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24h layover in Tokyo - worth it?

24h layover in Tokyo - worth it?

Old Nov 13, 19, 8:45 am
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24h layover in Tokyo - worth it?

I decided to include a 24h layover in Tokyo into my MR to Beijing. I have always been fascinated with the city or Japan in general, and wanted to at least get a sneak peek while on that MR. After reading through some of the posts/Wikis here, I am not sure anymore if 24h will actually do anything for me.

I arrive in NRT at 3 PM on a Sunday and depart NRT at 5 PM on a Monday. Was thinking about getting a hotel in Central Tokyo to get the most out of my time. And then I read about how long the trip from/to NRT is. I wonít have any checked luggage though.

Thoughts anyone if this is even enough time to see a little bit of Tokyo and eat some decent sushi/Kobe steak? Thanks!
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:27 am
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Get a hotel in the area of Tokyo station. If your flight arrives into NRT at 3 pm, you'll arrive at the hotel around 6 pm. For the return, leaving about noon would be good, which will probably be your checkout time. Imperial Palace and the Ginza then are walkable.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:57 am
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It will be worth it. Bring some comfy shoes, download an offline map app (I like MAPS.ME), and walk all around the areas around Tokyo station. Watch a few youtube videos on how to order food and how to use the trains in order to expedite your delivery into town.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:58 am
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I agree with MSPeconomist. I think you can do 24 hrs. at Tokyo. Take either Narita Express train or Skyliner train from Narita Airport to Tokyo. Get a hotel near a train station to save time. Recommend Tokyo station or Shinagawa station if you take Narita Express. Ueno station if you take Skyliner. Narita Express will also take you to Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro but Narita Express is fast to Tokyo station, but after Tokyo station become slow. Going to Shibuya or Shinjuku by Narita Express will add additional 30 min. each way.

You can do dinner and some after dinner stuff. You will also have Monday morning to explore Tokyo, but many stores, museum, etc. will not open till around 10 a.m.

You did not mention where you are flying from, but if you are flying trans-oceanic flight to Tokyo then it will all depends on if you will be tired after long flight and jetlag. If you are very tired after your flight to Tokyo then you may ended up dozing off on a bed immediately after arrival at a hotel. In such case then you will be better off getting a hotel around Narita Airport. If you force yourself going out for a nice sushi dinner when you are very tired, then you will not enjoy the dinner much and will be waste of money.

I think decision of going to the city or just get a hotel around airport will depends on how tired you will be after arrival at Narita.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 12:12 pm
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Book a room at the Tokyo Station Hotel, that way it is 10 minutes from the time you get off the Narita Express until you're checked in your room.

https://g.page/TheTokyoStationHotel?share

As soon as you've booked your room, get the amazing concierge team of the hotel to book you a steak dinner. I recommend Shima, it is a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station Hotel.

https://goo.gl/maps/x3NveKSWwQusVz7r5

And also get the concierge team to book you a nice sushi lunch in Ginza, also an easy walk from Tokyo Station. A good option is the Y12,000 lunch set with chef Iwa-san at Ginza Iwa 815, which is 18 minutes on foot from the hotel, or 12 minutes via the Marunouchi line.

https://goo.gl/maps/bxxC3SSTKAnDkwfc8

You'll be done with lunch at around 1PM. You can leisurely make your way back to Tokyo Station and hop on the next Narita Express with time to spare.
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Last edited by od_sf; Nov 13, 19 at 12:32 pm
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Old Nov 13, 19, 12:56 pm
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Absolutely worth it, no question at all.

Transport makes getting to/from the airport pretty easy, so while it's not terribly close, it's not all that bad either.

Normally I tell people travelling from the US to stay awake on the plane and then crash at the hotel, but this is a MR - so there's no real point to that. Just suck it up and you'll be fine.

I say this because of the mention that you've always been fascinated by Tokyo/Japan - go for it, you won't be disappointed.

Personally I'd recommend Shinjuku over Shinagawa for someone with limited time, but near Tokyo station above Shinjuku.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 1:37 pm
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Hi,

I would do it also!

When are you travelling? If travelling soon you will have the winter illuminations up.

I think the Imperial Palace East Gardens will be closed on a Monday ( unless it is a public holiday)

Regards

TBS
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Old Nov 13, 19, 2:53 pm
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For fast access to/from NRT, staying at an interesting area, I would pick either Ueno (quickest and cheapest train access - Skyliner or Keisei Express, inexpensive hotels, large park, cheap street market... see a pattern? ) , or Shinjuku (Narita Express train access, most iconic images of Tokyo, wide choice of hotels of all budgets, the busiest train station in the world, thousands of restaurants within a few blocks...).

>> Recommend Tokyo station or Shinagawa station

Tokyo Station I'll reluctantly say it's acceptable. Shinagawa is a dead part of town at night.
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Old Nov 13, 19, 3:35 pm
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Thanks everyone! I guess I should do it then!

Iíll be flying in from PEK on 12/8, after spending two nights there. So hopefully I will have adjusted to the time at least a little bit. Iím going to look at the map and see if I can find a hotel for my budget in those areas you suggested.

I just felt it would be a crime to be ďin the areaĒ for a MR and not stop by THE ONLY Asian city thatís on my bucket list (Iíve never been to Asia)....
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Old Nov 13, 19, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by whipwhitaker View Post
Thanks everyone! I guess I should do it then!

Iíll be flying in from PEK on 12/8, after spending two nights there. So hopefully I will have adjusted to the time at least a little bit. Iím going to look at the map and see if I can find a hotel for my budget in those areas you suggested.

I just felt it would be a crime to be ďin the areaĒ for a MR and not stop by THE ONLY Asian city thatís on my bucket list (Iíve never been to Asia)....
Never been to Asia? Just going to give you a heads up that it's a big culture clash you'll experience with Tokyo vs Beijing. Things tend to be more orderly in Tokyo and a bit more chaotic in Beijing (you'll experience this firsthand if you take the metro).
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Old Nov 13, 19, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by BudgetJetsetter View Post
Never been to Asia? Just going to give you a heads up that it's a big culture clash you'll experience with Tokyo vs Beijing. Things tend to be more orderly in Tokyo and a bit more chaotic in Beijing (you'll experience this firsthand if you take the metro).
Yeah I honestly have no clue what to expect. This is my last shot to secure 1K for 2020 and PEK is the only destination to yield the PQM/PQD that I need in one trip. Always wanted to go to Tokyo but never booked it...
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Old Nov 13, 19, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by BudgetJetsetter View Post
Never been to Asia? Just going to give you a heads up that it's a big culture clash you'll experience with Tokyo vs Beijing. Things tend to be more orderly in Tokyo and a bit more chaotic in Beijing (you'll experience this firsthand if you take the metro).
They don't take pictures of me in Japan either (I am 6"4 300lbs)
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Old Nov 13, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by whipwhitaker View Post
Always wanted to go to Tokyo but never booked it...
I had a similar experience. Was flying back to the US from South Korea and saw that I my layover was in Tokyo. I changed flights to have a 23 hr layover, thinking it would be my only chance to see Tokyo. That layover ended up being my "gateway drug" and have been visiting Japan every couple of years during the past decade. Hope you have fun!
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Old Nov 14, 19, 6:53 am
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I'd for sure do it, no question.

Originally Posted by whipwhitaker View Post
Thoughts anyone if this is even enough time to see a little bit of Tokyo and eat some decent sushi/Kobe steak? Thanks!
Just one thing to point out here, and you probably already know this, but don't expect to find any western style sushi I.e. a roll with rice on the outside and several ingredients inside like avocado or whatever.

If by chance you wind up staying around or passing through Tokyo station, and if you like tonkatsu, I'd highly recommend checking out Tonkatsu Suzuki in Kitchen Street (north side of the station accessible via the corridor from Marunouchi side to Yaesu side). So good.
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Old Nov 14, 19, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by jerseytom View Post
Just one thing to point out here, and you probably already know this, but don't expect to find any western style sushi I.e. a roll with rice on the outside and several ingredients inside like avocado or whatever.
Actually I didnít know that Iím not a big fan of sushi rolls to begin with, I usually go with nigiri and sashimi. And frankly, Iím excited to see what the real sushi looks and tastes like (so long as it has raw fish in it)!
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