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Tokyo in 24 hours

Updated on August 1, 2010


Tokyo is the the mecca of Japan. Its where everyone goes to make it big. Over 30 million people live in the greater Tokyo area, so get ready to be blown away by this futuristic Megalopolis. Its the governmental and Economic center of Japan and is known for its high fashion and fine dining. Our goal is to hit all the big spots in 24 hours in order to get a feel for the city, so let's get started.

You'll hit the ground not in Tokyo but in far away Narita airport. Your first task will be to find a train or if you are prepared, be picked up by your airporter bus. I recomend the bus because it lowers the risk of making mistakes on the train system and losing precious time. Either way you'll end up in Tokyo station which is one of the most busiest and confusing stations in the world. Grab a subway map and follow the signs as best you can.

If its early in the morning head straight for Tsukiji Market for a little sightseeing and some breakfast.


is the largest fish market in the world and everyday it handles roughly 2000 metric tons of seafood. The action starts at 3:00 am and goes on for the rest of the day. You will have a window of time between 5:00 and 6:15 AM to check out the action. Get there and check out massive thousand dollar tuna's being auctioned off and prepped. Go ahead and dive in. Watch out for the little carts that zigzag through the alley ways. Its best to let them avoid you rather than attempting to jump out of their way. After you've taken a look and snapped some photos head out of the main market and find some food on the side streets. If you are feeling adventurous get the freshest seafood of your life at one of the many tiny restaurants located nearby. If seafood's not your thing enjoy a donut and cup of coffee from one of the many coffee stands setup next to the market.

After this you shoud be heading to...

Meijin Shrine

which houses the enshrined souls of emperor Meiji and his wife empress Shoken. Emperor Meiji is one of the most famous figures in Japanese history being one of main persons to make Japan into the modern marvel that it is. The shrine is not old (about 100 years) but is a beautiful and culturally important spot to the Japanese. Take a walk through the sacred forest to the main shrine complex and if you are lucky you may be able to glimpse a Japanese wedding ceremony taking place. This is a great second stop because the shrine opens up early in the morning.

By the time you've fully explored the shrine and taken a walk through the forest, you might be ready for some lunch and people watching at nearby...


is a place that has become synonomous with Japan and fashion. It is now considered to be one of the hottest fashion spots in the world. It features small designer shops as well as huge brand name stores. Even if fashion and shopping is not your thing, its worth a look especially on weekends when Tokyo's youth converge on this area to strut their stuff, and sometimes that stuff can be a little bit over the top. With a population of 30 Million, its hard to stand out. Continue through Harajuku and head towards...

Shibuya Station

Shibuya station isn't too amazing in itself, but it has one of the most famous stories associated with Tokyo, that of Hachiko. Hachiko was a faithful dog that would wait at Shibuya Station for his master, a professor at Tokyo University, to return home. Long after his master died, the loyal Hachiko continued to wait for his master everyday at the station. Eventually an article was written about Hachiko and the Japanese went wild with the dog's sincere loyalty. Eventually a statue was constructed in 1948 of Hachiko which has become a popular meeting spot. The gate of the station where Hachiko's statue sits has since been renamed to "Hachiko Exit." If you are a dog lover it might be worth it to stop by and pay homage to Hachiko. After that, hop on the train at Shibuya Station and head to...

Tokyo Tower

After World War 2, Tokyo Tower rose out of the ashes as the symbol of a new Japan despite its striking resemblance to other world renowned towers. It's definately not the most spectacular or the tallest building in Japan, but its become an important part of the Tokyo skyline and no trip to Tokyo would be complete without ascending it. If you go on a particularly clear day it can be really worth the effort as Mt. Fuji can be seen. At the top, pause, look around and marvel at the 30 million souls surrounding you at that moment and the urban sprawl that stretches from horizon to horizon. Next up head to...


If you are an"Otaku" (nerd) you most likely already know about this mecca of Japanese Animation and Electronics. Even if you aren't, it's worth a look. Who knows you might even be able to pick up a sleek new camera or computer at the discount electronic shops. The area also is famous for its maid cafes. And finally it's time grab some dinner and check out the night life in...

Ginza and Roppongi

Tokyo is a city that truly never sleeps. Most night spots stay open until the first trains start running in the morning. So head to Ginza and/or Roppongi, find some food and friends and then live it up. Dance, do some Karaoke, and maybe even catch a traditional geisha show before you limp back to Narita airport. Whilst your plane taxis down the runway reflect on the whirlwind once in a lifetime tour you just completed in one of the most famous cities in the world.

Sayonara Tokyo.


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