It was our first trip together in Japan for two weeks, including three days each in Kyoto and Osaka. We spent a couple of days and last few days in Tokyo. So on the first full day we started from basics – Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku! We wanted to do as many things as possible, so it was a day full of exploring and trying new things. Here is our complete itinerary for Day 1 in Tokyo. Enjoy!
9:30 Shinjuku Gyoen
After walking for about 15 minutes from JR Shinjuku Station, we arrived at Shinjuku Gyoen, which is a 58 ht park with three areas – traditional Japanese garden, English landscape and French style gardens. The day we went was the green day so we could go inside for free, but normally it costs ¥200 (Adults). Started with the Japanese garden close to the entrance, and forward to English and French one at the end.
There are two traditional teahouses in Japanese garden area, where you can taste green tea and Japanese sweet for ¥700. We bought ticket at the entrance, went inside (looks like below!), and passed the tickets to a woman. Soon she brought Japanese sweet which was made from rice cake and bean jam. Then we had traditional green tea, which had a little bitter and stronger taste than normal green tea. It was delicious.
11:00 Meiji Shrine
We took JR Yamanote Line from Shinjuku Station, and got off at Harajuku Station after two stops. From there we walked to Meiji Shrine, an imperial shrine located in Shibuya. Started with the huge main gate, walking down the graval path, passing by the famous wall of sake casks (Of course I took bunch of pictures!), and reached to the main hall. There was a traditional wedding ceremony going on, and luckily we could watch bride and groom walking down the carpet and the traditional dance after.
12:00 Takeshita-dori Street
We came back near Harajuku Station, and headed to the Takeshita-dori Street, which is popular among young people and also famous as a touristic attraction for foreigners. Here we tried Japanese photo booth “Purikura” (I’m telling you, you’ve got to try this, and see your face will change in the photos in such a funny way!). You can use it for ¥400 for one round, which includes five or six different poses and “Rakugaki” (drawing) in the pictures. I personally like this machine – it makes me look prettier in the photos haha!
We also tried crepes which are popular in this area. Among the endless list of different crepes, we picked one with strawberry, banana, chocolate and whip cream. It was before lunch time, but we didn’t care (man it was delicious!!) If you have a sweet tooth, you definitely have to try this!
13:30 Shibuya Scramble Crossing and Statue of Hachiko
We walked down the street all the way to Shibuya Station for about 20 minutes, looking for the famous scramble crossings and the statue of Hachiko. It was the biggest holiday of the year, so the place was packed. We pushed our way through to the statue of Hachiko, a dog that waited for his dead master in front of the Shibuya station for 9 years. Many people were waiting for their friends near the statue.
We walked away from Shibuya Station toward the center street, and found this place where you can have bowl dishes. I ordered avocado and tuna, and my boyfriend ordered salmon tartare. (it was better than mine…) There was also a miso soup aside, so it quickly filled up our stomach. Each bowl cost about ¥1,200.
16:00 Roppongi Hills
Before we enjoy the night life in Tokyo (we were going to the Tokyo Tower), we moved to Roppongi Hills, which is a fancy area in Tokyo, and killed some time at a beer garden inside. We didn’t know about this place at all, but as soon as it caught our eyes, we knew we were going in and have some beer. (Because why not!) It was a beer garden of Master’s Dream Beer by suntory. We had one glass each and one free glass for us two. I really liked the beer, and will definitely buy some for home next time!
18:00 Tokyo Tower
We took subway Hibiya Line from Roppongi Station, and got off at Kamiyacho Station, just one stop away from Roppongi Station. We walked for about 10 minutes, and arrived at the Tokyo Tower. We were right at time for the sunset.
Unfortunately we couldn’t go up all the way to the Special Observatory (250m) because of the wind. However the view was still beautiful from the Main Observatory (150m). We enjoyed the 360 degree of the view, and watched the sun to set. The skyline was beautiful – city lights far away to the end, and mountain at the end of the horizon. Next time I will definitely check out the Special Observatory!
20:00 Shinjuku Golden-gai
We left the Tokyo Tower, and walked to Akabanebashi Station to catch the train back to Shinjuku. It was about 15 minutes ride. We were walking around Shinjuku 2-chome area, which is famous for host and hostess bars, but we ended up at little bar streets called “Golden-gai”. We picked one and decided to try. It was such a small bar, where only 8 people can fit. But the size actually made us closer to other people, and we found ourselves having a nice conversation with other travelers and locals. We had such a great time. It was a nice way to end the long day.
Do you have any suggestions for places to visit in Tokyo? Let me know in the comment down below! 🙂