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Trip List by jdaries

Gaijin Getaway

29 Oct 2007  American living near Tokyo.
4.0 of 5 bubbles based on 7 votes

What I take my friends to do when they come visit the big city.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Shinjuku, Minato, Shibuya, Taito
  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Students, Budget travellers , Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Park Hyatt Tokyo
    Park Hyatt Tokyo, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Friday afternoon, cocktails in bar NOT popularized by that movie. It's cheaper, doesn't have a cover charge, and the drinks are delicious. With a gorgeous view of the city, you can try to not look too geeky taking pictures. On your way to the bathroom, you may be lucky to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji out the window.

  • 2. Mori Art Museum
    Mori Art Museum, Minato, Tokyo

    Friday, just as the sun begins to set, head to Roppongi and the Roppongi Hills shopping and entertainment complex. Take the elevator to the top floor and explore the Mori Art Museum. In my opinion, one of the best-curated museums in the world. Your ticket includes admission to the 360 degree panoramic view of the city. Now you can see by night what you saw from the bar during the day. Take all the pictures you want, it's less shameful here than at that ritzy bar.

  • 3. Chinese Cafe 8

    Have dinner in Roppongi, across a small side street from Roppongi Hills. Get the duck, but don't get one per person. Just get one and then pick side dishes at random. From fried duck beaks to inexplicably black eggs, the thick menu has hundreds of delightful dishes. You must drink the fruit wines. The plum is amazing and comes in an unmarked bottle, did they make it themselves? Be sure to look closely at the decorations. Not for the prudish.

  • 4. Hotel Excellent Ebisu
    Hotel Excellent Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo

    The smart place to stay. Close to trains, but also close to the best attractions in case you feel like or need to take a cab. It lives up to its name.

  • 5. Fujimamas

    Fujimamas is a delicious fusion restaurant in the heart of Omotesando. I love the breakfasts, but all meals are good. The waitstaff is bilingual, which will make ordering when hungover a little easier.

  • 6. Omotesando
    Omotesando, Shibuya, Tokyo

    After leaving Fujimamas, full of breakfast and ready to face the day, wander through one of the fancier shopping districts in Tokyo.

  • 7. Harajuku

    Adjacent to Omotesando, and the way you can tell you've wandered into Harajuku is that the stores get decidedly funkier. Check out Takeshita-dori, the narrow crowded street that leads away from Harajuku station for some of the popular cosplay shops and a store that sells nothing but cute dog clothes. Want to dress your dachshund like the girl in the Blind Melon video? This is your place.

  • 8. Design Festa Gallery
    Design Festa Gallery, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Located in the heart of Harajuku, the newly-expanded Design Festa gallery is a pay-to-exhibit gallery space with everything from hand-crocheted doilies to anime-inspired drawings to surprising works of visual and performance art. Grab a snack at one of the two cafes on site, or sit down for okonomiyaki/monjuyaki for a full-fledged lunch.

  • 9. Back to the hotel

    Repair back to the hotel for a recharge after a long day of shopping. Get ready for a big night out.

  • 10. Jai Thai

    Located inside of the Ebisu Garden Place, at the far side of the atre Ebisu that towers over JR Ebisu Station, Jai Thai has excellent curries and noodle dishes. I recommend the crab curry that happens to be the most expensive item on the menu. Oh well, you only live once, right?

  • 11. Enjoy! House

    Enjoy! House is a tiny, kickass little bar with good drinks, crazy decor, and good, groovy music. If you go early, you may be the first ones on the tiny dancefloor, but it's hard to resist dancing with the beats that the DJ lays down. Good place to get the night started.

  • 12. Gaudi Karaoke

    Best Karaoke parlor ever! Amazing selection, nice rooms, good menu of food and drinks. You may have to wait, since the place is small, but it's worth it. You just can't have a night out on the town in Tokyo without karaoke. Can-not.

  • 13. Ueno
    Ueno, Taito, Tokyo

    Sunday morning, after sleeping until checkout, getting some coffee and breakfast (I recommend the bagel & bagel you passed on the way from Gaudi last night), head to Ueno for a nice relaxing day. Go to Ueno park, and wander around. I recommend the museums, specifically the National Museum. Or just get some softserve from a vendor and relax under the trees by the fountain.

  • 14. Ameyoko Shopping Street
    Ameyoko Shopping Street, Taito, Tokyo

    Last, but not least, go shopping on the narrow, crowded streets of Ameyoko. Best place for bargains, and you can buy everything from fresh fruit to dried whole bonito to designer bags. I recommend one of the many ramen shops there for a good noodley lunch.