Tokyo Travel Guide

Explore Tokyo

A city of paradox and juxtapositions, Tokyo is an extraordinary place where the ultramodern clashes with the traditional, and ancient temples stand in the shadows neon-lit skyscrapers. There’s nowhere else in the world like Tokyo it’s only here where you’ll find anime shops next to shanty yakitori bars, sumo wrestling stadiums within kabuki theatres, and psychedelic arcades along cobblestone lanes where geishas once sauntered. Whether you like the uber-modern, the quirky or the traditional it’s all found here in Tokyo.


Top Things to Do

Tokyo Sky Tree

At 634m, this is the world’s second tallest structure in the world and reveals the best views of Tokyo. In the day you can see all the way to Mount Fuji, but it is at night that Tokyo looks its best

Meiji Shrine

Tokyo’s grandest shrine is a living museum chocked full of history (built in 1920 but destroyed in WWII) and surrounded by impressive forested gardens right in the city.

Senso-ji

The city’s most iconic landmark is a stunning temple framed by the imposing red Thunder Gate and featuring a 55m pagoda that enshrines a golden image of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Harajuku

This district is at the forefront of fashion and is best known for its edgy Japanese urban tribes . There’s no shortage of independent boutiques and restaurants here, including the well-known maid cafes.

Shinjuku Crossing

Lauded as the world’s busiest – and craziest- traffic intersection, this crossing is a spectacle to watch, especially from above. The intersection is most impressive on a Friday or Saturday night, when the crowds pour out in all directions.

Akihabara Electronic Town

Tech geeks will find this a true paradise as it’s stocked full of anime shops, comic bookstalls and gadget havens. To navigate the area, grab an English map at Tokyo Anime Center.

Tokyo Camii

Built in a gorgeous Ottoman architectural style, this beauiful mosque is topped with a large dome and a 40m minaret. As the largest mosque in Japan, it also has an adjoining Turkish Cultural Centre.

Where to Eat and Drink

Fine diners will be happy to know Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city in the world. Budget travellers won’t go hungry here either there’s no shortage of cheap street side grill stands and ramen noodle shops in Tokyo if you know where to find them.


RECOMMENDED PLACES TO EAT

Tsukiji Fish Market

One of the most famous markets in the world, Tsukiji is hugely popular with tourists for its impalpable energy and frenetic fish auctions that are best seen in the early morning hours. To taste some of these freshly caught fish, head to one of the tiny restaurants in the market’s Uogashi-yokochō corner.

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Sumiyakiya Nishiazabu

This certified Hala restaurant in the Roppongi district is a favorite among Muslim diners, including Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mr Mahathir. Its specialty is yakiniku grilled meat as well as shabu shabu.

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Higashi-Yama

Tucked away from the clamour of the city, this minimalist izakaya (Japanese gastropub) serves up gourmet Japanese cuisine in tiny portions but of epic proportions.

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Maru

A typical modern Japanese restaurant that serves up both traditional kaiseki cuisine from Kyoto as well as creative, contemporary dishes. Don’t miss the restaurant’s house specialty is donabe (clay pot rice).

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Inakaya East

Believed to be the best Robatayaki (grill) restaurant in Tokyo, Inakaya serves a wide range of fresh seasonal fish and mouth-watering seafood all slow-grilled over hot charcoal.

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Nagi

This budget ramen chain is dotted all around Japan (and abroad), and has built a loyal following with classic noodle dishes and cheap comfort food on its menu.

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Recommended Places to Stay

Imperial Hotel

Founded in 1890, this is still one of Tokyo’s most prestigious hotels, having hosted royalties and celebrities for more than 120 years. Located right across from the Imperial Palace, it’s a destination on its own and worth visiting even if you’re not staying here.

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ANA Intercontinental

Another fixture in Tokyo’s hotel scene, this is a stylish luxury hotel that blends contemporary design with Japanese flair. Kick back in the hotel’s shopping arcade or feast in the Michelin starred restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire

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Hotel Okura

The vintage Hotel Okura is a perfect choice for those looking for a traditional touch. It features many interesting amenities, including an actual museum, a teahouse, and a Zen rock garden.

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Capsule Value Kanda

Experience sleeping in a capsule at one of the original capsule hotels of Tokyo. This budget capsule inn is sparkling clean and centrally located near Tokyo’s main attractions.

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Best Time to Go

Tokyo is most beautiful in the autumn (between September and November) when the city is coated in colourful foliage and temperatures are pleasant (around 15°C). Spring is also a great time to visit when the cherry blossoms light up Tokyo’s gardens. It’s best to avoid summer, which is peak tourist season as seen from the long lines and overcrowded subways. It can also get very hot and humid, with temperatures around 26°C. Winter time sees cold temperatures, almost dipping to 0°C, and only six daylight hours.


Getting There

Airlines that fly from Saudi Arabia to Tokyo include Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. There are no direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Tokyo. Most flights leave from Riyadh, with a journey duration of at least 16 hours. Common layover locations include Manila, Istanbul, and Abu Dhabi.

Getting from the airport to City
  • By Train

    A number of train routes connect the Narita International Airport to central Tokyo: the fastest is the Keisei Skyliner which takes 40 minutes and costs 2500 yen each way; the cheapest option is the Keisei Limited Express, a normal commuter train that takes 75 minutes and costs 1000 yen each way

  • By public bus

    Several bus companies offer connections to various parts of Tokyo and neighboring prefectures. It takes around 60 to 90 minutes to get to central Tokyo by bus and costs anything between 900-3200 yen each way.

  • By taxi

    Taxis are available at the taxi stands in front of all three terminals. A ride to the city takes between 60 to 90 minutes and costs around 20,000 yen each way.



Extra tips
  • In Tokyo, Japanese is the official language. English isn’t commonly spoken but most Japanese youths can read English. We recommend using a translating app or dictionary to communicate.

  • The currency in Japan is the Japanese yen (JPY). The current exchange rate is approximately 1 SAR to 26.73 JPY.

  • The voltage in Japan is 100 volt, which is different from most other places in the world.

  • Japanese outlets have two non-polarized pins.