Spend five days immersed in Japan’s mesmerizing capital and truly discover what makes Tokyoites tick. Stay at Shinjuku’s newest luxury hotel and enjoy the best of Tokyo almost on your doorstep. During the day, visit many of the city’s classic sights, such as the Imperial Palace and Asakusa, before hitting the boutiques of Harajuku and Omotesando for some world-class shopping. In the evening, take in the excitement of Shinjuku’s nightlife with bars, restaurants and live music that are all within walking distance.
After arriving at Haneda or Narita Airport, head to your hotel in Shinjuku in central Tokyo and check in. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the spectacular views of the city from the hotel’s upper floors in preparation for the following day’s exciting itinerary.
Begin your second day in Tokyo with visits to the classic sights, such as the Imperial Palace, Asakusa, Tsukiji and Ginza, all located in the eastern part of the city.
Encircled by stone walls, trees and moats, the Imperial Palace is the home of Japan’s Emperor. Edo Castle once stood here and its remains, such as entrance gates and guardhouses, can still be seen today. Be sure to drop by the Museum of Imperial Collection and the Imperial Concert Hall.
Tsukiji Outer Market is adjacent to the site of the former Tsukiji Wholesale Market. It consists of a network of narrow lanes packed with stores selling sundry goods and eateries popular with nearby office workers. Here you can find fresh and processed seafood alongside an abundance of quality kitchen utensils.
Asakusa Kannon is Tokyo's oldest temple and one of its most venerated. Built in 645, it has attracted countless worshippers ever since, from shoguns and samurais to modern-day tourists. Approach the temple via Nakamise shopping street, a marketplace that has been serving up authentic souvenirs and seasonal snacks since the early 18th century.
As dusk approaches, make your way back to Shinjuku, indisputably Tokyo's nightlife capital. Here, imbibe the afterhours’ atmosphere of two of its most engaging districts. Kabukicho is an entertainment hub that is known as the world's safest red-light district, while Golden Gai, a 10-minute walk away, is a must-see mesh of back alleys housing micro pubs and tiny eateries that attract crowds of revelers year-round.
On your third day in the capital visit popular destinations on Tokyo’s west side, including Meiji Jingu, Harajuku and Omotesando.
Begin with a visit to Meiji Jingu, Tokyo's most famous Shinto shrine. The expansive forested grounds are popular with strollers and worshipers on any given day. Look out for newly weds in exquisite wedding kimonos receiving shrine blessings.
From this traditional shrine head to the contemporary shrines of 21st century Tokyo, the fashionable Omotesando and Harajuku districts.
With its leafy tree-lined boulevards, Omotesando showcases the leading haute fashion stores, many of which were designed by top architects. Harajuku, not far away, is ground zero for Tokyo youth fashion and J-pop.
For some serious shopping, head back to Shinjuku. The area around the station is home to many famous department stores and shopping complexes, as well as electronics superstores, discount stores such as Don Quixote and a plethora of outlets selling anything and everything.
The hotel tower where you’re staying houses a theater, cinema and venue for live music, so you don’t have to go far to fully enjoy some of the best of Tokyo’s evening entertainment.
Today you leave the busy city streets behind for a leisurely day of hiking on Takao, a mountain on the very edge of Tokyo that has gained Japan Heritage status and been awarded three Michelin stars.
Accompanied by a local guide, your first stop on the hike is Yakuoin. This Shingon sect temple is believed to have been built in 744 during the Nara era, when many of Japan’s iconic Buddhist structures, such as the Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji in Nara, were erected.
From Yakuoin, continue the hike to the mountaintop and head to Monkey Park, a walled enclosure that accommodates some 40 Japanese macaques. Be sure not to miss the wild flower garden that is part of the park. It contains around 500 different types of plant and can be viewed with the same admission ticket.
Your return journey is somewhat easier. Board the cable car from the halfway point, where there is a panoramic view of Tokyo and, on clear days, Mount Fuji.
Enjoy your final evening in Tokyo dining at the top of the hotel tower. Share your experiences with your fellow travelers while taking in spectacular views of nighttime Shinjuku in all its neon-lit glory.
Leave Tokyo for your next destination, be that Hakone, Kyoto or Kanazawa.