Must See / Experience in Tokyo

May 19th, 2009, 07:53 PM
  #1  
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Must See / Experience in Tokyo

Hello, We four days in tokyo in early June. There's lots we want to see, and our main love is to walk and walk and just see and feel as much as we can. We don't want to do any day trips in that time (we are spending 2 days in Nikko). I'd be very grateful if any of you could list the must see places / experiences that we just shouldn't miss.

My list so far includes (but isn't limited to)

Asakusa (Half Day? Is this long enough)
Imperial Palace Grounds
Tokyo Tower
Sony Building
Fish Market
Ameyoko Street Market
Ginza in general
Roppongi in general
Harajuku & Aoyama area
Toshugu Shrine
Tennoji Temple

Any help with priorities and specifics would be so appreciated. We leave in 2 weeks, and the trip came up so suddenly and I've been so busy with work that apart from Accommodation in tokyo and nikko I've not been able to do as much research as I'd like.

We'd love to do a cruise of some kind even if it's short, we'd love to go to a great Jazz Club, We're not into night clubs but we're looking forward to walking around and spending time in those areas anyway, so any recommendations would be great.

Thank you in advance for all the help, Lissa
Lissa2905 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 11:59 AM
  #2  
 
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For the most part, I think you have it about right.

My personal favorite "site" is the Fish Market. I'm a major foodie, but it was fascinating - and one of my top 3 sushi experiences of all time. I was underwhelmed with the Sony building. I am a gadget freak, and I found more of interest in any number of the larger electronics shops. In Ginza, seek out the Muji and the Tokyu Hands stores.
travelgourmet is online now  
May 20th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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I was also disappointed by the Sony bldg and Tokyo Tower.....

Love the Ginza at night

When in the Asakusa area try walking over to the Sumida River and doing one of the short river tours

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3004.html

Shibuya, where my wife loves Shibuya 109

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3007.html

And of course Shinjuku, it's a must see to me
The most shopping and eating in one place I have ever seen!
Go to the top of the Tokyo Metroploitan Govt Building for the best view of Tokyo and maybe a glimpse of Fujisan

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3011.html

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Visit pachinko parlors and see Kabukicho at nite.
Cat12345 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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Thank you all, anything further would be wonderful

Hawaiiantraveler am so looking forward to Shinjuku, Will definately do the top of the Metropolitan Govt Building

we are staying at the Washington. It may be a bad question, but how long do you think we need to spend actually in Shinjuku, should a whole day be set aside or do you think that half would give us a feel.

I really have the same question for the Asakusa area too

Also... There are cruises Sumida River Cruises to Hinode and Odaiba, does anyone recommend these? If we did this to Hinode is there much to see there?

Thanks again for all the help, Lissa
Lissa2905 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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We spent an entire day at Odaiba. It was our favorite day in Tokyo. The Museum of Science and Innovation was great. We had children with us, and they really enjoyed everything about it. There is a lot to do.
TravMimi is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 04:49 PM
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Thanks TravMimi, can anyone tell me if the River Cruise is interesting and worth it?
Lissa2905 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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You are staying in the beehive....just kidding, that is what my wife calls the Washington. You will see what she means when you arrive at the Washington. Your hotel is right where the action is in West Shinjuku.

Since you are staying there you will see some of Shinjuku to and from Shinjuku station everyday(assuming you will use the subway system and alternate your routes)so no need to put aside a day to see the sights though you might end up doing just that after seeing what they have to see and buy there

As you exit the West end of the station head towards the Post Office. Walk through the PO and down the street and you will see a myriad of electronic shops, restaurants,pachinko parlors, etc. Great place to shop and eat. Your hotel is a block or so to the left after the Post Office(which is a great place to use the ATM).

I would definitely put a few hours aside one evening and check out the Kabukicho area on the East side of the station. It's about a twenty minute walk from your hotel to the East side of the station as Shinjuku station is HUGE. You can also take a five minute taxi ride from you hotel for the drop charge as the meter doesn't move for that short a distance.

I have only done the Sumida cruise to Odaiba in the Sakura season when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom along the river so it was a BEAUTIFUL ride and a gorgeous day. In the summer I would think one might welcome the cool breeze off the water to the city heat, might be the just respite you need after a long walk.

If you like French cooking, and you see a little French/Japanese Restaurant named "Le Coup Chou" in West Shinjuku, try it out.
Restaurant Le Coupe Chou
1-15-7 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Tel (03)3348-1610
It is only a block away from the Washington in the area I mentioned earlier around the Post Office. The menu is in Japanese and French only but Sugitasan(the Manager) and one of the waiters can translate for you. The place gets packed with locals after 8:00pm so make a reservation if you plan to go. Getting so close now, must be exciting!

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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The River Cruise is worth.
Tourist should take the line from Asakusa to Hamarikyu Onshi Garden.
Cruise takes about 30 min., navigates under some bridges and passes a number of city buildings and landmarks.
Both terminals are accessible by subways or JR lines.
Cat12345 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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Thanks Hawaiiantraveler, will follow your advice re Shinjuku, you mention the weather. We are there second week of June, I was expecting it to be a bit wet, any clues on how hot it might be?

Do you need a reservation for "Le Coup Chou"?

Is half a day long enough around Shibuya / Harajuku? We were going to go on the Sunday morning maybe (Flea market at Togo Shrine), I think we'd like that, and the Meiji Jingu Shrine as well as looking at Takeshita Dori. Anything else we shouldn't miss? Or is definately worth seeing?

I'm sold on the Cruise - sounds like a relaxing break in the middle of the day from Asakusa to Odaiba?

Please keep suggestions coming, I'm loving the input.
Lissa2905 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Do you need a reservation for "Le Coup Chou"?

You can take your chances and just walk in but better to have one especially if dining between 7:30 and 9:30 pm. You can have the Washington call for a reservation for you as the person answering the phone will probably only speak Japanese.

Is half a day long enough around Shibuya / Harajuku?

It is for me, you may be different.

I was expecting it to be a bit wet, any clues on how hot it might be?

I've never been to Japan during the tsuru season.....if it rains head for the temples, shrines, museums or if in Nikko, head to your outdoor rotenburo,lol. Hot springs in the rain are a very pleasant experience for me personally. As long as the rain is not torrential. Check here for the local weather in the coming weeks:

http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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Thanks HT the weather site is great, will keep an eye on it.
Lissa2905 is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 08:42 PM
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Try to go to Harajuku on Sunday when all the suburban teenagers converge. It's insane, but fascinating as well.

I was just in Tokyo. Asakusa was my favorite place. Consider making it a long half day.

I stayed in Shinjuku and really liked that area. The east side of the station has lots of small streets lined with restaurants and is very atmospheric in the evening. The west side is the "skyscraper" district, which for me was something of a letdown. Buildings are not particularly tall and architecture not especially interesting, in my opinion.
JohnH is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Don't forget to write up a report! 5 months to go for our trip and can't wait. Would love to hear about your trip Lissa
262runr is offline  
May 28th, 2009, 11:07 PM
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Last November I went to Asakusa, visited the shrine etc, and took the boat from there to Hamarikyu gardens. The boat and the garden are a break from the city. In the garden was an area that was set up as a peony garden. Would love to see it in bloom, maybe it will be in early June. Good chance, I think. It is on the walkway from the dock to the garden exit. From the garden it was a short walk to Tsukiji Fish Market where I had an outstanding chu-toro rice bowl for lunch (after a loong wait).
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May 29th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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If you do a search "Excellent guide Tokyo" you will see our report on our wonderful guide. She was well worth her fee. I certainly recommend using her for at least a day.
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