Friday, November 11

    • 2)  Ginza Akebono Mochi Shop: (20 min walk north west of Tsukiji market: take the subway!!).   Fancy mochi place located just across the street from A1 exit of Ginza station.  Mochi ranges from 3-400 JPY.  We didn’t end up getting any though.  But next door, there is this
      • Manneken Belgian mini waffles place that we tried.  It was the best waffles I’ve ever had.  Get the purple one which is a sweet potato flavor. MNnekan wakes soon bomb!!!!!
    • 1) Pablo mini Cheese tart with different flavors: https://www.yelp.com/biz/pablo-mini-秋葉原店-千代田区: close by the JR train Akihabara station on our way to the electronic stores.    They also have one in Shinjuku too.
    • Ueno park
      • We can see how this park can look gorgeous during cherry blossom times.  They do have christmas lights on the trees though.  It should be beautiful at night.
    • 2) Ameyoko (Downtown/Taito) is a flea market where you can buy cheap kit kats located just South of Ueno park.
      • Beware: every pharmacy store has different prices for kit kats.  The lowest price for  kit kats for 200 yens each.  Strawberry ones are not that good.
    • At night:
      • Izakaya
      • We ended up going to Teppan donnojodo instead.  .

Saturday (Udon ⇒ Weddings at Senso-ji temple ⇒ Asahi headquarters)

  • Tsurutontan Udon (11am-)
    • Tsurutontan, 〒106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, 六本木3-14-12 六本木3丁目ビル2F
    • Huge bowls, so it will definitely fill you up.  The duck has a nice broth but the meat was really tough/overcooked.  The curry broth felt a bit diluted.
    • 2016-11-12 11.20.24
  • Asakusa
    • Nakamise Dori Shopping area can be found on the road starting from Asakusa subway station and ending at Senso-ji temple.  Save room in your tummy because there are a ton of dessert places here.  They also have more skewers, crabs, etc as you get closer to the temple though.
      • (11am-11pm)
    • Senso-ji temple 6am to 5pm Free (Asakusa) (northwest of Asahi Beer)
      • Pineapple bread Located west of the temple itself.  Get 3 for 500JPY.  So yummy when fresh.  You can even request ice cream and make it an ice cream sandwich for 450 JPY.
    • SkyTower Mall: (13 minutes east walking from Asahi head quarters)
      • I am glad I stumbled upon this place.  Very modern mall with stores like pokemon, souvenir shops, food courts, etc.
      • Go up all the way to the top called Garden Dome, where you can see the Tokyo tower.  There are also some benches where you can lay down and relax.
      • World beer museum located on 7th floor of SkyTower: this was a tourist trap with overpriced beers, Tokyo Sky tree town-Solamachi Store.
    • Weather was perfect so we went up to Asahi Beer HQ to see the sunset.  Beers are about 6-900 JPY and Well drinks are about 500-600 JPY.  The negative part about this is that smoking is allowed here.  Get the seating facing west, so you can have ventilation coming in.
    • Dinner:
      • Asakusa Okonomiyaki ($)
        • Great for your first experience making your own Japanese style  pancakes on a grill, while sitting cross legged on Tatami mat.
    • Asakusa is also known for Izakaya and Yakitori restaurants but we didn’t get a chance to check them out in this area.

Sunday (Harajuku with Sam’s friend)

  • Nezu Museum: $10.  Tranqulity with views.  
    • You can get a free stroll outside the museum with a pathway with skinny bamboo trees.However, you have to pay ~ 1000yen to get into the museum.
  • Takeshita Dori:
    • Ice cream Crepes
    • Socks shopping.  2016-11-13 15.02.23
  • Observe weddings in the morning at Meiji Temple.  There were multiple weddings when we went around 3 pm.  These were the quickest wedding ceremony I have ever seen.  Everyone looked pretty serious instead of looking “happy”.  There were a lot of cute kids in kimonos taking family pictures.   Apparently, the kids are supposed to wear kimonos and take pictures at the age of 5 and 7.  
  • Omotesando : located Near apple store.  The street itself is very scenic.  There are a bunch of high end stores like Gucci and Emprio Armani.  
  • Ikebukuro district:  
    • Has a ton of arcade games
  • We went to Waru Waru Izakaya for dinner, which was pretty decent. 

 

Monday: HAKONE:  I do wish we spent a night here at one of the Japanese bed and breakfast places.

Option 1: Romance car (45 minutes from Shinjuku)

  • Onsen
  • Open air museum ($16) (Probably would have been cool but we didn’t do this)
  • Hike (didn’t because we kinda got there late and it was raining)
  • Get a Hakone free pass at Shinjuku Station.  The info centre/desk is called “Odakyu sightseeing….” located on a floor higher up.  Cost: 5140 JPY per person.  So this include 1) your round trip ride via regular slower train to Hakone, 2) attraction rides such as: cable car rides and etc in Hakone, 3) small 5-10% discounts at places such as Onsen, museums etc if you elect to do them.  This is good for 2 days.  There is a 3 day option too if you are spending longer time there.  
  • This ride allows you to access regular train which is slower and the seats are not as nice.  You can upgrade your ride to Romance car (90 minutes one way) for 890JPY more each way.  So the total cost round trip would be 5140 + 890 + 890 = 6920 per person if you elect to ride with Romance ride.  
  • Tip: might wanna reserve the seat online for romance car.  They sell out quick!

 

  • What can you do in Hakone?  
    • It  has street foods near the train station.  
    • The main attraction: onsens/hot springs.  
    • But if you wanna do hiking, you would have to do one of those cable attractions ( a train ride away, which is included in your hakone free tour package.  
  • Hakone Yuryo Onsen
    • Free shuttle bus from train station
      • It comes every 15 minutes between 9 am to 8pm.  
      • This bus makes 2-3 stops along the way.  
      • It will take about 3-5 minutes from the train stop to Yuryo Onsen.  
    • Private onsen does include the towel but the public ones don’t.  
    • Can rent private room from ( ** definitely get the private!)
      • Type 1: 3900 yen
      • Type II: 4900 yen
      • Type III: 5900 yen
    • Massage: 30 minutes for 3400 yen
    • You can make reservation by email: hakoneyuryo@odakyu-hotel.co.jp or call Tel:0460-85-8411IMG_3993
  • We got to Hakone too late to maximize the trip.  This is how I would have done Hakone in retrospect:  
    • Odakyu Express Train from Shinjuku to Odawara (85 min) 9am – 10:30am
    • Hakone Tozan Railway to Gora (35+ min) 10:30-11:10am
    • Hakone Tozan Cablecar to Sounzan (10 min) 11:10-11:20am
    • Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani (10min) 11:20-11:30am
    • Visit the Great Boiling Valley (1.5hr at most; extra time in case of missed trains) 11:30am-1pm
    • Hakone Ropeway to Togendai (20min) 1-1:20pm
    • Cruise at Lake Ashi to Hakone-machi (30 min) 1:20-1:50pm
    • Walk or continue cruise to Moto-Hakone (25 min) 1:50-2:15pm
    • Visit Hakone Shrine (may skip this if required) 2:15-3pm
    • Hakone Yuryo /massage
    • Shuttle Bus to Hakone-Yumoto (35 min/2) 6-6:15pm
    • Odakyu Express Train from Hakone-Yumoto (or Odawara) to Shinjuku (85+ min) 6:15-7:45pm
    • You can obviously skip the parts you don’t want to do and restructure the list.  

Some of the other onsen options.

  • Hakone Kowakien Yunessun (NO NEED TO GET NAKED)
    • 7 different flavored spas (coffee, green tea, collagen, sake, wine)
    • Fish bath extra ($1?)
    • Water park / kids will be around (have slides)
    • Some reviews did question the cleanliness
  • Sengokuhara Shinanoki Ichinoyu
    • Private onsen with open air
    • Can have view of Mt. Fuji
  • Owakudani Valley: Buy their famous black eggs which are made from hot steam from the volcanic sulfur pools (each egg is supposed to prolong your life 7 years). This crater is created from Mt. Hakone erupting 3000 years ago. Trip Advisor link
  • Old Tokaido Road: Hiking trail around
    •  

 

Monday

 

Basic phrases

Transportation passes

 

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2 thoughts on “8 days in Tokyo Fun-tinerary

  1. Sounds like you both had a great time Sam if you could e mail the second part about China it was really good and I would Dona to see it IDeleated by mistake hope all is well both of you we will talk more later my e mail you should have its sdutchs@aol.com

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