If you are planning to be a TripJunction host or planning a trip, you are going to love this article. Planning a trip is a task! What a family prefers will not be that a bunch of singles would prefer. What a child prefers will not be something that its grandparents would prefer. Let me help you here. Living in Japan for 2.5 years now and after having planned several trips for friends, relatives and myself, you can be assured of the time you spend reading this article.
Asakusa Tour (Tokyo)
Getting immersed in the Japanese culture is a zen experience. And this walking tour is my favorite one. I made this one day relaxed itinerary for my friend visiting Tokyo. He absolutely loved it. We started off with the free traditional performing arts workshop (Nihon buyo) offered on Sundays, followed by visiting the Senso-Ji shrine (the last shrine built in Edo period). Asakusa has a lot of traditional souvenir stores and authentic food outlets near the train station. We enjoyed Japanese authentic food (Nihon Shoku) at one of these outlets. Early evenings were simply a stroll by the Sumida River. For a late night experience, we chose to visit the Skytree. (I personally prefer this because I love looking at Tokyo Tower more than I love looking at the Skytree :P). If you are not a tall skyscraper person, you can checkout the Sumida River cruise starting from Asakusa all-the-way to Odaiba. It is a complete experience for family/date/kids/friends.
Kyoto and Osaka, the most popular tourist destinations, are the best culture gem anyone could ever find. When every alley has a shrine when every person is warm and kind when everywhere you look at is serene, you know you are in Kyoto! Check out our Kyoto trip blog for first-hand information.
Osaka! I visit Osaka for food, more than anything else. Dotonbori alley is the place to go. Please please please have okonomiyaki in Osaka. Apart from the Osaka Castle, Tennoji Tower, and other tourist attractions, Osaka is famous for its nightlife. Once you experience this, you’ll see a stark difference between the nightlife in Osaka and the nightlife in Tokyo. Let’s chat about it in the comment section then!
Harajuku-Meiji Shrine tour (Tokyo)
A must do a walking tour in Tokyo! Start with Meiji Shrine in the morning (Remember: shrines close by 5pm in Japan). Relax and appreciate the peace in the middle of bustling Tokyo. Cross the road and enjoy the stroll at Takeshita street, Harajuku. Find the bling and pop culture to the bizarre Japanese products all in one place. Also, check out one of the largest DAISO stores here. Our ‘must buy $1 items from DAISO‘ will save your time at this massive store. Right on the other end of Takeshita, binge on everything ranging from rainbow cotton candies to long spiral potato fries and crepes! Choco-banana crepe at any of the crepe outlets is high on the recommendation list. This walking tour is perfect to enjoy with family and friends.
Omotesando-Ginza & Ueno-Akihabara Shopping (Tokyo)
For premium shopping experience, go to Omotesando and Ginza. Both these places have high-end clothing and accessory brands. Omotesando has some thrift stores too. After you’re done shopping, please enjoy Starbucks at Omotesando crossing. The best time to visit is late evening (especially during winters). It is one of a kind! Don’t miss this if you are out on a date. Ginza is the plushest area in Tokyo. But it does have the world’s largest Uniqlo (for frugal people like me :P). A mere walk around these places is also an experience in itself.
Ueno has the Tokyo’s largest flea market and Akihabara is the electronic and anime hub of Tokyo. I usually end up buying souvenirs and wholesale snacks from Ueno. For everything apart from clothing, just go to these places. You’d find cheap and good stuff like never before.
This is just a highlight of what I’ve done with my friends and family and as a host, I genuinely relish showing these places around. I feel this is something tourists should really check out! It gives a bird’s eye view of how Japan looks like.
Obviously, I haven’t covered everything here. You’d be overwhelmed with the flush of information then 😛 Other must do trips are Odaiba and Yokohama one-day sightseeing, Disneyland, Disney sea and Universal Studios fun trip. If you want more details on these or tips to plan/host trips, please let us know 🙂