Tokyo – Tsukiji Fish Market – Skytree – Asakusa

Sensoji Temple Tokyo

We started our day in Tsukiji, the world’s most famous fish market, where we had the freshest sushi we’ve ever eaten in our lives. Using the Tokyo Metro Day Pass, we visited the world’s tallest tower–the Skytree, Senso-ji temple in Asakusa, and then wandered around Akihabara during the day. When the night came, we went up the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a panoramic view of  the city and ended our day in the bustling ward of Shinjuku.

See & Do

  • Tsukiji Fish Market:  Be sure to check the hours before you head there to make sure it’s open (it’s closed every Sunday and a lot of other sporadic days as well). If you come early enough, you can sign up to see the live daily auctions (we weren’t able to do that). The sushi here is literally the freshest in the world so you’ll want to come in with an empty stomach (check out Itadori Sushi in the Eat section below). Make sure you budget some time to wander around and try some of their other famous street dishes like Unagi (eel) and Tamago (egg). Rating: 5/5
  • Tokyo Skytree: The tallest tower in the world and the second tallest structure in the world, it’s hard to appreciate just how massive the Tokyo Skytree is until you see it in person. Seriously, we’re from New York City, and we still stood in awe with our necks craned up staring at it (that’s probably still not gonna stop us from bumping into tourists in NYC who do the same thing). It’s pretty ridiculously expensive to get up to the top and the wait is crazy too. We got to the area around 11am and the earliest we would be allowed to get into the tower was 3:30pm. At this point we weren’t sure if we were gonna do it, and ultimately ended up not going to the top, instead opting for the free view at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, but the area surrounding the Skytree was still worth checking out. Rating: 4/5

TokyoS kytree

  • Asakusa: Most famous for the Senso-ji temple, if there is any absolute center for tourism in Tokyo, then this is it. It is an unmissable part of the itinerary, but the pedestrian shopping market selling touristy trinkets and other snacks was unbelievably crowded. After ordering some ice cream from one of the vendors, we were herded like sheep into a small area to eat it and sternly forbidden from stepping out until it was done (apparently, they don’t trust foreigners to follow the general etiquette of not eating while walking unless barked at). Rating: 4/5

Sensoji Temple

  • Akihabara: Nerdy as always, this is the place to go for all your high tech gadget, anime, and manga needs. I love walking through the video game shops, and it was really hard for me to stop myself from dropping a few yen on a Super Famicon system with some classic games. This district is also the home to maid, cat cafes, and street cosplayers, if that’s what you’re into. Rating: 4/5


  • Full view of Tokyo at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building: The center of the government in Tokyo, it’s one of the tallest buildings in Shinjuku/Tokyo. Admission to the top with a 360 degree panoramic view is completely free, and the wait was no longer than 15-20 minutes. We were given the time and location of fireworks at night in Shinjuku by our gracious host Toyo from Hiroshima, and figured out we should be able to see them from this building. The crowd around the window facing the fireworks was a bit crowded but we were still able to get a pretty good view of fireworks at eye-level over the neon lights of Shinjuku. Rating: 5/5
  • Shinjuku: Shinjuku is the home of the busiest train station in the world and is what most people imagine when they think of the bright lights and hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Shinjuku is an entire city within Tokyo, and no matter what you’re interested in, whether it’s commercial areas, small pedestrian streets with izakayas, or even the red light district, there is something for you. A lot of the high rises of Tokyo exist within this area as it’s the headquarters to many Japanese corporate offices. Rating: 4/5

Shinjuku At Night

Eat & Drink

  • Angelica Bakery: Mom & pop bakery located in Shimokitazawa. Great place to grab some bread for breakfast before starting your day. They are famous for their miso pan and curry pan. Miso pan has a subtle flavor to it. The bread is chewy and freshly made. Definitely a must visit if you stay around here. Miso Pan ¥ 140. Curry Pan ¥ 160. Rating: 5/5

Angelica Bakery

  • Itadori Sushi Restaurant in Tsukiji Market: A small little restaurant with a bar and some tables set up in the middle of Tsukiji market. I’m not really sure how we even found this place, but when we got in for breakfast we decided to have the Omakase special. The master sushi chef set out a tray of some of the freshest and most delicious sushi we ever had, and the price was practically a steal. Usually there is a long wait but somehow we lucked out and were seated at the bar immediately. Set of about 10 sushi with miso soup costs 2,500 Yen. Rating: 5/5

Sushi At Itadori

  • Street snacks in Tsukiji Market: Even though we just finished an omakase and weren’t really that hungry, we had to try out a few snacks on the street in Tsukiji market. We had some fresh unagi that is actually pretty expensive (like 1000 yen for 2 pieces) as well as some kind of cooked, sweet Tamago (egg–about 150 Yen). There is plenty more around, including stalls selling udon, ramen, and other quick meals. As always with Tsukiji market, the earlier you arrive the better. Rating: 5/5

Tamago AtT sukijiMarket

Unagi At Tsukiji Market

  • Tsurutontan Shinjuku: We were craving a bit of udon for dinner while walking through Shinjuku and ended up finding this place that serves gigantic bowls of udon with thick noodles. There was a bit of wait, but it’s a pretty large place and the prices are very reasonable. Nothing beats a hot bowl of udon and a cold beer to wash it down. Rating: 5/5

Udon at Tsurutontan


  • Airbnb near Shibuya: We rented a small little apartment a few stops from Shibuya about a 10 minute walk from Shimokitazawa, and it ended up working out really well. The apartment itself was extremely convenient to have, and staying in a residential zone instead of a touristy one is a lot more fun. Shimokitazawa ended up being a great place to wander around at night for snacks and drinks without having to worry about catching the late train. One minor downside to the apartment was that there was no TV–but then again, we didn’t come all the way to Japan to watch TV. One major upside of our apartment (and it seems, more AirBnB rentals in Tokyo) is that they offered a free pocket WiFi device. So not only did we have WiFi in the apartment, we could bring the little device with us anywhere in Tokyo so we had full internet access on our phones for free, everywhere. It’s seriously genius, why is this not the standard everywhere? If I ever open up my own AirBnB place, this idea is going straight to the top of the list, as it makes life infinitely easier for foreign visitors. $531 for 4 nights. Rating:4/5

Visit Date

  • 08/17/2013

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