All in a Day: Tokyo

Discover the fascinating mix of modern and traditional must-see sights for when you travel to Tokyo—the world’s largest metropolitan area.

Neon lights illuminate Tokyo at night

Photo: iStock

Grand Full-Day Tour

See Japan’s sprawling capital from a bird’s-eye view at Tokyo Tower. On the observation deck of the city’s second tallest structure, take in the vast landscape of skyscrapers—and, at dusk or later, bright neon lights. Find an oasis of Eastern culture and Zen-like calm when you travel to Tokyo among the manicured greenery at the Meiji Shrine and the Imperial Palace East Garden. Admire the grandeur of Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple, with its five-story pagoda and lively arcade of shops. Pick up souvenirs, such as a yukata—a casual summer kimono—and rice crackers.

Mount Fuji and Hakone

Travel to Tokyo by high-speed bullet train—worth the voyage alone—to Mount Fuji, Tokyo’s iconic snow-capped mountain. In Hakone, marvel at the Owakudani geysers, Lake Ashi and sky-high vistas from the double-wired Hakone Ropeway gondola.

Sashimi rice bowl at Tsukiji fish market

Photo: iStock

Tsukiji Fish Market

Early risers can catch the action at the market’s auctions—visitors are admitted from 5:25 to 6:15 a.m. The world’s largest fish market sells high-ticket tuna and countless seafood varieties. Queue up for a sushi breakfast at Daiwa Sushi, where the sashimi and rolls are as fresh as it gets.

Tokyo After 5 Tour

The best way to discover a city is through its food, and Tokyo is the definitive foodie destination. When you travel to Tokyo start with street food favorites like grilled yakitori skewers and savory monjayaki pancakes. Try tsukune (chicken meatballs) with local beer or sake, and end with sweet wagashi (confections made of mocha, anko and fruits) and dorayaki (pancakes filled with red bean paste).

Read about some Japanese customs you need to know before you go.
Originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of AAA Traveler.

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David Kallas, AAA Travel Counselor, Murray, Utah

I'm all about once-in-a-lifetime trips to destinations such as the Cook Islands, Australia or an African safari. I love to plan trips that my clients return from not regretting anything.

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