SQUEEZE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR 24 HOURS IN TOKYO
If you’ve ever heard the term ‘mileage run,’ you probably know the feeling that sets in around October as you see how many miles you’ve accrued for the year. If you’re like us, then the feeling that you’re going to be just short of making your airline status sends you into a panic. The inevitable where-to-go shuffle starts and before you know it, you’re flying to some random, far off, destination just to secure your top-tier status. You begin thinking of cities that get you at least five time zones away and embark on a mindless search for that perfect ratio of cheap ticket to flight distance. It’s the one time of year where taking a long haul flight to literally touch ground on foreign soil and come right back seems absolutely rational. This is our 24 hours in Tokyo.
If you’re reading this and find it all just a bit ridiculous, please don’t judge. Our airline awards status means more to us than most club memberships and we’re not ashamed to admit it. The insanity of jetting off for a quick trip isn’t enough, but the adrenaline rush of experiencing a city like Tokyo in 24 hours lends itself to memorable moments in travel that loyal fliers (and the absolute crazy!) can appreciate. It’s a rapid succession of planes, trains, and automobiles that turns you upside down, then right side up again once your head finally hits the pillow. Check out the travel itinerary located in our Native Notes section below for tips on how to spend 24 hours in Tokyo like a pro.
Address: 1 Chome-13-4 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
4:45 pm: Head towards the train station to catch the Narita Express. Go to the ticket office and get a round-trip ticket for your return trip to the airport later. Also get a Suica card for public transportation. You’ll get a better deal if you purchase both now. Catch the next available train to Shinjuku.
5:30 pm: Enjoy the little over an hour train ride into the city by grabbing some interesting Japanese snacks and a beer. Sit back, relax and watch suburban Tokyo transform into the vibrant city.
7:00 pm: By now it’s time to eat. Grab some ramen in one of the many places outside Shinjuku train station. Most places have only a couple options when choosing ramen so just go with the house special. There will be some loud slurping going on by the locals, but that’s just a signal to the chef that the food is well received. So here’s your chance to do the opposite of what your mother taught you and get your slurp on.
8:15 pm: Catch the 9 pm show at Robot Restaurant. Get there early to catch the pre-show. You won’t regret it.
10:00 pm: Grab a nightcap at Hermit bar. It’s a small bar with two sides — the bourbon side and the whiskey side. Go whiskey side (both sides serve both whiskey and bourbon though) and indulge in the Japanese whiskeys. They are now considered the best in the world so enjoy them while you’re there.
11:00 pm: Head to bed. You’ve probably been up for close to 24 hours.
8:00 am: Jump on the Hibiya Line to Tsukiji to have breakfast in Tsukiji Market. Indulge in the freshest sushi you will probably ever eat. And yes, you should have sushi for breakfast.
9:00 am: Jump on the Asakusa Line to Senso-Ji. It’s Tokyo’s oldest temple.
10:30 am: Jump on the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku station to Meiji Shrine. Enjoy a beautiful, tranquil walk on the grounds and leave a blessing on one of the wooden ornaments you can purchase. If you’re in luck, you’ll catch a wedding ceremony as well.
12:00 pm: Go back and get your things to head to the station. Utilize your roundtrip Narita Express ticket.