Tokyo is a big city with one of the largest populations in the world. Its large size also makes it’s a great place to discover different sites and cultures of the Japanese people. If you only have 48 hours in Tokyo, you can still enjoy a rich experience in the city. The city is exciting and offers a lot to those visiting for vacation for both short and long periods. Planning and coming up with a well-thought-out travel plan is essential.
Start your morning early by combining a morning walk through Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and enjoying Japanese green tea at the same spot. The garden opens its doors from 9 am giving you a chance to explore its scenery while taking in the fresh morning air. Make sure you grab a cup of matcha at one of the tea houses to start your day right.
In the afternoon, get to enjoy the art culture that is growing and thriving in Tokyo. The art types which include anime, J-pop, manga and video games can all be experienced in Akihabara. It is a great place to spend the afternoon traversing through maid cafes, anime-themed café’s, video games and toy stores. Lit up by neon billboards, arcade machines, and Pachinko parlors it gives a true electric atmosphere. Akihabara has plenty of dining options for those looking for tasty and affordable dishes.
Wind up your first day in Ebisu Yokocho and enjoy the eateries and bars that serve local Japanese dishes. The passageway has plenty of food stalls where you can sample classic dishes such as takoyaki (octopus balls), yakitori (skewered chicken), and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes). You can also extend your stay in Ebisu till nighttime and visit the bars in the area. The bars serve a variety of cocktails and are a great meeting point for locals plus tourists.
Visiting Ueno Park in the morning gives you a chance to explore popular cultural sites before they become crowded. Famous sites in the area include the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo National Museum, temples and a panda zoo which receives thousands of visitors daily. The park has several convenience stores that you can buy snacks to munch on as you wander through the various sites.
Meiji Shrine is an expansive forested area that gives you a break from the bustling cities in the nearby Shibuya. The grounds have various shrines for deities that are honored using various items such as barrels, offering boxes and a purification fountain. If you are lucky, you may witness a wedding ceremony as the area is popular with couples getting married. Once done with Meiji Shrine, you can cross over to the famous Takeshita Street for window shopping and purchase snacks such as crepes and potato crisps.
As evening approaches, make your way to Shibuya Crossing which is one of the most hectic intersections in the world. The intersection sees at least 2,500 people cross after every traffic light change. Best experienced by joining them or watching from nearby buildings. Cross as many times as you like and later stop by the many cafes to enjoy a beverage, dessert or a full meal.
Ultimately, having an exciting and fun 48 hours in Tokyo is possible when you have a plan and stick to it as much as possible. Always leave a bit of time in between activities to include anything unexpected.