Tokyo — Day 1 of a 5-Day Trip in Japan’s Kanto Region
We spent the first 5 days of our 14-day Japan vacation in the Kanto Region — in particular, Tokyo and Kawaguchiko. It was November when we visited, the weather in Kanto was warm with temperatures around 20°C during the day. It does get a little cooler in the evenings, so make sure to pack a sweater. Coming from Vancouver, BC, I was really surprised to experience such warm weather in November. Tokyo and Kawaguchiko are must sees when visiting Japan — so much culture and good food. Day 1 in Kanto Region consisted of a visit to Tsukiji Market, Ueno, Asakusa, and Odaiba. Perfect for any travel enthusiast!
We stayed at an Airbnb near Hatagaya Station, two stations west from Shinjuku Station, at a super cute apartment with a nice view of the city. We stopped by the bakery, Haruka Breads, every morning to grab some freshly baked goodies before heading off on our day. Note: Haruka Breads is located on the main floor of this building. They are closed on Mondays.
The neighbourhood was quiet, but there were restaurants and convenience stores along the street. The convenience stores are great for grabbing a quick breakfast or a late night snack.
Our first stop for the day was Tsukiji Market. We arrived in Japan the night before and were craving some fresh tuna! There was a plentiful selection of food options at Tsukiji Market. We tried the bbq eel, uni, and dumplings, but the highlight was the tuna bowl. It was filled with an assortment of tuna cuts on a bowl of rice and just melted in your mouth with each bite. The stall we visited had a huge tuna head on display and is near the front of the outer market.
After Tsukiji Market, we headed to Ueno Park for a stroll. There were many artists and performers around the park. We watched an artist draw animals with water and a mop on the pavement. Ueno Park is also home to a multitude of museums and a zoo which can be visited if you have the time.
Our next destination was Asakusa which was bustling with people visiting the shrine and outdoor market. We stopped by the Senso-ji Temple to take pictures and wandered the stalls along Nakamise Shopping Street. We picked up some melon pan at Kagetsudo. The crunchy cookie top and the bread-y inside of the melon pan is a perfect blend and so delicious.
We were starting to get a little hungry. There is a restaurant called Sometaro, a 10 minute walk from Senso-Ji Temple, where you can make your own okonomiyaki. I had to try it out! The restaurant provided us with a bowl filled with ingredients. Next steps were to mix, pour, flip, and layer on with sauces. This was fun and definitely would recommend if you are in the area. We beat the lunch time rush and only waited about 5 minutes for a table. A line was beginning to form as we left Sometaro and headed to Odaiba.
Odaiba is a man-made island near Tokyo Bay. It is a little further out from the central Tokyo areas, but has tons of attractions — Megaweb Toyota City Showcase, Legoland Discovery Centre, TeamLab Borderless, and the giant Gundam are just a few. You could easily spend a day in Odaiba. We did not have the time to see everything, but were visiting Odaiba mainly for TeamLab Borderless. TeamLab was amazing — definitely a highlight of the trip with its original art. A reservation must be made ahead of time to visit, I had booked our tickets a month in advance.
We took a quick picture with the giant Gundam as its lights flashed to music before heading back to Hatagaya.
Before calling it a night, we grabbed a bowl of shoyu ramen from Gamushara Ramen, just across the street from our Airbnb. The restaurant was small and only seated about 10 customers at the bar. We were greeted by the friendly staff, promptly paid the ticket machine for our meals, gave the tickets to the staff, and sat down eagerly awaiting our first ramen in Japan. The ramen was good and a nice end to our first day in Japan.
Complete Day 1 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary and do not include walking distances to and from train stations. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
8:00am: Travel to Tsukiji Market and try food from the various stalls at the Market.
10:00am: Travel to Ueno Park (12 minute train from Tsukiji Station to Ueno Station). Wander the park and visit the museums/zoo.
12:00pm: Travel to Asakusa (6 minute train from Ueno Station to Asakusa Station). Visit Senso-ji Temple. Wander the stalls and eat melon pan at Kagetsudo. Have lunch at Sometaro Restaurant (6 minute walk from Senso-ji Temple).
3:00pm: Head to TeamLab at Odaiba (19 minute train from Asakusa Station to Shimbashi Station, transfer for another 20 minute train from Shimbashi Station to Aomi Station). Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering Odaiba.
7:00pm: Grab dinner near your accommodation. If you are interested in trying Gamushara Ramen, you can find it near Hatagaya Station (24 minute train from Tokyo Teleport Station to Shinjuku Station, transfer for another 3 minute train from Shinjuku Station to Hatagaya Station).
16-Day Japan Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 16-Day Japan Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in Japan!