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Only three full days in Japan, help!

Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
27 posts
3 reviews
Only three full days in Japan, help!

Hi all. My family will be in Japan for only about 3.5 days (from USA). We will have three boys age 23, 20, and 16. I'm thinking we will just stick to Tokyo due to our limited days. A few questions:

What are the things we shouldn't miss? What is the area called that is kind of crazy and the people dress in anime?

If we hit one shrine which once should it be?

What is the best garden to visit if we had to pick one?

Are there any walking tours that we should take on day one to get more of a feel for the city?

What is the approx cost of the food? We aren't fancy eaters and love street food. We are thinking lots of sushi and ramen.

Has anyone stayed at a VRBO or AirBB property? We are thinking this might be the best way to go since there are five people in our party.

We would love to to see a Sumo match but seems like tickets are sold out for the weekend we will be there (Memorial Day weekend).

Any info or help you can give me is much appreciated.

11 replies to this topic
Austria
Level Contributor
191 posts
9 reviews
1. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

The crazy area is Harajuku, especially Takeshita dori. You can to Shibuya afterwards, also for the young.

Maybe you are also interested in Akihabara (Electric Town)

Shrine or temple? Tokyo is not THE place to go for shrines due to the bombing in WW2

In the interest of time, you could go to Meiji shrine near Takeshita dori.

You might also be interested in Skytree, and visit Sanso-ji there

A possible walking tour (by yourself could be Meiji shrine-Harajuku-Omotesando-Shibuya)

Food: You can eat anywhere, I never had a bad meal in Japan. Especially Udon-places are cheap. Train stations offer a wide variety of eat-in and take out food, also for breakfast.

Departmens stores often have food malls in the basement or sometimes in the top floors.

Luckily, many restaurants have displays of their food or at least pictures in the menus (not only for tourists, japanese like to see what they get). Also, convenience stores offer a wide variety of very decent food to eat in your room. In this way you can eat very cheaply. Mind though that Japanese neither eat nor drink while walking, and it might also be inappropriate e.g. in the Imperial Gardens or even more so in landscape gardens to eat.

Austria
Level Contributor
191 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

And as you are from the US: It is uncustomary or even rude to offer a tip!

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
36 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

You are right about staying in Tokyo and not wasting time commuting between cities.

Here is my suggestion:

Day 1- Asakusa shrine/Senso-ji area, Ueno park, shitamashi area (old Tokyo area near Ueno), Tokyo sky tree

Day 2- Shinjuku district, visit the Shinjuku Gyoen garden as well, Shibuya district, Meiji Shrine/yoyogi park, Harajuku

Day 3: Tsukiji fish market, imperial gardens/palace, Ginza district, Ahikabra.

As for food, Udon is good and cheap, the fish market offers great options, in some areas you find street food vendors, but otherwise restaurants of all kinds are everywhere. You will also find lots of ice cream places and traditional Japanese sweets.

Have fun, Tokyo is wonderful.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
36 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

We live in LA, and I found food to be cheaper in Tokyo than in the US, unless you are going to a Michelin restaurant....which we didn't try but we still had awesome food. We are a family of 3, we didn't take any tours, just relied on trains, Google maps and our feet, we walked a lot but it was awesome.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
36 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

Fyi, just Google hours of operation and days for locations you are visiting, I know the fish market and imperial palace garden closed on certain days.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
36 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

Fyi, just Google hours of operation and days for locations you are visiting, I know the fish market and imperial palace garden closed on certain days.

Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
27 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

Thank you all so very much for your suggestions - wonderful!

Bellingham...
Level Contributor
4,389 posts
1 review
8. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

Stock up on 100 yen coins before you set out the first day. Especially in the “anime” area, there are all sorts of hilarious vending machines. Consider going to Asakusa shrine/senso-ji both during the day and at night- the area is neat at both times of the day.

The three best street foods I had in Tokyo:

fish market Sushi

Kameido huromon (self bbq of offal, good beer food. Sounds weird I know- I went there accidentally- but amazing if you tend to like dive-y places.)

https:/…kameido-horumon

And kameido gyoza honten- again, beer. All it serves is fresh made gyoza.

https:/…best-dumplings-tokyo-gyoza-japan

Also, convenience stores and train stations, especially Tokyo station, are great sources of on the go food.

Tacoma, Washington
Level Contributor
27 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

Thank you for your responses!

Canada
Level Contributor
33 posts
28 reviews
10. Re: Only three full days in Japan, help!

Have a walk around to Shibuya and Asakusa area - is a must! View Night Tokyo from Tokyo Sky tree, the view is really fascinating!

Sumo tickets are sold out few months in advance, it's very hard to get them.

Food costs significantly vary - from US$ 20 per to US$ 300 ++ per person, depends on the place. But the food is really great no matter where you go. I am a seafood lover and there are many seafood grill & bbq places which are not expensive. But don;t try sushi at cheap places, go to the decent restaurant, because that's why you come to Japan.

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