4 Days in Tokyo – What to see, do, and eat

Introduction

We visited Tokyo in early December 2015.  The temperature wasn’t bad at the time; around the 50’s or so.  We only had 1 day of rain, and it happened at night, so wasn’t a big deal.  We had stayed at the Park Hyatt during our trip.

 

Half Day 1 – Dinner at Torishige

We had landed on a Tuesday afternoon.  We got to the hotel and checked in at around 4pm.  We relaxed a bit and then went to get dinner. A reader recommended Torishige, which was within walking distance of the hotel.   We had the concierge call to make our reservation for us and ask if they spoke English.  The restaurant was a bit difficult to find, but we did eventually find it.

When we arrived, the place was PACKED with people in suits and was noisy.  The noise didn’t bother us at all.  It took them a while to figure out that we had reservations, but they eventually put us at the bar.  I then used Google Translate and asked for the omakase.  I then pointed to a beer and we then waited for our food.

This was our meal; it was a little different than the link.  I am NOT a fan of the weird pieces of the cow and pig.  I don’t like gizzards, liver, intestines, etc.  I feel that’s what we got here.  What’s not shown is the piece of kobe beef that I ordered at the end, which was delicious.  It’s just my own personal taste, but I didn’t enjoy this meal.

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Day 2 – Tokyo Free Guide

I’ve already written about the Tokyo Free Guide.  You can read about it in the link.    For lunch, we had ramen at this random place near the Meiji shrine.  Sorry; I forgot the name, but it’s near the Garrett Popcorn store.  It’s on the 2nd floor of a building.  See this Google Maps view:

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This was our first bowl of ramen in Tokyo and thought it was delicious.

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I won’t talk about where we ate that night because it was terrible.

 

Day 3 – Tsukiji Fish Market

Day 3 was sightseeing day.  We started it at the famous Tsujiji fish market.  We missed the morning auction at 5AM.  My wife was upset we missed that, but there was no way I was getting up that early.  Instead we got there at about 9:30AM and missed the rush.  We saw some vendors slicing the fish, and to be honest, it didn’t feel that special anymore.  It was just another massive fish market at this point in the day.

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Kagari (Soba) Ramen for lunch

Our tour guide had told us to visit this ramen shop for lunch since it was famous.  After the fish market, we walked here, which was about 15-20 minutes away.  We got there about 15 minutes before they opened for lunch at 11AM.  We were the first in line.  It wasn’t shortly after that more people lined up.  A buddy told me they have closed and are now relocating.  You should Google them before you try to go.

Their specialty is a really rich chicken based ramen.  It was definitely worth the wait!

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Cat Cafe

After lunch, we went to the Pokemon shop for a buddy of mine.  Along the way, we saw a cat cafe.  Yes, an actual cat cafe.  They were charging something like $2 per 15 minutes.  The odd thing was that when we went inside, we saw a guy waking up from a nap on a bed.  Are you kidding me?  GO HOME AND NAP FOR FREE!   Just odd.  My wife enjoyed the experience though.  Sorry; I don’t know where it was, but it’s near the Pokemon super shop if you Google it.

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Asakusa Shrine

After the Pokemon stop, we took the subway up to the Asakusa shrine.  This was pretty cool because while it was touristy, it wasn’t super busy like downtown Tokyo was.  It had an “old Tokyo” feel to it.  Even though I was still full from lunch, our tour guide had recommended a tempura place next to the shrine.  The tempura was only okay, so I wouldn’t recommend it.  I was expecting a big piece of prawn, but it was like mostly small shrimp (you can see in the picture.)

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Dinner at Shinjuku Seryna

My buddy had recommended this restaurant since it’s walking distance from the Park Hyatt.  In fact, it was across the street from the Hyatt Regency, up on the top floor of the Sumitomo building.  We had the PH make same day reservations and it was no problem getting in.

The restaurant is a teppanyaki style restaurant (aka Benihana.)  They had English menus and we went with the omakase of course.  I had the “regular’ one while my wife splurged and got the one with foie gras.  I thought dinner was delicious, albeit pretty pricey.

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Day 4 – Jiro’s and more walking around

On day 4, we skipped breakfast because we were preparing for Jiro’s.  You can read more about that in the link.  After that, we walked around some more.

Shibuya Crosswalk

The infamous crosswalk.  Yes, it’s madness crossing that street.  We saw people videotaping selfies while crossing the street.

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Kisoji Shabu Shabu

On our last meal in Tokyo, we decided to try some shabu shabu.  This restaurant was highly ranked on Tripadvisor.  We arrived at 6PM with no reservations, and they told us to come back at 9PM.  Well then…  we went back to the Park Hyatt and drank at the Diamond happy hour until dinner time.  I thought the shabu shabu was good, but it was slightly pricey and wasn’t that memorable.

If you do go, don’t bother upgrading to the more expensive meat.  Or at least we didn’t.  You do what you do.  I thought the portion size was just perfect for the 2 of us.

A part of me wished we had gone to the Robot restaurant just because that seems to be THE tourist restaurant.  Would have been better than the shabu shabu restaurant.

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  • Christian

    The food sounds kind of underwhelming overall. My wife and I spent 3 nights in the Grand Hyatt Seoul in September, and just couldn’t get over how great all the food was, no matter where we ate. Would you recommend Tokyo?

    • Miles per Day

      I would still highly recommend Tokyo. I made the mistake of not preparing ahead of time on where to eat. If you do that research, then you won’t be disappointed.

  • J. Grant

    Thx for a few of these recommendations. We r going back to Tokyo for 4 days – for the 3rd time in 2 years and we plan on focusing on the micro stuff. Previous trips was all macro: famous stuff, all the cool stuff and generally just walking everywhere. More chill this time I hope.

  • Andy

    I’m guessing you went to Jangara ramen near the Meiji shrine. cuz that’s where my guide took us too lol. Apparently they cater the ramen on the premium cabins on JAL to tokyo.

    • Miles per Day

      Ah I didn’t know. Thanks.