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Once in lifetime you have to visit Tokyo – the global city. We spent 5 days in Tokyo during Cherryblossom season but fall in love with this city on our day of arrival. Okay, maybe on our second day, because we were totally done after a 24 hours flight including stopover in Singapore. 😂 Planing a day trip to Singapore? Check out this blogpost!
This blog article is about our to-dos when you are in Tokyo. If you are there in cherryblossom season, check out our favorite places for Sakura in Tokyo.
Everywhere you go you will feel like being in the city even if you come from a big city (like us). Just go out and explore – you will find amazing places anywhere, but make sure to visit:
Shinjuku Omeide Yakoche
Have a walk through the streets at night. Those lights are crazy. Make sure to visit the Shinjuku Omeide Yakoche. We are sure you already saw the streets on many pictures. It is such a photogenic spot. If you are a meatlover – you will find some nice local places here. For all vegetarians: Its gonna be hard for you. Tip: Go & dine in Indian Restaurants 😀
View above the city
There are several points to have a view above Tokyo. The most famous is the Tokyo Skytree, but you have to pay an entry fee. We recommend the government building in Shinjuku. Go there for sunset. It is for free and the money you need to pay at the Skytree you can invest in a nice Cocktail with a breathtaking view. It is worth it and the drinks and the food in the Sky-Restaurant are very fair priced for such an epic view. We enjoyed here one of our favorite drinks ever.
After living in Western Australia for a month the Shibuya Crossing was a culture shock. It is so amazing how many people cross the street when the light changes. Check out the view from Starbucks. Its amazing. We never saw as many people crossing a street.
Visit several temples and shrines
Visit the Meji-Shrine in Yoyogi Park and the Asakusa Temple/ Senso – Ji in Asakusa. You find shrines and temples everywhere around the city, but we liked those both the most. Get up early to have this beautiful places for yourself especially during the Cherry Blossom season.
You have soooo many options. Cat cafe, Owl cafe, maid cafe, puppy cafe, snake cafe or even a Monster Cafe. We have been to the KAWAII Monster Cafe. It is sooooooo crazy and such a cool experience.
You will not believe your eyes.
Driving in a go-cart through Tokyo
One of the most craziest things we done so far in our life was driving with a go-cart on the streets of Tokyo, crossing the Shibuya Crossing and the Tokyo Skytree. We took a night drive (6pm). It was dark and it started to rain – Lucky Us 😀 But it was such a crazy experience which we would recommend everyone who come to Tokyo. The prices are ap. 10000 Yen, but driving along the highway during normal traffic period in a Super Mario costume is it worth. You will need to let your driver license translated. You can do that at Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) and it costed us about 3000 Yen per person. Do it a few days in advance.
This district is famous for Mangas, Anime and Videogames. You will find several electronic stores, Manga shops and gaming centers. Go inside and get another feeling about Japan. Just read that 3,6 % of Japans population is addicted to gambling.
If you have enough time just go into buildings with an elevator and drive as high as you can to find an open rooftop door. We did not find one but a local told us that you have good chances in Akhihabara.
Harajuku is just for eating. Okay, not only. But here you will find the craziest sweet things you ever saw. Rainbow cotton candy? Yeah sure. There is also a nice shopping mall. The entrance looks insane. It is like a mirror-paradise.
We spent two days in Fujiyoshida. The Highway bus takes you there for about 15€ per person. Do that. Do it as a day trip or spent even some days there like we did and explore the area around Japans tallest volcano. There are several spots you can explore. Hike up to the Chureito Pagoda and enjoy the view. If you stay longer than one day rent a bike and ride around the lake Kawaguchiko.
We were located in Ueno. Ueno is quite a nice place and also a nice place during Sakura as it is close to the famous Ueno Park. If you want to be closer to the city we would recommend Shibuya and Shinjuku as those places are really central. You are traveling on budget, check those here. We highly recommend capsule hostels if you want a real Japan feeling. If you are looking for a bit luxury you will find your right accomondation here. There are also several airbnbs in Japan. Create a new account above this link and save 25€ on your next booking.
There is no best time to visit Japan. It depends on what you want to do. Japan is beautiful in every season especially autumn and cherry blossom season.
If you are lucky enough to be in Japan during Cherryblossom Season make sure to read this blog post about our favorite cherryblossom spots in Tokyo.
As a German you can visit Japan for 180 days without visa, but just for holidays.