5 Days in the Vibrant Tokyo, Japan

Welcome to the hustle & the neon lights!

A Complete Itinerary for 5 days in Tokyo


ACCOMMODATIONS

Tokyo is a massive vibrant city that can be intimidating at first, especially when looking for the best places to stay in Tokyo. We stayed in The Prince Sakura Autograph Collection Marriott Hotel for our stay. The rooms were spacious, the hotel was elegant and classy, and the location of the hotel was convenient as it was only a block or two away from the Shinagawa Station. The room itself was very large, had a comfortable king-sized bed, excellent bathroom with shower and a jetted tub, and many amenities are provided such as refrigerator, mini-bar, fruit basket, and toiletries. Breakfast was free of charge with platinum status or ¥3500 per person otherwise. They provided eggs served to order, pastries, soups, fruit, salad bar, french toast, waffles, etc. They also had a Japanese style breakfast for those interested. Although The Prince Sakura is a short train ride from the hotspots of Tokyo, you could also decide to stay in one of the many places to stay in Tokyo as a first-time visitor. It all depends on your itinerary and what style of hotel you are looking for.

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Breakfast by the gardens at The Prince Sakura


DAY ONE

Because we arrived in Tokyo in the late afternoon we decided to take the train to Odaiba to visit Diver City Plaza. The environment of this mall was less “hustle and bustle” than other places in Tokyo and was nice for an evening stroll and had great shopping. Logan always loved watching Gundam when he was a kid and had many figurines growing up so naturally, we had to visit the GIANT Gundam and the cafe while visiting Odaiba.

Restaurant: Gyoza place in the 1F of Diver City

We wanted a light meal so we stopped by the food court in Diver City. There were plenty of options but we decided to try the gyoza stand. The food was better than you would expect for a food court, and the prices were very reasonable.

Snack: Tokyo Crepe Girls (1F of Diver City)

After our meal, we wanted something sweet so we stopped by the Tokyo Crepe Girls. As per most crepe stands in Japan, they were fresh and quite delicious.


DAY TWO

Meiji Jingu & Yoyogi Park

The walk through Yoyogi park was delightful on a cloudy day we decided to visit Meiji Jingu. We stopped at the welcome gate and the kind gentleman there gave us insect repellent and gave us directions to the park. When we reached Meiji shrine we loved the beautiful Torii and temple buildings. Despite Tokyo being such a big city it also has a lot of Japanese World Heritage Sites close by. There was a wedding while we visited which was quite the cultural experience! However, Meiji was not the most impressive temple we had visited in Japan and it was busy when we went.

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Harajuku Takeshita-dori

When visiting Harajuku we assumed we would see many cosplayers, as we were told that the best time to visit was Sunday. We were somewhat disappointed that we didn’t see anyone dressed up but we also arrived early in the day. If we had more time we definitely would have gone back to try to see this side of Japan’s culture again.


Restaurant: Smoke House

This was the only “Americanized” restaurant we visited while in Japan simply because it wasn’t as crowded as others and we were passing it on the street while walking towards Shibuya.


Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble

This picturesque intersection of Shibuya has been featured in a lot of films in recent years and is a popular area for shopping and dining. Honestly, we stopped and watched the spectacle for quite awhile, it’s amazing how synchronized everything was at this busy intersection.

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Travel Tip: While in Shibuya we bought a piece of small luggage at Don Quixote because we had bought so many souvenirs! If you are looking for some luggage this is the place to go. They also have other locations across Tokyo.


Robot Restaurant

The Robot Restaurant it is not technically a restaurant but more of a show. They do have snacks for sale but you must purchase meal tickets before the show otherwise you will not be able to eat there. We recommend eating before or after the show! While this is definitely a tourist trap, we really enjoyed it. The only thing we wish was that some of the songs were in Japanese rather than English (which the entire show was).

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Glitz and glam at the Robot Restaurant

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Restaurant: Kirchiran

Since we got out of the Robot Restaurant so late we decided to check out a soba noodle place called Kirchiran at the Shinagawa JR station. At many noodle shops in Japan, you place your order on what looks like a vending machine and after paying it prints a ticket that you give to the chef. These restaurants are typically very fast-paced and some do not offer seating in order to get customers in and out quickly.

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The vending machine at Kichiran

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Many restaurants in the JR Stations are very fast paced so they do not have seating.


DAY THREE

Akihabara

The best place for anime, manga, and electronics. It’s also just fun to look around which we did so for quite a few hours!  We recommend these stores: Animate and BOOK OFF (second hand).


Ameyoko Shopping Street

While we did not visit the park in Ueno (we found out later that it was a recommended hot spot) we did visit the markets there. We would say that these were not our favorite places to shop as it was very crowded and overpriced, but we did find it interesting to see! We would suggest checking out the park nearby if you are in the area.

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Ueno Shopping Street


Tokyo station (Tokyu Hands)

On our way back to visit Odaiba we stopped at the Tokyo Station to visit the widely popular department store Tokyu Hands and other stores inside the station. It is similar to other department stores we have been to but has many items unique to Japan. We also got a taste of Taiyaki a sweet cake with red bean paste inside


Aqua City Mall

We decided to go back to Odaiba for the evening because we loved the view of the Rainbow Bridge from here and decided to check out some of the stores we had not been able to previously. While there we visited the Venus Outlet and the Aqua City Mall.

Restaurant: Apollo Buffet

This was an excellent buffet in the mall that had many varying types of Japanese cuisine. It also had a nice view of the city and the Gundam Statue.


DAY FOUR 

Roppongi Heights

This morning we went to Roppongi to visit a few shopping centers and to view Tokyo Tower. While there we found a grocery store (something few and far between) called Precce on floor B1.
Here is the address for fellow travelers: Japan, 〒107-0052 Tokyo, Minato, Akasaka, 9 Chome−9−7−4, Tokyo Midtown, 東京ミッドタウンガーデンサイド地下1階

While visiting we found out that the mall was hosting the Avengers premiere that evening. Having just seen the movie, we decided to change our plans and go back to witness this once in a lifetime opportunity!


Asakusa

We originally planned to skip Asakusa due to a number of shrines we had already been to, but while eating lunch at Precce, we spoke with a man from India that had recently relocated to Japan for his career. He said that anytime he had a business client in Tokyo he always recommended Asakusa, the entertainment district of Tokyo, for the ample amount of street markets and the beauty of the temple. After hearing this, we had to go and check it out and we loved our visit. Even if you’ve been to many shrines and temples prior to visiting Tokyo, Asakusa is worth the trip.

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Edo-Tokyo Museum

Before going back to the Avengers premiere, we decided to visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum based on the recommendation of a friend that had been living in Japan. We would highly recommend this as it was a unique cultural experience that grasped what life was like in Japan over many centuries. You could easily spend three hours here and be intrigued by the fascinating cultural experiences.
Hours: 9:30am-7pm


Tokyo Tower

After going to the Avengers premiere we decided to go to the Tokyo Tower, as we had heard it was beautiful at night. As you can see, it was rather breathtaking. We opted to not pay the money to go to the top as we felt it was more beautiful from the outside but you can go inside to the restaurants and souvenir stands free of charge.

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DAY FIVE

On our last day in Tokyo, we decided to visit Disney for the day. We park chose the iconic Tokyo DisneySea which is completely unique to Japan. The food, snacks, and beverages were surprisingly inexpensive here. Not to mention, if you ever wanted Disney souvenirs this is the place for it! I bought Minnie Mouse ears for 1400¥ and they also had some for less. This park was geared more for teenagers and adults. However is also had a nice variety of rides for children as well. Something else we loved about Tokyo Disney Sea is the fact that you do not have to pay extra for a Fast Pass. This gives you a time to return to the ride and skip the line. We recommend doing the fast pass for the top rides since you can only get one fast pass every hour.

DINING

Lunch: Yucatan Base Camp Grill:  We had the smoked chicken, Mexican rice,  dessert, and a drink. It was okay, but we found other places in the park that were much more satisfying!

Snacks: By the Arabian area of the park we tried the soft serve and shaved ice with coconut milk. It was truly delicious! Another must try is the popcorn flavors. You can get a decent size basket for 310¥. We liked the white chocolate and the cheddar jalapeño.

Dinner: Sailing Day Buffet – 2880¥ – This was a more “expensive” meal but there was a great variety of food choices and everything we had was very good!

Check out our photos of Tokyo Disney Sea below ↓

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Entrance to Tokyo DisneySea

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A view from our Gondola

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While we didn’t get the best seats or the best view for the evening fireworks display and show, we definitely felt like this was the most iconic way to end our time in Japan!

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Don’t mind us, just sneaking onto the boat.

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Some things to note about Tokyo:

  • If you are planning to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum you must buy tickets at least a month in advance! We did not know this prior to our trip and to our disappointment were unable to visit.
  • The entire city of Tokyo is extremely spread out. Despite our planning, we did feel like we were running around in circles a lot. We would suggest mapping out the places you would like to visit so that you aren’t wasting a lot of time on trains.

Being such a huge city we obviously didn’t get the chance to see everything. What would be your recommendations for dining and attractions for our next trip to Tokyo?

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Welcome to the hustle and the neon lights of TOKYO, Japan. Have a few days to spend? This itinerary will give you a good start.

24 Comments

  • Reply
    Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka, Japan | Pages of Travel
    January 11, 2016 at 5:13 AM

    […] While our visit to Kinosaki Onsen was brief, we enjoyed every moment of this beautiful and quaint town far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and deep into the mountains of Japan. After enjoying our relaxing stay in Toyooka we hopped on a train to our next stop, Tokyo! (click here to read more) […]

  • Reply
    Climbing Mount Fuji: On Altitude Sickness and Listening to Your Body - Eternal Arrival
    December 10, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    […] ascended first thing in the morning after arriving from Tokyo, planning on descending by nightfall, doing it all in one day – as many do successfully. The […]

  • Reply
    josiekelsh
    December 25, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    I’ve not yet been to Japan but hope to get there in the next year or two. There are some great tips here I have noted down for when we do get there. Thank you.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 8:44 PM

      Oh you MUST visit sometime soon! It’s a truly amazing country. I hope you’re able to spend more time in Tokyo than we did. 🙂

  • Reply
    2foodtrippers
    December 26, 2016 at 4:35 AM

    Wow! You really packed a lot into five days. We did the same when we were there since there was so much to do, see and eat. Also, I find it funny that you ate BBQ in Tokyo. We recently did the same in Helsinki and it was so good.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 8:51 PM

      We definitely tried to cover as much as we could. We are hoping to go back in 2018 and spend more time here so we are able to enjoy it a bit more. That’s hilarious that we both had BBQ in other countries. Couldn’t help it! The smells were calling us 😉

  • Reply
    The Tales of a Traveler
    December 26, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    This is such an exhaustive guide. Lovely pictures and a lovely write-up as well. This will help us in planning our trip to Japan slated in mid 2017. The Edo-Tokyo museum looks interesting.

  • Reply
    nomadicfoot
    December 26, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    never been to Japan but this itinerary looks perfect for short trip. almost all the important places covered. i would love to visit japan soon.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 8:53 PM

      Hope you are able to visit sometime soon and enjoy some of these places! Thank you for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    The Travel Ninjas
    December 26, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Thanks for sharing your awesome Tokyo itinerary. We’re planning a return trip to Tokyo next year. I lived there for 2 years , but that was a long time ago. I’m excited to see how it has grown and changed. I won’t have the luxury of a long slow travel next time and your itinerary is inspiring a big help.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 8:56 PM

      Thank you so much for the compliment guys! When did you live there? I’m sure we could take some tips from you as well. 🙂

  • Reply
    EG III
    December 27, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    Having lived in Japan I definitely agree. Tokyo is dense and very spread out. You guys definitely managed to pack a lot in but I’m sure you were on the move often

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 8:21 PM

      We were definitely on the move quite a bit and would love to stay longer next time! We will have to get some suggestions from you. 🙂

      • Reply
        EG III
        January 2, 2017 at 12:46 AM

        Sure thing, just let me know next time you plan to head out that way!

  • Reply
    nlaguilera
    December 27, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    What a great post! I’ve never been to Tokyo before but I would love to go. It seems like such an amazing city and you got some really great photos.

    • Reply
      Pages of Travel
      December 28, 2016 at 8:15 PM

      Thank you Nathan! It was a great experience for the both of us. It’s such a fun place!

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 8:19 PM

      Thank you Nathan! We really enjoyed our time there as it’s a fun and lively city. We only wish we had more time! 😉

  • Reply
    Joaquim Miro
    December 27, 2016 at 10:29 PM

    Wow you did so much in 5 days!! how much did it cost you in total if you don’t mind me asking? I’ll be going soon but am wondering how much I need to budget to do all that awesome stuff!

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      December 28, 2016 at 10:44 PM

      Hi Joaquim! When are you heading to Tokyo? I’m so jealous. We’ll be heading back in 2018 and are hoping to spend more than 5 days! I definitely don’t mind you asking about the cost. Here is the breakdown as best as I can recall.

      Our hotel stay was technically costless because we used Marriott Rewards points but there are some awesome AirBnB accommodations in Tokyo and you could also look into capsule hotels. I would also look into the Ibis Styles or Mitsui Garden hotel properties. I’m not sure if they are in Tokyo but we stayed in those when visiting Kyoto and Hiroshima and they were more budget friendly in those cities ($49-$120USD/night in the previously mentioned locations).

      As for food, we were on the go in Tokyo because we were trying to see as much as we could so we ate at quick places. However, a huge perk of this was that they were extremely cheap and tasty meals! Without the cost of the food at Tokyo DisneySea we spent roughly 100USD.

      Most of our transportation was also covered because we had the JR Pass while we were visiting, however some of the trains and subways were not covered by the JR Pass. I would recommend a Suica card which you can get at most of the major stations in Tokyo. It allows you to add Yen to your card and pass through the stations quickly instead of buying tickets.

      Tokyo was definitely more expensive for us on the attractions!
      -Tokyo DisneySea was the most expensive attraction we visited in Japan at 7,400 yen/pp (roughly 68USD I believe at the exchange rate).
      -Robot Restaurant we found tickets online before we left for about 50USD/pp.
      -Edo-Tokyo Museum: 600 Yen/pp (so a very reasonable place to visit!)
      -The shrines and temples I recall being free. 🙂
      -Tokyo Tower: free to view from the bottom or the inside but you do have to pay to go to the top.

      So overall without counting a few souvenirs and the trip to Tokyo DisneySea and the Robot Restaurant our 5 days in Tokyo was roughly 200USD (including the attractions we chose to visit it was closer to 450USD). However, that doesn’t include the cost of the rail pass that we purchased to bring us to Tokyo from Kinosaki Onsen. Without the rail pass I would say each train ticket will cost you about 180-500 yen depending on where you go in Tokyo!

      I hope this helps you a get a better idea! 🙂 Please feel free to email us (pagesoftravel@gmail.com) if you have anymore specific questions!

  • Reply
    Jackie Taylor
    January 1, 2017 at 4:23 PM

    Wow, your itinerary for Tokyo sounds so awesome! I’ve only had the chance to spend less than one day in Tokyo on a long layover. I’d love to go back one day and explore more of the city 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 16, 2017 at 4:01 AM

    Reminds me of my travel to Japan 2013 and since then i got into sushi 😀 Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 16, 2017 at 4:11 AM

    Your post reminded of my travel to Japan back in 2013. Akihabara is definitely the bomb 😉 Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    C&C's Complete Quick Guide to Tokyo – C&C, Cedric Lizotte
    February 27, 2017 at 9:18 PM

    […] By the way, if you want to know more about Tokyo, head over to Pages of Travel and read their “Complete Itinerary for 5 days in Tokyo”! […]

  • Reply
    Juliette
    May 26, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Love the Minnie Mouse ears! We had an amazing 5 days in Tokyo earlier this year and absolutely LOVED Tokyo Disney Sea and bought the ears as well! Must be done. We just ran out of time to see everything we wanted to in Tokyo. We had a few things we definitely wanted to try and do and also to buy (like all our ski gear from Tokyo’s ski gear district before we headed north to Niseko) which meant other things had to be sacrificed. Sigh. Cant wait to go back one day!

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