Tokyo-tripping on your Tax Refund

Tokyo cityscape with Mount Fuji.jpg
Tokyo Cityscape with Mount Fuji, as seen from Shinjuku (Credit:
Shutterstock)

Now that you’ve received your tax refund, why not treat yourself to a long-awaited vacation in Asia! The Land of the Rising Sun, Tokyo is everything you can ask of a city and more. Her cosmopolitan dining scene, specialty cafes and bars, the world’s best public transport, traditional culture and history weaved into its modern day unlike any other. One of the best tips we’ve come across is to explore the city one enclave at a time e.g. Go shopping in Ginza and Shibuya, explore nightlife in Shinjuku, do business in Akasaka. It’s a good thing Fraser Suites Tokyo is opening amidst the city’s main transportation hubs in Akasaka! With quick and easy access around Tokyo and across cities, this is for all of you first-timers out there. Here’s our breakdown of the city!

Eat

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Store Owner cooks fresh seafood in Tsukiji Market (Credit:
Shutterstock)

Let’s begin with food since we think with our tummies first! Dining in Tokyo isn’t as expensive as you’d think. With the tiered prices and a penchant for quality, you can access options varying from convenience stores to specialty omakase restaurants. Taking sashimi for example, you may get up early for the world-renowned Tsukiji Fish Market experience, or casually stroll into your neighbourhood’s Standing Sushi Bar – both offering amazing sashimi, different Japanese experiences and prices your wallet can swallow!

Beyond fresh seafood, Tokyo is your entry into Japan’s impressive array of food such as Yakiniku, Izakaya, Ramen, Kobe beef, Teppanyaki, Okonomiyaki and so much more. And if you’d like to try the locals’ twist on western food, there are several one-of-a-kind bakeries and cafes in the city as well. With so many options, your only question is what to prioritise this trip. Don’t let this overwhelm you, simply check in with our concierge to see what their top local recommendations are for the area you’re heading to!

See

Sensoji Temple, Asakusa.jpg
Geishas strolling towards Sensoji Temple, Asakusa (Credit:
Shutterstock)

Beginning with the basics, the sights of old Tokyo are a first-timer’s essential stop. Asakusa is home to Sensoji, Tokyo’s buzziest temple, and the Tokyo Skytree on the opposite side of the Sumida River. Of course, it comes as no surprise this area of the city is bustling with tourists. If you’re looking to discover deeper into Asakusa, take a peek at her less-explored streets closer to Mukojima where you may find hidden local gems.

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Winter Illuminated Installation at Roppongi (Credit:
Shutterstock)

Get artsy in Roppongi! Roppongi is well-known for its nightlife scene when night falls. Despite its seedy reputation, Roppongi hosts world-class museums, galleries, shops and restaurants. Don’t forget to capture sprawling views of the city from the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower!

Shop

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Traffic Junction in Shibuya (Credit:
Shutterstock)

Go high-street with Ginza, seek street labels in Omotesando, discover local designers at Shibuya, and find the birthplace of Kawaii at Harajuku. Each district hosts different styles and shop offerings for the various shoppers. Delve into the luxury fashion scene of Ginza, including high-street labels from Dover Street Market Ginza, Hermes and more. The street fashion scene in Omotesando is enviable and unlike any other. Here’s where you’ll find the custom Nike shop, classics like COS, street labels like Supreme and hip new scents from retaW. Stroll down the mini streets of Harajuku for a cup of bubble tea and overall kawaii experience.

Bonus: Up your Instagram game with some of the quirky sights here! This includes the popular Tokyu Plaza’s kaleidoscopic mall entrance.

Psst – we know how hectic Tokyo city’s junctions can be so here’s our pro tip: Mark a place you may reconvene at if you split up for separate attractions in the area. For example, a popular meeting place in Shibuya is Hachiko Square, right in front of the station.

Drink

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Beers in a Japanese Bar (Credit:
Shutterstock)

Looking for a uniquely Japanese drinking experience? This is the one place to be! Take your pick from over 270 quaint bars that reside in the seven ramshackle streets here, called Golden Gai. Ranging from hard rock, multi-language karaoke to classy joints, each bar hosts a unique concept for you to get down with the locals and fellow travellers. It’s definitely one side of Tokyo you don’t want to miss.

Move

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Public Train in Tokyo (Credit:
Amos Bar-Zeev)

Tokyo is one of the world’s most well-connected cities. Grab a prepaid card and hop on their various train lines, starting from US$5.40. It would be useful to note that Tokyo is largely a commuter’s city i.e. you may expect quite a lot of walking to and from stations and locations. Find out more about transportation and accessibility here.

Season

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Autumn in Tokyo (Credit:
Tomo Nogi)

The best time to visit would definitely be in Autumn (Sep – Nov) or Spring (Mar – May), when the climate’s cool and nature’s colours fill the city. Where cherry blossoms fill the Spring sky, Autumn brings the city’s arts events.

Stay

What better way than to pamper yourself back at Fraser Suites Tokyo (Opening in 2020)? Centrally located in the premier district of Akasaka, access Tokyo and beyond via Tokyo’s main transportation hubs (Akasaka station, Akasakamitsuke station and Aoyamaicchome station)! Treat yourself to a truly luxurious Fraser Suites experience as world-renowned Hirsch Bedner Associates seek to bring you touches of sophistication and understated Japanese elegance.

If you’re looking to extend your Japan trip to explore its other cities, why not take on Osaka with us at Fraser Residence Nankai, Osaka?

There you have our quick round-up of Tokyo! Have you been here before? Comment below if you have any tips and recommendations to add!

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