If Japan is not on your list of countries to visit, perhaps is time to put it there. I have been transiting at the Narita Airport multiple times over the years on my way to the US and only stepped out of the airport into Tokyo in last February. It was my first visit to Tokyo and to Japan. In November last year, I visited Japan again. Yes, I visited Japan twice last year. It is a country when you visit once, you want to see more of it.
My first trip to Tokyo was a five-day trip including two days of flight time, which means we had three full days of sightseeing and shopping. We decided to go Tokyo barely three weeks before our trip. Flight and hotel stay were booked just about two weeks before we left for Tokyo. Yes, this is very typical of me. Thanks to crazy travel schedule at work and now it became a habit.
We took a morning flight and landed at Narita in the evening. By the time we reached Tokyo and checked into the hotel, it was almost eight o’clock. After dinner at a restaurant near the hotel, we headed back to the hotel to plan our itinerary for the next three days.
With a little planning, we managed to cover quite a bit and had a great time. Following a brief itinerary of our first visit to Tokyo:
Day one morning was spent visiting Tsukiji Shijo as it was just barely ten minutes walk from the hotel we were staying. We had our breakfast at Tsukiji Shijo then headed to Akihabara and had our late lunch at the maid themed cafe. For more on our day one experience, go to Spring in Tokyo – Tsukiji Shijō & Akihabara
On day two we took the Tokyo Metro and visited the must-see Sensoji. When you are at Asakusa, do head over to the Roof Top Cafe cum Viewing Tower at the Visitors’ Centre for a view of the busy Nakamise shopping street and the Tokyo Skytree. After our visit to Sensoji, we walked to the Ueno Park, then to Ameyoko, Yanaka and also visited the Ueno Zoo. To know more of our second-day experience, go to Spring in Tokyo – Asakusa, Ueno Park, Ameyoko & Yanaka.
When visiting Tokyo, you would not want to miss visiting the Meiji Shrine. That’s what we did on our last day of sightseeing in Tokyo. We visited the Meiji Shrine that is right next to the Harajuku Station, the prominent landmark that you cannot miss when you are in Harajuku. In the afternoon we headed over to Shibuya to experience the “legendary” Shibuya intersection and not forgetting to meet Hachiko, the loyal dog. For more on our last day of sightseeing in Tokyo, go to Spring in Tokyo – Harajuku & Shibuya
Moving around in Tokyo by public transportation was easy and efficient. Being able to read both English and Kanji was definitely an advantage as some train stations only have Kanji characters written.
We had an enjoyable time in Tokyo and wished we could spend a few more days to explore the outskirts of Tokyo. After our first trip, we fell in love with the country resulting in our trip in last November to Kyoto, Osaka and Nara.
I would love to be back in Japan, perhaps to Mount Fuji, Hokkaido and Hiroshima. Comparing Tokyo and Kyoto, I prefer Kyoto as I like the mix of modern and old world charm of Kyoto.
Japan, till we meet again.
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