The Perfect Day in Tokyo

When I first moved to Tokyo, I was excited most about being able to explore the city slowly and thoroughly, taking in its craziness, its beauty, and its vast difference to my hometown in my own time. And boy did I have fun.

There are so many things to do and see in Tokyo and I truly believe that there is no place on Earth like it. However, as time passes, those moments that take your breath away, the moments that leave you stunned in amazement become fewer and fewer. You start to become immune to your surroundings, life as you know it in Tokyo, becomes normal. Which I believe is a good thing, standing openmouthed anywhere is not a good look.  The arrival of visitors quickly changes this normalcy and it throws you quite quickly back into the life of a tourist; preparing for their arrival led to my portrayal of the perfect day in Tokyo.

The perfect day in Tokyo should always begin at the very famous Tsukiji fish market – it is an early start at 4:30am but well worth it. It is frantic, colourful and incomprehensible. You will see fish you know and a lot of fish you don’t. After a walk about, breakfast at Sushi Bun is a must, where the fish has literally just come from the sea.

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Tsukiji

After a quick nap, and then a train ride to Hinode pier, take a boat cruise along the Sumida river to Asakusa, home of the beautiful Senso-ji temple. During this cruise you will see stunning gardens, edo-period Japanese buildings, the golden ‘nugget’ and the new Tokyo Skytree. Senso-ji temple is one of the most popular shrines in Tokyo; it is often busy but walking through the bustling street market, getting your fortune told and the beautiful Japanese gardens are a sight not to be missed.

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Hinode pier

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Walking around Asakusa.

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Market area in Asakusa.

Take the train back to Harajuku station on the JR line, be ready to experience the crazy and the unexpected as you walk through the long street of Takeshita Dori. Sunday is the best day to visit when young people gather and engage in costume play. Shopping, people watching and eating the nicest crepes in all of Japan are all part of the experience.

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Japanese women dressed in Lolita fashion walk in front of the venue of "Individual Fashion Expo. IV" fashion event in Tokyo

Cosplay Harajuku.

There are a few ways to view the landscape of Tokyo in all its glory, one of the best options is from the Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku, which has a free observatory. The view of Tokyo is incredible and best seen at night time. This observatory offers a full view of all area’s in Tokyo with restaurant and souvenir shopping.

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Tokyo at night.

If you are not too tired, I would recommend Gonpachi in Roppingi for dinner, a famous Izakaya (Japanese style bar) where Kill Bill was filmed. It is inexpensive, the food is good and it is not far from the main nightlife district where you can party into the small hours. Or if you are feeling adventurous, there are many themed restaurants dotted around Tokyo, The Lock Up in Shibuya is well known for its theme based on the infamous Alcatraz. Prepare to be scared.

There are an infinite amount of possibilities for the Perfect Day in Tokyo. This is mine. What is yours?

Author of this article

Ciara Lynch

Ciara Lynch is a teacher, writer and enthusiast of all things Japanese. Readers can find more of her experiences about living abroad in a country so very different to her own. Travels, ramblings, photography and expat advice make up a lot of this blog: http://www.travellingtalesofciara.com

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