One day in Tokyo
March 19, 2005 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I am going to Tokyo for a week of work and have one free day. What would people recommend in my one free day. I have some interests such as Japanese consumer electronics, toys, and sneaker/streetwear culture but really want to make sure I have the best day possible. Any advice?? Any great sites to use. (Already using
posted by rje7 to Travel & Transportation around Tokyo, Japan (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I had the same criteria for one free day in Tokyo and spent it here.
posted by fullysic at 5:55 PM on March 19, 2005

I also recommend Akihabara.
posted by driveler at 6:05 PM on March 19, 2005

Get up freakin' early and go to Tsujiki - the world's largest fish market. You must be there quite early, and it's not open every day. You can have a sushi breakfast right afterwards and then still have the whole day.

Shibuya is a hotbed of youth culture, and just a fun place to walk around, shop, people watch, etc. I can't find the obvious picture (just spent 5 min of flickr and Google) of the Giant Red Man in the side of building that many would recognize.

Harajuku is where you can find people wandering around in outrageous costumes as seen in Fruits, and beyond that is an incredibly dense set of stores selling young people fashions. Be sure to check out the Muji store right near there.

On weekends walk from Shibuya to Harajuku and you go by a big park (name?) where bands get together and jam, and people sell A Bathing Ape t-shirts etc. on the streets.
posted by stevil at 6:08 PM on March 19, 2005

Ah, I guess it would be Yoyogi Park where the bands are playing on the weekend.
posted by stevil at 6:31 PM on March 19, 2005

Whores! Tawny-skinned big-headed geisha girl whores!

posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:02 PM PST on March 19
posted by orthogonality at 7:08 PM on March 19, 2005

If you're into people watching, try to get that one day off to be a Sunday. A Saturday would be good too but a Sunday spent in Harajuku is better than a weekday spent there.
posted by pwb503 at 8:53 PM on March 19, 2005

Tsukiji is only viable if your one free day is your first -- you'll be jet-lagged and therefore you'll wake up really early, so it's the perfect destination then (since not much else is open yet), as long as it's not Sunday or a holiday.

But otherwise (or after Tsukiji) I recommend taking the Yamanote line to
1) Tokyo or Yurakucho station (for walking 'round the Ginza district), or
2) Riding around to the west side, for Shinjuku and Shibuya, and the areas in between, Harajuku and Omotesando.
Akihabara (also on the Yamanote), only if you're into electronics -- a pause there could occupy your midday -- Shinjuku and Shibuya (as well as the Ginza) are best at night, because of the neon.

All of this could be fit into one long day.
posted by Rash at 9:22 PM on March 19, 2005

If you spend a week in the big mikan for work, you'll see enough of the city at night anyway. Presumably, your coworkers will take you out drinking, so there's no avoiding that. Go to the country side for something really different. A trip to Nikko or some hot sprint resort, for example.
posted by sour cream at 10:26 PM on March 19, 2005

I third the Tsukiji. especially if you like sushi. The food my husband ate there, albeit it's a bit weird to eat sushi at 4am but that's when you need to get there, was the freshest he's ever had.

I also would recommend Shibuya and Shinjuku though I would skip Ginza unless you're into shopping. I personally enjoyed Asakusa as well. Akihabra is definitely the place for electronics but i also agree that it will eat up a good chunk of your day. You might want to go there at night once you've seen all you can in daylight since Akihabra isn't about sightseeing and thus can't be done once it's darker.

If you're going to spend the day outside Tokyo, I would recommend either Kamakura or Kyoto, both are very beautiful.

Enjoy your time, Japan is a wonderful place!
posted by karen at 3:21 AM on March 20, 2005

For the art scene, check out the cool new site Tokyo Art Beat.
posted by planetkyoto at 3:35 AM on March 20, 2005

Start in Shinjuku, heaps of shops there. You'll recognize it as the main urban shots for Lost in Translation. Mosey on down to Harajuku and check out Meiji shrine and Yoyogi park, as well as Takeshita Dori, a jam-packed shopping street favored by the young 'uns. One stop from there is Shibuya (home of the world's largest pedestrian intersection!) where the teens and twenty-somethings hang, eat, go to karaoke. I'd also reccomend Shimokitazawa, just 10 minutes from Shibuya on the Inokashira line. Much more low key than Shibuya but very hip, tons of neat shops and restaurants.

And if a WILD nightlife is what you're after, by all means at night leave your integrity in your hotel room and hit Roppongi. Guaranteed madness there! I haven't been to The 'Pong in a while, though, and that's a good thing. I'm getting old...
posted by zardoz at 4:43 AM on March 20, 2005

Since you'll be there only one day, you could just get off at any random station on the Yamanote and wander around and explore for a few hours or more. That's what I've liked most when I've gone there. Just seeing how the average Joichi lives is more than enough to fill a day!
posted by shoos at 6:51 AM on March 20, 2005

I recommend against Akihabara, unless you are a REALLY big dork to the point where you see it as a pilgrimage, are into animated porn, or genuinely need to pick up some obscure electronics components. Akihabara has declined in recent years from it's previous geek heaven rep to mainly servicing otaku and game nerds. It's a good place to get something duty free I guess, but even with the discount it's a waste of time if you only have one day in Tokyo, compared to all the other stuff that people have listed above. I would expect most people to have a difficult time being up at 4-5AM for tsukiji and spending the following night out in Roppongi. What you should do is spend all night in Roppongi (or Shinjuku, if you aren't so interested in the aforementioned Tawny-skinned big-headed geisha girl whores!), and when 4-5AM rolls around, drag your bleary ass over to Tsukiji to check out the giant fish. Wait until they actually make their way into the surrounding shops and have yourself a super-fresh sushi breakfast. Of course, you aren't going to be good for much working after all this, but if you can do it on your last day there, and then crash out on the place back to reality, then you will be fine. Otherwise, walk down five minutes from Tsukiji to Hama-rikyu park, then get on a water ferry up to Asakusa to check out that stuff.

If you are looking to mix it up a little more, check out Justin's PDF/book, Just In Tokyo. It's a few years old now but still very good.
posted by donkeymon at 7:33 AM on March 20, 2005

when i was there the main street (forget the name) thru ginza was closed to traffic and filled with strolling families and dozens and dozens of street musicians/performers on sunday; i believe this was a common occurance at the time. if it still is, i recommend it as it was one of my favorite experiences in tokyo.

i also enjoyed the many hours i spent wandering around in shibuya. it's easily accessible via the ginza-line subway, incredibly commercially and gastronomically diverse, and filled with a stunning array of humanity that cannot be described; i spent a lot more time here than anywhere else in the city.
posted by RockyChrysler at 7:48 AM on March 20, 2005

If I had to pick one day, I would suggest Tsukiji in the early morning, then the Hama-Rikyu garden (it's right next door) for a couple hours and then Ueno park for the rest of the day. Tsukiji is just bizarre if you aren't used to large open-air markets. Hama-Rikyu is quite possibly the most beautiful park I've ever been in . Ueno Park has all kinds of stuff -- pond, shrines, temples, a zoo, art museum, fun statues and monuments (a samurai and his dog!). You have to have sushi for dinner somewhere (I suggest a little hole-in-the-wall -- the smaller the better. The best sushi we had in tokyo was a neighborhood sushi bar with like 7-8 seats).

posted by R343L at 3:24 AM on March 21, 2005 [1 favorite]

« Older Browser problems   |   Show removal at airports? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.