How to Make the Best of 3 Hours in Tokyo
It is the last day of your trip and you have three hours left before departing for the airport. Don’t know what to do with the time? WAttention did the homework for you. Here is a three-hour itinerary that will leave you entertained, refreshed and with lots of memories of Japan!
Making the most of your time in Tokyo’s Shitamachi
Ueno Station is one of Tokyo’s gateways to Narita Airport and the northern part of Japan. If you still have some time in your hands after visiting Ameyoko shopping street and the various museums in Ueno Park, why not experience a different side of Ueno? To save time getting from one place to another, just hop on the local mini Megurin bus!
Catch the Megurin bus at the number 2 bus stop in front of Ueno Station’s “Koenguchi”. The bus runs every 15 minutes and the fare is 100 Yen each way for both adults and children.
See Tokyo National Museum, Kaneiji Temple, Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street and many other attractions from the bus window (20-minute ride). Get off at Sendagi Station at bus stop number 13 Walk for 5 minutes
Hours: Depart all 15-20 min
Fare: 100 yen
Access: Various stops within the area.
Nezu Shrine and Otome Inari Shrine
is a historic shrine known for its natural beauty. Surrounded by lush green trees and 3,000 azaleas that come in full bloom every spring, this photogenic shrine is popular among couples as a traditional Japanese wedding venue.
Otome Inari Shrine
Famous for thousands of bright red torii gates that form an impressive tunnel, is on the grounds of Nezu Shrine. Otome means “maiden” in Japanese, so many single women visit to pray for a good marriage. Walk for 1 minute
Hours: ~6pm (Mar – Sep), ~5:30pm (Feb & Oct), ~5pm (Nov – Jan)
Access: 5-min walk from Nezu Station ・ Sendagi Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line), Todaimae Station (Tokyo Metro Namboku Line)
10-min walk from Hakusan Station (Toei Mita Line)
Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/ (Japanese only)
Taiyaki is a sea-bream shaped waffle-like snack filled with a sweet paste and often found in traditional pastry shops in Japan. Located within a five-minute walk from Nezu Station, Nezu-no-Taiyaki serves homemade taiyaki fresh off the iron grill. The outside is light, crisp and nicely browned while the inside is filled with rich, sophisticated red bean paste to the very tip of the fish’s tail. Be sure to factor in waiting time because there is always a long line in front of the shop. Walk for 1 minute
Hours: 10:30am – sold out
Closed: Tuesday, Friday & other days occasionally
Access: 5-min walk from Nezu Station Exit 1 (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
Address: 1-23-9-104 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Url: https://twitter.com/taiyaki_nezu (Japanese only)
The area in front of Nezu Shrine used to be bustling and filled with store fronts. Hantei is an establishment representative of the area’s historic character. This classical, wooden three-story building, renovated in the Meiji period, now doubles as a fun, modern sweets shop and a kushiage (fried foods) restaurant.
Hours: 11:30am – 3pm (Last Order 2pm), 5pm – 11pm (Last Order 10pm)
Access: 3-min walk from Nezu Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
Address: 2-12-15 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://hantei.co.jp/ (Japanese only)
The slope between Shinobazu Dori and Kototoi Dori is called Nezu Ginza Dori. It is a shopping street that locals like to frequent. Offering a mix of old and new shops, the street radiates both nostalgia and vibrancy. Walk for 1 minute
Beloved by locals and visitors alike, Kayaba Coffee has been serving aromatic coffee and comfort foods in the Yanaka neighborhood for 70 years. Their bestseller egg sandwich, warm and hearty, is a must try for starters. This two story nostalgic, wooden building has traditional Japanese seating on the second floor, which people often line up for.
Hours: 8am – 10:30pm (Tue – Sat), 8am – 6pm (Mon & Sun)
Access: 11-min walk from Nippori Station
Address: 6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Url: http://kayaba-coffee.com/top.html (Japanese only)
Shitamachi Museum showcases the history and life of Tokyoites between late 19th century and early 20th century. Shitamachi is the Japanese word for “downtown” or the low-lying parts of the city. Although the museum is small, it is worth visiting for its fascinating displays of houses, informative boards and multilingual guides who always greet visitors with a warm smile, just like in the olden days.
Hours: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Admission: 300 yen (adults), 100 yen (elementary school, junior high-school, high-school students)
Access: 5-min walk from Ueno Station
Address: 2-1 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Get on the Megurin bus at bus stop number 17 facing the Shitamachi Museum. The bus runs along Shinobazu Pond, a famous attraction that dates back to the Edo period. The pond is often seen in ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese art that flourished from the 17th century. 15 minutes by bus.