Flights to Tokyo (NRT & HND)

Book flights to Tokyo’s neon-lit night scenes and spend time pounding the pavements, stopping at a themed restaurant for dinner.
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Tokyo, Japan

What to do in Tokyo

Walk around Akihabara

Your visual and auditory senses will go into overdrive in this high-energy neighbourhood where maid cafes – a type of cosplay restaurants – vie with video game rooms and cosplay outfitters. Shops on the ground floor sell electronics and housewares, but it’s the crowded upper levels where you will find a lifetime supply of fluffy kitten ears and manga.


Visit Tsukiji Fish Market

This massive fish market – one of the biggest in the world – is a major attraction for tourists. More than 400 types of seafood are sold here, but it is most famous for its early morning tuna auctions (you must apply for permits if you want to watch). Wander the aisles, then stop for fresh sushi.

5-2-1 Tsukiji
+81 3 3542 1111

Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine

Step away from Tokyo’s 24-hour hustle with a visit to Meiji Jingu, one of the most gorgeous shrines in the city. On weekends you might see couples getting married; on early weekday mornings you could have the place all to yourself.

1-1 Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho
+81 3 3379 5511

Shop at Omotesando Hills

This glitzy shopping complex was designed by Tadao Ando (check out the atrium space and the LED exterior wall), and is worth visiting if you want to shop like the locals. The mall has a mix of Western and Japanese brands, as well as plenty of places to sample local cuisine.

4-12-10 Jingu-mae
+81 3 3497 0310

Marvel at Shibuya Crossing

It doesn’t sound like much – just an intersection – but watching the throngs of people cross the street next to Hachiko Plaza is thrilling. Huge TV screens, bright neon lights and the incredible number of passers-by make this one of Tokyo’s coolest sights.

Hachiko Plaza
2-1 Dogenzaka
+81 3 3462 8311

Browse Edo-Tokyo Museum

Spend some time learning about Tokyo’s dramatic history in this museum, where free tours in English are provided. Through a mix of artefacts and performances, the museum tells the story of how Tokyo went from being a fishing village to one of the world’s biggest cities.

1-4-1 Yokoami
+81 3 3626 9974

Where to eat in Tokyo

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Yasaiya Mei (Healthy)

This popular restaurant focuses on veggies, not meat or seafood (it’s not vegetarian, though), and its particular specialty is shabu-shabu (hotpot). The food here is elegant and healthy – even the curry rice is made with tofu and a variety of grains – and plants are the star of many dishes, making this a nice change from some Japanese restaurants.

6-10-1 Roppongi
+81 3 5775 2960 (Japanese language website)

Tempura Ippoh (Tempura)

In Ginza, Tokyo’s swankiest shopping district, you can find incredible tempura at Ippoh. It’s in the Kojun Building, above Barneys, and is one of the best restaurants in the city (its decades of existence are ample proof). Light, crispy and delectable, the tempura is served at its own dedicated counter.

Kojun Building 5F
6-8-7 Ginza
+81 3 3289 5011

Sakura Tei (Japanese)

You’ll have to do your own cooking at Sakura Tei, but it’s worth it: the savoury pancakes (okonomiyaki), made from eggs, vegetables and meat and cooked on the grill, are moreish. Experiment with different combinations, or just order the house specials – you won't be disappointed.

3-20-1 Jingumae
+81 3 3479 0039

Maru (Izakaya)

Izakayas are an essential part of Japanese culture: raucous venues where the food and drinks flow as freely as the conversation. At Maru, pull up a seat at the long bar and order deep-fried scallops, rice cooked in a clay pot, and superb sashimi.

Aoyama KT Building 2F
5-50-8 Jingumae
+81 3 6418 5572

Kyubey (Sushi)

A trip to Tokyo isn’t complete without a sushi feast, and Kyubey is one of the best places to go for broke. Settle in at the sushi counter and watch the chef work, serving succulent pieces of nigiri and sashimi that you’ll be dreaming about long after you return home.

Keio Plaza Hotel
2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku
+81 3 3344 0315

Annon Cook (Organic)

Harajuku is one of Tokyo’s most fashion-forward neighbourhoods, and Annon Cook, a lively cafe serving organic food including vegetarian and macrobiotic dishes, is another reason to visit. Go after checking out local clothing stores such as Bulle de Savon.

28-3 2F
+81 3 3462 6263

Places to stay in Tokyo

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Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel

Glorified bunk beds they may be, but sleeping in a tiny pod is still a novelty worth experiencing in Tokyo. The shared facilities don’t scream holiday glamour either, yet that awkward nod with the neighbour as you brush your teeth is a small sacrifice for feeling a little futuristic as you bed down.

1-2-5 Kabuki-cho
+81 3 3232 1110

Shibuya Granbell Hotel

A boutique hotel in the lively Shibuya neighbourhood, the Granbell is a modern place to take refuge. Stay here if you want to be right in the middle of the action – the city’s hippest lounges, nightlife venues and restaurants are all within walking distance.

15-17 Sakuragaoka-cho
+81 3 5457 2681

Retrometro Backpackers

Retrometro, which opened in 2012, used to be a family home before it was converted into a cosy hostel. It’s a chilled out place, not a party-all-night hostel. The rates include Wi-Fi and use of the shared kitchen, although you may want to pay for the good-value Japanese breakfast on offer.

2-19-1 Nishiasakusa
+81 3 6322 7447

Mandarin Oriental

Luxurious accommodation in Tokyo’s business district and a view of Mount Fuji from the breakfast room – what more could you ask for? The modern rooms with Asian-influenced design features start on the 38th floor, so you can see most of Tokyo from here.

2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi
+81 3 3270 8800


Claska is a gorgeous and modern hotel where the design studio, exhibitions and shop are a big draw – even for those who aren’t staying in it. It has 20 individual rooms (some Western, some Japanese in style) and a rooftop terrace with excellent city views.

1–3–18 Chuo-cho
+81 3 3719 8121

Andon Ryokan

Staying at a ryokan (a traditional Japanese guesthouse) is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Andon Ryokan is a real find: an off-the-tourist-trail spot that’s won architecture awards for its lantern-like facade. It features cosy, well-ordered rooms, plenty of antiques and a lively atmosphere.

2-34-10 Nihonzutsumi
+81 3 3873 8611
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