A Day in One Place - Tokyo
Who says you can't see one of the greatest cities in 24 hours?! To get you into a Japan state of mind, I suggest watching Hachiko: A Dog’s Tale with Richard Gere and Lost in Translation which are a few of my favorites!
|Narita Welcomes You|
To get to the city, there are two types of trains I've used, the N'Ex and the Keisei Skyliner. The N’Ex (Narita Express) which is like an Amtrak and costs a bit more with a reserved seat or you can take Keisei line. Both run about $48 USD round trip. The N’Ex out seemed less crowded and relaxing and you can take pictures from your seat. You can get a foreigner discount by showing your passport and I think it was 1500 Yen. I usually purchase my Keisei ticket online before I reach Tokyo and present the voucher receipt. You will go to basement of airport by taking the escalator. You will see the two counters. Make sure you go to the correct ticket counter. The Skyliner will be on your left just before you enter the station platforms. If you buy the Keisei Skyliner ticket, don't forget to ask for the Wi-Fi code for the train. You could also buy your return ticket after specifying the date and time. Most clerks speak or have an understanding of English. I highly recommend getting a Suica/Paismo card. It's much easier to tap and go with the trains and can be used a many shops and restaurants around Tokyo as well as vending machines. With ticket in hand, enter the station and go to your platform.
Once you arrive into the city, my first stop was Shibuya. Before exiting station, go to The FoodShow on lower level. It is the most amazing food hall you will see. They have all kinds of groceries, bakery, prepared foods, dumplings, wine, desserts, etc. I picked up some dumplings like (70 Yen each) and some fruit salad. Additionally I have enjoyed the bakery items, fresh sushi and gelato way in the back of the food hall. Last visit, there was a small dining area towards the back of the hall which allowed you to stand and eat your food. At this point, I would also find the restroom since it is a “normal” one and not a squatting kind. It’s in the far back of the FoodShow. Public restrooms are hard to find in Tokyo overall.
|Food Show - Lower Level Shibuya Station|
Exit so you are near the Hachiko Statue(Hachiko Exit). Take a picture as it’s a very famous statue. There is a cute boutique also in Tokyu that sells the Hachi dog. The Shabuya intersection there is famous as well. It’s like a six-way stop. Pause and watch them all cross. This was featured Lost in Translation. A great place to take it all in, too, is the Starbucks directly above the Shibuya Crossing.
|Takeshita Dori - Harajuku|
|Mejii Shrine Torii|
Go back to Shibuya Train station up Mejii Avenue and either find the ticket booth or the ticket kiosk. I found a cheap Ramen place midway back and had that as a late lunch for about $4USD. Your next stop is to Asakusa on the Ginza line which takes about thirty minutes. You are going to the Sensoji Temple. Exit train station and turn right and go about two or three blocks. You may also see pedi-cabs/rikshaws there. You will then see a cluster of people standing on a street full of shops that lead to the Sensoji Temple. Shop and walk through, take pictures, etc. You can buy some toys and candy and artwork from Ukiyo-e Gallery on the right side of street. There are tons of people and school kids. Walk to end and there is your temple. Make a wish with the wooden sticks and wash your hands, etc. Before you leave, use the restroom here, too. One last treat - face the large shrine then go to your left to a shopping arcade. Here, on the left corner, you will find a bakery that serves sweet Japanese bread. You can even get it with whipped cream. They only take yen and I think it's about 45 yen. Walk up to through the arcade and explore this amazing area of Asakusa.
|Sensoji - Asakusa|
|View from the Park Hyatt Tokyo|
Sadly your time is up in Tokyo and you'll need to return to Narita International Airport. Checking in with a U.S. based carrier was easy and efficient. There are a lot of shops before security so I suggest buying your items and placing them in with your checked bags before you check-in so you don't have to carry them through security. There are also some great restaurants, too, and an outdoor dining area as part of a food court that overlooks the runways. Tokyo is one of the greatest cities in the world, and even if you only have 24 hours, you can still see and do so much. The people were very helpful and gracious. I walked and walked around and felt safe. It was amazing. Have Fun! Sayonara!
Songs: Big in Japan
My Woman from Tokyo