Explore

How To Tackle Tokyo In 24 Hours

By DeAnna Taylor

Share

Tokyo, Japan is hands down one of the most futuristic cities you will ever encounter. From the neon lights to innovative pod hotels, this Japanese city is one that should always be on your travel bucket list.

If you are planning a trip to Tokyo, or even if you have a layover there, check out these suggestions on how to navigate the city with very little time to spare.

Where to go

Tokyo is a huge city. If you want to get the most out of a short trip there, you should focus on staying around the Shibuya and Harajuku neighborhoods. These two neighborhoods have the most photo-worthy spots as well as a young hip crowd.

The neighborhoods border each other, so it will be easy to get between the two as needed.

You will find plenty of accommodations here as well. From traditional hotels all the way to capsule hotels, which are popular around Japan. If you aren’t familiar with a capsule or pod hotel, they are small single-person bedrooms that are usually in a room or hallway full of other beds. Each bed has it’s own “door” so you can close yourself off from the other people on your hall. It sounds weird, but when you see and experience it, its super dope.

Photo courtesy of DeAnna Taylor

Transportation

If you actually adhere to the suggestion above, you won’t have to worry too much about transportation during your visit.


As far as getting from the airport, you can take an express bus service. It is hard to book these buses before arriving in Tokyo because the website is in Japanese. But, it is very easy to get a seat once you arrive. Simply go to the counter, no matter which airport you fly into, and ask for the bus that goes into the neighborhood you are staying in. The tickets are fairly reasonable. You will pay between $8 and $15 one-way depending on where you are going.

Photo courtesy of DeAnna Taylor

Once you get into the neighborhood that you are staying in, you can use Tokyo’s train system or your two good feet. The Shibuya and Harajuku neighborhoods are in walking distance to each other.

I personally found the subway system to be a little hard to navigate, and I’m usually really good with them. I had to ask the station guards several times to help me find the proper train to use when I was in certain stations. This is because there are so many different lines running at one time, it gets really overwhelming.

Photo courtesy of DeAnna Taylor

Food

Eating in Tokyo can vary in price. You will have plenty of street vendors, traditional restaurants, and sushi train places to choose from.

Since you are short on time I suggest the following:

  • Ramen from Inchiran: This is the world famous ramen spot. It tastes great and it’s IG worthy as well. Get there at a decent time or you will experience up to a 2-hour wait. The way it works is you order your basic choice from a vending machine outside of the actual restaurant. You will need Yen, it doesn’t take cards. You wait to be seated at a single-person window. They give you a slip of paper that allows you to customize your ramen and a few minutes later a person slides your noodles under a window flap.
  • Kawaii Monster Cafe: Now this is an experience you can’t miss. You can either choose the Monster cafe or the Robot cafe. They are similar in concept, but Robot cafe can cost more and sometimes you aren’t able to get in. They are both over the top food cafes that offer light shows and performances too. I purchased my entry ticket and reserved a time prior to coming to ensure that I wouldn’t have to wait.
  • Sushi train: Now Tokyo gives a whole new meaning to sushi trains. They aren’t the ones we are used to in the states. The one I went to was super futuristic. You order from a personal iPad that is in front of you. Your sushi is then whipped to you on a conveyor belt style train. You pick up your plate and the belt goes back to the kitchen. You literally have to see it to understand it.

Related: How To Tackle Hong Kong In 24 Hours

Photo courtesy of DeAnna Taylor

In addition to these suggestions, be prepared for lots of shopping too. The Harajuku neighborhood is filled with lots of vintage clothing shops and sneaker stores. It’s the best of both worlds. You’ll find the most action down Takeshita Street. You have to snap a selfie here.

You also can’t forget to watch people cross at Shibuya crossing. It’s crazy to see hundreds of people cross the large intersection at once. Have your video mode ready, you’ll definitely want to capture this.

If you use these tips, you will easily be able to navigate the important parts of Tokyo on a tight schedule.

Share
Travel Noire

DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Here Are The Most Beautiful Bookstores On The Planet

Here Are The Most Beautiful Bookstores On The Planet

Bookstores may feel like things of the past, but in these locations around the world, they are alive and thriving, merging architecture, design, and literature for unforgettable experiences. El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina The location of this bookstore has taken on many personalities during its century-long existence. Once a performing arts theater, then […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

These 6 Books Will Inspire Your Kids To See The World

These 6 Books Will Inspire Your Kids To See The World

If you are looking for some great ways to inspire wanderlust in your children, picture books are always a great place to start. Get them excited about your upcoming travel plans or instill a natural curiosity for the world with these six books aimed at children ages 3 – 8.  This Is How We Do […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

2-For-1 Deal: Fly From San Francisco To Tokyo And Hong Kong For $546

2-For-1 Deal: Fly From San Francisco To Tokyo And Hong Kong For $546

What’s better than a dope flight deal? A dope 2-for-1 flight deal. United Airlines is currently offering a promotion on a deal that flies direct from San Francisco to Tokyo, Tokyo to Hong Kong, and back to San Francisco. The lowest price found is only $546 total. This deal is valid for travel between September […]

DeAnna Taylor