Out of all the cities in Japan, Tokyo was where I stayed the longest. Tokyo is a pretty large city and if you have familiarized yourself with places you want to visit, you will most definitely be busy touring the streets every day. Not only is there hundreds of shops to purchase goods at, but there are plenty of unique eateries, historical attractions, gaming arcades, and more. My guide consists of just a portion of Tokyo because most of the information and photos I share are from Shibuya and Harajuku (popular shopping districts in Tokyo) but I hope it can give you an idea of where to begin or places you would like to include to your own itinerary. The first day my friends and I arrived in Tokyo, it was pouring outside so our first stop was a convenience store to purchase umbrellas. It was already evening so we also decided to just eat something small like onigiri and went straight to our hotel to check in. My friends and I stayed at two hotels during out entire stay in Tokyo. We stayed in Shinjuku during the beginning of our trip, traveled to Hiroshima, Mt Fuji, Osaka, and Kyoto, and then came back to Tokyo (Shinagawa district this time instead of Shinjuku again) towards the end of our Japan trip. Returning to Tokyo was the best option for us because our flight back home was in Narita International Airport and Tokyo was the closest out of all the cities we visited.
The second day in Tokyo consisted of shopping so our first stop was Takeshita Street in Harajuku, which is filled with many small stores down the entire street. The next day, you can head to Shibuya Crossing which is the famous crosswalk of Japan where thousands of pedestrians cross every day. The surrounding area is filled with many business and endless shopping stores. It is very easy to get lost in the winding streets so try to focus on a couple of stores and keep a map with you. If you like department stores, you should check out Shibuya 109. It is a ten floor building filled with women's clothing, shoes, beauty products, and more. Beware that many of their apparel is one size. The men's department is a separate building on it's own. I also liked Tokyu Plaza because upon arriving at the entrance, you will get on an escalator surrounded by mirrors. It's pretty cool. At the top floor, they sell really adorable stationary and notebooks for those of you who like collecting those things. I would suggest staying in the Shibuya district til nightfall because that's when you get the spectacular view of the city lights.
I do not have much information to share about Shinjuku and Shinagawa since most of our time was spent in the hotel at those locations. However, I can say that they also have many businesses like Shibuya and Harajuku. Shinjuku is pretty popular for their nightlife so it is a good place to stop at for dinner and entertainment. Everything in Shinjuku is pretty much located around Shinjuku Station, but don't underestimate how large the area is. My friends and I spent an hour getting lost try to figure out how to get on the other side of the station without having to go all the way around it. Shinagawa is a little more quiet when it comes to nightlife. You'll see many businessmen heading to work and streets are not as crowded.
Overall, Tokyo is pretty easy to navigate and quick to get from district to district when you take the metro (Yamanote line) because the train just makes a circle to get to each of the districts.
Photography by me.
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