7 DAYS IN TOKYO: My Travel Guide and Itinerary

January 12, 2018

7 DAYS IN TOKYO: My Travel Guide and Itinerary

Updated after my actual trip in May 2018!!!

I posted my planned itinerary in January 2018 prior my trip and edited it later to show what actually happened when I made the trip. Below is my actual itinerary:


A UNESCO World Heritage Site: Mount Fuji

Ghibli Museum: If you are a fan of anime, or movies by made by Studio Ghibli, this is a must visit site. You will see the process of making animated films as well as original drawings used in Ghibli films.

Edo Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum: We briefly visited this place to complement our trip to Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki was inspired by specific structures in this museum when he created the world in the movie "Spirited Away".

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: Tokyo's most popular cherry blossom viewing venue. This is the best place to see 3 kinds of gardens: the Japanese traditional garden, the English garden, and the French formal garden.

Harajuku: Tokyo's pop culture and fashion district.

Shibuya Crossing: the busiest intersection in Japan and an iconic place Tokyo is known for.

Hachiko Memorial Statue: commemorating the most famous Akita dog, Hachiko, whose story of loyalty to his owner became a legend.

Ishikawa sake brewery: We joined a tour of the Ishikawa sake brewery, built in the 1800s. They continue to brew the famous Tamajiman sake at the site. The tour is FREE and there's free sake tasting afterwards.

Imperial Palace East Garden: We joined the Tokyo free walking tour of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace.

Kabukiza Theatre: To watch one act of a Kabuki play

Shopping at Daiso and Don Quijote: These are famous discount stores worth visiting for all kinds of Japanese souvenirs.


1. Mount Fuji Tour

I purchased the Mount Fuji Tour at viator.com instead of JTB Sunrise Tours or Japanican because viator.com offers it at 10% discount if it's the first time you purchase a tour at viator.com. Viator, JTB Sunrise Tours and Japanican have the same rate, but viator usually offers discounts during certain promo periods.

Check this out for details:

Why choose this tour:
You get 3 opportunities to see Mount Fuji: at the Mount Fuji 5th station, at Mount Komagatake, and at Lake Ashi.

I chose the bullet train ride on the return trip to Tokyo from Mount Fuji instead of the bus ride, even though the bus ride is cheaper, so we can experience a bullet train ride. The Shinkansen or bullet train is very expensive. At least we get to experience riding the bullet train without spending a lot.

My tip:
If you plan on doing the Ghibli Museum Tour, do the Mount Fuji tour on a Tuesday. Ghibli Museum is closed on Tuesdays.

2. Ghibli Museum Tickets

You can buy Ghibli Museum tickets online on the 10th of the month at 10:00 AM Japan time of the month before the date you want to visit the museum. This means if you want to buy tickets for March 2018, you can only buy it on February 10, at 10:00 AM Japan time.


3. Flytpack Pocket Wifi

It is essential to bring a pocket wifi or a data sim in Japan so it will be possible to navigate the subways and private railways. Lines change depending on time. If you have a pocket wifi, when you arrive at the station, you can start searching for your destination at google maps and google maps will tell you the next train you can ride to go to your destination. Others use hyperdia.com to navigate the trains but I find it easier to use google maps. Japan trains arrive exactly on time. So it's essential that you do an online google map search again once you arrive at the station to make sure you'll ride the correct train at the correct time.

FLYTPACK PRICE: 280 per day x 7 days = 1960 pesos rental fee. Plus 2800 pesos deposit, which they return after you return the unit. I added 550 pesos router insurance just to be safe.

If you're not part of a group, it may be more economical to purchase a Japan sim card. 3 gb is more than enough data if you're staying a week. You can also use it as a mobile hotspot. You can check out klook.com to purchase a voucher for a 4G Japan sim card that you can pick up at the airport. Check out this link: 4G Sim Card (Japan Pickup)

4. Klook sim card

I purchased a Japan sim card at Klook for when we need to go separately from our group.

5. Ishikawa sake brewery tour

The sake brewery tour is free with sake tasting. However, advance reservation is needed. You can email them at liveinfo@tamajiman.co.jp. to request for an appointment

You can check out more details at http://tamajiman.co.jp/en/tour/



2:00 AM
Leave house. Go to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3

3:00 AM
Park at NAIA Terminal 3 parking

3:30 AM - 5:30 AM

NOTE: Check in counter at Jetstar opens 3 hours before the flight contrary to the email information that it only opens 2 hours before the flight. 

Breakfast at Skyview Lounge

Manila International Airport Lounge: The Sky View Lounge at NAIA Terminal 3

5:30 AM
Boarding Leave the lounge. Walk to the gate. It takes at least 10-15 minutes to walk to the gate.

5:45 AM

6:15 AM - 11:35 AM
Manila to Osaka flight via Cebu Pacific 5J5054

NOTE: Japan is 1 hour ahead of the Philippines so from this point of the itinerary, I'm using Japan time.

11:35 AM-1:00 PM

Arrival at  Narita Airport Terminal 2. Claim baggage. Go through immigration.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Lunch at Yoshinoya at Narita Airport arrival hall after baggage claim.


Cheap Places to Eat in Japan. The article includes my lunch at Yoshinoya at Narita airport, with menu included.

MY TIP: We decided to have lunch at the airport already since travel time to the city takes at least 2 hours.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Things to do before leaving the airport:

1. Claim the prepaid sim purchased at Klook.com. 

2. Buy limousine bus tickets if you're taking the limousine bus to Central Tokyo.

Location of ticket counter

Where to buy the limousine bus tickets at the airport:
Check out this link: https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/

MY TIP: Make sure to buy the multi voucher discount tickets available to tourist. You will save a lot. Instead of paying 3100 yen per way. With the multi voucher discount tickets, you get to pay only 2000-2250 yen per way, depending on the number of people in your group. 

What the multi voucher tickets look like

Instructions on the use of the tickets

Check out this link:

Watch the video below on how to go to Shinjuku by airport limousine bus. Credits to Tokyo Omenatashi Channel. 

3. Buy the PASMO Card for use in the Japanese subway.

Note: Some of us with just 1 handcarry luggage took the subway. The total cost is half of what you will spend if you took the limousine bus. However, there will be a lot of transfers and walking up and down the stairs. So we don't recommend it if you have a lot of luggage or a heavy luggage. We went to the basement of Narita airport to purchase the PASMO card. 

The PASMO card is a reloadable smart card that you can use on several networks like the JR train, subways, private railways and buses. This is the best smart card to use because:
a. It's reloadable. 
This means you load only the amount you need.
b. You don't need to buy train tickets using cash. You can go straight to the gate each time you enter the rail station. 
c. You don't need to buy separate tickets when you change lines from the subway to the private railway. You only need to tap the card at the turnstile when you change lines. 
d. You can use the card to make purchases in stores like 711.
Where to buy the PASMO card at the airport:

3:00 PM-4:00 PM
Our hotel is Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku in Shinjuku. The nearest stop to our hotel is Keio Plaza hotel so we rode the limousine bus to Keio Plaza hotel. The limousine bus stops at the entrance of the hotel.

4:00 PM-4:30 PM

There are taxis waiting at the entrance of Keio Plaza hotel. So when the limousine bus stops at the entrance, you can immediately transfer to a taxi.

Ride the taxi from Keio Plaza hotel to  Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku. Actual taxi cost is 1750 yen. The taxi can accommodate up to 4 passengers excluding the driver. 

MY TIP: When you arrive at Keio Plaza hotel, book in advance the limousine bus for your return trip to make sure you have a seat on the way back to the airport.

4:30 PM

Check in at Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Dinner at Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku

This restaurant is open 24 hours. It's very near our hotel. You don't need to eat at Tsukiji market since this restaurant gets the same supply as their branch in Tsukiji market.

I highly recommend this restaurant.

My Review of Sushi Zanmai Higashi Shinjuku

8:30 PM - 10:00 PM

We visited the 24 hour discount store, Don Quijote.

We bought breakfast for the next day at the 711 convenience store.


Cheap Places to Eat in JapanThis article also includes what's available at 711.


7:30 AM-8:00 AM:

Leave the Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku. Take the subway to Keio Plaza hotel.

8:25 AM:

Meet up with the tour group at JTB sunrise tours check in counter at the 3rd floor of Keio Plaza Hotel (the nearest meet-up place from our hotel). You won't get lost once you arrive at the hotel because there are several marshals directing you to the 3rd floor.

The office of JTB Sunrise tours at the 3rd floor of Keio Plaza hotel

Once checked in, you will be instructed on what group to join. You will also be given seat assignments at the bus so your group can seat together. We were 9 in our group and we were all seated together.

MY TIP: While waiting, book in advance the limousine bus for your return trip to make sure you have a seat.

8:30 AM-10:30 AM:
Travel to Mount Fuji via the Chuo Expressway

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Mount Fuji 5th station

For that brief moment that clouds parted,
we were able to capture a photo of Mount Fuji.

There are 10 stations in Mount Fuji. The 5th station is in the middle

When we visited in May, the temperature is 7 degrees centigrade. Make sure to bring a thick jacket because it's very cold.

We were all directed first to the souvenir shop while we all waited for the clouds to clear so we can see Mount Fuji.

MY TIP: While in the souvenir shop, look occasionally outside. Your clue that the cloud is clearing is when people simultaneously gather and look at Mount Fuji then scramble to take a photo before clouds cover Mount Fuji again.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Travel time from Mount Fuji Station to Oshino Ninja Village, where we had our lunch.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Buffet lunch at Oshino Ninja Village

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Travel from Oshino Ninja Village to Lake Ashi

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Mount Komagatake Ropeway for views of Mount Fuji

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Lake Ashi cruise for views of Mount Fuji

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Bullet train ride from Odawara Station to Tokyo Station

The brief bullet train ride from Odawara Station in Hakone to Tokyo Station is worth experiencing. You marvel at the wonder of technology. Standing at the platform and seeing and feeling the vibration as a bullet train passes is almost like witnessing a space ship take off. The bullet train ride takes 30 minutes, while traveling by bus takes 1 1/2 hours.  

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
We were dropped off at Tokyo station by the tour operator. We traveled on our own from Tokyo Station to the hotel.

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Dinner at Matsuya

Cheap Places to Eat in Japan.
This article also includes what's available at Matsuya.

DAY 3. GHIBLI MUSEUM TOUR (WEDNESDAY) and EDO TOKYO OPEN AIR MUSEUM or Shopping at Daiso or Don Quijote for those who do not want to join the tour

9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Leave the hotel. Take the train to the Higashi Koganei Station. 

From Higashi Koganei station, we took a very long walk to get to the museum. We could have taken the bus but we had difficulty finding the bus stop and was afraid of getting lost so we decided it's safer to walk to the museum.

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Edo Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

Since this day is all about soaking in the wonder of Ghibli films, we complemented our tour of the Ghibli Museum with a very brief stop at the small area in the Edo Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum where we can see where Miyazaki got his inspiration for the world he created in his famous film "Spirited Away." You can find a lot of familiar scenes in Spirited Away in this site.

This looks like the same path to the bath house at Spirited Away

The bath house

Inside the bath house

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

We took the bus from the Museum to Musashi Koganei Station, then rode the train to Mitaka Station.

1:00 PM-2:00 PM

After exiting the Mitaka station building, turn left and go down to the ground level. You will see the bus stop of the Mitaka loop bus that goes to the Ghibli Museum. Fare is 310 yen roundtrip. 

The bus arrives every 10 minutes. I wasn't sure if the Pasmo card we were using for the train is accepted by the bus so we bought a ticket at the vending machine at the bus stop. 

We bought lunch at Lawson convenience store across the entrance of Ghiblli Museum. We sat and ate our lunch at the benches at the park beside the Ghibli Museum. 

2:00 PM-5:00 PM
Ghibli Museum tour

Inside Ghibli Museum

You will have an idea what you can expect to find inside the museum.

My Tip: Make sure to be on time. They let you enter only on the time slot indicated in your ticket.

The entrance of Ghibli Museum.
After this entrance, you can't take photos anymore.

5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Return to the hotel

7:00 PM
Dinner at Matsuya

Cheap Places to Eat in Japan.
This article also includes what's available at Matsuya.


9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Take the train from Higashi-shinjuku Station to Kokuritso-Kyogijo Station, which is the nearest station to the Sendagaya gate of the park.

We chose to enter through the Sendaya gate
because it's nearest to the 3 gardens we wanted to visit.

MY TIP: Make sure to enter the right gate. 
The place is so large. You will walk very far if you enter the wrong gate.

10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

Why visit this park: It's an opportunity to see 3 kinds of gardens in 1 place: the Japanese traditional garden, the English garden and the French formal garden. Plus, if you arrive in Japan when cherry blossoms are blooming, it's the best venue to view the cherry blossoms. 

Japanese traditional garden

English garden

French formal garden

11:00 PM-1:00 PM
Travel by train from Sendagaya station to Harajuku station. 

Harajuku: This is where you can find Japanese pop culture. The young ones will love this place.

1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Travel by train from Harajuku station to Shibuya Station

As we exited the Shibuya Station, we decided to see the famous Hachiko Memorial Statue, which is just outside the station. 

Afterwards, we joined the famous mad scramble at Shibuya Crossing.

2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Lunch at Ichiran Ramen

We waited for an hour to be seated because the Shibuya branch of Ichiran Ramen is small. You can try bigger branches so waiting time will not be too long. 

Why Ichiran? Ichiran has been our family's favorite ever since we tasted it in Osaka. My kids have been asking me when we can have it in Tokyo again. After seeing there's a nearby Ichiran at Shibuya Crossing, I decided to take them there. 

It's also known for being one of the best ramen places in Japan. So it's an opportunity for our companions who haven't tasted it yet to try it.

3:00 PM-4:00 PM
After lunch, some of us went to Mega Donki for some shopping. The rest went to visit 
Tea and Spoon Nanaya Aoyoma Gelato for the famous 7 level matcha ice cream.

Where to Find the Best Match Gelato
 where I describe our experience at Tea and Spoon Nanaya Aoyoma Gelato.

This is level 7 matcha ice cream.

4:00 PM-6:00 PM
We passed by and made a stop at Tower Records before meeting our other companions at Mega Donki.

6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Return to the hotel by train.

7:00 PM
Dinner at Matsuya


Cheap Places to Eat in Japan
This article also includes what's available at Matsuya.


9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Travel by train from Higashi-shinjuku station to Fussa station  Then ride the bus outside Fussa station that stops near Ishikawa Brewery.

MY TIP: Make sure to leave central Tokyo 2 hours before your scheduled appointment. It takes 2 hours to get to Ishikawa brewery, with all the transfers and walking. 

This is the view of Fussa, Tokyo
taken from Fussa station. 

11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Ishikawa Brewery tour

Entrance of the brewery

Inside the grounds where the brewery is located.
The brewery is the white structure on the right.

Where sake is brewed.

Our guide showing us a Sugidama

A sugidama (杉玉) or cedar ball is the recognized symbol of a Japanese sake brewery. The sugidama was originally put outside the brewery when new sake was brewed and the green leaves would gradually turn brown, thus showing the age of the sake on sale. (Source: www.japanvisitor.com)

Free tasting of 3 kinds of sake.

From left to right: Unpasteurized sake, Umeshu, Pasteurized sake

12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Lunch at Fussa No Birugoya, an Italian restaurant inside Ishikawa Brewery. They say Italian food pairs well with sake. So we tried their italian restaurant.

We tried their seasonal sake

Homemade fettuccine, shrimp, sea urchin
and tomato cream sauce

Peperoncino of shrimp and zuchini

1:00 PM- 3:00 PM
Travel from Ishikawa Brewery to Shinjuku

7:00 PM
Sushi dinner with sake bought from Ishikawa brewery

We bought sushi for takeout at Sushi Zanmai.


12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Leave hotel

Ride the train to Tokyo Station: 200 yen

1:00 PM-3:30 PM
Free walking tour of the Imperial Palace East Garden conducted by Tokyo Free Walking Tour


You just appear before 1 pm
to meet the guides at the entrance of Tokyo station.

Our guide

For details: https://tfwt.jp/top/east-gardens-of-the-imperial-palace/

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The walking tour ends near Takebashi station. We took the train from Takebashi station to Kabukiza theater so we can experience watching a 
Kabuki play. We bought tickets for 1 act of the Kabuki play.

At the entrance of the Kabukiza theater.

The cast of the Kabuki play

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
We watched only a single act of the Kabuki play.

It's standing room only at the topmost area of the theater.
One act of a Kabuki play lasts 45 minutes.
No photos are allowed once the play starts.

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Explored Ginza on the way back to the hotel.

7:00 PM

Since our hotel is near Korea town, we decided to try the famous Korean restaurant called, Shijan Dakgalbi. Long lines can usually be found outside this restaurant.

This is the famous cheese dakgalbi.
You wait for the cheese to melt and
dip the spicy chicken and other ingredients in it before eating.
The 2 kinds of cheese in this dish is parmesan and mozarella.

9:00 PM
Souvenir shopping at Don Quijote

My List of Best Matcha Souvenirs to Bring Home


6:30 AM
Check out of Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku

6:30 AM - 7:00 AM
Ride the taxi to Keio Plaza hotel

Cost of taxi is 1900 yen, with reservation. Reserve the taxi the day before. There's an added cost for reservation.

7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Ride the limousine bus to Narita Airport

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Check in at the Cebu pacific 5J5055

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lunch at Yoshinoya near gate 84

12:30 PM

1:00 PM (Tokyo time) - 5:20 PM (Manila time)
Departure from Osaka via Cebu Pacifice 5J5055

5:20 PM
Arrival in Manila