While there are way too many things to do and see in Tokyo in just one day, here is how we made the most of our limited time!
After our 1 hour and 45 minute train ride from Utsunomiya we got off at the Tokyo Skytree station. We saw the Skytree from the outside while walking around then headed over to Tokyo Solamanchi, the mall at the base of the Skytree, to browse around. The Tokyo Skytree stands at 634m tall and is the tallest free-standing broadcasting station in the world. There were many specialty stores in the mall including a Pokemon Center megastore and a Hello Kitty Store themed store. Overall Solamachi houses over 300 shops and restaurants to explore.
Next we hopped on the subway to visit the Akihabara district. Akihabara is famous for its electronic, anime and manga shops. We wandered in and out of stores ranging from large department buildings to “yard sale style” stores where individuals sell their collectables renting out glass cases. As we explored the department store and started to go to upstairs to the next level our Japanese friend stopped us warning it was “for adults”. Among the shops there were also Anime themed restaurants such as the Gundam Café and various cosplay themed restaurants where the waitresses are dressed up. If there is one place we wished we had more time to explore it would be here!
After Akihabara we headed to Tokyo Station to walk around the Imperial Palace Gardens. While they only allow visitors inside to roam the palace grounds freely 2 days of the year, the gardens are free to explore with views of the mote and guard towers. After some scenic views we had Katsu for Lunch in Tokyo Station.
Our next stop was a short one at the Honda Headquarters right outside subway station You can see and sit in many of their vehicles (many of which are Japanese models not sold in the US). After sitting in the cars and on the motorcycles we sat down to watch a demonstration of Honda’s Asimo robot, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot! He is designed to eventually assist people in their daily lives. The presentation was pretty cool, it took you through the development process of Asimo as real life Asimo walks around, dances and shows off his capabilities.
The last area of Tokyo we were able to visit was Shinjuku. In Shinjuku we went straight to the Metropolitan building. The building has 2 towers that you can go up in to get incredible views of Tokyo. If you want a view of Tokyo from above but don’t want to pay at Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower this is a free option with views of both towers from the top. There are many windows to give all different views of the city so be sure to check them all. On a clear day it is said you can see Mount Fuji, but we weren’t lucky enough.
Tokyo has so much more to offer than what we saw in just one day. I can’t wait to make it back to Tokyo for a completely different day full of adventures in the same city.