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.
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.
Where to Shop and Eat
My favorite place to shop, and probably one of the most famous districts in Tokyo, is Shibuya.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Karaoke is da bomb. Drinks beforehand to loosen you up, naturally.
Don’t forget purikura.
Tokyo Tower, or if you want the free version you can go to the Shinjuku Municipal Government office.
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.
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!