Tokyo for 4 Nights. What to See and Do?

Jul 10th, 2012, 01:10 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
Tokyo for 4 Nights. What to See and Do?

Hello Everyone!

I will be travelling to Japan for the first time in September and staying in Tokyo for a total of 4 nights. I will be staying in Akasaka three nights, and Shinjuku for one night (my last night in Japan after returning from Kyoto). I am looking for some suggestions and advice on what to do while I am there. I am sure that I will be jetlagged when I get there, but I am going to try to sleep on the plane and take over-the-counter sleep aids to adjust as soon as possible when I get there so that I can make the most of my time.

I know that I would like to experience the nightlife in Roppongi, and visit the Tsukiji Fish Market for sushi breakfast or lunch while I am there (should I see the fish auction as well?). Aside from that, I am still trying to figure out what to do. I am interested in experiencing the Japanese culture, cuisine, and seeing amazing architecture, and historical/traditional sites. I want to have experiences very different from what I would find in a major U.S. city. I would also like to get some great photos and spend a lot of time outside walking around. I am not too interested visiting inside museums. I will be getting a JR pass and taking the train to get around the city.

Here are some places that I am considering based on my research. Please let me know your thoughts. I am definitely open to other suggestions as well. Also, do you have any suggestions on souvenirs that I cannot get in the U.S?

Watch Sumo Wrestling Match
Meiji Shrine
Yoyogi Park in Shibuya-ku
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Roppongi Hills (observation deck)
Tokyo Midtown
Shinjuku (Golden Gai, Kabukicho, Kagurazaka, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku Gyoen)
Dinner and Drinks in Ebisu
Akihabara (electronics stores and cafes)
Shibuya (shopping and entertainment around Shibuya Station, nightclubs, Hachiko Exit intersection)
Ginza (Sony building)
Day trip to Nikko

Thank you in advance for your advice!
VeeDubb is offline  
Jul 10th, 2012, 02:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
I enjoy the Nippori/Nishi-Nippori area a lot -- traditional, and a nice break from some of the faster-paced quarters in Tokyo. You might also want to check out one of the street markets, such as Ameyoko, which runs from Ueno to Okichimaki stations. Finally, when you're in the Shinjuku area, a side trip to Harajuku is certainly worthwhile for some first-rate people-watching.

Also, if you are getting the JR pass only to go to Kyoto and travel around Tokyo, you might consider the alternative of the Open Ticket (also sometimes called a Flex Pass) that is valid for a round-trip from Tokyo to Kyoto for 21,000Y. Travel is available on Nozomi trains (which cut 20-30 mins off the travel time compared to Japan Pass travel), but you must travel in the unreserved seating cars. This would not be a good idea for most tourists during peak travel (Golden Week), but is perfectly reasonable the rest of the time. The Open Ticket also includes a 1-day Kyoto sightseeing pass. For info, see http://www.japanican.com/tours/tourd...&kw=openticket.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jul 11th, 2012, 06:13 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
Thanks, DonTopaz! These are very helpful suggestions.

I Googled the Ameyoko street market, and it looks like one of the outside markets in Mexico (Mexico City, Puebla) with food, souvenirs and inexpensive clothes. I’ll definitely plan to visit. Do you recommend getting any souvenirs or goods from that area?

I also searched Harajuku, and it seems like Sunday would be the best day for people watching, when people dress up in costumes like anime characters and punk musicians.

I don’t know if the Open Ticket (Flex Pass) would work for me because I will be traveling to the Izu Peninsula for a couple days from Kyoto, before coming back to Tokyo. What do you think? Also, I will be in Japan for 9 days and the JR Pass is only for 7 days, so I will have to decide when to start it? Any advice on this would be very helpful.

Thanks, and I am looking forward to everyone’s responses!
VeeDubb is offline  
Jul 11th, 2012, 01:29 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
The JR Pass wouldn't do you much good past JR Atami or Ito stations on the Izu Peninsula. Trains there run on private lines so flex pass might help and either way you would pay a supplement fare on the private lines.

Figure out your train fares on www.hyperdia.com

If you start your pass the day you arrive you can use it for the NEX train from NRT into Tokyo or on the last day on your way to NRT if you start it two days later. Usually people will start the pass for the day you leave Tokyo via train but it of course would all depend on your itinerary. You can also ride the limo bus into Tokyo form NRT all with information here:

http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/index.html

http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/

If buying your tickets for the bus or trains on that first day you should take advantage of the Limo Bus + Metro Pass or the NEX/Suica card deal explained in the sites above.

Some info if you haven't seen already about Ameyoko and the Harajuku girls.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3006.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3012.html

and a little about Izu

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6310.html

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 12th, 2012, 07:47 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
Hawaii, helpful and informative as always!

It looks like I could use the NEX/Suica Round Trip card deal. The NEX for when I first arrive to Narita to get to my hotel in Akasaka, and the last day in Japan (on the 9th day) returning to Narita from my hotel near Shinjuku Station. Does the NEX run right to Akasaka and Shinjuku Station? Then, I could use the 1,500 yen preloaded on the Suica smart card to get around on the subway touring Tokyo for the first two days. I would get the JR Pass to start on the 3rd day (for 7 days) to travel around the remaining time in Tokyo, to and while in Kyoto, and to JR Atami when traveling to Izu from Kyoto. Does this make sense?

Based on the scenario I mentioned above, I am also considering a day trip from Tokyo to either Nikko or Mt. Fuji once my JR Pass starts on the 3rd day. Would the JR Pass cover this, and which destination do you recommend?

Thanks again for the help!
VeeDubb is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
Yes the NEX runs from Shinjuku station to NRT and to Tokyo station from NRT for your stop at Asakusa. I think you may have spelled wrong as Asakasa.... maybe not. If you are staying in Asakusa you can also get there from Narita via the Keisei Line link I left above which is cheaper. They also have a Tokyo Metro Pass/Rail deal.

You can get to Nikko using your JR Pass. Use the hyperdia link I left above to figure out your rail times and options.

When you say you want to go to Mt Fuji where exactly are you thinking of going to? Most tourist will go to Hakone and do the "loop" and try to catch a glimpse of Fujisan from there. Others will go to Kawaguchiko(base of Mt Fuji). See these links below for detailed information about the areas I just mentioned but as day trips both would be a long day and both places would entail using private rail lines to complete your day with Hakone costing out at more.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6905.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2172.html

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 11:20 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
Dear Mr hawaiiantraveler,

The Hotel Okura is in Akasaka, which seems to be how the OP typed it. Very easy to get that mixed up with Asukasa, which is a different place. If you think you're staying in one and are actually in the other, you're in deep kaka.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 11:56 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
Dear Mr Topaz,

You are right....I am up to my kusa in kaka

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 12:15 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
In case you were wondering how far up the body a kusa is.....not very far

http://www.jeremyriad.com/blog/beyon...ss-flip-flops/
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 12:46 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
No problem

Does the NEX run from NRT to Akasaka?

BTW: What does "OP" stand for?

Thanks!
VeeDubb is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 03:45 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
The NEX does not stop in Akasaka. You would have to get off at Tokyo station and get either a taxi to the Hotel Okura or struggle with your bags through the maze that is Tokyo station to find the right subway line that will get you to the Okura...I think you would have to transfer at least once. If it were me and I was staying at the Okura I would take the limo bus from NRT to my hotel(I just felt Don Topaz cringe all the way here in HI). That way you wouldn't have to touch your bags until you get into your hotel room....they will be handled from the time you get on the bus until you are in your room and all with no tipping involved. You get on the bus at Narita and get off at the front door of the Okura all in about 90 minutes..... depending on the traffic.

The OP means Original Poster.....that would be you on this thread

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 03:50 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
you can get the limo bus/tokyo metro special tickets if you decide to take the limo bus. the tokyo metro tickets are good for one day free in the tokyo metro(subway) systems but not good on the private subway lines throughout tokyo.
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 08:42 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 59
Thank you for posting this. The reponses have brought up a lot of very helpful info. I dont mean to interupt your posts, i just didnt know how to ask a question. Please accept my apologies and wishing you a great trip. QUESTION FOR HAWIIAN. how long does it take by taxi from Narita to the park Hyatt hotel
At about 5 pm on a Friday in August. Is it hard to move luggage once we exit customs to the NEX.

Thank you for your help with this
yarrl is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 09:08 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
how long does it take by taxi from Narita to the park Hyatt hotel ... At about 5 pm on a Friday in August. Is it hard to move luggage once we exit customs to the NEX.

Speaking as hawaiiantraveler's spiritual advisor and cannabis consultant, I can try to answer.

A taxi from Narita to the Park Hyatt at 5pm on a Friday could easily take 75 minutes or more. And the price will be at least US$200, probably more.

It is easy to move luggage to/from the NEx after exiting customs, as there are escalators to and from the train platforms.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jul 15th, 2012, 09:00 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
A taxi from NRT on a Friday night would take 100 minutes or more to Shinjuku and cost around $280.00 US. They have luggage carriers at NRT which make it relatively easy to move our luggage down to the basement level. I have pictures and trip report here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...-fall-2011.cfm

BTW I we love the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku also reviewed on this same trip report.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 08:31 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
Hi,

I have another question. Will I be able to use the JR Pass traveling around on trains within Tokyo? For instance, staying in Akasaka and taking trains to places like Giza, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Nippori/Nishi-Nippor and other areas within Tokyo. Approximately how much would this cost for two days without the JR Pass?

Thanks again!
VeeDubb is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 10:26 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
Yes you can use your JR pass on all JR trains in Tokyo. The JR Yamanote Line would be the most useful in your case. Problem is that the Tokyo Metro is the main connector and transporter throughout the city. Use your SUICA card you get if you do the NEX/Suica deal can be used for the Metro. See here for information and details on what trains you can catch with what pass and how to use the metro and take a look at the metro map to see all the connections that are possible.....endless:

http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/index.html

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361.html

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 12:29 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 104
I plan to purchase the 2-way Limousine and 2-day Metro Pass deal, so I will have the Metro Pass to use while in Tokyo. Can I easily purchase this at Narita?

I used Hyperdia to calculate the costs for trains for (Tokyo to Kyoto, then to Izu, and then back to Tokyo) but it seems that the 7-day JR pass will only save me around 400 Yen. Am I calculating this correctly? Are there any other benefits of the JR pass? Are there any other alternatives that will save me more money?

Thanks again for all your help!
VeeDubb is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 01:36 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
I plan to purchase the 2-way Limousine and 2-day Metro Pass deal, so I will have the Metro Pass to use while in Tokyo. Can I easily purchase this at Narita?

Yes, as you exit the customs/immigrations room you will enter a large lobby, look for the Airport Limosine Bus desk. The attendants at the desk speak some English. Just ask for the round trip limosine and metro pass. They will ask you a couple of questions like when and where are you taking the bus to and from and at what times(they will have the schedules for you to see). They will issue you the tickets and passes, then its right outside the front doors to your bus stop.....really easy. On your ticket will be a bus stop# and time. Above the stops are digital times and destinations in both English and Japanese. Just show the attendants your ticket and they will tell you what to do....again real easy.

The JR 7-day Passes are good for long distance travel. They are also good for a discount when staying at a JR affiliated hotel usually located right at or around the station areas. If you only save 400 yen then I would not get one and just buy tickets as needed thus saving the time and hassle of buying the voucher here in the States and converting it to the pass while in Japan. You can also catch the faster Nozomi shinkansen(but at a little higher price) which will get you to Kyoto a little faster. On your way back you would probably have to take a Kodama shinkansen from Kyoto if you are stopping on the Izu Peninsula.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nicetrywilliams
Asia
5
Nov 15th, 2015 11:47 AM
janechan
Asia
4
Mar 1st, 2014 04:58 PM
shelleyk
Asia
29
Feb 22nd, 2013 06:24 PM
emerveille
Asia
4
Sep 9th, 2012 10:48 AM
braziliantraveller
Asia
9
Dec 7th, 2006 01:20 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:26 PM.