This itinerary will cover three major point of interest of Western Tokyo; Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya. Enjoy this itinerary!
Where to Stay:
Imano Tokyo Hostel (Site) (Hostelbooker)(Hostelworld)
- Address: 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 新宿５丁目１２−２
- Budget: $31-$40 per night (Price at the time of time post)
Photo Credit to HostelWorld (Source)
Imano Tokyo Hostel Café&Bar definitely appeals to my senses in terms of interior aesthetics! This place is like a 3 in 1 de Hostel, Café and Bar. Get to know other travelers or the locals.
Imano is conveniently located near the Shinjuku Station. If you are near this station , getting to other parts of Tokyo is a piece of cake.
There are different styles of rooms such as dorms, private rooms to fit any group or individual’s needs and budget. And to my fellow ladies out there, there are women only guestroom available and 3rd floor is ladies only. (Sorry boys xD)
Airbnb (Alternative; Recommended for staying more than 1 day in Tokyo)
- Name: Open sale!3min station-Near Shinjuku Golden Gai#5 (LINK)
- Budget: $24 per night (weekday)+ $37 Cleaning Fee (one time fee) = $61 per night (Price at the time of time post)
Photo Credit to AirBNB (Source)
If you are looking for a place for more than one night in Tokyo this AirBnb is one I would choose to stay in. You get the WHOLE entire apartment to yourself ! Like Imano Tokyo Hostel, this AirBnb is located 10 minute away from the Shinjuku Station and three minute away from the Higashi Shinjuku Station .
Aside from its location another thing that attracted me to this place is the “free pocket wifi“.You can bring it out with you on your trip. Which will be helpful when navigating around Tokyo, sharing on Instagram or what ever floats your boat.
NOTE: Check-In is at 4:00 PM. If you want to check-in earlier and leave your luggage in the apartment, please contact the host for more detail. Use click this Link to get discount on booking with AirBnB.
Budget (expected expenditure): Transportation ( 330 Yen) // Food (5,000- 6,000 Yen)
NOTE: This itinerary is assuming you have already arrived in Japan and already checked in at the place you are staying. Your starting point is at the place you booked your stay. (Based on one of the two recommendation above).
8:30 AM Hanazono Shrine (Site)
- Address: 〒160-0022 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, 5 Chome−5−17−３
We’ll begin the day with a short visit to Hanazono Shrine for a fresh morning walk . (If you choose to stay at Imano Hostel, it is only about a 5-6 minute walk to the shrine.) The Hanazono Shrine is one of Tokyo most important Shinto Shrines in Tokyo. Through the year, there are many events held at the shrine. For example:
Hanazono Shrine Grand Festival
“Held on the closest weekend to May 28 each year, this traditional festival at Shinjuku’s Hanazono Shrine features the usual array of food stalls and ceremonial rites. The highlight comes during the daytime on Sunday, when the shrine’s handsome 1.5 ton mikoshi (portable shrine) is taken on a tour of the surrounding neighbourhood”. Read more Here
9:00 AM Mister Donuts (Site)
- Address: 1 Chome-2-2-1 Kabukichō, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0021
- Hours: 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM
- Budget: Expect to spend at least 100 and up
For the next part of this itinerary, you can stop by at Mister Donut, a popular donut chain in Japan, for a light breakfast. (You do NOT want to over eat because you’ll most likely want to have room for other food through the day. Seriously. )
At Mister Donut, you can find variety of donuts, savory pastries and sandwiches at budget friendly price. Surprisingly Mister Donut also have a “Chinese breakfast ” menu. Which consists of, steam buns, ramen noodle and fried rice. Click Here for menu.
9:30 Shinjuku View
Since moststores are not open until 10:00 AM, I thought it would be fun to look at Shinjuku from a different perspective. Get inspired as you look out into the city, and feel a sense of excitement. (Inner voice screaming* “I am going to do a lot of exploring today”!! ) According to Japan-Guide, you have to head ” toward the Shinjuku station via pedestrian overpass near the northwest corner of the station. The elevated walkway provides a classic view of the Shinjuku area”.
10:00 AM Odakyu Department Store (Site)
- Address: 〒160-8001 Tokyo, 新宿区Nishishinjuku, 1−１−３
- Hours: 10:00 AM- 8:00 PM
One of many super shopping centers in Tokyo. Every floor has something for everyone. Odakyu has sixteen floors, the top three floors are restaurants and on the ninth floor is a outdoor patio with a play ground. There is even a foreigner help desk on the first floor. But the main highlight of Odakyu for me is…
the depachika! Depachika (a combination of “depato”, meaning department store, and “chika”, meaning basement). Located in the basement levels are a bunch of food vendors, grocery, deli and dessert departments! If you have the chance try free samples.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Meiji Jingu Shrine(Site)
After eating second breakfast (at least for me >w<) we’ll make our way to Meiji Jingu Shrine. If the weather allows, I recommend walking to Meiji Jingu Shrine from Odakyu Department Store. You’ll get more chance to see the city that way. (Or maybe walk off some of the food you just ate and make room for more food.)
How to get there: Shinjuku to Meiji Jingu Shrine
- Train: Walk to the “Shinjuku Station” to take the JR Chuo-Sobu Line (140 Yen). Then get off at “Yoyogi Station”. Walk about six minute and you will arrive at Meiji Jingu. Follow this Google Direction (10 Minute)
- Walk: Follow this Google Direction (20 Minute )
Meiji-jingu dates back only from the early 20th century. It was built in honor of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. Entry into the shrine is marked by a large tori gate (above image). There is no entry fee needed to get into Meji-Jingu, except the Inner Garden and the Treasure House (500 yen each).
During your time at the shrine, take a stroll around the Meiji- Jingu forest and breath in that fresh air. You’ll be amaze how such a beautiful forest is located in a busy place like Tokyo.
Visitors to the shrine can making offerings at the main hall, buying charms and amulets or writing out one’s wish on an ema, a small wooden board on a string (Image Above). What will you be wishing for?
Stamp/ Seal designs at the Meiji Jingu Shrine (Source)
Fun Fact: Each temples and shrines in Japan have a special stamp/ seals uniquely to their temple or shrine. Get a unique Meiji Jingu stamp on a “Goshuinchou” (Its literal translation is the “Honorable red-stamp notebook” ). Click here to find out more. You can get a stamp at Hanazono Shrine too.
1:00-4:00 PM Lunch and Shop Around Harajuku
After being surrounded by nature for so long, do crave the city life again?! Let us venture to the streets of Harajuku, a place I like to describe as the destination for unique and quirky fashion and other interesting finds. Up to this point in the itinerary, you can either shop first or eat. Here are some recommendations:
Suggested Place to Eat:
Luke’s Lobster (Site)
- Address: Luke’s Lobster, 6-7-1 Jingumae, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
- Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Budget: Expect to spend at least 1,000 – 2,000 yen here
Photo Credit to Luke’s Lobster Site Source
Prepare yourself for at least a 30 minute wait at Luke’s Lobster but according to many it is worth the wait. Luke’s is more of a order to-go kind of place. Although they offer some sitting area, it would not be a bad idea to walk around Harajuku and enjoy delicious lobster roll on the go.
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House (Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato, Minamiaoyama, 5 Chome−1−2, 青山エリービル1F
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:00 AM- 8:00 PM// Sunday 11:00 AM- &:00 PM
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 700 yen – 2,000 yen here)
Aoyama Flower Market Tea House, is definitely a “insta-worthy” place. From it’s flower shop, interior , food, drinks and maybe the bathroom. Everything is just wow. Stop by here if you want a western style lunch and dessert.
Red Rock (Site)
- Address: 〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区Jingumae, 3 Chome−25−12, フジビル
- Hours: Monday- Sunday 11:00 AM- 11:30 PM
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 800 yen – 2,000 yen here)
Calling all beef lovers! If you are super hungry and love beef, Red Rock might be the place for you! Their menu is simple but they are very good at what they do. Serving a delicious portion of steak or roast beef on warm fluffy rice. Please note there will be most likely be a line at Red Rock and you order a meal ticket from a vending machine before entering the restaurant.
Crouquantchou ZakuZaku (Site)
- Address: 150-0001 CUTE CUBE HARAJUKU 1F, 1-7-1, Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
- Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 200 yen )
Cream Puff and Menu Photo Credit to Croquant Chou ZAKUZAKU site (Source)
Although Croquant Chou Zaku Zaku is not a sustainable lunch meal, I thought it would be a nice recommendation for dessert after a meal. For only 250 Yen, how can I pass up fluffy, light vanilla crème filled cream puff! That soft serves is also an attention catcher too.
Suggested Place to Shop:
- Address: 1 Chome Jingumae, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Takeshita street is a long narrow shopping street. There are many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, and fast food outlets located in Takeshita street main walkway and it’s side street. Because of its growing popularity, Takeshita street tends to get very crowded over the weekend so beware!
- Address: 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, 神宮前５丁目１０−１０
Cat Street Photos Credit to Kanpai-Japan (Source)
Another shopping district located in Harajuku. Running for about half a mile perpendicular to each side of Omotesando (the higher-end shopping district). Cat Street maybe less congested than its other Harajuku counterparts. But its vibrant and lively with different varieties of trendy shops at reasonable price. Truth be told, I’m not a very fashionable person but the shop buildings alone is what makes me want to walk down Cat Street. Give this area a try if Takeshita street is too crowded for your taste.
LINE FRIENDS (Site)
- Address: 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, 神宮前４丁目３２−１３ JPR神宮前432ビル
- Hours: Monday – Friday 11:00 AM- 9:00 PM // Saturday&Sunday
- Address: 6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
- Hours: Monday~Friday: 11:00 AM-9:00 PM // Saturday- Sunday 10:30 AM-9:00 PM
Line Friends store and Kiddly Land are located next to each others. Both are fun shops to find cute and cool collectibles. Especially Kiddy Land, it has 4 floors of awesome-kawaii-goodness. (Free WiFi @ Kiddyland) If you are familiar wit the popular messenger app Line, at the Line Friend Store yo will finds loads of Cony, Brown, James and Moon merchandise. (I must warn you though, impulse spending might be triggered by these store xD )
4:00-8:00 PM Dinner and Shop Around Shibuya
Once your are done with Harajuku, it is time to head to ever so famous Shibuya. Home to the famous Shibuya Crossing, Hachiko statue and many more. Like before I would recommend walking from Harajuku. (As a direction guide I chose Luke’s Lobster as a starting point and Shibuya 109 as end point)
How to get there: Harajuku to Shibuya
- Train: If you choose to take the train, head to the Meijijingu-mae Station (4 min) away from Luke’s Lobster. Take the “Fukutoshin Line” (170 Yen). At after two stops get off at Shibuya Station. Follow this Google Direction (8 Minutes)
- Walk: Follow this Google Direction (16 Minutes)
Up to this point in the itinerary, you can either shop first or eat. Here are some recommendations:
Suggested Place to Eat:
Tonki とんかつ とんき
- Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Shimomeguro, Meguro, Tokyo 153-0064
- Hours: Monday-Sunday 4:00 PM- 11:00 PM // Closed Tuesday
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 1900 yen here)
Tonki is a family run Tonkatsu (pork cutlet) restaurant. The quality and portion you get here is not bad for its price. Two items on the menu; Hire Katsu (Lean Pork) or Rousu (Fatty Pork). The meal comes in a set, your choice of cutlet, and multiple servings of rice, lettuce and pork miso soup.
- Address: 1F Leisure Plaza Bld.24-8 Udagawacho,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 150-0042
- Hours: 11:00 AM-12:00 AM
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 100 yen and up here)
Genki Sushi is one of many rotating sushi chain in Japan. It’s one of those places with the high-tech touch screen ordering system. One can expect a good quality meal here. (It’s no Jiro Sushi but still good.) I mean uni (sea urchin) and fatty tuna for 170 yen that kind of price just does not happen where I am from!!! I think I can spending 2000 yen alone eating sushi, I just love it so much!
Ichiran Ramen (Site)
- Address: Iwamoto Building B1F 1-22-7 Jinnan Sibuya-ku Tokyo-to 150-0041
- Hours: 24 Hours
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 700 yen and up here)
When I first found Ichiran Ramen I thought this was its only location. But in actuality it has multiple locations. There is even one near the hostel. Like Red Rock you order from a vending machine first and then you give the voucher to the staff. As a solo traveler, I still get shy about eating alone. At Ichiran Ramen, you sit in individual booth with dividers. Even the person bring you your ramen is just an anonymous hand. (You’ll understand what I mean when you see its interior.)
Shin うどん慎 (Site)
- Address: 〒151-0053 Tokyo, 渋谷区Yoyogi, 2 Chome−２０番１６号 相馬ビル
- Hours: Monday-Thursday, Sunday 11:00 AM-11:00 PM // Friday & Saturday 11:00 AM-11:00 PM
- Budget: ( Expect to spend at least 900 yen here)
Another noodle recommendation, but this time it is udon. At うどん慎 , you can expect handmade udon , light battered tempura and a possibly a long line. The restaurant is very small and intimate. If you finding yourself craving handmade Udon give this place a try. They have an English menu, so no worries here.
Suggested Place to Shop/See:
- Address: 1 Dogenzaka | Shibuya Train Station, Shibuya 150-0043
Hachiko Statue Photo Credit to Whatevertherewas (Source)
Right when you leave Shibuya station you’ll be near several famous Shibuya landmark. One of the land mark is the Hachiko Statue. The story of Hachiko is a touching tale about a dog name Hachiko. Who waited at the Shibuya Station for nine years even after the passing of its owner. Hachiko is a symbol of loyalty and fidelity.
Shibuya 109 (Site )
- Address: 2 Chome-29-1 Dogenzaka, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0043, Japan
- Hours: 10:00 AM- 9:00 PM
Located near the Shibuya Crossing. It would be pretty hard to miss Shibuya 109. This cylindrical shopping center has ten floors. You will find many brands and boutiques. Ladies try to control yourself when shopping here.
Spain slope is narrow pedestrian street lined by boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Nickname after its resemblance to a Spanish street scene. If you are tired of shopping all day, it might be fun to walk through Spain Slope to take in the architectural design.
- Address: Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, 21−１ 西武渋谷店
- Hours: 10:00 AM- 9:00 PM
Just a few walk away from Spain Slope, you will find Loft. I would like to describe this pace as stationery ,crafts ,interior and hobby heaven. The Shibuya location consist of seven floor.
8:00 PM Shinjuku Part 2
Even though Tokyo may seem like a city that never sleep, trains do stop running by 1:00 AM. Despite my desire to stay in Shibuya a little later, I would not risk it for the biscuit and miss the last train back to Shinjuku. So I would opted to do a little night exploring in Shinjuku instead. That way, even if you stay out late, all you have to do is walk back to your hostel or AirBnB.
How to get there: Shibuya to Shinjuku
- Train: Head to the Shibuya Station to take the JR Yamanote Line (160 Yen) to Shinjuku . ( 3 stops : Harajuku >Yoyogi>Shinjuku) (7 minutes) Follow this Google Direction .
8:00 PM Omoide-Yokocho (Memory Lane or Piss Alley)(Site)
- Address:1-2-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku , Tokyo
- Hours: Opens sometime in the Afternoon and closes around 12:00 AM (Depends on stores)
- Budget: 200 yen and up
Although the name Piss Alley might sound weird, I can assure you it is not what you think. There is a lot of history to this place, guess its one of the reason why its also called Memory Lane. Omoide- Yokocho is actually an alley with a collection of small eateries and bars located at the west end of Shinjuku Station. Come here for a late night snack!
They got yakitori (Chicken skewers), Yakiniku, Sushi, Soba and much much more. Please click on the site link to see a list of eateries. Aside from places to eat there are few other shops there as well, such as “Big Tickets”, it is a shop that sells discounted tickets. (Train, amusement park and etc).
Note: Some or most stalls are really small and cramp. So I hope you do not mind sitting close to others.
11:00 PM Head back to Hostel/ AirBnB
Hope you all like this itinerary! It was really fun to make! Some may feel like this itinerary is to pack. When possible, I will try to make itineraries dedicated to each district by itself, to properly explore Shinjuku, Shibuya and Harajuku.
Thanks for ready and happy travels.