Clueless Commuter takes you to Tokyo (東京, Tōkyō)
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- Harajuku (原宿)
- Shibuya (渋谷)
- Shinjuku (新宿)
- Ichiran Ramen
- Ueno Zoo and Park
- Meiji Temple
- Asakusa Temple a.k.a. Sensōji Temple
- Roppongi Hills
- Tokyo Tower
- Tokyo Skytree
- Get lost in the Tokyo, walk.
“So you have some free time in Tokyo….”
A friend recently asked me for a list of possible free time go-to’s in Tokyo. So…
To help him, I decided to write about the walkable parts of the city that I’d been to and would recommend to fellow travellers.
Buy a 24-hr unlimited Tokyo Metro pass
Tokyo is a huge place. If you get to have one day to roam it, you’ll do great by taking a city stroll — with the help of Tokyo Metro. All you need to do is buy a 24-hr unlimited Tokyo Metro ticket, which costs around ¥600 (More or less ₱270).
Tokyo Metro‘s subway lines reach all of Tokyo’s famous tourist destinations. Unlike the JR Line, which has it’s mainline through and around Tokyo’s city center, Tokyo Metro’s subway system goes inside of Tokyo’s city proper. So, if you own the JR Rail Pass, a Tokyo Metro would come in handy as a complement ticket within Tokyo.
You can buy a ticket at Tokyo Metro stations across the city.
1. Harajuku, Harajyuku (原宿)
What’s there to see in Harajyuku (原宿)? Apart from Takeshita St., which is a short strip of fashion shopping finds, it also houses Tokyo’s 4-storey Daiso branch.
The Giant Daiso in Takeshita St., Harajuku
Fact: Things are really expensive in Japan. The good news is there are a few stores that sell Japan-made goods and items for less. This includes Japan’s biggest Daiso in Takeshita St., Harajuku (原宿). Most of the items cost ¥100, which was around ₱45 during my stay.
Currency exchange rate as of this writing: ¥1 = ₱.45.
Tamagochi Shop near Harajuku (原宿) JR Station
Tamagochis were a childhood icon from the late ’90s to the early 2000s. After a while, they started disappearing. When smartphones started taking the world by storm, I remember looking for a legit Tamagochi app. There were none in the app store. It looked as if the game’s creators had secured their rights.
For the fans, worry no more. Tamagochis still exist up to this day, and you can find them right at the heart of Harajuku. I just didn’t get mine because, sadly, I didn’t have extra money.
2. Shibuya (渋谷)
3. Shinjuku (新宿) shops and stores
Shinjuku is actually a huge ward for walking. It’s lined up with almost all the brands you’d look for in a city. You’ll want to go there mainly for shopping. In my case, I went for art materials and camera accessories.
4. Ichiran (蘭) Ramen
Why is an Ichiran (蘭) Ramen chain even in my go-to list? Because not all Ramen are created equal. And since you’re in Japan, might as well try their most famous comfort food in a well recommended Ramen chain locals approve of.
I know: We can’t read Japanese, so recall this signage outside a ramen shop where people are queued outside. If you look closely, the sign does say Ichiran in English.
How I’ll describe the food? You’ll still feel like a good person even after you have had your fill of it.
The broth was so perfect I can still vividly recall its taste. It was not overdone. Ichiran has branches in different city wards in Tokyo. I’ve seen branches around Shinjuku and Ueno during my Tokyo strolls. They’re usually that ramen house that people line up to.
Be patient! Wait for your turn so you can try their ramen out yourself.
5. Ueno Park and Zoo
What’s to see in Ueno? If you’re like me, the Panda’s and the Polar Bear within Ueno zoo is a must go to.
6. Meiji Temple
Giant Shrine Posts
7. Asakusa Temple a.k.a. Sensōji Temple
What’s to see:
Giant Shrine Posts
Big Fat Kois
8. Roppongi Hills
The giant spider at Roppongi Hills.
It’s a posh shopping center.
9. Tokyo Tower
This is a shot from Roppongi Hills on a drizzly foggy cold autumn night. I never got closer than Jonathan Barasi’s visit.
10. Tokyo Skytree
On the way to Tokyo Skytree, you’ll also see Asahi’s odd froth sculpture on top of it’s building. It does look like something else *smirks.
It’s a little walk from the nearest Tokyo Metro. We had to cross the Sumida-Gawa river bridge by foot.
Tokyo Skytree seems to be located within a building mall or complex. After getting in and up, you’ll have to look up the top.
Get Lost in the City
Lastly, I think you should just, for once, try to get lost in Tokyo (:
I think that would make the perfect stroll that you’re looking for. Who knows what you can unfold that I never will.