For a graduation present to myself, I went on a 3 week Asia trip to Tokyo and Hong Kong. Here I’d like to share the Tokyo portion of the itinerary as well as some cheap travel tips for your stay.
I was so surprised at how polite everyone is in Tokyo! In every store and restaurant I went into, each employee spent a lot of time to make sure I had everything I needed. I brought a mini Japanese/English translator book to get me around.
I went at the end of December, beginning of January. It was about 30 degrees Farenheit when I went. Make sure you pack tons of thermals and layers to keep warm this time of the year.
- Transportation – Purchase a JR (Japan Rail) pass before you go on your trip. It’s 28,300 yen for 7-days which comes out to about $312 US. Believe me, this is a deal compared to purchasing each train ride separately. Purchase this ticket at a Japanese travel agency before your trip so you can use the pass for your train ride from the Narita Airport to Tokyo on the Narita Express (about an hour and a half train ride).
- Living accommodations – I rented a vacation apartment through VRBO.com. It came out to $500 US for the whole week, which I split amongst 3 people. There was a grocery store next door which sold already prepared food at a discount at 8pm. We stocked up on Chicken Katsu and Croquettes for only $5 per person.
- Food – Ramen is about $4 US there. On Sundays, you can find a whole street of food stands in Shinjuku.
Check out Itinerary and Photos after the jump.
For this itinerary, I decided not to add times and only noted the Tokyo wards (districts). Feel free to take your time in each area and explore the local restaurants. I didn’t catch the names of any restaurant we ate at since it was all in Japanese.
|Morning||Akihabara – Electronics district in Tokyo|
|Afternoon||Ueno Zoo – Most active zoo I’ve ever seen. Tons of exotic animals.|
|Night||Roppongi district to hit up bars|
|Morning||Tsukiji Fish Market – The largest fish market in the world. Go at 5am to watch the fish auctions. You can get raw fish at one of the stands in the market. Expensive, but it’ll be the best fish you’ll ever have.|
|Ginza – Shopping district|
|Afternoon||Imperial Palace – The emperor makes public appearances on Jan 2nd and his birthday.|
|Meiji Jingu Shrine|
|Morning||Yokohama – Town near Tokyo that has the largest Chinatown in the world. Visit the Sankei-en (Japanese garden) to see a beautiful garden as well as historical homes brought in from Kyoto and other areas. Try sipping traditional Japanese tea at a tea house.|
|Afternoon||Kamakura – Home of 5 famous temples where the Samurai used to practice the art of zen.|