Happy Friday! I know some of you were following along with my trip to Japan on snapchat (classicingray), but I’m so thrilled to share my official Tokyo travel diary with you. I decided to break the trip report into two parts because we spent half of the trip in Tokyo, and half in Kyoto… and both were so different!
Tokyo was full of hustle & bustle, cute toys, packed subways, quirky shops, and the freshest sushi in the world. This was our second trip here, so we had a better idea of where to go and what to see… here’s the full run down of our favorite sights & eats for a week spent in Tokyo.
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji fish market is the largest seafood market in the world and a sight to behold… this is a non optional Tokyo activity for my fellow foodie babes! I recommend going on day 1 since this is a morning activity, and you may as well take advantage of your jet lag and wake up early. If you’re planning on going for the famous tuna auction, prepare yourself to arrive at 3AM to wait for a spot as it’s first come first serve.
Not into waking up quiiiite that early? No sweat, you can still experience all the charms of the fish market. The outer market (which is full of restaurants and shops) is open from about 5AM to 11AM, and the inner market (where the wholesale fish are processed and sold) opens to the public at 9AM. I recommend exploring the inner market, then grabbing an early lunch at any of the various sushi restaurants in the outer market. Best tuna sashimi we’ve ever had!
Odaiba is a man made island just across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. It’s home to a gorgeous waterfront area, giant shopping malls, and Sega Joypolis (which is basically like the lovechild of an arcade and an amusement park).
Hit up the mall(s) and shop til you drop (stock up on those Japan exclusive Kit Kats & some cheap & quirky office decor at Flying Tiger). Don’t forget to visit the giant gundham on your way out!
Dine on the waterfront and admire the night views. After dinner, head to Sega Joypolis for a night of fun. It’s got games, rides, & haunted houses… there’s literally something for the inner kid in all of us! Pro tip: bring your passport with you for discount tickets.
Harajuku + Yoyogi Park
Hit up the famous Harajuku neighborhood to do some Lolita street style spotting! Then wander down the street to shop for kawaii (cute!) fashion goodies. There was no shortage of fun socks or yummy smelling crepes around here.
Just a few blocks away from the chaos of Harajuku is the peaceful & serene Yoyogi Park. Walk through the giant Torii and down the path to the Meiji Shrine.
Meiji Shrine is my absolute favorite place to visit in Tokyo. People from all around the world buy these Ema cards and write their hopes and wishes on them, then leave them hanging at the shrine. Some are sweet, some are funny… and spending some quiet time reading them was enough to move me to tears (in a good way).
The Red Brick Warehouse is a historical building full of cute shops & restaurants. Even if you aren’t in the mood to shop, it’s a great relaxing place to sit outside & people watch.
The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is really less museum and more theme restaurant… but it was awesome none the less! There is a two story area that’s a recreation of 1950’s Japan, 8 ramen restaurants, and there was even a juggler performing in the courtyard area! Best of all, the ramen was delicious… plenty of local salary men were eating lunch here so it’s definitely not a tourist trap.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of quirky history, try the Museum Of Tin Toys. This is a private collection of vintage tin toys produced in Japan, off the beaten path in a very ritzy residential neighborhood. Worth the trip if you love toys or antiques!
Stop by Yokohama’s bustling China town neighborhood when you’re done to grab a snack or a vast array of panda themed everything!
If you’re a Disneyland lover I highly recommend experiencing Disneyland in Tokyo. It’s pretty much the same as ours, but different!
One of the fun things about Disney in Tokyo is that it’s very common for friends, families, and couples to attend in matching outfits! Have fun style stalking, or even better, twin out with your travel buddy!
One of the other things unique to Tokyo Disneyland is the quirky popcorn flavors. You’ll find popcorn stands all throughout the park with interesting varieties such as soy sauce, strawberry, and curry… have fun sampling them all!
Tokyo Disney Sea
Disney Sea is the ocean themed park neighboring Disneyland, and if you only have one day to dedicate to theme parks I have to encourage you to choose Disney Sea! Visiting Disney Sea really made my husband and I feel like kids again because you get to experience a whole new, totally different happiest place on earth. I could probably dedicate a whole post to this park but I’m going to restrain myself from geeking out too hard and scaring you away… if you were following our travels on snapchat (username: classicingray) you already witnessed it 😉
Walk around the park and soak it all in because the construction is amazing. There are areas modeled after Venice, the docks of NYC, a medieval castle, Agrabah (Aladdin inspired), and even a mysterious island.
Twin it up and snap some cute photos with your favorite characters.
Search for hidden Mickies… or don’t, we’re weirdos.
See a kabuki show
Most of the traditional performing arts are difficult to attend unless you understand Japanese, but the Ginza Kabuki-za theater has information in English so that you can attend a kabuki performance!
In case you didn’t know, Tokyo is a mecca for all things anime! No trip is complete without visiting the Akihabara area which is full of toys, video games, model shops, and arcades.
Have you been to Tokyo? What was top of your must-do list?