Hear about travel to Tokyo as the Amateur Traveler talks to Matthew Jasek from The Nerd Tourist about one of his favorite, if nerdy, cities.
Day 1: Arrival and Food Tour
- Afternoon: Arrive in Tokyo and check into your hotel.
- Evening: Join a food tour or find a local guide to visit a traditional Japanese restaurant. Explore the dining culture with the help of a guide who can navigate through nuances.
Day 2: Tsukiji Outer Market and Senso-ji
- Morning: Visit Tsukiji Outer Market for a variety of food stalls. Try grilled eel and other local delicacies.
- Afternoon: Explore Senso-ji Temple. Take part in the tradition of shaking a metal container to get a fortune. Enjoy more street food around the area.
- Evening: Choose between visiting Odaiba for futuristic buildings and the Unicorn Gundam statue or exploring Shimokitazawa, a hip neighborhood known for vintage shops and live music.
Day 3: Shibuya Scramble, Harajuku, and Meiji Shrine
- Morning: Experience the famous Shibuya Scramble and visit the statue of Hachiko. Head to Harajuku Station.
- Afternoon: Explore Meiji Shrine and Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Enjoy crepes, Shiba Inu Cafe, and unique latte art at Cafe Reissue.
- Evening: Choose between visiting Ikebukuro for anime-related attractions or Nakano Broadway for traditional shopping and unique ramen.
Day 4: Nerd Day
- Option 1: Take a guided tour of Akihabara, the hub of nerd culture, exploring anime shops and arcades.
- Option 2: Visit real-life anime locations using online resources or guided tours. Consider Studio Ghibli Museum, Totoro no Mori, or Shirohige Cream Puff Factory.
- Evening: Experience Tokyo’s nightlife with activities like Mari Car go-karting or trying Monjayaki in Monja Street.
Day 5: Kamakura Trip
- Visit the Great Buddha of Kamakura
- Explore Zeniarai Benten Shrine and wash your money.
- Visit Hokokuji Temple Bamboo Forest Temple, and wander through the bamboo forest.
- Optionally, pay extra to drink tea at the little tea house in the back.
- Explore Kamakura’s main attractions like the Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shrine.
- If in April, consider attending the Kamakura Festival (second to the third weekend).
- If in September (14th to 16th), experience Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Reitaisai Festival with horseback archery.
- Visit the grave site of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first Shogun.
- Visit Jufuku-ji Temple, the grave of Hojo no Masako (the Nun Shogun).
Day 6: Enoshima Island Trip
- Travel to Fujiwara Station and take the Enoshima Electric Railway to the Shirahata Shrine.
- Visit Shirahata Shrine dedicated to Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
- Board the Enoshima Electric Railway and ride to Enoshima Island.
- Explore the long road leading to sea caves, shops, and the Dragon Bell.
- Visit the botanical garden with the sea candle lighthouse.
- Try the local delicacy Shirasu Don at one of the restaurants.
- Visit the Enoshima Shrine complex
Consider non-nerdy activities:
- Attend a tea ceremony.
- Rent a kimono and experience a traditional tea ceremony.
- Attend a sumo match or witness a sumo practice.
- Catch a baseball game.
- Take a vintage tram to Gotokuji, the temple that invented the beckoning cat statue.
- Join a tattoo-friendly Tokyo bathhouse tour.
- Stay in Akihabara for a central location.
- Use apps like the Visit Japan app for customs information, TableCheck for reservations, and Line for communication.
- Prepare for a lot of walking.
There is always so much to see in and near Tokyo, for nerds and non-nerds alike.
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