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How to Plan a Trip to Tokyo

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Natasha Weiss

Quirky and bubbling with both ancient and futuristic vibes all at once, Tokyo is a city you must see when visiting Japan. There are shrines and temples that bring the hushed reverence of thousands of years of history alongside towering skyscrapers, and an easy-to-navigate transportation system to help you see it all. With the charming culture and delightful cuisine, it’s little wonder why so many people create a travel itinerary for this ultimate destination.

If you’re ready to explore all that Tokyo has to offer, here’s what you need to know!

What Visa Will You Need?

For tourists visiting Tokyo from most of Europe, the U.S., Australia, and Argentina, you do not need a Japan tourist visa. If you’re from these areas, you can stay in Tokyo, Japan for up to 90 days without a visa, which works out great for an 11-day Japan itinerary. A tourist visa for Japan will be needed for other nationals, so be sure you check the requirements. 

How to Find the Best Ticket Prices

For the best ticket prices to Tokyo, you will want to book your trip at least 3 weeks prior to your departure. The busiest seasons are in November, December, and January. Generally, February ticket prices from the U.S. to Tokyo will be cheapest in February.

In Tokyo, your best airport options are Narita International Airport (NRT) and Tokyo International Airport (HND). Narita International Airport is the major international hub and makes getting to Tokyo easiest with quicker travel options through the rail stations. Haneda Airport, as Tokyo International Airport is commonly called, is in the heart of Tokyo’s downtown and makes public transit a breeze. 

To find your best ticket prices for your trip to Tokyo, you can use Skyscanner to compare all fares at once. 

When Should You Visit Tokyo?

For visiting Tokyo, March, April, September, and November are the best times. In autumn, you’ll see stunning fall leaves and enjoy comfortable temperatures while in the spring, you can see the famed cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Summer is a peak tourist time, so expect long lines to wait in and the unrelenting heat of summer. Winter is still a nice time to visit Tokyo if you do not mind the frigid cold. 

Where to Book a Hotel in Tokyo?

You’ll find an array of hotels to choose from in Tokyo to satisfy your budget. The Shinjuku Granbell Hotel is modern, stylish, and unique, plus it’s close to the subway station. You can unwind in the terrace bar located on the 13th floor to enjoy spectacular views and dine in the restaurant on the 12th floor for casual Italian and French foods. There’s also a café on the ground floor perfect for people-watching.

Remm Roppongi is another option which is in the Minato district. These compact rooms have all the comforts you need, despite the small space. It’s close to museums and is a nice place to stay.

APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae is right by the Tawaramachi subway station, making it easy to get around during your stay. You can easily walk to Sensoji Temple from this prime location. Plus, there’s an on-site restaurant and comfortable accommodations.

ICI HOTEL Asakusabashi has an incredible location that will be best suited for visiting all the key sights like the Ichogaoka Hachiman Shrine, Izumi Park, and Kusawakeinari Shrine. Take a look at the chart below to see the approximate prices for these hotels as well as other options.





Shinjuku Granbell



Shinjuku City

Remm Roppongi



Minato City

APA Hotel Asakusa Tawaramachi Ekimae



Taito City

ICI HOTEL Asakusabashi



Taito City

Transportation in Tokyo

The subways and trains in Tokyo are incredibly efficient and make for the easiest ways to get around. You can buy a prepaid Suica card online to pick up at the airport. The Pasmo card is another way to easily pay for your transport.

You will also like getting around via taxi, but they are expensive, so budget accordingly. And while the bus system is extensive as well as efficient, it is not the best way for tourists to get around.

What Should You See in Tokyo?

If you’re wondering what to do in Tokyo for a week, there are tons of things to see in this incredible city. Here are a few quick suggestions you will not want to miss while you’re there!

Shibuya Scramble Crossing is one of the most iconic spots to see in Tokyo. It’s the world’s busiest crossing, plus this trendy district features plenty of places to shop from large malls to small boutiques. You’ll also find many restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs here, a great spot to go at night. 

You’ll also want to see the Mori Building Digital Art Museum, known as the first digital art museum in the world. It is absolutely incredibly for a modern take on Tokyo. By contrast, you will not want to miss seeing Tokyo’s oldest temple, the Sensoji Temple, right in the historic center of the city. 

Since this temple is also in the Asakusa area, you’ll see tons of other things too like kimono shops, rickshaw tours, and gain a traditional Japanese experience. The food in this area is phenomenal, plus it puts you close to another must-see, the Tokyo Skytree, known as the highest tower in the world. 

Tsukiji Fish Market is another top attraction in Tokyo, and don’t forget to make time for the Tokyo National Museum brimming with artifacts. There’s so much to see in Tokyo that it really is best to plan a longer itinerary rather than just a few days.

Useful Tips to Keep in Mind When Visiting Tokyo

When visiting Japan, there are a few tips you should know to enhance your stay. One of them is that there is an 8% consumption tax on consumer goods. But with your tourist visa, you’ll often be exempt when you show your passport. You should check with the store first though as not everything is available for tax-free purchases. You may need to spend over a certain amount to get the exemption. For consumable items, that amount is ¥5,001 while things like clothing, shoes, and electronics, the amount is ¥10,001.

With these savings, Tokyo can be a bit more affordable. However, you may need to declare these items when you depart the country. 

Aside from taxes and exemptions, here are other helpful tips for Tokyo…

Tokyo is indeed an exciting city to visit. Now that you know how to plan a trip to Tokyo, you will have an easier time getting the best experience from your travels here. Soak it all in, for it is a delight for all the senses, and it’s an incredible honor to see a place like this in your lifetime. 

Natasha Weiss

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