Tokyo: One week itinerary

Tokyo Insider
Akihabara for cheap electronics and geeky experiences. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Akihabara for cheap electronics and geeky experiences
A week is the perfect ammount of time to spend getting to know the real Tokyo. Follow this itinerary for the best of the best.


Arrive in Tokyo and check in at Claska, which you sensibly booked two months in advance. Settle in, admire the hipness and grab a reasonably priced meal, before heading to the nearest station (Gakugeidaigaku) to catch the train to Shibuya. Spend several hours wandering — make sure you check out the excellent Loft department store and the 109 Building, a fashion hub for young women caked in make-up. When it's dinner time, head to hospital-prison-restaurant Alcatraz ER for a memorably daffy experience.


Get your touristy experiences out of the way today. Rise early and visit the Tsukiji fish markets, before heading to Asakusa, where you'll find Senso-ji temple and a variety of old-world shops. Head to nearby Akihabara for cheap electronics and geeky experiences — visit Cafe@home and dally with the waitresses dressed as maids. Then go to Ginza, where department stores sell super-luxury goods just minutes from cheap yakitori shops under the Yurakucho's train tracks.


Spend some time in Shinjuku. Go up the Metropolitan Government Building, check out the chaotic variety store Don Quixote and, when it gets dark, wander through Kabuki-cho and the Golden Gai. Then splurge on dinner at one of Tokyo's high-end restaurants.


Take a bohemian tour. From Shinjuku, jump on the Chuo line and head to Koenji, a lively neighbourhood known for music and second-hand shops. Next, head to Kichijoji and grab lunch at atmospheric yakitori shop Iseya. Then walk through Inokashira Park to the Ghibli Museum, which celebrates the animation of Academy Award-winner Hayao Miyazaki. Next, jump the Keio-Inokashira line to Shimokitazawa, possibly the most bohemian of all Tokyo's neighbourhoods, grab some dinner and find a bar (perhaps Eat a Peach) until it's time for the last train.


Get out of Tokyo for a day and night. Take the express train to Nikko, book a room in a pleasant little inn (Turtle Inn is cheap and cute) and spend some time with temples, trees and occasionally aggressive monkeys.


Check out spots from Lost in Translation. Return to Tokyo, check in at the Park Hyatt and enjoy the hotel (make sure you take a swim). Head to Shibuya for a singing session at Karaoke-kan (it's cheaper in the afternoon). When you're hungry, catch the train to Daikanyama and visit Ichikan for a sensational sushi experience. Then return to the Hyatt and check out the view from the New York Bar and Grill with a cocktail in hand.


Get the Hyatt to hold your bags and head to Harajuku, where the weekly display of subculture fashion will be in full swing. Check out the Goth-loli fashion on Takeshita Dori, then walk up Omote-Sando avenue past some of Tokyo's most exclusive boutiques. Finally, head back to Shinjuku, fetch your bags and ride the Narita Express to the airport.

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form below.

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User comments
there was no mention of half the places a tourist should be going !! and i reccomend the first day after flying in taking a strol around the imperial gardens!! and soaking up the excitement japan has to offer. Hakone is a very good place to go! so many places left out.. wasted days!
Yes i'm sure a visitor will get more of a cultural experience staying at the $400 US a night Park Hyatt rather then a lowly Ryokan serving Kaseiki dinners. Only poor tourists stay at Ryokan's right?
luv luv luv it...travelbuggery is my fav
Alcatraz ER was an absolute hoot when we went last week, the staff go out of their way to truly give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
No Mt Fuji?? But definitely recommend Akihabara and Harajuku areas.