[Japan - Tokyo] Preliminary New Year's Trip to Tokyo Itinerary

Hello, happy holidays everyone!
I am in my final two weeks in Japan. As a result, I had a lot of final projects/presentations to work on at my internship this week, so I was not able to update this blog as much as I had hoped.

I leave for my Tokyo trip tomorrow afternoon to see my friends and go to Tokyo since I've never been and I don't know when I'll be back in Japan. (Living here was completely unexpected...got an internship offer, quit my Seoul internship and job and came to Japan over the course of 4 weeks.)

Anyway, that being said. I was completely unprepared for going to Tokyo. I don't know anything about Japan/Tokyo. I've only been surviving in Kansai because I work every day during the week and I have a really really good guidebook for if I venture out of Kobe.

I also just learned about fukubukoro (Japanese grab bags of sorts). Although I'm not really a fan of Japanese fashion, I am considering buying one just for the experience and testing my luck. Any recommendations about where to go? I would prefer a bag/accessories or electronics or food product (ie tea) fukubukoro. 

Anyway, I did a super crazy itinerary ... it seems like most stuff in Tokyo is closed down for New Year's holidays save temples/shrines. I'm also not super crazy about shopping, so I think for a bunch of the stuff, I will just go, take a picture, walk around like 10 minutes and then leave.

I also don't really know much about food in Tokyo, so this is going to be an interesting trip. I can also speak/read basically zero Japanese.

Also, I was thinking about the number of airline miles I will be banking over the next three weeks...I am worry environment for my carbon footprint. I am also sad that there's no such thing as a universal airline miles program...

Japan until 10 January. Korea until 13 January. Minnesota until 18 January. New York from 18 January.

Too much flying!

Anyway, please take a look at my itinerary and let me know if you think there are any HUGE holes in it and if you have any recommendations for food!

There are so many places that I wish I could have put on there, but they were closed (ie. gardens)

I also highly recommend www.japan-guide.com if you are planning a trip. It has information about closing dates, prices, locations, etc. for almost everything.

Also, I took some of this information from www.japan-guide.com and the Yokohama Tourism site. I will try to credit where credit is due...if you see anything in sentence form, it's likely from Japan-Guide.com

Saturday 28 December
Leave 3:50PM Narita
Arrive 5:30PM Yokohama
Stay with Ayaka.
Ramen (Yokohama is famous for it?),; Shabu shabu (Shabu-Shabu Buffet Syabu-Yo (しゃぶしゃぶブッフェ しゃぶ) 1F World Porters Shopping Center (Minato Mirai area))
Yokohama Bay night view, Minato Mirai 21, CosmoClock 21

Sunday 29 December
Yokohama in morning – Chinatown, Motomachi, Cup Noodle Museum, Yamate, Ramen Museum, Kirin Beer Village
  • Edaminami Parisienne, Edaminami 5-7-3, Tsuzuki-ku. +81 045-941-7106, Bakery shop famous for its curry doughnuts. 9AM-7PM daily.
  • Yokohama Kurikoan (横浜くりこ). Famous for their version of taiyaki, a Japanese pastry usually made with red bean paste, but here they use chestnut paste (kuriko-an) instead.
  • Meiji-Santeore (明治サンテオレ),  +81 045-785-1534. There are famous for "coroquette burger", using potato inside instead of beef. Major Leager Daisuke Matsuzaka ate here in his school days. 
  • Food reviews from Yokohama Tourism Site
Kawasaki Daishi – in between Yokohama & Tokyo

Check-in at hostel after 11AM @ Asakusabashi St.
Monja at Tsukishima Station
Tsukiji Market @ Tsukijishijo (Only open 29 Dec/30 Dec)
SkyTree – Moomin Cafe
Tokyo Station – Tokyo Michi Terrace Illuminations ~29 December
Takenotsuka Station – Motofuchie Park Illuminations (Maybe finished)

Monday 30 December
Shibakoen – Tokyo Tower and Zozo-ji Temple (Picture of both)
Marunouchi Illuminations and tree at Chuo Dori
Ebisu Garden Place – Illuminations; Shopping mall and beer museum
(See food options)
Odaiba night view. Walk across Rainbow Bridge on North side.

Tuesday 31 December
Asakusa – Sensoji Temple in the early morning; shops around temple
Asakusa Tourist Information Center
Tawaramachi St.– plastic food street (Kappabashi)
Ueno – Ameyokocho (candy shop alley)
Ryogoku – Sumo area (if time, if not, not really that interested)
Akihabara – Curry bread, curry, and electronics, people watching

Senso-ji/Asakusa First Temple Visit

Tokyo Tower Countdown (?) <-- Discontinued. I asked about it.

Wednesday 1 January
Yanaka Ginza Street/Yomise-dori Street (10 Y Manju); Tennoji Temple (Sendagi St.)
Kudanshiita St. – Controversial Yasukuni Shrine
Meiji Shrine @ Meiji-jingumae
Shibuya – Hachiko (dog statue); Starbucks at the crossing; Daikanyama for cakes
Omotesando – Architecture (TODs building; Louis Vuitton Espace)
Shinjuku & Ktown

Possible day trip to Hakone –  Views of Mt. Fuji (If, so combine previous itinerary with December 30 itinerary)
Hakone Free Pass: (This was taken from the pages linked off of  http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html)
The round trip is to be done by Odakyu Railways from Tokyo area to Odawara by local or express trains (not incl. “Romance Car”). Odakyu’s main station in Tokyo is Shinjuku Station, but the free pass can also be purchased for use from other Odakyu Stations. (2-day 50,000Y)

Lake Ashinoko – Hakone Tozan Bus line from Odawara via Hakone-Yumoto to Togendai at the northern end of Lake Ashinoko (bus line T). The one way journey from Odawara takes about 50 minutes, costs 1200Y and is covered by the Hakone Free Pass. From Hakone-Yumoto it takes about 35 minutes and costs 1020 Y.
A slow and scenic way of approaching Lake Ashinoko from Odawara or Hakone-Yumoto is taking the Hakone Tozan Railway to Gora, followed by a cablecar and ropeway ride to Togendai at the northern end of of the lake. From Togendai one can continue by sightseeing boat to Moto-Hakone or Hakone-machi. The whole journey is covered by the Hakone Free Pass.

Detached Palace - It is located at the southern shores of Lake Ashi on the peninsula between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi.
The relatively small and simple palace building is surrounded by a beautiful park, known as Onshi Hakone Park, which offers nice walking trails and scenic views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji, if visibility permits. Visibility tends to be better during the colder seasons of the year than in summer, and in the early morning and late evening hours.
Hakone Detached Palace is located on the peninsula between Moto-Hakone and Hakone-machi. It can be reached from either town in a 10 to 15 minute walk.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Open only January 1 for observation decks)

Thursday 2 January – Ayumi meeting, probably later morning
Imperial Palace – Emperor makes appearance; go about 7 or 8AM; The Emperor and family members are scheduled to appear on a glass protected balcony around 10:10, 11:00, 11:50, 13:30 and 14:20, waving and shortly speaking to the flag waving crowd.
Tokyo Station
Godzilla Statue at Yurakucho St.
Tstusuji no chaya @ Rikugien Garden (Komagome or Sengoku St.)

Ikebukuro -
Harrods Tea Bar
Takadanobaba – Ramen area

(Ueno Park – Shinobazu Pond, Tokyo National Museum (400Y with student ID; Closed Dec 25-Jan 1))


Friday 3 January
Flight back to Kansai @ 11:40 (terminal 2), leave hostel at 9AM
Walk to Asakusabashi Station, About 5 mins (400 m) Asakusabashi Station (Platform 2)
Asakusa Line 1,240
アクセス特急 Subway towards Narita Airport
9:27am - 9:34am (7 mins, 4 stops)
Oshiage Station (Platform 3,4); Continues as TrainKeisei Narita Sky Access (stay on board) アクセス特急 Train towards Narita Airport 9:36am - 10:23am (47 mins, 8 stops)
Airport Terminal 2 Station
Walk Walk to Narita International Airport
About 15 mins (1.2 km)
Narita International Airport
1-1 Furugome
Narita, Chiba Prefecture 282-0004

Food options:
Moomin Café
Soba Yuzen Ichikiriya (11-15:00, 17:00-21:00; “Power Tower Don” – 1700Y)

Curry bread
Kanda Shokuko – ginger pork (a la carte 480Y; set 700Y; 11am-330PM; Saturday 11AM – 6PM)
Bengal Curry & Coffee (11:30AM – 3PM, 5PM-9PM; Diced beef curry 1100Y; Akihabara Beer 600Y, Rum Raisin Ice Cream 500Y)

Shinjuku –
Alice in Wonderland Café or (Ginza Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant)

I’m thinking about Namja Town, for ice cream and gyoza but maybe no time.

Seirinkan – Pizza
Good Honest Grub – lunch/brunch

Watanabe Ramen at Takadanobaba

Food I haven’t eaten in Japan yet :( and food I want to try to eat in Tokyo
Ramen – I’m thinking of looking around Takadanobaba because I heard it’s really famous for ramen
Shabu shabu
Tempura – I heard/read there’s a famous street in Tokyo for it, but I can’t find the post again.
Beard Papas (but I can go to the original store in Osaka and one in Kobe)
Japanese crepes
Fresh sushi from Tsukiji Market

Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway
Good for one day of unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines.
Adult: 1,000 yen

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