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Everyone knows Tokyo is home to a large variety of appealing dining spots. This article proposes a 1-day tour of some tourist attractions and fantastic restaurants in the city. Have fun visiting iconic sites and eating superb food!
First Things First - Breakfast! (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 45 Minutes)
A nice breakfast is essential to start the day off right. Tokyo offers plenty of cafes and restaurants that serve delicious food for your morning meal. For this day tour, the most recommended breakfast spot is the cafe and bar within the hotel, Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho!
MOXY Cafe & Bar (Kinshicho, Izakaya, Cocktails, Parties)
Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho is a popular hotel with a stylish design. Inside, you'll find a wide spacious called "MOXY Cafe & Bar" that is open all day long to both hotel guests and external customers. You can go for lunch, dinner, or late night drinks, but their specialty is a colorful and diverse breakfast buffet. Other than classics like various types of bread, granola, yogurt, salad, scrambled eggs, and bacon, there are also grilled fish, white rice, and other Japanese-style breakfast items.
MOXY Cafe & Bar
Open: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
*Open 24 hours
*Breakfast is from 6:30 am - 10:30 pm. Lunch is from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 800 JPY
Address: 3-4-2, Kotobashi, Sumida-ku, Tokyo (Map)
From Kinshi-cho to Asakusa
After thoroughly enjoying your morning with a rich breakfast, head to Asakusa, the first destination of the tour. Starting from the famed temple, Senso-ji, the area offers many attractions for tourists, including a retro amusement park with Japan's oldest roller coasters called "Hanayashiki." From Kinshi-cho, you can get there by train or subway. The time required depends on how long it takes you to change trains and what time of the day you go, but you should arrive in 15 to 20 minutes.
Stroll Around Senso-ji and Nakamise (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 1 - 1.5 Hours)
Senso-ji is the oldest temple in the Tokyo Metropolis, estimated to have been built in 628. Visited every year by as many as 30 million tourists, it is the most famous spot in Asakusa. The huge, nationally famous red lantern hanging from Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the symbol of the temple, is a classic photo spot in Asakusa. Once you've visited the temple, take a walk in the Nakamise - a roughly 250m long temple approach connecting Kaminarimon to Hozomon (the inner gate of Senso-ji). Lined on both sides with around 90 souvenir stores and street food stalls, it's perfect for some shopping or just for a leisurely stroll.
Open: [Summer: April - September] 6:00 am - 5:00 pm
[Winter: October - March] 6:30 am - 5:00 pm
Address: 2-3-1, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Source: Official Website (Japanese only)
Enjoy Monjayaki and Okonomiyaki in Asakusa (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 1 Hour)
Your thorough exploration of the Senso-ji area will eventually make you hungry. Stick around for lunch! In Asakusa, many restaurants serve two classics loved by every local, monjayaki and okonomiyaki (both Japanese savory pancakes). Both are made from a flour and water batter, filled with seafood and vegetables, and then cooked on an iron griddle. With okonomiyaki, the batter firms up as it cooks, not unlike a pancake. Compared to it, monjayaki are way more fluid. The filling is first cooked without the batter and made into a doughnut shape. The batter is then poured into the center, and once it starts boiling, they mix everything. You eat it by scraping it off the iron plate with a small spatula.
Asakusa Tsurujiro (Asakusa, Okonomiyaki, Monjayaki)
The top pick for okonomiyaki and monjayaki is the famous Asakusa Tsurujiro, reachable in a 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station. Their flagship menu item is the [Special Monja], filled with several ingredients like pork, corn, and shrimps. Its rich flavor is created by mixing the batter with a dashi (broth) made by simmering chicken and vegetables for 3 days. They have a wide range of offerings, such as [Asakusa-yaki] - a refreshing okonomiyaki of squid, green onions, and other ingredients - as well as a la carte dishes and course meals.
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
[Sunday, National Holidays] 11:30 am - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 2,000 JPY / [Lunch] 980 JPY
Address: 1-20-8, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Map)
From Asakusa to Oshiage
Now that you've filled your tummy, make your way to the next spot: Oshiage. Located in the eastern part of Tokyo, this is a downtown area near rivers like Sumida (Sumida-gawa) and Ara (Ara-kawa). There's plenty of things to do here: climb the iconic Tokyo Skytree, shop in Tokyo Solamachi, or go to Sumida Park, a famous spot for cherry blossom viewing. From Asakusa Station, take the Toei Asakusa Subway Line and you'll be there in 3 minutes.
Tokyo Skytree (Estimated Time Required: 1 - 1.5 Hours)
Tokyo Skytree boasts the title of the world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower (634m). Every day, it's crowded with tourists eager to visit the new symbol of Tokyo. From the Tembo Deck at 350m above the ground, and you can get a panoramic view of the whole Kanto region from the 100m higher Tembo Galleria. On a particularly fine day, you may even spot Mt. Fuji on the far horizon! Moreover, at the foot of the tower, there is Tokyo Solamachi, a facility with over 300 shops and restaurants.
Open: (Observation Deck) 8:00 am - 10:00 pm (except for specific days) *Last admission is at 9:00 pm
Average price: [Example of Entry Fees]
Tembo Deck Same-day Ticket: Adults (over 18 years old) 2,060 JPY, Teenagers (12 - 17 years old) 1,540 JPY, Children (6 - 11 years old) 930 JPY, Kids (4 - 5 years old) 620 JPY
Tembo Galleria Same-day Ticket: Adults (over 18 years old) 1,030 JPY, Teenagers (12 - 17 years old) 820 JPY, Children (6 - 11 years old) 510 JPY, Kids (4 - 5 years old) 310 JPY
Address: 1-1-2, Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: Official Website
Sumida Aquarium (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 2 Hours)
The area around Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Solamachi is referred to as "Tokyo Skytree Town." Here, you can find a popular city aquarium called "Sumida Aquarium." From the Tokyo Tank, a reproduction of the World Heritage Sea of Ogasawara, to the indoor pool that lets you see penguins from a short distance - there are so many things to see here!
Open: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (last admission at 8:00 pm) *Subject to change according to the season
Closed: Open all year
*May close temporarily for facility maintenance
Average price: Adults 2,050 JPY, High School Students 1,500 JPY, Junior High and Elementry School Students 1,000 JPY, Children (over 3 years old) 600 JPY
Address: 5F - 6F, Tokyo Skytree Town - Solamachi, 1-1-2, Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: Official Website
From Oshiage to Shimbashi
Continue your tour in Shimbashi, an area with a long history as Tokyo's business headquarters. Dotted with numerous office buildings, to the point where it was nicknamed as "Salaryman's Holy Ground," a vast number of office workers swagger around here every day. When night comes, however, the mood changes completely. The lanterns of the streets of well-loved bars are lit, and the area gets crowded with people enjoying a quick drink on their way back from work. It takes around 17 minutes to get from Oshiage to Shimbashi Station by the Toei Asakusa Line.
Treat Yourself to Classy Afternoon Tea (Shimbashi and Shiodome / Estimated Time Required: Approx. 1 Hour)
For your snack break, you may prefer a casual cafe, but how about a classy afternoon tea instead? The options are endless, ranging from traditional British-style tea houses to unique and innovative places. The proposal for your itinerary is TwentyEight, located on the 28th floor of Conrad Tokyo, one of the most iconic luxury hotels in Japan.
TwentyEight (Shiodome, Cafe, Bar, Cocktails, Tea House)
At TwentyEight, you can enjoy your afternoon tea with a stunning view of the Tokyo Bay and Hama-rikyu Gardens. Its concept draws a sharp line between traditional British-style tea time and its "contemporary afternoon tea." You'll be served a platter of bite-sized scones, sandwiches, and various desserts. Let this place's original yet sophisticated mood entertain all your senses!
Open: Tea Time 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Bar Time 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
*Afternoon Tea is from 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm. On weekends and national holidays, this changes to 11:00 am - 4:30 pm.
Average price: [Cafe] 1,500 JPY
Address: 1-9-1, Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Map)
From Shimbashi to Tokyo
Following the classy afternoon break, the last stop planned by this guide is the Tokyo and Marunouchi area. First of all, head to Tokyo Station, the main entry point of the city. You'll find many historical buildings, followed by the finest fashion boutiques, as well as gourmet and culture-related shops. To reach Tokyo Station from Shimbashi, take the JR Yamanote Line, and you'll be there in 5 minutes.
Visit the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 1 Hour)
Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building is affectionately known as "the red brick station". The building as you see it today is a reproduction of how it was around 100 years ago. Restored in 2012, it's a designated Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. It's often used as a photo spot because of its history and design. Even the ornaments inside the dome-shaped ceiling at the North and South Exits are a faithful reproduction of the original ones. The beautiful reconstruction of this splendid structure is definitely worth a glance.
Soak in the Views of Tokyo from the Rooftop KITTE Garden (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 30 Minutes)
KITTE is a popular shopping center that was established by the Japan Post with the goal of transmitting the comfort, depth, and fun of Japan to the rest of the world. It stretches out 7 floors, from the 1st basement floor to the 6th floor, and offers around 100 shops and restaurants. The top floor is home to a 1,500 sq.m. rooftop garden called "KITTE Garden" that is worth a visit. It has a wooden deck walkway, along which you can find a beautifully maintained lawn and flower beds, making it a great place to relax and take in some fresh air. You can also view the afore-mentioned Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building from there, so it's the best spot to appreciate the Marunouchi area view.
Open: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
*On Sunday and national holidays, it changes to 11:00 am - 10:00 pm.
Closed: May be closed due to bad weather
Average price: Free entrance
Address: 6F, JP Tower, 2-7-2, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: KITTE Official Website
Luxurious Dinner with Night Time Views of Marunouchi (Estimated Time Required: Approx. 30 Minutes)
The surroundings of Tokyo Station are renowned as the best place to admire the metropolitan nightscape. The lights of Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building and the towering office buildings reflected on the surface of the canals surrounding the Imperial Palace, together with the come-and-go of shinkansen (bullet trains) and trains, create a gorgeous, glittering panorama. Several restaurants are facing this precious view, but here's a recommendation to go out on a high note: Moritaya Tokyo Marunouchi Branch, upper-class sukiyaki (hot pot stew) and shabu-shabu (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables) spot.
Moritaya Tokyo Marunouchi Branch (Tokyo, Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki)
Moritaya Tokyo Marunouchi Branch is the Kanto branch of Moritaya, a well-established restaurant in Kyoto. It boasts an excellent beef quality, thanks to its direct management of everything from farming to selling meat wholesale. They serve their A5-ranked Kuroge Wagyu (a type of high-quality beef), which has the "best available that day" seal of approval, in a variety of ways. Examples include the classic [Sukiyaki] that combines premium beef with Kujo scallions and other vegetables grown in Kyoto, as well as the popular [Oil-yaki], wherein tenderloin is grilled in a hot pot. You can have all this while enjoying a panoramic sight of the Imperial Palace and the city center! It will be an unforgettable, luxurious dinner!
Moritaya Tokyo Marunouchi Branch
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
[Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm)
*Follows Marunouchi Building's closing days
Average price: [Dinner] 12,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,500 JPY
Address: 35F, Marunouchi Bldg., 2-4-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Back to the Hotel
At the end of such a fulfilling dinner, you can stop by a bar and have a drink. If you're tired, it is better to go back to the hotel for next day. Tokyo offers a countless number and variety of accommodations. Luxury hotels, casual business hotels, budget-friendly yet highly functional capsule hotels, you name it! Just pick the one that best suits your budget and taste.
It would be impossible to include all of the interesting spots and delicious restaurants Tokyo has to offer, but this may come in handy when organizing your visit to the city!