The Perfect Weekend in Tokyo
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Three days in Tokyo offers just enough time to give you a taste of the city's range. Explore the Nezu Museum, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo National Museum, and the Meiji Shrine to immerse yourself in Japanese history, art, and culture. Start one of your days early with a tuna auction at the Toyosu Market--formerly the Tsukiji Fish Market--before heading off do some shopping, head to the top of Roppongi Hills for a view of the city, or to taste your way around the world--without leaving Tokyo.
5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
The Toyosu Market (formerly the inner market at Tsukiji) is the world's largest wholesale seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. At its new (and far more modern) location, there's also a separate building for...
1 Chome-3-２８ Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 130-0015, Japan
I have found that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a foreign culture is to attend a local sporting event. My husband & I happened to be in Tokyo during the annual sumo wrestling tournament. So we bought the cheapest tickets that were...
7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-8558, Japan
The glass waves on the exterior of The National Art Center of Tokyo are a hint of the towering, clean glass and concrete interior architecture. The museum has a welcoming interior filled with natural light, lounge chairs, and cafes. The building...
４丁目-7-35 Shibakōen, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0011, Japan
Zojoji Temple is the main temple of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism, built on its current site in 1598 as the shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa’s family temple. Adjacent to the iconic Tokyo Tower, the temple’s main areas consist of the...
1-1 Hamarikyūteien, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0046, Japan
Hamarikyu Gardens is a 250,165-square-meter landscaped garden built on the site of a 17th-century game reserve owned by the Tokugawa family and located adjacent to Tokyo Bay. The garden features a variety of native flora and fauna, including...
6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
6 Chome-5-１ Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
Just down the street from fashionable Omotesando is the Nezu Museum, with an exquisite Japanese garden. Architect Kengo Kuma's touches include a warm welcome with a bamboo wall at the entrance and rooms with picturesque views of the garden. The...
Japan, 〒106-6108 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, 6 Chome−10−１ 六本木ヒルズ森タワー52階、53階
This contemporary art museum showcases temporary thematic exhibitions. When I visited, the museum explored “The Universe and Art” from historical artifacts to contemporary instillations. If you can’t get enough of the exhibition,...
1-1 Yoyogikamizonochō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-8557, Japan
The serenity of the Meiji Jingu Shrine is a notable contrast to the crowds of Harajuku hipsters just beyond the giant torii gates. The Shinto shrine complex, which was dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken in 1920, is inside a forest that...
Japan, 〒103-0022 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Nihonbashimuromachi, 2 Chome−2−１ コレド室町 １F
The historic Kiya shop specializing in cutlery has been in the Nihonbashi district since 1792. Come here for Japanese knives and traditional Japanese kitchenware, including donabe for cooking rice and hot pots, copper graters, and mortar and...
Japan, 〒150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya, Sarugakucho, 17−５ ＤＡＩＫＡＮＹＡＭＡ Ｔ－ＳＩＴＥ蔦屋書店 １号館、３号館、２号館１階
A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis's iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the...
11 Naitōmachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0014, Japan
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a gorgeous park that's just a short walk from Shinjuku Station. There are several gardens within the space, including a formal French one, an English landscape garden, and a traditional Japanese design. While...
Japan, 〒151-8580 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya, 5 Chome−24−２ タカシマヤタイムズスクエア南館 2～8F
13-9 Uenokōen, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-8712, Japan
2 Chome-6-３ Aomi, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 135-0064, Japan
2-1-1, ２丁目-１ 日本橋室町 中央区 東京都 103-8328, Japan
Occupying the top nine floors of the Cesar Pelli–designed Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, the Mandarin Oriental was designed to evoke Japan’s relationship with nature. The property itself resembles a tree, with its entrance at the bottom of...
2 Chome-10 Sekiguchi, Bunkyō, Tokyo 112-0014, Japan
Despite its address in the bustling heart of Tokyo, Hotel Chinzanso feels like a remote retreat thanks to its location in a 17-acre oasis with historic pagodas, 1,000 camellia trees, and 120 cherry trees; even the locals take refuge in the...
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 2 Chome−6, 港区南青山２丁目６−１５
One of Japan's most talented chefs, Yoshihiro Narisawa presents Japanese ingredients in a style he calls “innovative Satoyama cuisine,” which highlights the country's natural bounty. Narisawa works directly with purveyors to get the...
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae, 2 Chome−3−１８ 建築家会館ＪＩＡ館
Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa’s modern Japanese cuisine is served in a playful and relaxed atmosphere. A large communal table takes center stage, and conversations with new friends fill the air. Fried chicken stuffed with seasonal ingredients and a...
Japan, 〒151-0051 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya, 3 Chome−63−１ グランデフォレスタ原宿
Afuri is a popular ramen chain with branches throughout the city in neighborhoods like Harajuku, Ebisu, Nakameguro, Roppongi, and Azabu-Juban. The signature bowl is chicken and dashi with yuzu shio, an aromatic citrus, and salt. Noodles are thin...
5 Chome-5-１３ Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
Walking into Kondo, the aroma of sesame oil fills the air. The master, Fumio Kondo, bends over behind the counter as he observes the tempura frying. Part of the pleasure of dining at a tempura shop is listening to the knives chopping the...
Japan, 〒153-0051 Tōkyō-to, Meguro-ku, Kamimeguro, 1 Chome−26−１ １０８
Wagyu katsu sando (beef cutlet sandwiches) have been around for a long time, but under the able hands of Hisato Hamada, the dish is hip and cool. The sleek, Instagram-friendly, stand-and-eat shop is in the trendy Nakameguro area along the Meguro...
2 Chome-4-１ Nihonbashi, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 103-8265, Japan
Near Shinjuku Station you'll find Takashimaya Times Square, which includes the Takashimaya department store and a large branch of Tokyu Hands. The depachika, or basement food floor, at Takashimaya has some excellent food counters for sukiyaki and...
3-7-1-2, ３丁目-７ 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist Park Hyatt may have the sexiest cocktail bar in all of Tokyo. The rest of the property—set on the upper floors of the three connecting columns of the 770-foot Shinjuku...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 3 Chome−5−８ 銀座らん月ＢF１
I was with friends who wanted to learn about sake. Our biggest challenge was finding someplace open for lunch. Sake no Ana in Ginza was not only a great find, the variety and selection of sake was amazing. The sake sommelier here, Sakamoto-san (no...
1 Chome-1-１ Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8558, Japan
The Old Imperial Bar is an old-school Tokyo bar favored by some of Japan’s political and financial elite, who come for its demure and consistent service. The popular bar snack kaki pi—spicy rice crackers and peanuts—originated...
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