Visit to Tokyo

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cs412a
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:37 pm

Visit to Tokyo

Post by cs412a » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:19 am

I'll be visiting my son in Tokyo the first week of October. He's staying in an apartment complex in Roppongi, a few blocks from the American Embassy.

He'll be in charge of planning weekend travel, and we'll probably be doing things most evenings, but since he'll be working weekdays, I'll be exploring the city on my own during the day. So far I plan to spend my afternoons exploring the Imperial Palace area, the museums in Ueno Park and the Asakusa area. Wondering if anyone can recommend any other interesting places nearby.

Thanks in advance. :happy

28fe6
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by 28fe6 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:33 am

You can go to yebisu (pronounced ebisu) and visit the free observation tower for a great view. I like free things. There is also a brewery and museum there.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by Cyclesafe » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:37 am

Check out the English newspaper Japan Times for concurrent things to do. Public transportation is easy to figure out, cheap, safe, and efficient. You can go anywhere on the over and underground trains/subways. One week isn't near enough time. Interesting areas include Akihabara and Kabukicho. Ginza, Marunouchi, Asakusa, and Ueno are the usual tourist spots.
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” - Dwight Eisenhower

caffeperfavore
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:58 am

You've already got some good options above. I'll add the Yanaka neighborhood. It's a quieter area with the city's few surviving wooden houses that weren't leveled in WWII. Kamakura, a one-time site of Japan's capital and sort of mini-Kyoto is a short train ride just out of the city. There's temples and walking trails that might provide a nice respite from the bustle of Tokyo. I enjoyed visiting the Meiji shrine and surrounding park. Shinjuku Gardens are also nice. Try East Shinjuku for some classic Tokyo nightime madness (bright lights, signs, robot shows). If you enjoy cooking, the Kappabashi-dori area is an endless strip of kitchen supply stores. I could have spent half a day just browsing there.

Mostly, I just being there and wandering and people watching. Much of Roppongi feels like an American suburb to me, so I didn't spend so much time there.

But it all depends on what you like or want to see. Food? Traditional Japanese culture? Technology?

If you have a week, I would be tempted to do a day trip to Kyoto, just over 2 hours away. The Shinkansen bullet trains are enjoyable in themselves (for us train deprived Americans anyway).

d0gerz
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by d0gerz » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:21 pm

cs412a wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:19 am
I'll be visiting my son in Tokyo the first week of October. He's staying in an apartment complex in Roppongi, a few blocks from the American Embassy.

He'll be in charge of planning weekend travel, and we'll probably be doing things most evenings, but since he'll be working weekdays, I'll be exploring the city on my own during the day. So far I plan to spend my afternoons exploring the Imperial Palace area, the museums in Ueno Park and the Asakusa area. Wondering if anyone can recommend any other interesting places nearby.

Thanks in advance. :happy
You’ll be very near Roppongi Hills. Lots to do there. The Mori Art Museum is terrific.

I am biased towards Western Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya). The Tokyo Metropolitan Govt building in Shinjuku has a free observatory on the 45th floor, makes for great views on a clear day. Shinjuku Gyouen is a fabulous park and not that crowded.

I would visit www.japan-guide.com. Tokyo has lots to do, really depends on your interests. Enjoy!

birnhamwood
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by birnhamwood » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:53 pm

Check your necktie at the hotel desk if you spend a night at the Narita/Tokyo airport, the FedEx pilot joke goes.

It's so boring you might otherwise commit suicide. :^)

jacksonm
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by jacksonm » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:01 pm

Just returned from Tokyo and still getting over jet lag.

Favorite place was probably Sensō-ji temple area in Asakusa.

The government building has a nice view of the city for free as some others have pointed out.

My wife and granddaughter enjoyed the Don Quijote and Daisa stores.

The Emperor's Palace is on most lists of top things to do but we found it quite boring. You can't even get a view of the palace. All you can do is walk around the walls. And it's a long walk.

We took a day trip to Mt. Fuju on a tour bus one day which was nice. If you go, take the option for an express train back to Tokyo. It's 14 minutes vs. about 1.5 to 2 hours returning on the bus.

Did the robot restaurant in Shinjuku one evening. It wasn't actually a restaurant and there weren't actually robots but it was kind of interesting if overpriced. Located in a seedy part of Tokyo, IMO. My granddaughter and I were both approached by some rather aggressive individuals (not Japanese, BTW) while we were walking far apart from each other so I would stick together. Only place in Japan where we felt a bit unsafe.

Also visited Kyoto, Hiroshima, Myajima, and Osaka. Tokyo was actually my least favorite of all the cities but overall I was very impressed with the whole country.

barnaclebob
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:17 pm

jacksonm wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:01 pm
Did the robot restaurant in Shinjuku one evening. It wasn't actually a restaurant and there weren't actually robots but it was kind of interesting if overpriced. Located in a seedy part of Tokyo, IMO. My granddaughter and I were both approached by some rather aggressive individuals (not Japanese, BTW) while we were walking far apart from each other so I would stick together. Only place in Japan where we felt a bit unsafe.
Shinjuku was like that when we were there about a decade ago. I think most of the people who approach you are just trying to get you to come into their clubs/bars and while its off putting I don't think its particularly dangerous or anything. One night I was a bit drunk and laughed at a very large Nigerian fellow when he wanted us to pay a cover charge to get into one of these clubs. We went by him without issue, saw that the place was empty and walked back out.

jacksonm
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by jacksonm » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:45 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:17 pm
jacksonm wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:01 pm
Did the robot restaurant in Shinjuku one evening. It wasn't actually a restaurant and there weren't actually robots but it was kind of interesting if overpriced. Located in a seedy part of Tokyo, IMO. My granddaughter and I were both approached by some rather aggressive individuals (not Japanese, BTW) while we were walking far apart from each other so I would stick together. Only place in Japan where we felt a bit unsafe.
Shinjuku was like that when we were there about a decade ago. I think most of the people who approach you are just trying to get you to come into their clubs/bars and while its off putting I don't think its particularly dangerous or anything. One night I was a bit drunk and laughed at a very large Nigerian fellow when he wanted us to pay a cover charge to get into one of these clubs. We went by him without issue, saw that the place was empty and walked back out.
It was a Nigerian fellow who went after my granddaughter and though I'd like to think it wasn't dangerous it was alarming enough for me to run as fast as I could to get in his face and tell him to leave her alone. She said he was trying to get her to go somewhere for a drink and obviously wasn't ready to take no for an answer. Really freaked my granddaughter out as nothing like that had ever happened to her before. She was venturing out on her own beforehand but after that incident she only went in the daytime. Also, there were signs up in the area to beware of unscrupulous people.

dubsem
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Location: CA

Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by dubsem » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:00 pm

jacksonm wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:45 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:17 pm
jacksonm wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:01 pm
Did the robot restaurant in Shinjuku one evening...
Shinjuku was like that when we were...
It was a Nigerian fellow ...
I had the same experience where a fellow was persistent that I check out his clothing store.

The solicitors mean no harm, but can be aggressive. Just firmly decline, and do not stop walking.

There's an abundance of sites and activities you can enjoy.
  • Mori Art Museum
    Tsukiji / Toyosu Fish Market
    Daibutsu
    Kirin Beer Garden
    Suntory Whiskey Distillery
    Yokohama (1/2 day trip)
G.O.O.D.

Capsu78
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by Capsu78 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:06 pm

I found it useful to take the Hop on Hop off bus tour the first day of the trip and use that to figure out where you might want to spend some more time the rest of the days.

Topic Author
cs412a
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:37 pm

Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by cs412a » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:36 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions!

I have traveled to Japan before - once in the 1980's to visit my ex-husband's relatives and again in 2005 to visit my son when he was living in Matsuyama - so I've been to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Matsuyama (which was my favorite), and places in between. However, I didn't spend any time in Tokyo on either visit, so I'm hoping to become more familiar with the city this time around.

Looking forward to being able to use public transportation to get around. I appreciate the heads up re the Imperial Palace area. Currently I plan to check out the Mori Art Museum, the Sensō-ji temple area in Asakusa, the Yanaka neighborhood, the Tokyo Metropolitan Govt building observatory, and the Shinjuku Gardens. Might try to take in Mt. Fuji or Kamakura over the weekend.

Thanks again - I knew I'd get great information here. :happy

otinkyad
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by otinkyad » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:16 pm

cs412a wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:36 pm
Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions!
Jumping in late. We found Meiji Jingu, the adjacent gardens, and the surrounding woods magical, and easily the highlight of Tokyo. Yoyogi Park next door was also nice, but we got Cherry blossoms. We enjoyed Senso-ji in the evening by accident, and everything was closed but well lit, with many couples enjoying an evening stroll, much like an Italian passeggiata. Ueno Park and the national museum were major disappointments, and we too mostly enjoyed the Imperial Gardens the next day by contrast. They didn’t rival Meiji Jingu.

The top of Mori Tower, home of the art museum, also has an observation deck with fun exhibits (currently Pixar), but the Skydeck (aka roof) was our second favorite place in the city.

We also visited Akihabara and the Skytree, and they were fun. We missed the Hokusai museum, which I would have liked to see.

harrychan
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by harrychan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:37 pm

Really depends on what you are interested in. You can take a day trip to Yokohama. Also don't sleep on places like Daikan-yama and Tsukiji outer market. Even though the fish auction moved, I find it more authentic.

For travel, make sure you pick up a Suica card. We have one for each family member.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

Lookingforanswers
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by Lookingforanswers » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:40 pm

[/quote]
I would visit www.japan-guide.com. Tokyo has lots to do, really depends on your interests. Enjoy!
[/quote]

I get to Tokyo frequently on business and love it. I strongly endorse the website mentioned above, japan-guide.com. They are very conservative with ratings; if they give something a lot of stars it really is a must-see. I also think their transportation instructions are really clear -- they present really good options on how to reach a destination and give you confidence to get out and see something.

If this is not on your weekend itinerary, you can visit Nikko in a day -- two hours by train from Shinjuku station. It's an amazing place to spend a day looking at the palaces and temples.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html

tev9876
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by tev9876 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:33 pm

The Rugby World Cup will be going on at that time at several cities across Japan.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by HawkeyePierce » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:00 pm

I highly recommend trying to get a lunch reservation at Ginza Iwa. It's a one-star Michelin sushi restaurant that's reliably foreigner friendly and you can usually get a seat a few weeks in advance. They have set lunch menus (changes from time to time but usually in the 6-8k range).

Kuramae is a cool neighborhood just south of Asakusa. There are some interesting shops and boutiques. There's a store where you can custom-make your own notebooks, makes for a good gift.

In Tokyo Station you'll find Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection of eight or so ramen shops that are some of the best Tokyo has to offer and which have been gathered into one place. Lines can be long but they move fast since you don't linger at ramen shops. You order from a vending machine which spits out a ticket. A decent rule of thumb in that situation if the sign is Japanese-only is to just pick the button in the top-left, it's usually the equivalent of ordering the "#1 special".

+1 to the Nikko side trip. You might get lucky with fall colors. There are some beautiful walks in the area. I recommend the walk from Yumoto Onsen through the Senjogahara Marsh to the Ryuzu Waterfall. IMO a much better day trip than Fuji or Hakone.

Two of my favorite neighborhoods to wander are Omotesando/Harajuku and Yanesen. There are a lot of fascinating back alleys and laneways north and south of the main shopping street (think Champs Elysees) in Omotesando. Yanesen is a nickname for three adjacent neighborhoods: Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi. This is one of the few areas of Tokyo that retains pre-war wooden architecture.

gold99xx
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Re: Visit to Tokyo

Post by gold99xx » Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:34 pm

Food. Everywhere.

Its the safest big city in the world, so much different than the US. This should not even be a consideration.

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