This March we traveled to Tokyo, Japan and because it was my first time visiting Asia in general, I was full of expectations. Blaz was there before, so he was telling me all the good things about Japanese culture, food, manners and hospitality and to be honest it sounded too perfect. But in only few minutes arriving there I realized he was right!
We actually stayed in Yokohama, where the official ATP tennis tournament was held, but we took advantage of one day off and went to explore Tokyo. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with this city. I know you will too, so I put together a one day travel guide full of tips and recommendations to explore the city the best way possible. And it is perfect especially for those who don’t have enough time but still want to see something.
- SENSOJI TEMPLE
Opening hours: Main hall 6:00-17:00 Temple grounds: Always open
Duration: 1 hour
How to get there: Temple is a few steps away from Asakusa Station, served by the Ginza Subway Line, Asakusa Subway Line and Tobu Railways.
Make sure you put this attraction in your travel plans since it is one of the most visited attractions in Tokyo. It is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa and they say it is one of the most colorful and picture perfect temples.
In a city full of temples, Sensoji is the eldest, boasting almost one and a half millennium of history.
When approaching the temple, try to enter in the right order so you see everything this beautiful temple has to offer. First you should enter through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), the outer gate of Sensoji Temple and the symbol of Asakusa and the entire city of Tokyo.
Then you will get to Nakamise, a shopping street of over 200 meters, which leads from the outer gate to the temple’s second gate, the Hozomon. This packed shopping street has a history of several centuries and alongside typical Japanese souvenirs (such as yukata and folding fans), you can buy various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area. After you walk through the Hozomon Gate you will see the main hall and a five stories pagoda.
However, due to the size of the grounds, there are many visitors who don’t get a chance to see everything. For those who want to see all of Sensouji Temple and go in the right order, here is a good example how to do it.
Opening hours: 8:00-22:00 (Last admission 21:00)
Height: 634 m, but for visitors 350 m and 450 m
Duration: 1-2 hours
Observatory admission fee: single ticket 350 m: ¥3,000 or 27,5 $ 350 m+ 450 m: ¥4,000 or 37 $
How to get there: When traveling Tokyo, you have to use public transportation, since it is very easy to use, plus it is very clean and safe! So hop on and find the shortest line to TOKYO SKYTREE station. But if you will follow my guide, you can also walk from Sensoji temple to Skytree and it will take you around 25 minutes.
As much as I am afraid of heights, I love the best views of the city and ironically they are always somewhere at the top! And so was this!
Rising 350 meters above the ground, the “Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck (350 m)” is covered in huge 5 meter-high glass for a 360-degree all-round view, allowing visitors to see from the foot of the Skytree up to 70 kilometers away in the distance. I had few problems to make a little step onto the glass floor, but after 20 minutes of convincing, I did it! I cried in between, but I did it and it was worth it! The view was spectacular.
The Tokyo Skytree has one more floor for visitors – Tembo Galleria (450 m) which will leave you convinced you that you are walking in the sky.
I would advise you to visit Tokyo Skytree one hour before sunset. Thant way you will see the biggest city (by population-33 mio) by day light and by night!
How to get there: Find the closest line to Shibuya metro station.
Have you ever visited New York’s Time Square? Well Shibuya is like that only 10 times more crazier! It would be a shame to visit Tokyo and not cross a street in the famous intersection outside of Shibuya Station. But be prepared, no matter what weather or daytime this area is packet with locals and visitors. Why? You can probably find everything you could ever wish for in this area, from fashion boutiques, world-class nightclubs, trendy bars and lots of dinning options.
You probably won’t take many photos, because you will be so overwhelmed with all the action. Just take a minute and stop at the famous crossroads. When the lights turn red, they all turn red at the same time in every direction. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box.
Hope you find my tips useful and enjoy Japan!
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