24 hours in Tokyo

Due to various flight hijinks and the like on a trip I’m going to be taking soon, I’m going to be in Tokyo for a day - arrive one evening, fly out around 24 hours later.

So I’m looking for something to do in Tokyo for a day. Qualifications - has to be reasonably inexpensive, and accessible to a gaijin with virtually no Japanese language skills beyond konichiwa and arigato. And gaijin, of course.

Anyone got any bright ideas?

tavalla, sublight is in Tokyo and Cerowyn is there a lot too. Both guys could help you out, I bet.

The Tokyo American Club has a visitor’s section on their site that may be helpful. (When I lived there in the mid-80s, we thought it was hilarious that TAC was right next door to the Soviet Embassy.)

I wonder if the TAC talks to Aussies…

Heh. I didn’t check your location before posting. Yes, there were Australians and Europeans there. Basically it was the English-speakers’ club. This information is 15 years out of date, though.

If you’re looking for ease, you can hit the Japan Tourist Association at the Narita airport. They have guides to cheap places to stay and things to do. For something on a budget, I recomend taking the Skyliner to Ueno station (there is a cheaper local train, but you won’t get lost on the Skyliner), stay at either an inn or businessman hotel near the station (which the Japan Tourist Association will help you book). It’s a longish walk or 3 subway stops, but I highly recomend Asakasa.

There is a big buddhist temple there, all sorts of stuff around the temple, some sumo stables in the vacinity, it’s got a lot of older Tokyo there. Walking there is interesting with some cool neighborhoods, etc.

Just my two cents for something that gives an interesting idea of Tokyo without breaking the bank.

The Meiji shrine is a fabulous place to spend a day. There are beautiful buildings with a lot of interesting historical information, and a lovely park to stroll in.

As I recall, it’s fairly easy to get to on the subway. At least, we got there, and we were the ultimate lost tourists.

Ach, if you’re going to Tokyo and looking for gaijin things to do, just head to Roppongi, go to Gaspanic, and let all of the U.S. Marines drool over you. :slight_smile: You didn’t mention when you were going; I’ll be there from Feb. 11 for about three weeks, but I suspect you’ll be gone by then.

Too bad, 'cause a female might have convinced more than just Sublight to come out. :slight_smile: And you could do worse than hook up with him, while you’re there. He’s safe. He’s a priest. Or something… :smiley:

Meiji shrine is fabulous and worth a visit. People will still be visiting for New Years’ wishes.

Both the Shibuy and Shinjuku areas have plenty of sites to see, or rather, you can spend all day there just wondering around. Even the Ginza area has various stores that you can spend all day in.

Have fun!

See? This is why I vanity search.

(unless noted, the station names are the same as the neighborhoods)

Shibuya has lots of shops of all varieties (though mainly youth-oriented) and is good for people-watching.

Omote-sando has lots of small boutiques. Personally, I think you’re insane if you go to Tokyo to shop for Western-style clothes, but if you’re interested in some of the local designers you’ll probably find their stuff around here.

Kamiya-cho has Tokyo Tower, a nice Russian restaurant and not much else.

Asakusa is one of the older districts and has the huge Kaminari temple. It’s a big tourist spot, so there are lots of souvenir stands. There’s also a dock nearby where the Sumida River tourboats leave (the tours end around Hamamatsu-cho station at the mouth of the river).

Kudan (Kudan-shita station) has Yasukuni shrine, which has lots of WWII memorials, the remains of a few war criminals, and is where the Prime Minister goes when he wants to piss off Korea, China and the domestic anti-war groups.

Kudan-shita, Nijubashi-mae, Sakurada-mon and probably a few other stations are next to entrances to the Imperial Palace Grounds, which has a couple of art museums, a nice garden, and a moat filled with swans and turtles.

Akihabara is good for shopping for electronics.

Harajuku and Yoyogi are next to Yoyogi park, which on the weekends sometimes has dozens of small rock bands performing in it. Watching a half-dozen kids in full punk regalia all doing the Twist in perfect synch is a sight not soon forgotten.

The west side of Shinjuku has a number of skyscrapers (including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building) with observation decks open to the public. In the winter, the air is usually dry and clear enough to give a great view. On the east side, there’s… well, I don’t think I should go into much detail about the east side of Shinkjuku. After all, I’m a priest. Or something.

Damn, Cerowyn, I’m going to miss you by about 48 hours.

OTOH, another friend of mine lived in Narita city and has given me some ideas and addresses of people to look up there, so…goodbye Tokyo, hello Narita for 12 hours.

Thank you, everyone, for your advice - much appreciated. I’ll probably still be (as Lucretia puts it) the ‘ultimate lost tourist’ in Narita.

Sublight, just reading the place names in your post made me nearly tear up with nostalgia. Lord, how I remember Akihabara, Kamiya-Cho (but the Kasumigaseki station is where you get off the Hibiya-sen for the tower, ne?), Roppongi (where I lived, in Homat Court), and of course Yoyogi Koen, where we’d sit under the sakura and drink sake with the petals blowing around like warm snow.

snif I have to go wallow in nostalgia for my lost youth now…

Sorry I’m going to miss you, tavalla. And doubly sorry you’re going to miss Tokyo. Of all the cities I’ve been to in the world, I think it’s my second favourite. :slight_smile:

jackelope, my company’s office is in Azabu-juban, so Roppongi is a quick walk from there (although we actually have a subway station now, on the Oedo and Nambuku lines). This summer, I even had to stay at a hotel in Roppongi because my usual haunt was booked. Of course, we only go there because it’s convenient. Yeah, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Sublight, I’m surprised you didn’t mention that place in Shibuya that you recommended as the ‘next place’ last time… :wink: