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48 hours in Tokyo

48 hours in Tokyo

48 hours in Tokyo

The world’s most populous metropolis, Tokyo, knows how to mix the traditional with the ultramodern.

Food and drink

From cheap and cheerful to true extravagance, Tokyo has something for everyone. A visit to the newly opened Toyosu is a must.  The market has replaced the Tsukiji fish market, which closed on October 6  after the Japanese municipality decided to relocate the world’s largest wholesale enterprise of its kind. Try to go early, 3am or 4am is ideal, to avoid the queues. Watch the auction, then enjoy fresh sashimi for breakfast.

Blue Note is the best bar in town for live nightly jazz performances. Tokyo has also become known for its whiskey bars, replete with rare Japanese distillations and hand-carved ice. Try Shot Bar Zoetrope in Shinjuku, known for its whimsical décor.

Shopping

There are plenty of high-end boutiques in Ginza, including the 100-year-old stationery store Itoya,  with nine floors of supplies. Shinjuku is home to one of Tokyo’s most revered department stores, Isetan.

Omotesando is more relaxed, with small boutiques along a wide, tree-lined avenue that stretches to Harajuku.

Attractions

Take a boat along the Sumida River line to visit Sensō-ji, the city’s oldest Buddhist temple. Depending on the season, go to Tokyo Dome to watch the Giants play baseball. Atop a skyscraper in Roppongi sits the Mori Art Museum,  – a behemoth of the Tokyo art scene.

Aerial view of Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Tower and modern skyscrapers in Tokyo on a sunny day.

People watching

Tokyo is amazing for taking in the view. Bridal parties are common in the beautiful gardens around the Imperial Palace. The 54-hectare Yoyogi Park in Shibuya is also a must-see, especially on Sundays when people love to dress up. Expect everything from Elvis-inspired outfits to cosplay kids and goths.

Accommodation

Only steps from Tokyo Station is the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, shangri-la.com. All rooms and suites come stocked with Bulgari amenities and top city views. Visit Chi Spa to try the Omoiyari ila Healing, inspired by Buddhist teachings.

Edgy Claska hotel offers modern and traditional tatami-style rooms as well as the unique DIY rooms that have been fitted out by local artists.

Overlooking the Imperial Palace is the Palace Hotel, palacehoteltokyo.com, with an art collection of more than 1000 pieces, including art that once hung in the original hotel. Be sure to book a treatment in the Evian Spa.

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