Tokyo : The ultimate 5 days itinerary

If you’ve been following our adventures, you probably know how much we love Japan -and why. From Hokkaido to Okinawa, we’ve enjoyed every little piece of this country we’ve had the chance to explore. And amongst all the cities we’ve seen, Tokyo stays one of the stars,

Tokyo : The ultimate 5 days itinerary

It’s modern yet traditional, with neons and futuristic technologies meeting old temples and gorgeous kimonos. It’s doing karaoke while drinking green tea. It’s riding a quad dressed like Mario Kart before going to a sumo wrestling. Tokyo is everything and its contrary. Either you love it, or you hate it. We’ve been there over five times and every single time I step my foot in this city, I get more and more crazy about it. Discover why, and prepare your ultimate itinerary for a 5 days trip in Tokyo.


Things to know before going to tokyo

  • Situation : Situated by the water on the island of Honshu, Tokyo has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. With more than 9 millions habitants, it’s one of the biggest cities in the world.

  • Airports : There are two airports : Haneda, south, about 40 minutes from the city center, and Narita, east of Tokyo, 1h45 minutes train for the center.

  • Transports : Taking the subway might seem challenging at first, but if you don’t rush and don’t hesitate to ask when you have a doubt, you should be all fine. Everything is translated in English. Taxis are overpriced.

  • Visa : Check if you need one, depending of your passport. French ones are good for 90 days. :)

  • Money : You’ll find ATM everywhere in the city -often hidden inside the convenience stores.
    In Dec. 2018 1000¥ = 7.75€.

  • Language : You’ll be surprised how well people speak English. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

  • Culture : There are a few things to know -respect the silence when visiting temples, bow to say goodbye, never blow your nose in a restaurant…

 

10 things to do in Tokyo

  • Forget everything you think you know about sushis and discover what’s the real deal

  • Watch the Robot Restaurant Show - and wonder yourself on which planet you’ve just landed

  • Get lost in the smalls streets such as Golden Gai

  • Explore Meiji Jingu temple and Yoyogi park

  • Learn some Japanese words whilst talking with locals

  • Sleep in a traditional ryokan

  • Make souvenirs in a Purikura cabin, the kawaii version of the photo booth

  • Discover the thorough art of Japanese garden

  • Get hooked by the insanely cool atmosphere in Harajuku

  • Pick up geek collectibles in Akihabara

Tokyo : The ultimate 5 days itinerary

Itinerary of a 5 days trip in Tokyo

Tokyo. The sublime, the vibrant, the dazzling, the futuristic. First time I set foot in the city, I couldn't believe it -is that all real or am I in a movie scene? The language, the food, the culture, the architecture, the humour, EVERYTHING is different from what I've ever seen. 

Day 1 : SHIBUYA & SHINJUKU

Dive directly into the crazy Tokyo, the one vibrating with neons colours and kawaii stores. Soak up in the mad vibes !

Itinerary of a 5 days trip in Tokyo

SHIBUYA

  • Observe the famous Shibuya crossing from the street level then from the Starbucks

  • Shop in the numerous colourful boutiques and malls such as the giant 109 Shibuya

  • Order your sushis on a tablet, let them get to your table via a robot at Genki sushi (very good + very cheap)

SHINJUKU

  • Explore the beautiful park Shinjuku Goyen

  • Get lost in translation in Park Hyatt Hotel

  • Enter in one of the many arcade games rooms and observe the people play

  • Get lost in Shinjuku’s gorgeous alleys such as Memory Lane and Golden Gai

  • Enjoy Shinjuku by night, its bright neons and lively nightlife

  • Drink a good old Japanese whisky

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Day 2 : Tsukiji, Shimoki-tazawa & roppongi

Get a break from the crowds and explore some more relaxed neighbourhoods of Tokyo.

Itinerary of a 5 days trip in Tokyo

TSUKIJI

  • Wake up before the sun and head to Tsukiji Fish Market

  • Do it like a local : sushis & beers for breakfast !

SHIMOKI-TAZAWA

  • Welcome in the suburb ! Enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere

  • Don’t miss Flipper’s amazing pancakes

  • Go crazy on vintage shopping at Flamingo

  • Explore the shops without the crowds of the city

  • Walk 15 minutes and get to the lovely Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory for a delicious CREAM PUFF

SETAGAYA

  • Meet the thousands cats in kawaii Gotokuji temple

ROPPONGI

  • Walk through the red toriis hidden behind Hie Shrine and get your Instagram shot

  • Enjoy the view of the city by night from Mori Tower

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Day 3 : ryogoku, asakusa & ueno

Start the day deep in the old Japanese tradition, to finish it singing like a real local -karaoke style !

RYOGOKU

  • Watch a sumo training in Arashio stable (7h30-10h, book one day before by phone)

ASAKUSA

  • Dive in the crowds of Senso Ji temple and the five storey pagoda

  • Explore the authentic and colourful neighbourhood hidden behind

  • Buy yourself a traditional kimono

  • Climb up the Tokyo Sky Tree for a view

  • Shop in 2K540 Aki Aka Artisan and discover some local handmade creations

UENO

  • Relax in giant Ueno park

  • Enjoy the street shows

  • Eat a Tayaki croissant

AKIHABARA

  • Stroll around the many electronic shops and malls

  • Try a maid cafe

  • Finish the day in beauty with a karaoke session -A MUST IN TOKYO !

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Day 4 : yoyogi, harajuku & omotesando

To do on weekend to be sure to see the teenagers wandering around in their awesome style.

MEIJI JINGU

  • Explore the temple, take your time, you might have the chance to see a traditional ceremony or even a Geisha dance

  • Walk around the immense Yoyogi park

HARAJUKU

  • Take Takeshita Dori and try to spot a lolita

  • Have coffee in a cat cafe, a owl cafe or a rabbit cafe

  • Shop in lovely Cat St

  • Make some souvenirs in Purikura No Mecca, the ultimate Japanese photo booth

  • Shop some beautiful decoration in Asoko Store

  • Get some ice cream and cream puff in Chou Zakusaku

OMOTESANDO

  • Take your Insta shot in Tokyo Plaza’s multiple mirrors in the entrance

  • Eat the best gyozas in town in Gyoza Lou. The food is truly worth the wait

  • Dazzle at the bold architecture on Omotesando St such as Dior building, Prada, Tod’s and Hugo Boss

  • Get lost in the cute floors of Kiddy Land

  • Discover Nezu Museum’s Japanese Garden

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Day 5 : MINATO & GINZA

Time to get futuristic and go deep in the digital world of technologies -between two traditional temples.

Tokyo : The ultimate 5 days itinerary

MINATO

  • Climb up the Tokyo Tower or enjoy the view from below

  • Explore charming Zojo-ji and Atago-jinja temples

GINZA

  • Explore a kid’s paradise with Hakuhinkan, a 7 floors toys shop

  • Get your Japanese style fixed in the biggest Uniqlo in the world

  • Go crazy on stationery shopping in Ito Ya

  • Photograph the old Wako Clock Tower

  • Discover the latest innovations in the Sony building

ODAIBA

  • Visit the stunning Digital Art Museum (book in advance online)

  • Take a selfie with Goldorak

  • Ride the Yurikamome elevated train line

  • Take your Insta shot in Soho Odaiba hotel


Traveling in Tokyo with a baby.jpg

Traveling in Tokyo with a baby

The city is very stroller friendly and, as usual in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, people love babies. I mean, it’s amazing, the look on their faces, when they see you get in a shop or a restaurant. They just love having babies around, and they make everything they can to make your stay more enjoyable. Noah had some free food offered by the staff, always a high chair before I had time to ask for it…

Things to know about traveling in Tokyo with a baby :

  • It can be hard to find baby food sometimes. I’m used to having a large choice of organic baby food in HK. Tokyo is different. I ended up buying some kind of veggies soup with all ingredients written in Japanese . Anyway : Noah loved it!

  • There’s always a lift in the subway. The only thing is : Tokyo people seems to love taking it. Even when there’s an escalator, and they’re neither pregnant or handicapped nor with a baby. They won’t let you have the priority if you don’t take it.

  • Restaurants are very tiny, so you’ll have to deal with it and chose the ones who have space. You don’t really have a choice if you’re traveling with a stroller.

  • There are A LOT of parks for your kid to walk and play around between visits.


Where to stay in Tokyo?

  • Hotels rooms are very small in Tokyo. Situated in the “red district” of Shinjuku, Siena Hotel is very convenient. Kind of awkward to see all these men in black in the night waiting for their clients at the clubs, but it’s not too expensive, it’s clean and central.

  • Staying in a ryokan is a must in Japan. A beautiful way to dive into the local culture. There are lots of options in Tokyo. Another thing to try is a night in a capsule hotel. The “rooms” are surprisingly big and comfortable… Not that bad at all!