A must-see for street style and people-watching; concept stores and luxury brands rub shoulders with cutting-edge boutiques and sought-after vintage.
Luxury hub; international and local flagship stores; world-class restaurants and design-centric cafes.
and impressive architecture. Daikanyama and Ebisu form a distinct chic hub, while Nakameguro is a more laidback haven for creative types.
A centre for luxury shopping with a reputation stretching back over a century; elegant chain stores with high-quality inventory and formal luxury.
Skyscrapers and neon light the streets; bohemian drinking district Golden Gai; upmarket department, fabric and electronics stores.
Cultural sites, museums and galleries; fine dining and vibrant nightlife; towering shopping centres packed with high-end designer boutiques.
Heart of young Tokyo with a never-ending rush of new trends; mid-market fashion around station with more upscale retail in the Jinnan quarter; bustling restaurants, bars and clubs.
Quieter district that has long been home to fashion industry showrooms and design studios; Now increasingly dotted with hip, slightly under-theradar boutiques, cafes and galleries.
Vintage capital; freewheeling youth play among remnants of 1970s and 1980s Japan; tattoo parlours by day and grungy live music clubs by night.
Trendy, youthful crowd and friendly charm; vintage and record shops line narrow streets; quaint cafes and restaurants; laidback nightlife.
Vibrant in its own relaxed and low-key way; independent lifestyle shops, eateries and boutiques where 'slow life' healthiness and artisanal values meet the refined and luxurious.
TOKYO CITY GUIDE | 48 HOURS
Wake up at...
Hotel Koé Tokyo, a major new concept hotel located in the heart of Shibuya. Its beautiful, thoroughly contemporary rooms incorporate design elements from the traditional Japanese teahouse, while the lower floors of the building house a lifestyle boutique and bakery, perfect for morning coffee and pastries. From here, avoid the crowds and chain stores of the scramble crossing area, heading straight to Shibuya’s quieter Jinnan quarter just east of Koé. Must-visits here include ‘select shops’ Ware-mo-Kou and Midwest. Head northeast and cross Meiji Dori (maybe checking out some of this avenue’s countless activewear flagships) into street style hub Harajuku. Here the pedestrian-street-as-catwalk, Cat Street, climaxes with Opening Ceremony's expansive flagship, just before reaching the Omotesand avenue. Cross over and head deeper into Harajuku for unmissable streetwear concept stores, including Domicile Tokyo and Myne by Idea.
Spend the afternoon...
Enjoy a salmon-don lunch at Kumada, then head back down onto Omotesand . Take a look round the Gyre building, which houses stores from the likes of Maison Margiela and Visvim as well as an art gallery, before heading southeast past the Tadao Ando-designed Omotesando Hills complex towards the intersection of Aoyama Dori. On the other side of the avenue lies a stretch dominated by flagships including Comme des Garçons and Herzog & de Meuron’s landmark Prada store. Away from the main drag, explore the streets of Aoyama Minato, home to dozens of breathtaking concept stores from Undercover, Off-White and many more. Ten minutes south by taxi is Daikanyama, which leans towards domestic brands and smaller boutiques, with highlights including Descente Blanc and Maison Kitsuné. A stroll along the boutique and cafe-lined river of neighbouring Nakameguro is a pleasure in any season.
Spend the evening...
In Shinjuku. Though orientated to business as much as retail and pleasure, the area boasts the renowned Isetan and Isetan Men’s, and now the towering, female fashion-focused Newoman shopping complex. As closing time approaches, hail a cab to the Park Hyatt Tokyo (where much of Lost in Translation was filmed) for dinner at the New York Grill with its stunning night view over the illuminated city. Follow with drinks in the Golden Gai, bordering the Kabukich adultentertainment district, revealing two starkly different facets of Tokyo within just a couple of hours. This warren of tiny bars dates back to the 1950s and has a history as the stomping ground of Japan’s more bohemian artists, writers and actors. Bars where English is spoken often make this clear with signs hung outside, and look out for notorious photographer (and Supreme collaborator) Araki: we’ve spied him drinking here before.
Wake up at...
The Shinjuku Granbell Hotel, a stylish, accessibly priced boutique hotel in the vibrant Kabukich district. Grab coffee at the new Tsutaya Book Apartment before heading over to Shinjuku Station (look out for the cocoon-like Mode Gakuen Tower nearby) and jumping on the metro to Ginza. Traditionally Tokyo’s most upscale retail destination, here towering designer flagships are joined by the Ginza Six and Tokyu Plaza Ginza shopping centres. Dover Street Market is a must visit for more directional fashion, while the recently opened Tokyo Midtown Hibiya development is also nearby.
Spend the afternoon...
Enjoying lunch at Drawing House of Hibiya (located in Tokyo Midtown Hibiya), followed by a ‘walk in the air’ around the sky bridges of the Tokyo International Forum in neighbouring Y rakuch . From here, take a 10-minute taxi ride to Roppongi. This district, long considered Tokyo’s most international, is a place of two extremes. Along with two vast upmarket retail and leisure destinations (Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown), Roppongi boasts a great concentration of cultural facilities, ranging from expansive art museums (Mori Art Museum, 21 21 Design Sight, National Art Center, Tokyo) to leading commercial galleries such as Taka Ishii. At night, a trashy underbelly emerges, with tales of street scams and nightclub fights common. Instead, head to dinner and drinks.
Spend the evening...
At Den Tokyo, another 10-minute cab ride away. This Michelin-starred restaurant has won acclaim for both its creative Japanese-fusion cooking, and the element of fun it injects into haute cuisine. Chicken arrives in a box mischievously branded as DENtucky Fried Chicken, while smiley faces are cut into sliced carrot. Elsewhere, tomatoes are marinated in vanilla, while one dish incorporates a single stuffed ant (insects are a lesser-known element of Japanese country cooking). Need a nightcap to unwind after playful dining? Walk down to popular boutique hotel Trunk, where the chilled-out lounge bar frequently hosts name DJs and pop-up bars from respected mixologists.
TOKYO CITY GUIDE | FAST FACTS
This is Tokyo’s main international airport, located 43 miles (70km) northeast of the city. A Limousine Bus runs directly to many major hotels, departing from outside the arrivals lobby about once an hour and taking roughly two hours (around ¥3,000). The JR Narita Express train takes you to Tokyo, Shibuya or Shinjuku stations, leaving once or twice per hour with a trip time of
About 30 minutes south of central Tokyo, Haneda handles mainly domestic flights but is gradually taking on more international
routes. The Tokyo Monorail runs every four to five minutes, with a trip time to Hamamatsuch Station of just under 20 minutes
(¥490). Alternatively, the Keihin-Kyuko (Keikyu) train line offers a direct service for the 13-to-20-minute journey to Shinagawa,
departing roughly every 10 minutes (¥410).
The Tokyo Metro system is fast, modern, clean and easy to use. Station names are given in English, and tickets are sold from vending machines inside stations, with fares maxing out at ¥310. The rechargeable Pasmo card offers greater convenience and slightly lower metro fares, and can also be used on the JR rail system (see below).
JAPAN RAIL (JR)
JR’s overground system serves a vast network of stations across Tokyo and beyond. Fares run from ¥140, with tickets sold from instation vending machines. More convenient is JR’s rechargeable Suica card, which gives slightly lower fares and can also be used on the Tokyo Metro.
Licensed taxis can usually be found outside major stations and hotels, or hailed in the street: a red light by the front passenger seat indicates that the taxi is available. Metered fares start at ¥410 which covers the first 1.052km (0.65mi). Uber is now available to use in Tokyo.
Docomo Cycle offers electrically assisted bikes that can be picked up from, and returned to, a number of 24-hour ‘stations’ located across the city. Single-trip rental is ¥150 for the first 30 minutes and ¥100 per additional 30 mins. Register on your PC or smartphone and pay by credit card, or purchase a one-day pass with cash (¥1,500) at counters across Tokyo.
Tipping is neither mandatory nor customary in Japan.
Often if you try to tip for services, staff members refuse.
A good way to reward exceptional service in Japan is to
write a note to the hotel’s manager or give a small gift.
In many of Tokyo’s restaurants, a service charge is
included on the bill.
Daily: 10am or 11am to 8pm
Department stores and chains are generally open
seven days a week. Some independent stores are
closed one day per week, and the day varies from store
* This is a general guideline as hours are flexible and different for each store. Please check store websites or call for more specific information.
Time Zone: Asia/Japan: UTC +9/+10
Electricity: 100/60 V
Common Language: Japanese