Top Places to Visit in Tokyo: Your Ultimate Travel Guide from the US

If you’re planning a quick layover in Tokyo, you may be wondering how to make the most of your limited time in this exciting city. In this travel blog, I share my own experience of visiting Tokyo on a layover to Hawaii, with just over 24 hours to explore the city.

From experiencing the bustling energy of Shibuya Crossing and the delicious sushi at Hinokizaka and Gonpachi restaurants, to taking in the iconic view of Tokyo Tower and exploring the Old Temple Sensoji, I share my top recommendations for things to do and see in Tokyo during a short stopover.

Read on for my Tokyo travel guide, complete with insider tips and recommendations.

As a traveler from the US, I flew from Singapore to Haneda airport, which is closer to the city center than Narita, though it can be slightly more expensive to fly into. Nonetheless, the airport is easy to navigate, and clearing customs was a hassle-free process. I decided to stay at the Ritz Carlton in the Roppongi district, which offered stunning views of the city from its lobby, piano bar, and restaurants on the 45th floor. The view from my room was also incredible, with sights of Tokyo Tower and the city skyline. I highly recommend this hotel for its luxury amenities and prime location.

During my short stay in Tokyo, I made it a point to explore the city’s diverse culinary scene. Hinokizaka, a sushi restaurant located within the Ritz Carlton, offers floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breathtaking views of Mount Fuji on a clear day.

For dinner, I tried to secure a table at the highly sought-after Shiba Tofuya Ukai, which boasts a beautiful garden and a stunning view of Tokyo Tower. However, I was unable to get a reservation and instead ended up at Gonpachi, a 3-floor restaurant that is always busy. Despite being fully booked on the bottom two floors, I managed to get a

where the chefs prepared the sushi right in front of me. The food was exceptional, and I enjoyed every bite of it. If you’re looking for a great dining experience in Tokyo, I highly recommend Gonpachi for its mouth-watering dishes and lively atmosphere.

After dinner, I made my way to Shibuya Crossing, known as one of the busiest and most vibrant intersections in the world. As soon as the pedestrian crossing lights turned green, hundreds of people came from every direction, creating a colorful and exhilarating spectacle. I even made some friends, including some girls dressed in Geisha costumes who asked for a picture during our crossing.

By the Way I’ve Recorded a vlog about this tour You can watch and Don’t forget to subscribe the channel for more videos about luxury Travel.

Before heading back to the hotel, I stopped by Local House, an interesting and fun bar nearby Shibuya Crossing, where I tried a few different beers and had a great time. The next morning, I enjoyed a delicious brunch at Hal Yamashita, located at the Galleria Shopping Center near the hotel, before heading to the Old Temple Sensoji to explore the cultural sites and buy some souvenirs in the crowded shopping area.

Overall, my layover in Tokyo was a fantastic experience, and I wished I had more time to explore this vibrant city. If you’re planning a quick visit to Tokyo, be sure to check out some of these top attractions and restaurants to make the most of your stay.

On my way to Hawaii, I decided to take a long stopover in Tokyo and get an introduction to Japan, a country I have not yet visited. I only have just a little over 24-hours so I need to make the most of my visit and I do just that!

The scene at Shibuya Crossing.

For this trip, I fly from Singapore to Haneda airport. This airport is much closer to the city center but can be more expensive to fly to than Narita. The airport is easy to navigate and clearing customs here is hassle free.

I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in the Roppongi district. The hotel lobby, piano bar and restaurants are located on 45th floor and the views are outstanding. It probably does not hurt that this happens to be the tallest building in Tokyo! I am very happy with this choice and the view from my room is also outstanding where I can see Tokyo Tower and have a gorgeous view of the city. The next morning, I visit Hinokizaka, a sushi restaurant at the Ritz Carlton that has floor to ceiling windows. On this clear sunny day, I can see Mt. Fuji! Outstanding!

Best view in Tokyo at the Ritz Carlton in the Roppongi district.

That night I walk towards Tokyo Tower where I attempted to have dinner at Shiba Tofuya Ukai. This restaurant has a beautiful Garden and a gorgeous view of Tokyo Tower but you need to book it well in advance as the restaurant is very popular and I could see why. I was hoping for a cancellation but there were none so I had to seek out another restaurant. The very kind people at the restaurant did give me a good recommendation for another restaurant.

Taking in the colors at Tokyo Tower.
Exploring Tokyo.
Enjoying the atmosphere at Tokyo Tower.

Their recommendation was Gonpachi, a 3-floor restaurant that is very busy. The bottom two floors are livelier but are fully booked, however on the quieter 3rd floor, the chefs prepare the sushi right in front of you and I get a set at the sushi bar and I am not disappointed. The sushi and other dishes here are excellent and I can definitely recommend this restaurant.

After dinner, I visit the Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest, colorful, and most famous intersections in the world. When it is time for pedestrians to cross, hundreds of people come from every direction. On this night, the intersection is crazy busy and filled with lots of interesting the people including some girls dressed in Geisha costumes that grab me for a picture during my crossing. Nearby, I find an interesting and fun bar nearby called Local House.  Here, I try a few different beers and have a good time before heading back to the hotel. If I had more time, I would definitely explore this area more.

The next morning, I enjoy a brunch at Hal Yamashita located at the Galleria Shopping Center near the hotel to fuel my visit to the Old Temple Sensoji.  Here I explore the cultural sites and buy souvenirs in the crowded shopping area.

Wrapping Up

As my layover in Tokyo came to an end, I headed back to the Narita International Airport to catch my flight to Hawaii. But before leaving Japan, I had to indulge in one last treat – a refreshing Coca-Cola. As I sipped on my drink, I reflected on the incredible sights and experiences that Tokyo had to offer. From the bustling Shibuya Crossing to the serene atmosphere of the Old Temple Sensoji, Tokyo is truly a city that has something for everyone. I couldn’t wait to plan my next visit to this fascinating country and explore more of what Japan has to offer. If you’re considering a layover in Tokyo, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to explore this incredible city and discover its unique culture and charm.

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