The classic itinerary for a first trip to Tokyo usually takes around three to five days-- with three days allotted for sightseeing and shopping, and another one or two days for visiting Tokyo Disney Resort or surrounding areas such as Kamakura, Hakone Hot Springs, and Mount Fuji.
Today’s suggested main destinations are Asakusa and Ueno. Start your day with a visit to Sensō-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, where you can pray and draw divination sticks to seek advice. You can then go to the Tokyo Skytree, a television broadcasting tower and famous Tokyo landmark, to enjoy a panoramic view of the city from one of its two observatory decks. In the afternoon, you can visit Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo, National Museum of Western Art, or Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. In the evening, check out Akihabara to experience the otaku culture and shop at the major shopping center for all things anime, video gaming, and manga.
Get up early and go to the Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest and busiest fish and seafood market, to witness the live tuna auctions and taste the freshest seafood delivered directly by fishermen. Afterwards, take a stroll around the nearby Tokyo Imperial Palace and explore the primary residence of Japan’s Emperor. Spend your afternoon--and money--in Ginza, Tokyo’s biggest upscale shopping and entertainment district. In the evening, you can opt to visit the observatory deck on Roppongi Hills or visit the Mori Art Museum located in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.
Visit Meiji Shrine in the morning and you might encounter a traditional Japanese wedding if you are lucky. Then, take the Totoro Line to Ghibli Museum, where you can immerse yourself in the cartoon world created by Miyazaki Hayao. Spend some time in Shinjuku on your way back, and experience the charm that only Tokyo nightlife has to offer.
Tokyo Disney Resort is home to Tokyo DisneySea, a theme park unique to Japan. Make optimum use of the entire day and have a blast exploring its seven themed areas! After enjoying the brilliant firework display, you can spend your evening downtown. Note that there are direct buses to Disneyland from Tokyo Station, Akihabara Station and Shinjuku Station.
If you can stay longer in Tokyo, take the Enoden Line and enjoy a day trip to ancient Kamakura, where you can relive the memories of your youth featured in the beloved anime and manga Slam Dunk. You can also opt to visit the volcanic valley Owakudani, which came into existence after Mt. Hakone erupted roughly 3,000 years ago. On a clear day, you might even be able to enjoy the hot springs while overlooking Mount Fuji. For visiting areas around Tokyo, an additional one or two days is recommended.
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Intern Ellie's Cycle Kyoto Bike Tour
The best way to travel around Kyoto is via bike so I decided to go on a guided bike tour with Cycle Kyoto for the day! In a small group of only 5 people, we traveled to various shrines, temples, and historical areas. I participated in the full tour which was 6-7 hours long and about 30km. Shorter tours of just the North and South areas of Kyoto are also popular through Cycle Kyoto. Check out all the spots I hit up on my tour below!