one day in Tokyo

Mar 19th, 2001, 06:53 PM
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one day in Tokyo

My fiancee and I will be getting married in Bali and spending most of our time there, but we will have 24 hours in Tokyo. We will be staying at the Nikko Hotel by the airport. Has anyone stayed there? Good? Bad? Also, because our time is limited I'd be interested to hear from someone who has spent some time there what are the must see sites. We are more interested in seeing historical points of interest, not shopping. Any ideas would be greatfully appreciated. One last thing, what is the best way to get from the airport area to these sites.

Mar 19th, 2001, 08:47 PM
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One word of warning--the airport (Narita, right?) Is actually not in Tokyo. It is in Chiba prefecture and it takes about 1 1/2 hours by express train to get to Tokyo. The express train is the "Narita Express" right from the airport and it is a little pricey--about 2000 yen per person. That is the fastest train to get to Tokyo. If you want a cheaper way, there are slower trains to take. My advice would be, if you can, stay in a hotel in Tokyo, not at the airport.

As for sites to see, most historical sites are in Kyoto, Osaka, etc. and you can't do that in a day. Meiji Jingu in Harajuku is one of the most famous shrines in Tokyo. If you're only going to be in Tokyo for one day, I would make that shrine first priority. What month will you be in Tokyo? In the summer, there is a famous iris garden that opens at Meiji. It's famous for being Emporer Meiji's garden. I hope this info. helps!
Mar 19th, 2001, 09:10 PM
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Hi Dawn,

The best way to go downtown from the airport is the Keisei Skyliner, that runs very confortably in 1 hour from Narita to Ueno for about yen 1900. The Narita express is slower and leaves you in Tokyo station, a less practical area from which to visit the city for just one day, especially if you're not interested in shopping. I second Erin in suggesting that you should consider staying in Tokyo rather than in Narita, unless of course your return flight leaves very early in the morning.

Ueno park is one of the main focal points of historical interest in Tokyo, much more than Meiji Jingu (sorry Erin, but Meiji is relatively recent and has very little historical interest - beautiful park, though). It is also close to the traditional areas of Askusa and Yanaka, one of the few places that has not burned down during the 1923 earthquake and WW2, full of old houses, temples, and traditional craft studios.
Mar 20th, 2001, 04:54 AM
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Another idea would be to just visit Narita. Mike's Narita layover page on the www has all kinds of ideas about what to see and do in Narita. The hassle of getting into Tokyo from Narita and back is fairly overwhelming after a flight and even more so with the language barrier.

As I recall, the Nikko Hotel is very close to the airport and there is a shuttle about every 20 minutes to the airport so it is convenient. You did not say what time your flight leaves in the morning.

All that being said. I would stay in Asakusa (even if only for a night), there is a direct train (a little longer than the other two mentioned) but you can get right off in Asakusa and you ermerge from the subway into old Japan. Magic! Large towering gate and rows of shop arcades that lead to a beautiful temple. There are several inexpensive roykans in the area. I would fight the tempation to do too much, perhaps just Asakusa (the temple arcades and even a department store nearby) and Ueno Park. Depending on the time of your arrivals and departures, the Asakusa travel office is very helpful if it is open. There is a double decker bus that goes from in front of the Asakusa gate to Ueno. This would allow you to see some of the city above ground. Have a wonderful honeymoon and a long long marriage. Traveling together is a great start.
Mar 20th, 2001, 03:52 PM
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Actually, you can take the Narita Express to Shinjuku, which is a better area than Tokyo. I second Asakusa--it's a wonderful area to spend the day. I actually would still opt for Meiji over Ueno--I personally think the Ueno area is depressing and I would prefer to spend my time in Harajuku and Meiji any day--but maybe I'm being biased because I live a lot closer to Harajuku than Ueno. Anyway--my vote is now leaning towards Asakusa, with Meiji a close second.
Mar 20th, 2001, 09:16 PM
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Shinjuku and Meiji may be better areas than Tokyo or Ueno for a resident, but not for a tourist on a very short visit.
I personally don't find Ueno depressing at all with its bustling life and museums, Yanaka area right behind, and Asakusa close by, but I'm definitively a Shitamachi person (I come to Tokyo almost every year for a couple weeks at least).

Lastly, we must be wary of the advice we give to first time tourists: residents and tourists don't share the same motivations and our advice (OK, I'm not a resident but have been coming to Japan every year for the last 20 years) is not always accurate for what they want to see.
Mar 21st, 2001, 04:58 AM
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florence:I could not disagree with you more, ueno is very depressing, there are tons of homeless people, and if it isn't cherry blossom seasson there is really no reason to go there. I think that maiji is one of the BEST areas in tokyo, i take all my visitors there and they all love it. my vote is for meiji. If you want to spend the day inside a museum then go to ueno. enjoy tokyo
Mar 21st, 2001, 05:27 AM
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Well, Michael, I agree I would not advise anyone to spend a full day in Ueno Park on a rainy winter day, but as far as I've seen over the years, homeless people are everywhere in Tokyo (OK, not in Meiji shrine gardens), as in most cities of the World now. I've learnt long ago not to let that depress me and enjoy what there was to enjoy, and I've found a lot of that in Ueno, but I readily accept that others express different tastes. Not everybody can be as perfect as me (and modest, too) .

Dawn and her fiancee are looking for historical points of interest to visit in one day: Ueno, with its museums (from Shitamachi museum to the National Museum of History), and its proximity to old traditional places like Yanaka and Asakusa, is certainly more suited to their interests than Meiji/Shinjuku.

Anyway, it's going to be their choice in the end, and I wish them a very, very pleasant stay, short as it is.
Mar 21st, 2001, 07:14 AM
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Wow that is a suprise Florence not agreeing on info regarding Japan!!Every reply that i have read from her has some disagreement in it. Also for your info the govt of japan has one homeleess food ground in all of tokyo do you know where that is? I do, it is, you guessed it Ueno.Also f someone has one day to spend in Tokyo why in the world would you send them to a place inside?
Mar 21st, 2001, 08:29 AM
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While I am not sure I understood fully the comments that xxxxx made I would like to add something positive about the situation in Ueno. Homelessness is a very sorry condition and major problem wordwide, and as a tourist I certainly noticed it at Ueno Park. However, what I noticed is how this problem was handled in Japan.

As my son and I walked back through Ueno park, we saw many homeless people in the park. They each had the shopping cart of belongings that were covered with the ubiquitous blue plastic tarps. However, in the park there is an area where the homeless could safely leave their carts and no one would disturb them. In America, and in my hometown of Washington DC, the homeless have to push their carts around all day, or their belonging will be stolen or hauled away as trash. I think Japan had a much more civilized method.

While this may not qualify as a "tourist attraction", I think the Japanese people should be proud of their more humane treatment of the homeless. It is much better than how the homeless are treated in American. This is a tribute to the honesty of all Japanese people that no one would remove their carts.

Dawn, I hope you have an interesting time. Keep your eyes open there is so much to see wherever you go in Japan.
Mar 21st, 2001, 11:55 AM
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xxxxx, sure I have some "disagreement" with other posters about Japan. This is what this forum is all about: advice about places from different people, and, surprise, surprise, sometimes people will have different views. I expose my views, under my real name and my real email address, and everybody is welcome to disagree with me. I'm not absolutely sure my views are better than anyone else's. Some are based on my personal biases, some on experience, some on feedback I received over the years.

Some people like some areas, some others don't. That's life. If you don't like an area, don't spoil it for others. They may like it for reasons you will not understand but are as valid as yours.

I don't pass judjment on your tastes, I just try to be helpful, remembering how it was for me on my first visit, when I did not know the language and had nobody to give advice. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. Maybe not.

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