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Worth visiting Tokyo for only 1 night

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Old Feb 13, 18, 1:30 pm
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Worth visiting Tokyo for only 1 night

We'll be flying through HND on the way to PEK and flights are the same price whether we fly through HND with a 3 hour layover or a 1 night layover. We were planning on spending 4 nights in Beijing, but I was wondering whether it would be worth it to spend one of those nights in Tokyo instead? Is it even worth visiting for 1 night or would you recommend waiting until we can devote a more substantial amount of time to visiting?
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Old Feb 13, 18, 2:13 pm
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well if it was me, I'd never pass up a chance for a night in Tokyo, but as for you, it will depend on the timing, your interests, what you have to give up in terms of your "main" vacation, etc, etc. There is certainly interesting things to do in Tokyo to fill up an evening, but depending on the timing, it might not be practical to do any of them.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 3:15 pm
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Have you been to Japan before? Are you interested in visiting Japan in the future?
This might be a good way to get a super quick preview of Japan (at least the Tokyo area).

But like angra said, what do you have to give up in terms on your "main" vacation?
And also, how much sight-seeing time will you really have? I assume you will need a hotel (which won't be cheap) and have to sleep for several hours. Transportation to and from the airport. If you only get a solid 3 hours of walking around, is it worth the hassle?
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Old Feb 13, 18, 4:27 pm
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Hell yes, I'm bookending an upcoming trip with 2 1-nighters in Tokyo!
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Old Feb 13, 18, 4:35 pm
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I'd do it if it were HND, for sure. Wouldn't do it for NRT.

When is your flight in/out of HND?

Business Hotels near HND are pretty cheap and clean as well as long as you're just a couple. I'd do it just to soak in an onsen after a long flight. There happens to be a 24-hour one with 15min shuttles to Haneda: (it's a far cry from a REAL onsen, but it's also in the middle of a city ).

1500 JPY for 14 hours 8pm-10am... if you can sleep in a recliner.

Business hotels can be had for 6000 JPY or so in the HND area. Look for something along the Keikyu line.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 6:02 pm
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My wife and I enjoyed a one night (connection) in Tokyo. The Japanese are very friendly and want to be very helpful. However, if you do not speak or read Japanese, you may have difficulty with signs and general communication. If you decide to explore, perhaps the hotel you will stay at can pre-arrange an English speaking guide.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:05 pm
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Every chance I've had, I've planned a 1 night stop in Tokyo. It's a great city for that, there are parts that never seem to close, so any time you land you can do something, if you don't feel like sleeping yet. Every time it's been a late night landing in HND and a late afternoon departure from NRT.

When I'm on my own, I book a capsule hotel. Cheap, and great fun. And very Tokyo.

I've been to Japan many times, so maybe I'm just used to it, but I have never had an issue getting around, despite not being able to read kanji. Plenty of Romanji (english character) signs in Tokyo, especially on transport. Any why not just get lost? It's an incredibly safe city. Your GPS or a friendly stranger will help you back.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 8:30 pm
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Just remember that public transportation stops early-ish (midnight-1am? Depending on area )

So if you're exploring, do it around hotel, or plan for a semi expensive cab ride if it's late

​​​​
But yeah, I'm with the people above. Visited Japan enough, would be happy with an overnight stay especially if it's hnd.

Otherwise, enjoy hnd airport, buy some KitKat/Tokyo banana/snacks. Don't recall them giving out samples like nrt terminal 1
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:57 pm
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If your flight lands at 8pm and leaves at 10am, I wouldn't bother. But if it lands at 3pm and leaves at 5pm, or lands in the morning leaves anytime next day, or something like that, it'd be worth it to me. If NRT-NRT, then Ueno is the most convenient. If HND-HND, then maybe Shinagawa. Actually, if you have >24hrs, then you could even stay in the most popular part of town (eg, Shibuya, Shinjuku) rather than prioritize utmost convenience.

Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
I'd do it if it were HND, for sure. Wouldn't do it for NRT.
Honestly, it doesn't matter that much. NRT is only 45min to Ueno.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
If HND-HND, then maybe Shinagawa.
If priority number one is a comfortable, pleasant hotel with a good cost-value ratio and easy access to the JR Yamanote line then Shinagawa is a good choice.
This is not the thread for that recommendation.

If you don't understand why regulars on this forum shouldn't be pushing Shinagawa to anyone wanting a fun (or at the very least interesting) night in Tokyo, just look through posts by "desi" for enlightenment.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
If your flight lands at 8pm and leaves at 10am, I wouldn't bother. But if it lands at 3pm and leaves at 5pm, or lands in the morning leaves anytime next day, or something like that, it'd be worth it to me. If NRT-NRT, then Ueno is the most convenient. If HND-HND, then maybe Shinagawa. Actually, if you have >24hrs, then you could even stay in the most popular part of town (eg, Shibuya, Shinjuku) rather than prioritize utmost convenience.


Honestly, it doesn't matter that much. NRT is only 45min to Ueno.
45 long minutes later doesn't matter too much if you have a long connection, but arriving at 8pm... to leave the next morning at 10am... with kids I wouldn't do it from NRT.

OP, by the way... I assume your toddler isn't in school. Just FYI, they're free on transportation under 6 usually.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:45 am
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Yep, kids under 6 usually travel free, but not on the Limousine Bus / Coaches. It's why I haven't taken any in the past few years.

Worth knowing also that there are coaches that take you to Tokyo station from NRT - costs about 1,000yen and takes about an hour. Keisei bus is one of them. Best to buy on the day, there's a thread by another poster warning about buying in advance.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post

If priority number one is a comfortable, pleasant hotel with a good cost-value ratio and easy access to the JR Yamanote line then Shinagawa is a good choice.
This is not the thread for that recommendation.

If you don't understand why regulars on this forum shouldn't be pushing Shinagawa to anyone wanting a fun (or at the very least interesting) night in Tokyo, just look through posts by "desi" for enlightenment.
Just cuz Shinagawa itself isn't all that interesting doesn't mean it should be excluded as a potential place to spend your one night in Tokyo if your layover is HND-HND. All the more if you have to be back at HND by 8-9am. Coming from HND, Shinagawa is the closest major hub that's on the way to everywhere else in Tokyo. You just drop your stuff at the hotel, and then go anywhere you want. Shibuya's only 15min away, and JR Yamanote runs till ~12.30am. Then in the morning, it's a quick 15-min ride back to HND.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by bluemeansgo View Post
45 long minutes later doesn't matter too much if you have a long connection, but arriving at 8pm... to leave the next morning at 10am... with kids I wouldn't do it from NRT.
If the OP has that kind of layover time frame, I personally wouldn't bother trying to squeeze in a Tokyo stopover whether it's NRT or HND (which is what I said on my post above).
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Old Feb 14, 18, 2:04 am
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As much as I love Tokyo, I recommend that you choose the three-hour transit and spend the entire four nights in Beijing. There is so much to see and do in and around Beijing that four nights hardly seems enough. (I just returned from a six-night stay in Beijing, and that was my third visit to the city.)

Given that you'll barely have enough time for Beijing, I'd save your Tokyo experience for when you can spend more than just one night.
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