Honeymoon In My Hometown: Tokyo

Maybe Tokyo isn’t my hometown, but it sure feels like it. Remember when I lived there? That was pretty weird. I’m actually homesick for Tokyo—the lights, the quirkiness, the energy. Japan has four seasons, and in the winter in Tokyo it gets so cold it snows just a bit. Tokyo is most beautiful during the cherry blossom season in late March through early April, or when the leaves change color during fall (known as “koyo“). Avoid summer as it is unbearably hot and humid, and September is the rainy season and prone to typhoons.


(personal photos)

Where To Stay

Tokyo is known for some of the most high-class hotels in the world. Splurge on the Conrad, the Park Hyatt (AH-mazing views and I recommend it personally), Mandarin Oriental, The Peninsula, or the Prince Park.

Chain hotels include Hilton, Best Western, Intercontinental, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, etc.

Lodge on the cheap at the numerous hostels around Tokyo. I can personally recommend Sakura Hostels and hotels in Hatagaya, Ikebukuro, Asakusa, or Jimbocho.

For hotels all over Japan (including Tokyo), I’ve used japanhotel.net for reviews and reservations. You can use it to find a Japanese ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, like the Ryokan Homelike.

Where to Shop and Eat

My favorite place to shop, and probably one of the most famous districts in Tokyo, is Shibuya.

(source)

It’s got everything we know and love, like Zara and H&M, as well as trendy Japanese department stores like Parco and Shibuya 109, known as meccas of Japanese fashion.

(source)

Harajuku is where the younger kids shop so I tended not to shop there. The famous crowded shopping street is called Takashita, just outside the Harajuku station exit, and if you dig lolita style clothing this would be the area for you. Neighboring Omotesando is for those that like brand names like Ralph Lauren, as well as high-end independent boutiques. You can also find brand names in famous Ginza and Roppongi, which is home to Roppongi Hills, a towering high fashion shopping mall.

Eating can be complicated because not all menus are in English and if you aren’t careful you’ll wind up with raw horse! I recommend going to an izakaya where you’ll be served small plates of nibbles that you can snack on all night. Tame chains include Wara Wara and Wataminchi. There’s a smaller version of Yelp! for expats called Sunnypages where you can read localized reviews for food and nightlife, and also bento.com for more discriminating reviews.

(source)

What To See and Do

Oh man, I don’t even…

Here we go…

Hang out in Yoyogi Park to see some interesting characters like Harajuku girls and dancing Greasers, play some frisbee, or just take in the local crowd.

(source)

Visit some temples and shrines. The big honking motherload is in Asakusa, and the Emperor’s shrine is Meiji Jingu (see: Sewing’s time), which is right next to Takashita shopping street and Yoyogi Park.

(personal photo)

Karaoke is da bomb. Drinks beforehand to loosen you up, naturally.

(Oh hai Bear Cubs, thanks for popping over!)

Don’t forget purikura.

(personal photo)

Tokyo Tower, or if you want the free version you can go to the Shinjuku Municipal Government office.

(source)

Like Disney? Check out Disney Sea. It’s got familiar rides like the Tower of Terror and Indiana Jones as well as original attractions like Journey To The Center Of The Earth and 1,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

(personal photo)

There are so many things to do, buy, eat, drink, and see in Tokyo. There’s no way I can cover it in one post or even put into words. Here are some other posts that might help if you are planning a trip or honeymoon in Tokyo: A Honeymoon in Hakone, Tokyo in Four Hours or Less, Dai Kichi (Asakusa temples), , Sews in Tokyo Part 1 and Part 2.

I love, love, LOVE to plan vacations and would be happy to help you with your itinerary—just message me!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Glasses

Location:
Tokyo/Los Angeles, CA
Wedding Date:
October 2010
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comments

  1. Member
    earrings 2611 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:56 pm

    Yay, I was hoping you would do a Tokyo post. Mr E and I have always wanted to visit :)

  2. Member
    husky 1750 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:22 pm

    Um, dream vacation? Yes please!

  3. Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:24 pm

    @Miss Earrings: I was dreading it. There’s just no possible way to cover Tokyo in one post and please everyone. I need a whole website! I am hoping some awesome commentors will add more tips!

  4. Member
    jam 310 posts, Helper bee @ 3:16 pm

    I want to go to Tokyo to hang out with Harajuku girls & overdose on Karaoke : (

  5. Member
    cheetah 1192 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:25 pm

    I want to go back! It’s been sooo long…

  6. Member
    MissMargie 769 posts, Busy bee @ 3:42 pm

    This post is so timely for me and my guy! We are planning our honeymoon, and Tokyo is currently in the top three options. The only issue is that we are getting married in August and it doesn’t seem like it would be a good idea to go then b/c of weather….Mrs. Glasses–do you think August would be an awful time to go?

  7. Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:00 pm

    @MissMargie: How well do you handle and travel in extreme weather? Highs in the upper 80s and 90s? Humidity of the same percentage? If weather isn’t important, and you pack plenty of light weight, breathable clothing and stay hydrated while walking around and viewing the sights, you should be fine. I would suggest avoiding mid-August as it is a week of holiday for most people and all attractions, trains, etc. are crowded. The cool thing about August is the festivals – big fireworks displays, local festivals where people wear their yukatas and do obon dancing (a type of folk line dancing) and local traditional ceremonies.

  8. Member
    MissMargie 769 posts, Busy bee @ 4:15 pm

    @Mrs. Glasses: Thanks for the info Glasses. I’ve traveled and lived in places with high heat and humidity so that doesn’t deter me too much. We’re getting married the 6th and taking off two days later probably so we could probably avoid the mid month madness. And the festivals sound lovely. Definitely a lot to think about, thanks again!

  9. Member
    octopus 1439 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:34 pm

    I’ve never been to Japan, but I KNOW I love it.

  10. Member
    mak418 355 posts, Helper bee @ 4:36 pm

    I spy Sewings!!! What a great post – Japan is definitely on my ‘someday’ list.

  11. Member
    StbHisMrs 339 posts, Helper bee @ 5:05 pm

    I’d love to go back to Japan, I visited my now ex-husband while he was stationed in Yokuska. My Mom came with me and we really didn’t get to tour much :(
    It was mid-August and holy heck the humidity about killed me, I’m from Oregon ;) It was so hard to breath..
    My FI was also stationed in Japan for quite a while, actually married a girl from there, and has two little girls with her that adore Japan! We would love to go back and tour together.

  12. Member
    Miss Ariel 83 posts, Worker bee @ 7:19 pm

    When I went to Japan, the only thing I really wanted to do was go to DisneySea. Part of it was because I had heard about it since I was little, since it was originally supposed to be built in my hometown. But I love Disneyland, so I knew I had to go!

  13. Member
    KaitlinHudson 1131 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:27 am

    I see Mr and Mrs Sewing! :D Looks like a blast!

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