If you’re visiting Tokyo for the first time, it can seem really overwhelming. If you live here and you have visitors, what do you recommend to them? Recently, friends from Scotland visited and this is what I suggested for their first day here. Nothing too strenuous, nothing too extreme, chaotic or loud. Just a nice chilled day out, taking in the sights and sounds of the city.
First up, a walk around the old Tsukiji Outer Market. There’s a great vibe here with fantastic food like freshly grilled scallops, lobster tails, and donburi rice bowls topped with seafood. Afterwards, freshening up the palate with sticks of fresh fruit for dessert is a popular treat.
Next, walk down to Hamarikyu Gardens. Weekdays are most relaxing as the gardens are practically empty and the beautifully landscaped and perfectly manicured lawns help make the garden a pleasant walk. The office buildings and skyscrapers surrounding this lush green oasis creates a welcoming contrast before jumping on the train to Asakusa where you can stroll the traditional shopping streets, nibble on some snacks and coffee around the famous Sensoji Temple as you make your way to the Cruise Terminal.
Riding the Water Bus in Tokyo is one of the best ways to see the city. It’s relaxing, scenic, and when you board the Himiko water bus, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a spaceship on the sea! Designed by anime artist, Leiji Matsumoto, the cruise offers unique views of Tokyo that you can get nowhere else.
The boat itself is not just a master-design piece on the outside, the inside is also modern and sleek with huge panoramic windows to take in the cityscape no matter where you are standing or sitting. A great place to relax and unwind, the views are spectacular and a wonderful way to see so much of the city. The Asakusa to Odaiba route is a convenient way to travel across the city. The tour is 50 minutes and costs JPY1720. There are 6-8 boats running per day, each stopping at Odaiba Pier, just in front of the popular Aquacity Shopping Mall.
Wandering around the mall and surrounding area, you'll see the giant Gundam Statue, and take in the sunset and big-city lights from one of the many viewpoints. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from for a dinner spot. Gonpachi Odaiba, for example, is perfect for groups. They serve a great mix of all the best Japanese food and their course menu is really quite good value.
After dinner, jump on the train back towards the main part of the city and voila, on your first day, you will have already covered so much!
This trip was supported by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, however, all views are my own.