Tokyo, Japan for the excitement of a great city

I had a great trip to Tokyo, which is a city that has so much to see, and it never ever sleeps. After arriving to Narita airport, I took the Airport Limousine Bus directly from the airport to the hotel. The bus is JPY 3100 per person, fast, comfortable and the first stop of the bus is at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel. In addition, when returning to the airport, you can take the Airport Limousine bus directly from the hotel to Narita. The bus leaves on the half hour. I like the ANA Hotel, as it is centrally located in Tokyo, near the Imperial Palace, walking distance to Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown. It is also very close to several subway lines.

The first morning that I was in Tokyo, I woke up early (with great jet lag) and utilized my early rise to visit the Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market, watch the auctions, walk through the stalls of every kind of fish possible, and enjoy an early morning sushi meal with the rest of the market workers. The market starts to get going about 3:00am. Check to see if it is open prior to going. The market is sometimes closed on Wednesdays and all holidays.

During the rest of the day, I visited the outstanding Edo Museum (history of Tokyo), and the spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the Asakusa Shrine and the Kapabashi neighborhood (restaurant supply and pottery district). Highly recommended.

That evening, we had early drinks that top of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku, so that we could watch the sunset over the Tokyo city skyline. The Park Hyatt is the hotel in “Lost in Translation”.

For dinner we had a fantastic eat experience at Inakaya in Roppongi. Not cheap, but a true Japanese experience. As your hotel to make a recommendation. Well worth it. You will not forget it.

If you are looking for something traditional Japanese, I would recommend going to a one of the three sumo tournaments each year in Tokyo. If sumo is not your cup of tea, then consider going to a show a kabuki performance at the famous Kabuki-za. Your hotel can help you with tickets for both.

I am a morning person, especially when I am traveling, and look forward to my morning runs, not matter where I am located. In Tokyo, my favorite run is around the Imperial Palace ground and moat. There is a paved 2.5 mile path that circles the Imperial Palace and it is popular run area for the Japanese. Great on the weekends, nearly all day.

If you are looking for something adventuresome, consider skiing at Hakuba (site of the 1998 Winter Olympics) which 1.5 hours by train. If hiking sounds good, consider a moderate hike at Mt Takao near Hachioji (1 hour from Tokyo) which is beautiful or go after Mt Fuji, which is easily accessible from Tokyo. This is not a technical climb, but start early in the morning, be part of a Japanese tradition of watching the sunrise over Japan from the summit Mt. Fuji. There are tea houses all the way up to the summit that serve food and drink, and place to rest tired feet and legs.

Tokyo is just one of many fabulous cities in Japan, get on the famed Shinkansen “bullet” train and travel north – south with great ease. I recommend, a short trip to Kamakura (big Buddha) or farther south to Kyoto, Hiroshima or Fukuoka.

Have fun in Japan.

Insider Tip

Buy a Japan Rail Pass, but it must be purchased before leaving your home country

Where I stayed / started

ANA Intercontinental Hotel

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