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First time in Tokyo! Where should I stay, see, eat, and do?

I'm super excited... I'm heading to Tokyo, Japan for the first time next week (June 18th to June 25th) for my Birthday!!

I'll be there for a week and would love to get recommendations for hotels, what to see and do, and any advice for the city overall!

I am planning to do a day or two at Disneyland Tokyo any advice on that specific location would be very much appreciated!

A few key words:

American, English speaker, vegetarian, Disney lover, Disneyland Tokyo, First Time Visitor, Sapporo Beer lover, Sushi lover, gay friendly, Italian Speaker

Thanks in advance!

7 Answers

answered by
Gaku from Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan

Staying near Shinjuku Station is better for your trip because shinjuku station is easy to move to other places. Tokyo Disneyland is also easy to get to. this is big city, there are many good foods to try

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shinjuku Station (attraction)
  2. Tokyo Disneyland (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Edna from Paris

Hi Paul, last month I went to Tokyo for the first time for my birthday as well! I spent a week in Japan and stayed in Nakameguro, which was a cozy little neighborhood in a good location -- not central, but next to a couple really convenient metro lines for getting around the city. Plus the Baird Nakameguro Taproom is there, with a lot of Japanese craft beer, and a couple other great sushi restaurants.

For food, here are the five best things I ate -- (please let me know if you end up going to any of them and found this useful!)

And as a general tip, I found it already surprisingly hot when I went at the end of May. I'd recommend light clothing to stay cool and maybe even a small hand fan!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nakameguro (attraction)
  2. Nakameguro Taproom (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Rebecca from Manchester

Look on for the best vegi restaurants in Tokyo. I used this site so much when I was in Japan.

answered by
Andrey from Honolulu


I visted Tokyo and Japan for the first time a couple of months ago. It was a blast. If I were to do it again, I would alott a full 1-2 weeks to Tokyo, which it seems like you are doing.

I stayed in Ningyocho Station, but as the others have alluded to, Asakusa StationShinjuku, and Shibuya are all good central choices.

Sashimi at Tsukiji Fish Market is a must. Tons of delicious yakitori and shabu shabu all around the city. Even places owned by native Japanese in Hawaii just don't come close. Omotesando is nice when you just want to talk a walk among some nature. Consider Nikko which is a 1.5-2 hour train ride from Tokyo, where there is some nature strolls and great spas (if you are into that sort of thing!). Best of luck.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ningyocho Station (attraction)
  2. Asakusa Station (attraction)
  3. Shinjuku (metro area)
  4. Shibuya (metro area)
  5. Tsukiji Fish Market (neighborhood)
  6. Omotesando (attraction)
  7. Nikko (attraction)

answered by

We took the bullet train to Kyoto and stayed for 2 nights. I would highly recommend it!

answered by
Sandra from Boston

Depending on your budget, there are lots of great hotels in tokyo, my favorite is Mandarin Oriental - great location, great service, great view, probably the best experience I ever had in terms of hotel around the world !  But, then again, such splurge only happened once in a while !  If that is your budget range, highly recommend the MO !   Other budget friendly hotels I like including Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier, (cause I like Ginza area ! ).  Another one is hotel Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi which is very near Tokyo station, so convenient to travel, but not as crowded as Shinjuku! Villa Fontaine Shiodome group is a mid-range business hotel.  I stayed at the one in shiodome once, simple, no frill.  

In terms of places to go, oh, where should I begin ? if this is the first time to Tokyo, of course one must visit all the landmarks what it is famous of, but  Tokyo is like Paris, every turn of the corner is a surprise ! You should set sometime aside to see the non-touristy part of Tokyo !   One thing I always did every time I was in Tokyo was to stroll along the tree lined Omotesando before it got redeveloped, it has since lost its charm in my eyes, still nice to visit though !  the little alley behind the omotesando called Aoyama area is nice and mostly locals there, lots of little pubs and restaurants, very hip. Kichijoji area is also a very nice residential neighborhood where it is less expensive than the aoyama area but as hip in my opinion, it is where the young people of young family lives, very hip, lots of creative zakka shops, bistros, bakeries, open air markets, very local, Also check out these residential neighborhood  jiyugaoka, and daikonyama, full of charm, modern and hip ! 

If you like chocolate/sweets, you are in heaven, cause not only you can get the best Japanese sweets in tokyo, you can also find branches of Laduree Ginza, Pierre Hermé, PIERRE MARCOLINI, La Maison du Chocolat in tokyo - just to name a few !  One of the reasons I love Ginza was because you can find most of the legendary Japanese style sweet shops there !  If you are short of time, go to the food court in the basement of ISETAN DINING or Mitsukoshi in Shinjuku,there, you will be able to sample everything I mentioned and more !  Oh, writing this makes my mouth watering .....

One thing worth mention is that it is very hot in the summer in tokyo, and the Japanese are very serious and conscious about carbon footprint , so the A/C is turned on very low in the shops and in the subway,  the A/C  in the underground arcade/footpath is non-exist - one can feel suffocating if not use to the heat !  

Enjoy ! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mandarin Oriental (attraction)
  2. Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier (hotel)
  3. Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi (hotel)
  4. Villa Fontaine Shiodome (hotel)
  5. Omotesando (attraction)
  6. Aoyama (attraction)
  7. Laduree Ginza (restaurant)
  8. Pierre Hermé (restaurant)
  9. PIERRE MARCOLINI (restaurant)
  10. La Maison du Chocolat (attraction)
  11. Ginza (region)
  12. ISETAN DINING (restaurant)
  13. Mitsukoshi (attraction)

answered first by
Mayumi from Tokyo

Some of the more popular things would be to go see the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden or Meiji Jingu Shrine. See the biggest beer selection at Popeye and have ice cream at my favorite place JAPANESE ICE OUCA.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (attraction)
  2. Meiji Jingu Shrine (attraction)
  3. Popeye (restaurant)
  4. JAPANESE ICE OUCA (attraction)

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