“How long does it require to visit this city?”, we often ask this question while planning a trip to a new place. It is a very important question as it depends on multiple factors like travel style, places of interest and lot others. You may get an answer like “you need to spend at least a month to explore a city like Tokyo”, but not everyone has the luxury of time if you are not a full-time traveler.
We managed to get just 8 days for our first trip to Japan (including our travel days). After all our calculations, we designed a fully packed itinerary and Tokyo got just 24 hrs in its share. We knew that it is gonna be super hectic and we will not be able to cover everything but we had to set our priorities right to cover all other amazing places in Japan. This post is for everyone out there who falls under the same situation as ours.
Tip: You must book your stay on Yamanote metro line as most of the places to visit are near Yamanote metro line.
7 am: Start your day with an early morning visit to Senso-ji
You have to be here early morning to beat the crowd and click your perfect travel picture without others in the frame. The market will open by 8:30 am and then this empty looking alley will be swamped with hundreds of tourists. You can find all kinds of shops here from street food to souvenirs at an affordable price. This is actually your best bet for souvenir shopping.
10 am: Visit Yodobashi store at Akihabara
I had never seen such a huge electronic store in my life. There was a complete floor dedicated to just photography equipment. If you are not even planning to buy anything it is still worth to explore this amazing store. There is a popular saying that if you can’t find an electronic item in Yodobashi then it must not exist in the world.
If it is not very late for your breakfast, then you must explore popular maid cafes in Akihabara.
1 pm: Explore Harajuku
You can explore the shopping streets and amazing restaurants in one of the most commercial districts of Tokyo, Harajuku. You can easily spend your entire day here but need at least two hours to explore the market. You must try the pancakes here which are simply delicious.
You must visit Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (shopping mall) for the famous picture with glass walls. You need to be patient to avoid the crowd in the daytime and also be creative with different framing and angles.
4 pm: Attend a Japanese Wedding at Meiji Shrine
Every day there are a bunch of wedding ceremonies happening in Meiji shrine, you should attend one to get a feel for Japanese tradition. It is also a nice walk amidst nature from the main gate to Meiji Shrine.
6 pm: Watch the sunset over the city
Observation decks are usually the best places to get a 360-degree view and watch the sunset over a city. In a place like Tokyo, there are undoubtedly multiple such places and it is hard to choose one among these. Three most popular places are Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo World Trade Center. We chose Tokyo World Trade Centre over others so that I could click a picture with iconic Tokyo Tower in my frame. Also, World Trade Centre is a photographer’s friendly place as they allow you to set up the tripod.
7 pm: Visit famous Shibuya Crossing
If a traffic signal can make it to a top tourist destination of a city, I think anything in the world can. Shibuya crossing is a traffic signal outside Shibuya metro station where thousands of people cross at a single time. Frankly speaking, we didn’t find anything special about it but it was fun to join over enthusiastic travelers who were literally dancing while crossing the signal.
There is a lot more in Shibuya district than just a traffic signal, you can either spend your entire evening exploring restaurants and shopping or you can head to party district of Tokyo, Shinjuku district.
10 pm: Late night hangout at Shinjuku district
If you still have some energy left, you can explore the party district of Tokyo at night. You must visit the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku.
And that’s how we completed our 24 hrs in Tokyo. It was a crazy hectic day indeed and we literally crashed once we managed to reach our Airbnb back. The next day, we left for Kawaguchiko, one of the finest places to see Mt. Fuji (coming soon).
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