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:


WHAT YOU WILL VISIT IN THIS ITINERARY



A UNESCO World Heritage Site: Mount Fuji

 
Ghibli Museum: If you are a fan of anime, or movies by Studio Ghibli, this is a must visit site.


Edo Tokyo Open Air 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 became a legend.


Ishikawa sake brewery: We joined a tour of the Ishikawa brewery with free sake tasting afterwards.


Imperial Palace East Garden: We joined a free walking tour.


Shopping at Daiso and Don Quijote




WHAT TO BOOK OR BUY IN ADVANCE

1.  Mount Fuji Tour


I purchased my 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.

Check this out for details:
https://www.viator.com/tours/Tokyo/Mt-Fuji-Lake-Ashi-and-Bullet-Train-Day-Trip-from-Tokyo/d334-2142TYO_F800_F820

Why choose this tour:
I chose the bullet train ride on the return trip to Tokyo from Mount Fuji instead of the bus ride, although cheaper, so we can experience a bullet train ride. The Shinkansen or bullet train is very expensive so this will be enough experience riding it without spending a lot.

My tip:
If you plan on doing the Ghibli Museum Tour, do this 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.

CHECK OUT MY POST:
My Tips on How to Get Ghibli Museum Tickets Online


3. Flytpack Pocket Wifi

It is essential to bring a pocket wifi 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.

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. 


4. Klook sim card


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



5. Ishikawa brewery tour

Advance reservation is needed. You can email them at liveinfo@tamajiman.co.jp.

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



MY TOKYO ITINERARY


DAY 1. ARRIVAL IN TOKYO, DINNER AT SUSHI ZANMAI HIGASHI SHINJUKU, DON QUIJOTE (MONDAY)



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

Check-in
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. 
Immigration

Breakfast at Skyview Lounge

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
Boarding

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.





CHECK OUT MY POST: 

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.





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. 





Check out this link:

https://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/information/visitor_tickets/multi/index.html

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:
https://www.pasmo.co.jp/en/buy/  


3:00 PM-4:00 PM
Our hotel is in Shinjuku. The nearest stop to our hotel is Keio Plaza hotel so we rode the limousine bus to Keio Plaza hotel.

4:00 PM-4:30 PM

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

MY TIP: 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
Rest

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

This restaurant is open 24 hours. It's very near our hotel. And they say you don't need to eat at Tsukiji market since this restaurant has the same quality of food as their branch in Tsukiji market.







I highly recommend this restaurant.


CHECK OUT MY POST:
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.

CHECK OUT MY POST:

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


DAY 2. MOUNT FUJI, MOUNT KOMAGATAKE ROPEWAY, LAKE ASHI AND BULLET TRAIN DAY TRIP FROM TOKYO TOUR (TUESDAY)



7:30 AM-8:00 AM:

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

8:25 AM:

Meet up at 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.



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



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 to take a photo.


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






6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Travel from Tokyo Station to the hotel

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

CHECK OUT MY POST:

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

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






12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Travel from the Museum to Musashi Koganei to Mitaka Station

1:00 PM-2:00 PM
At the Mitaka station, take the Mitaka bus to the Ghibli Museum: 310 yen roundtrip

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







CHECK OUT MY POST:
Inside Ghibli Musem


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

7:00 PM
Dinner at Matsuya

CHECK OUT MY POST:
Cheap Places to Eat in Japan.
This article also includes what's available at Matsuya.




DAY 4. SHINJUKU GYOEN NATIONAL GARDEN, HARAJUKU, SHIBUYA CROSSING, HACHIKU MEMORIAL STATUE, LUNCH AT ICHIRAN RAMEN HOUSE, DESSERT AT TEA AND SPOON NANAYA AOYAMA GELATO, TOWER RECORDS, MEGA DONKI AT SHIBUYA (THURSDAY)


9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Take the train to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: 170 yen

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

11:00 PM-1:00 PM
Harajuku

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

Visit Hachiko Memorial Statue

Do the Shibuya Crossing


2:00 PM-3:00 PM

Lunch at Ichiran Ramen

3:00 PM-4:00 PM
Visit Tea and Spoon Nanaya Aoyoma Gelato

CHECK OUT MY POST:
Where to Find the Best Match Gelato
where I describe our experience at Tea and Spoon Nanaya Aoyoma Gelato.

4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Visit Tower Records and Mega Donki

6:00 PM-7:00 PM
Return to the hotel

7:00 PM
Dinner at Matsuya

CHECK OUT MY POST:

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

DAY 5. ISHIKAWA BREWERY TOUR (FRIDAY)

9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Travel from Shinjuku to Ishikawa Brewery

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

Bought 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.

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

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



DAY 6. IMPERIAL PALACE EAST GARDEN TOUR, KABUKI PLAY AT KABUKIZA THEATER, GINZA (SATURDAY)


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

NOTE: THIS TOUR IS ONLY USUALLY AVAILABLE EVERY SATURDAY. MAKE SURE TO CHECKOUT THEIR CALENDAR OF THE MONTH IN CASE THEY ADDED TOURS.

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. Travel from Takebashi station to Kabukiza theater

4:15 PM - 4:45 PM
Single act Kabuki play

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

7:00 PM
Dinner at the Korean restaurant


DAY 7. RETURN TO MANILA (SUNDAY)

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
Boarding

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

5:20 PM
Arrival in Manila


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