So you bought your tickets, and decided to spend about 7 days in the bustling city of Tokyo… Where do you start? This is a rough guide on how to start on a plan of a ‘One Week Tokyo’ trip of your lifetime. We’ve covered the basic necessities for you to get to your destination of choice.
I’ve compiled my own personal journey here for you to have a gist of what Tokyo is about. You will have an adequate experience for 5 days, but you will never feel that you would have enough time to explore the whole of Tokyo, ever. The city is always filled with surprises, and the best way to discover these things are while you’re on foot.
TO TOKYO CITY FROM AIRPORT
With the availability of low-cost carriers, you are most likely to arrive in Japan via Haneda Airport. However, if you arrive via Narita Airport, fret not as there would be Limousine Buses from both airports for you to get to the city at a very affordable price. I would safely say as a first-timer in Tokyo, you would want to get yourself to Shibuya – the central of all transportation.
The limousine buses will stop at Excel Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, just above Shibuya Mark City mall and also the Shibuya train station. The famous Shibuya crossing is just right outside the hotel, in case if you want to get a quick look before you start on your expedition to the hotel/hostel/lodging.
From Narita Airport (click here for schedule):
Adult – 3000yen
Child – 1500yen
From Haneda Airport (click here for schedule):
Adult – 1000 yen
Child – 500 yen
*Night schedule buses have different fares. Please check website for more info.
We decided to take a cab on our arrival night as we left the airport at about 12.30am, and point8cam did not want to get lost in the city at night with big luggages. Cabs in Japan are apparently known to be expensive, so be prepared to pay a huge fee if you decide on this option. We paid about 9800yen (RM300/ USD100) from Haneda Airport to Shibuya Mark City.
INTERNET OR WIFI IN TOKYO
We were lucky as the host of our apartment provided us with a Wimax dongle. This means that we’ll be connected to fast speed internet on our phones no matter where we go. It seemed like a number of local people we met were using them too as data is pretty expensive. You would probably need constant access to internet when traveling in Japan, as most places are quite difficult or tricky to find. We tried using the map once to find a secluded restaurant and ended up at the prostitution alleys. Was not a bad experience (Japan was very safe, even at the wee hours), but it was pretty awkward for a girl to be there.
Most places do not offer free internet so your best bet other than roaming and the wifi dongle would be internet cafes that are available almost anywhere around train stations. You could also opt for a quick coffee and cakes while you use the internet at some cafes.
To find out more about pocket Wifi rental in Tokyo, please click here.
LODGING OR ACCOMMODATION IN TOKYO
There are plenty of lodging options in Tokyo. We picked Shibuya as it’s pretty much in the centre of everything and we could have the whole apartment to ourselves. Airbnb was our choice, and that was how we met the best hosts ever, Johnny and Keita! Click here to see their available listings in Shibuya.
Other options include hostels, hotels, and the ever-popular capsule hotels. However, don’t be surprised as you can find all sorts of unusual options to stay in Japan – this includes internet/manga cafes (they offer according to hour packs and includes showers etc), homestays, and Onsen (hot baths) resorts.
TRANSPORTATION IN TOKYO
The Tokyo subway map might seem intimidating at first, but you should be able to figure your way through by the second or third day. The ticketing machines are available in English, but they don’t have buttons with name of places. Instead, the machines will display numbers. These are fares to the places you’d be heading to.
If you have internet on your smartphone, use Google Maps > Train icon to find your destination station including the fare. If not, there’s always the helpful information counter at the train station that will help you out.
So now, where should you go in Tokyo. Here are some recommendations to fill up your time whilst you are in the city.
How to plan one week in Tokyo, Japan – click to read more
DAY 1 – SHIBUYA
DAY 2 – HARAJUKU/ OMOTESANDO
DAY 3 – AKIHABARA/ GINZA
DAY 4 – TSUKIJI/ ODAIBA