48 Hours in Tokyo

48 Hours in Tokyo

Location: Tokyo, Japan20 Mar

Embark on a journey of a lifetime to Tokyo with me and my mom.

Getting to Tokyo:

We flew from Atlanta to Minnesota to catch a 13-hour flight to Tokyo.

Tokyo BoundDelta One

We even got an upgrade to first class (Delta One) for our flight to Tokyo, which was awesome!

Tokyo Street Style

Outfit Details: white long sleeve top // black jumper // black leggings // Converse // Goyard red tote bag // Kendra Scott gold bangles // Prada sunglasses

Konnichiwa from Ginza.

Here’s a quick highlight about what to see, where to eat, and where to stay during a 48 hour trip to Tokyo! Since we were limited to 48 hours, we tried to pack in as many things as possible while we were there.

 

Must-See Attractions & Restaurants:

 

Robot Restaurant:

Robot RestaurantRobot RestaurantRobot Restaurant

“Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.” A lot of my friends from Australia told me that I had to go to Robot Restaurant while I was in Tokyo to watch the show. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life: robots, drums, music, and costumes.

While we were in Tokyo, we booked a private guided tour through the hotel, since we didn’t want to stress over the subway stops and killing most of the day getting from place to place. Taxis are pretty expensive, and the most affordable way to travel in Tokyo is by subway.

Tsukiji Fish Market:

Tsukiji Fish MarketTsukiji Fish MarketTsukiji Fish MarketTsukiji Fish Market

To truly soak up a day in the life in Japan, I highly recommend going to the Tsukiji Fish Market. It’s so cool to see all of the fruits, vegetables, fish, and sweets around the outer market. The inner market doesn’t open to the public until 10 AM after the tuna auctions and wholesale buying has finished up for the day. Just make sure to be mindful of your surroundings while you are walking through the inner and outer market. I’ve almost gotten killed by one of the carts pictured above when I was taking a picture during my first trip to Tokyo back in high school. A lot of things have changed since I last went to this market. To see the tuna auctions now, you have to wait in line outside for 3 hours starting at 3 AM. This was not the case when I went in 2008, where I was able to watch the auction through a window.

Hamarikyu Gardens:

Outfit Details: military field jacket // denim jacket // striped top // black coated skinny jeans // Asics running shoes // Goyard red tote bag // Kendra Scott black stud earrings // Kendra Scott gold bangles

The Hamarikyu Gardens was a short walk from the Tsukiji Fish Market. The garden was beautiful. My mom and I even saw the tea house that several US presidents have been to during their stay in Tokyo.

Sadly, we were a few weeks too early to see all of the blossoms, but we did manage to find a few trees that did not disappoint.

Hamarikyu GardensHamarikyu Gardens

Boat to Asakusa:

Hamarikyu Gardens

After strolling through the garden, we took a boat to Asakusa. I highly recommend taking the boat so you can see Tokyo by water.

Asakusa Temple:

Asakusa TempleAsakusa Temple

Outfit Details: military field jacket // denim jacket // striped top // black coated skinny jeans // Asics running shoes // Goyard red tote bag // Kendra Scott black stud earrings // Kendra Scott gold bangles

The Asakusa Temple is my favorite landmark in Tokyo. I’ve always loved the large lanterns at the gate to the temple complex. I even have a reproduction of the Japanese print by Hiroshige showing the Asakusa Temple from his series ‘One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.’

Make sure to inhale some smoke or as I like to call it “holy smoke” before you cleanse your hands upon entering the temple.

Ramen at Yoroiya:

Ramen in Asakusa

Ramen is all the rage in Tokyo. In fact, Japanese people have adapted ramen into their cuisine by tweaking it a little by adding more local flavors into the dish. We stopped for lunch at a local place a couple of blocks away from the Asakusa Temple called Yoroiya, which was fantastic.

Meiji Jingu Shrine:

Meiji Jingu ShrineSake Barrels

After lunch, we took the subway to the gorgeous Meiji Jingu Shrine. These painted sake drums are everything.

Omotesando St:

omotesando st toykoOmotesando St Tokyo

Omotesando St is possibly the coolest shopping street I’ve ever seen in the world– lined with modern buildings adorned with names of haute couture designers and department stores.  I’m not kidding when I say there must be 8 or more Louis Vuitton stores in different areas in Tokyo. Each neighborhood has almost the same stores– it’s wild. Also, have you ever seen so many umbrellas?

Robot

We stopped in the famous Japanese makeup store, Shu Uemura which had a robot that talked and helped you find the items you were looking for. I’ve never seen anything like this. I wish we had these robots in the US!

Harajuku: Takeshita St

Owl Cafe in HarajukuOwl Cafe in Harajukuowl cafe in harajuku

Harajuku is the area of Tokyo where all of the girls used to wear weird fashions back in the day–at least that was the case back in 2008. Today, you may see a couple of characters (aka people dressed up in costumes) if you’re lucky. Apparently, in every country my mom and I went to in Asia, we did one bizarre thing while we were there…. For Japan, that was going to an Owl Cafe. I kid you not; you can pet real owls and take selfies with them. I was hesitant to pet an owl if it turned its head toward me cause I thought it was going to bite me lol.

Cafe Kitsune:

Cafe Kitsune

On our last stop of our tour, we grabbed a coffee at Cafe Kitsuné. Kitsuné is a French fashion designer, who opened up a trendy cafe & store in Tokyo.

Kanda:

KandaKanda in TokyoKanda in TokyoKanda in TokyoKanda in Tokyo

Tokyo is famous for being the #1 food city in the world. In fact, Tokyo has over 400 Michelin star restaurants–more than anywhere in the world.

My mom and I both wanted to splurge on dinner at a 3 Star Michelin restaurant (3 is the highest Michelin star). We both chose a 7-course meal at the Japanese restaurant, Kanda in Minato. I will say it was the most I’ve ever spent on dinner for myself, but it was totally worth it. The food was incredible. Kanda had the best sushi I’ve ever had– the fish was so fresh and prepared to perfection where it melted in your mouth. Plus, the chef ended up giving us 12 courses instead of 7, so I’ll call that a win.

 

Imperial Hotel Tokyo:

 

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

When I travel, I try to stay at local hotels when possible as I like to support local businesses. I did extensive research on where to stay in Tokyo before selecting the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. I chose to stay at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo based on its central location within the city, which made it easy for getting around town. The accommodations and city views were nice as well. Plus, I was impressed that the hotel had 13 restaurants!

Location:

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo’s location could not have been better. We were a short walk to great shopping in Ginza, the subway, and some fabulous restaurants (most of which were in our hotel).

Decor: 

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

The decor of the hotel was mid-century modern since Frank Lloyd Wright designed most of the 20th-century version of the hotel.

Room:

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Outfit Details: black dress with stripe t-shirt (sold out), other stripe dress here  // black leggings // Converse

Imperial Hotel TokyoImperial Hotel Tokyo

Since our room was on the Imperial floor which had more traditional Japanese-style accommodations,  we were served green tea upon our arrival and received a beautiful fruit tray. The tea helped with the 14 hour time change and jet lag we were experiencing at the time.

 Imperial Hotel TokyoImperial Hotel Tokyo

I’m off to club bed featuring DJ Pillow & MC Blanky…

Our room was comfortable and spacious. The hotel even provided us with clean pajamas, slippers, and a robe each night, which were the perfect touch for making us feel at home.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

The bathroom was nice with a great shower as well.

Confession time! One of the little things my mom and I miss about Japan is the crazy but amazing Toto toilets…. I wish I were joking about this. Japanese toilets are different from what we are used to in the US– there’s a control panel on the wall for toilet options like a heated seat, a bidet, a fountain, and to play music while you go, to name a few. It’s simply amazing!

Frank Lloyd Wright:

Imperial Hotel TokyoImperial Hotel Tokyo Frank Lloyd Wright Suite

Outfit Details:  black cardigan // beige tank top // black jumper // Kendra Scott gold bangles

All of my art history dreams came true when the hotel granted my wish of seeing the Frank Lloyd Wright Suite (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself). The design was everything I every hoped for it to be down to the tea cups, wood work and details in the furniture, doors, ceilings, and more. Plus, I’m pretty sure the room was bigger than my condo at home lol. Today, the room is only accessible for use by VIP guests.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Frank Lloyd Wright SuiteImperial Hotel Tokyo, Frank Lloyd Wright SuiteImperial Hotel Tokyo Frank Lloyd Wright SuiteThe Frank Lloyd Wright SuiteThe Frank Lloyd Wright Suite

Food:

Imperial Hotel TokyoImperial Hotel Tokyo

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo boasts an impressive number of restaurants & lounges– 13 to be exact with different cuisines and atmospheres. The first day we had breakfast at Viking Restaurant, which had a beautiful buffet of Western and Japanese food items. My mom and I both tried the Japanese breakfast items, which were excellent.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Our second morning in Tokyo, we had breakfast at the French one star Michelin restaurant, Les Saisons. The breakfast was so dreamy with a gorgeous presentation of French pastries, beautifully arranged fruit, eggs, and veggies.

Amenities:

Tea Ceremony

Outfit Details:  black cardigan // beige tank top // black jumper // Kendra Scott gold bangles

We loved participating in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony served with sweets and green tea before we headed to the airport to catch our flight to Singapore. It was such a relaxing way to spend our last morning in Tokyo.

poolgym

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo even had an indoor pool, spa, and gym all of which had great views of the city.

Tokyo

Service:

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo had the best service I have ever received by a hotel on any of my travels. All of the hotel staff was very friendly, polite, and helpful. From offering us help with directions to booking us reservations and tours, I have nothing but great things to say. Plus, we even received a note with our fruit tray that said a hotel staff member would help cut fruit if help was needed– which would have come in handy for an older adult. We even received a note on our bed from our maid saying that we could call with any requests as well. It was the small but subtle touches like this that I liked and appreciated during my stay.

Recommendation:

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo was the best hotel I’ve stayed in the world. Overall the food, service, and accommodations are far superior to what I’ve ever experienced from any luxury hotel I’ve ever stayed in. My expectations were far exceeded. If you ever plan a trip to Tokyo, I recommend staying at The Imperial Hotel. I can’t wait to stay at this hotel again when I return to Tokyo sometime in the near future.

 

 

Cameron
srathardforlife@gmail.com
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