Tokyo — Day 5 of a 5-Day Trip in Japan’s Kanto Region
I really enjoyed our 5 days in the Kanto Region. I definitely think we tried to pack a lot in our day, but that was because there was so much to see! Tokyo is an amazing city and it was nice to see the country-side by visiting Kawaguchiko. I really recommend visiting an onsen. They are scattered all over Japan and definitely a worthwhile experience.
In the morning, we took a last dip in the onsen and headed down to the breakfast buffet. Afterwards, we headed to the roof terrace in hopes of seeing Mt. Fuji. We were in luck! The sky had cleared up and we had a pretty good view of Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi. I really enjoyed my time in Kawaguchiko — the onsen was relaxing, the kaiseki dinner was delicious, and the ryokan was a great experience.
Upon arrival at Shinjuku Station, we had lunch at Ichiran Ramen, which specializes in tonkotsu ramen. Ichiran is a little different than most restaurants as it has a solo dining experience with close to zero interaction with staff. Guests purchase meal tickets ahead of time and are directed to a bar space with dividers on both sides. Food is delivered by opening the blinds in front of the guest and assistance is requested by pressing the help button.
We stopped by a tayaki stall on our way to the train station for dessert. The fish-shaped pastries were filled with a sweet red bean paste.
Note: We actually headed directly to the airport from lunch for our flight to Osaka, but we were back in Tokyo for one last day in Japan. So the rest of “Day 5” is continued by our activities on Day 14. Our next two stops were the East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Ghibli Museum. If you are following this itinerary, you will likely only have the time for one of the two. I would recommend the Ghibli Museum as it is a different experience.
The East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace were filled with lush greenery, autumn colours were starting to appear. Unfortunately, the Main Palace was not open the day we visited. There are also a few museums in this area that might be worth a visit. You could easily spend 1–2 hours walking around the gardens and the palace grounds.
Afterwards, we headed to Mitaka Station and walked through Inokashira Park to reach the Ghibli Museum.
Ghibli Museum tickets must be purchased a month in advance as they limit the daily number of visitors. No pictures are allowed in the museum. The design of the museum is absorbing and looks straight out of a Studio Ghibli movie. Admission includes entrance to the Central Hall, an original 20-minute Ghibli animated movie (only available at the museum), rooms filled with designs and illustrations from Ghibli movies, and attractions such as the Cat Bus and the Robot Soldier. There is also a cafe — the StrawHat Cafe.
After spending about 2 hours at the Ghibli Museum, we headed to our hotel, Hotel Life Tree Ueno. The room was small for two people, but had a lovely view of the city.
After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we wandered across the street to Ameyoko Yokocho. We picked a busy izakaya as our last meal in Tokyo and it did not disappoint. We ordered an array of dishes — yakitori, chicken karaage, ebi mayo, tuna sashimi, and tako wasabi (see image). I was pretty excited about the tako wasabi (raw octopus mixed in wasabi paste) — it was yummy!
It was raining out, so we headed back to our hotel for the night.
Complete Day 5 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary and do not include walking distances to and from train stations. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
7:00am: Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel and take another dip in the onsen.
9:00am: Head back to Shinjuku Station via Kawaguchiko Station (3 hour highway bus)
12:00pm: Grab lunch at Ichiran Ramen (1 minute walk from Shinjuku Station). Complete any last minute shopping in the area.
2:00pm: Head to the Ghibli Museum (18 minute train from Shinjuku Station to Mitaka Station) OR head to the Tokyo Imperial Palace (11 minute train from Shinjuku Station to Iidabashi Station, transfer for a 3 minute train from Iidabashi Station to Takebashi Station).
5:00pm: Explore Ameyoko Yokocho Market (18 minute train from Kichijoji Station to Takadanobaba Station, transfer for 20 minute train from Takadanobaba Station to Ueno Station). Head to the area directly under Ueno Station and grab dinner at an izakaya. Grab a few drinks during or after dinner to finish the night.
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!