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How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/14 11:33
Hello all!
I'll be visiting Japan this November for the first time, and I am very excited! Since I have a limited number of days in the country, I have decided to limit myself to only Tokyo for this trip. This will also be my first time traveling solo, and I am worried that I have either packed too much into this trip, or not enough. If it looks too light, what would you recommend adding? If it looks to busy/hectic, what do you recommend skipping? Also, I know Japan to be a very safe nation, but as a solo female traveler, are there any tips you would give to staying even safer?

Day 1: November 14th - Afternoon arrival to Narita from LAX, planning on simply settling into my hotel and relaxing for the rest of the evening, maybe do some shopping for breakfast at a nearby convenience store for the next morning.

Day 2: November 15th - Morning at the Ghibli museum, afternoon in Shinjuku (particularly Shinjuku Gyoen and perhaps the Takashimaya department store for the Tokyu Hands and the Kinokuniya Bookstore that is located there), and the evening in the Roppongi/Azabu Juban area to meet up with a friend for dinner with them.

Day 3: November 16th - Morning and early afternoon at the Ueno Zoo and the Tokyo National Museum. Late afternoon/evening shopping and exploring in Akihabara.

Day 4: November 17th - Morning at Meiji Jingu and Yoyogi Park, afternoon shopping in Harajuku (Takeshita and Omotesando) and the evening in Shibuya, doing even more shopping.

Day 5 - 7: November 18th - 20th Joining another friend and her GF for three days at Tokyo Disneyland and Sea. I know this may seem a bit excessive, but she, her girlfriend, and I are all big Disney Parks fans, so it seems reasonable for us.

Day 8: November 21st - Morning in Odaiba, visiting the Divercity plaza/mall before taking the water bus to in the afternoon to spend the rest of the day in Asakusa, visiting Sensoji, Nakamise and Tokyo Skytree.

Day 9: November 22nd - Morning in Rikugien Garden, afternoon in the Marunouchi area (Imperial gardens, Tokyo Station shopping. I am leaving the evening open for free time, as I have a feeling I may return to Shibuya, although I may also take the time to visit the Nihonbashi area.

Day 10: November 23rd - I think this day is the one I am most unsure about, as I would love to be able to explore either Mt. Takao or Mt. Mitake, but the super cautious part of me wants to leave the day free in case I missed out on anything in the previous nine days that I need to return to. Should I have the day free, what are your suggestions?

Day 11: Morning in Ikebukuro before my late afternoon departure from Haneda to Hong Kong.

So, how does it look? Okay? Terrible? Anything you would change?

Thank you,
by MarinaPar (guest)  

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/15 09:11
At first glance it looks fine and not hugely busy. Be prepared to shuffle things around if there is a bad weather day. Japan is very safe and you will be absolutely fine. If your hotel offers a breakfast then I would at least consider taking it. Its a good cheap way to fill up at the start of the day (I'm writing this in a hotel in Osaka having just had breakfast :) )
What were you thinking of visiting in Nihombashi? I just think of it as a business area although I'm sure others will enlighten me. When you are in Ikebukuro you might think about popping out to Nakano Broadway. For the 23rd I would say leave it open & decide on that morning . . . but then go to Kamakura for the day. Have fun!!
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/15 09:44
I second Kamakura, with the possibility of Enoshima. You could otherwise look at Yokohama.

Have you booked the Ghibli museum tickets?

Be aware that shops open at best 10am, often later. You may prefer to visit Sensoji early then go to Odaiba later. You can always come back later for a nighttime Skytree view. I suspect that you might be able to purchase tickets for a later timeslot in the morning but it's a while since I went so someone would need to confirm that.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/15 10:23
Is 3 days at Disney really necessary? (With no interest in Disney myself), I'm no expert on this subject, but I have read DisneySea is unique to Tokyo and said to be worthwhile. You could consider cutting 3 days at Disney to 1 to allow for day trips such as Nikko, and Lake Kawaguchiko. Mt Fuji area and will look exceptional on your dates, with stunning fall foliage. Fujisan will be snow-capped, and visibility is high in the latter half of November.
by mynus rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/15 15:12
Stan Norrel -
I just like some of the architecture of the Nihonbashi/Ginza area and would love to photograph it. And I also think the Mitsukoshi would be interesting to visit, due to the way department stores are seemingly so popular in Tokyo now.
Thanks for the tip about Nakano Broadway, it seems like a really interesting area!
I do think I'll take your suggestion to leave that day open, and decide that morning. I also like the idea of visiting Kamakura, it seems beautiful, and ike it would be great for providing a contrast to Tokyo.

Sal1980 -
I haven't yet gotten my tickets (which I also remembered I would have to switch days 2 and three as the museum is closed that day). I know tickets can be hard to get, but if I am unable to purchase I also won't be totally disappointed either. It's not something I am going to wait until the last minute on, and should be (trying!) to purchase/pre-order within the next few days.
It seems Kamakura is a popular spot! Thanks so much for your suggestions. Especially your advice on visiting Odaiba later due to store openings, as that was something I hadn't considered!

mynus -
I know 3 days may seem excessive (especially if you aren't a disney fan! :) ), but, well. It is also a fairly busy time to go, I think, and crowd's/lines can get rather long. It is also the only days I will get to join my friend and her gf, and I would really like to spend that time/share that experience with them.
I would love to visit Nikko, and it is definitely on my short-list of places to visit in Japan one day. I think, eventually, I'll have to come back just to visit those cities I wasn't able to this time, like Osaka, Kyoto, Nikko and the entire Japanese Alps region!
I hadn't even considered that option of a day trip to Mt. Fuji, and now find myself perplexed! It's a great idea, thank you for suggesting it!

Thank you everyone for your help!
by MarinaPar (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/15 19:56
You'll have more luck with a weekday for Ghibli. If you decide not to go, you may like to visit Takaosan after all, then visit Shinjuku in the afternoon/evening instead.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/16 02:01

Most people I know would consider me a Disney fan, I think you could cut it down to 2 days, and do 1 in Sea and 1 in DL proper. I think if you are fan you should do both parks. I personally find Sea beautiful but disappointing because there are a limited number of rides and attractions. I don't go to theme parks just to admire the architecture, but I know there are people who do. Did you check TDR explorer for what your dates are rated? http://www15.plala.or.jp/gcap/disney/ The 18th is bad so I would do DL then, but the 19th I would do Sea, or just do the 19th and 20th, you will get more done then than the entire day on the 18th.

I admit, if you have the finances, I would probably splurge and stay on property for your Disney days rather than commute from Tokyo proper. It really does help to get there as early as possible and the 15 minute early entry can make a huge difference. If the parks open at 9, there will be lots of people in line at 7. We went on June 27th, it was a little more crowded than originally anticipated because of the G20 Summit (which I spent a lot of time complaining about that trip lol) but we accomplished a lot. We only did Sea (because my daughter finally made 120 cm+ height lines. I think we ended up going on everything but Toy Story Mania and some of the kiddie rides at least once. Do use single rider for Indiana Jones, it makes a huge difference and cut the wait to 15 minutes. We also did single rider for Raging Spirits and while it cut the line time in 1/2 it was still our longest line at 40 minutes.

I found the Ghibli Museum complete disappointing and we are fans. Willer buses also sells tickets at a slight premium to the museum as part of a "tour."

I love Kamakura like everyone else. Outside Fuji Q Highand and climbing Mt. Fuji, I've yet to really see the appeal of traveling all the way to Kawaguchiko.

I like Nihombashi, but I am a shopper. There is a huge Takashimaya there which has a lovely interior and if you're into Pokemon has a Pokemon Cafe and Pokemon Center. I was horrifically amused by the Pokemon wedding bands that were pre-order there in 2018. I regret not stopping but last trip there was an interesting garden display near the Mandarin. I like walking around Nihombashi.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/16 06:43
I concur with the above that it would be far better to cut the Disney places down to 2 days. You also mention going to Odaiba - if so, it would be really sad if you missed the TeamLab Borderless Museum. It is simply mind blowing and you will never forget it. Getting tickets online though is really mandatory. And with a lot of mirrored floors, it's be better not to wear a short skirt.

There is also another one in nearby Toyosu, TeamLab Planets, but it is only a temporary exhibit running til autumn 2020.

You seem to show an interest in gardens - Tokyo has over a dozen good ones. If you are going to the Ghibli Museum you could afterwards keep going a bit further down the line to Kokubunji to see the Tonogayato Garden - beautiful and mostly missed by the tourist mobs. Shinjuku Gyoen is not bad (the Japanese garden is by far the best, the French garden is great when the roses are in bloom and you might be in luck, and the English "garden" is just a lawn and a total joke), but there are better ones. You mention Rikugien which is one of the better ones, but another one no less great is Koishikawa Korakuen. For Meiji Shrine, the shrine itself is nothing spectacular, but don't miss the shrine garden along the way (most people do and just blow past it).

For November and your free day, be aware that Labor Thanksgiving Day (Kinro Kansha no hi) is a national holiday. A few places may be closed, and some others will be open but may be closed the next business day (which might not affect you). Takao & Mitake are both good ideas. Another is Nokogiriyama in Chiba.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: How does this Tokyo itinerary look to you? 2019/9/16 08:12
>>>I've yet to really see the appeal of traveling all the way to Kawaguchiko.

how about the sacred symbol of Japan, Mt Fuji
by mynus rate this post as useful

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