36 hours in Tokyo: a guide to Japan’s vibrant capital city

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Otemachi, Shinbashi, Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge

This summer I was very fortunate to find myself in the capital city of Japan, Tokyo, a city with enough delights to satisfy any traveller, from the craziest reveller to the most ambitious of culture vultures. With its range of temples, museums, restaurants and parks one will find no shortage of sights to see or places to go. If you find yourself with 36 hours to kill in this historic city, consider this your definitive guide of Tokyo.

Friday evening

After your arrival in Tokyo, take a little trip to Assakusa, a district in north Tokyo. Take a stroll around the markets and there is a big temple called Sensō-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. It is a very pleasant place to wander around in the evening and there are many restaurants around to enjoy for dinner.

Friday night

After your dinner in Assakusa, grab a local Asahi beer at one of the many bars in the area. The Gate Hotel provides excellent views from their rooftop bar in order to enjoy your beer and take in the magnificent sights of Tokyo on your first night in the city.

Saturday brunch

Breakfast in Japan is somewhat different to the Western tradition of having specific breakfast food. Venture to the Ueno district and stop by Yasai-ya Mei Ueno for a delicious veggie meal. Afterwards, there are many things to do in Ueno park such as the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Saturday afternoon

Afterwards, there are many things to do in Ueno. Stop by Ueno Park and enjoy the many museums to visit such as the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and the National Museum of Nature and Science. Additionally, there is also the Ueno Zoo, a sprawling zoo home to more than 460 different species and also the oldest zoo in Japan.

Saturday dinner

After working up an appetite visiting the many sights in Ueno, why not treat yourself to dinner in Shibuya, a very busy commercial district and tourist hub. There are many restaurants that serve up traditional well-know Japanese food, such as sushi.

Saturday night

While you are still in the Shibuya area, make sure to experience the Shibuya crossing, a very busy intersection that is remarkable for the sheer amount of people crossing at once. Also, you can witness the madness from the second story of the Starbucks near the crossing. Afterwards, treat yourself to some Sake to calm yourself down from the stress of the Shibuya crossing.

Sunday morning

If you have time before you have to leave, stop by the Tokyo Skytree. The queues are long, but the view is definitely worth it. It is one of the tallest buildings in the world and great for photo opportunities. Happy travelling!

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