This was a major check off our list! We’ve lived in Okinawa for years and have never ever toured around mainland Japan. So finally its checked off and boy did we cram it in, thats how I roll. To be honest when I researched Tokyo and Kyoto, I fell hard for Kyoto. But we only had 4 days so one city at a time was our best option. But just so you know there is a bullet train between the two cities and it will take you 3 hours to get to Kyoto from Tokyo. I’m coming for you next Kyoto which is chock full of architecture, history, tradition and moves at a much slower pace, its old traditional Japan.
Day 1-Yokohama (45 minutes from tokyo train ride-great kids museums, sights, and super clean waterfront city. Also birthplace of Kirin beer)
Day 2-Sky City Bus tour– I read mixed reviews on this because its a double decker bus but you only sit up top, so if its raining you’ll get wet. Also we rode it on the weekend so we didn’t sit in any traffic and it was a very scenic way to get around town, offering 3 different routes for 24 hours at a very good price. I loved it. Don’t expect to have a good hair day on this, like i said your on the top which is open to air-like riding a convertible through the city. Sites we visited-Hutch bunny cafe, Sensoji Cafe, Ueno Park/zoo, and Tokyo Tower.
Day 3-Tokyo Disney Sea– Our boys are 11 and 6 and we’ve done Hong Kong Disney and California’s Disneyland and I gotta say Tokyo Disney Sea was made for me. It was a cultural experience which I love! The rides were geared towards older kids but there was a large section for the littles in the Little Mermaid lagoon area. We saw 3 of the shows and they were broadway caliber. Truly a spectacular park in every way. Also, because we went on a weekday (we’re smart like that) the lines were minimal 15-20 min max. Check the Disney Sea Crowd Tracker!
Day 4 Shibuya Crossing– Busiest intersection in the world did not disappoint, truly a sight to see! DO it.
Extra Tips- If you are military stay at the Hardy Barracks- Its $50 a night- no matter rank. Its not pretty, think your old College Dorm (smells like it too, which was nostalgic in a good way) But I’m still gonna toot its horn. Continental breakfast, suite type rooms, 8 minute walk to the subway and located in the very nice high-end neighborhood of Roppongi. We did use the subway a bunch and found that using the Pasmo/Suica card was easiest. Load money once and add as you go. We also used Uber and LOVED it. Very very nice cars, drivers dressed in suits. I felt very VIP about the whole thing.
YOKOHAMA-Beautiful water front city, 45 minute train ride from Tokyo. Trick eye museum inside of mall, Orbi Museum (bug exhibit) and CUP noodles museum is a must. Interactive creative museum telling the story of the creator of the cup noodles, Momofuku. Do this early unlike us so the kids can make their own cup noodles in the factory, wonderful activity. We got there late in the day and tickets were sold out. But the museum is still worth paying the 500yen to walk around.
Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama, my absolute favorite experience!
SKY BUS Tour- Its no secret, I LOVE bus tours. Best way to get around the city and see multiple sties for a relatively good price! The sky bus offers 3 different routes usable for 24 hours and is a double decker bus, seating only on top. We stopped at the Sensoji temple which has a bunny cafe just a block around the corner, Ueno park and zoo, and Tokyo tower. Your gonna want to grab a crepe at the crepe shop at the bottom of the tower. Trust me.
Tokyo Tower & Crepes
Disney SEA. If there’s a disney park to do its this one, there’s nothing like it. Features world wide ports, feels like you’ve been transported to a magical land with every detail to architecture imaginable. This is geared to older kids for the most part, but there are plenty for little ones in the lagoon area. I highly recommend the shows, 6 flavors of popcorn, and going on a weekday. Do check the Japanese calendar to ensure you are not going on one of their holidays.
Shibuya crossing- The busiest intersection in the world is just plain fun to watch, easy to get to by train and quite the spectacle, If you are in Tokyo, you should see it first hand!
A Christian, married to an insanely gifted and talented Marine husband, mother to Gideon (15), Boaz (10) and our rainbow baby, Shiloh. I’m actually an R.N turned accidental photographer, currently living in Fredericksuburg, Va after completing our final tour in Okinawa Japan. You'll find travel, Jesus, and lifestyle posts here on the Journal.