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Japan: How to spend (only) one week in Tokyo

Here is what you should do if you have just one week to see Tokyo.

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TOKYO, JAPAN — If you have one week to spend in Tokyo, you’ve got a problem. If you have a lifetime, you might be OK. As many have said before, this metropolis is more than just a city — it’s a world of its own, a parallel universe where many things aren’t what they appear to be. A spectrum of experiences so rich that a camera isn’t enough to capture them, they need to be seen in live motion.

Still, many travelers pass the Japanese capital on their Asian round tour with only a week or so to spend. If that’s the case, as it was for the Traveling Reporter recently, this is what you should see.


Cheap and good restaurants are everywhere.

Cheap and good restaurants are everywhere.

You maybe didn’t know this, but Tokyo is a real food city. Restaurants — everything from street corner joints to world-class culinary experiences — are present, and they are literally everywhere. On many Tokyo streets, you can’t walk but a few meters to run into a restaurants. The fancy places are easy enough to find, listed as they are in every Lonely Planet guidebook, but we suggest instead that you head to the cheaper menus, many still with fantastic quality of the food, if not always service. In these places, sitting with a good book and studying people passing by, you’ll get a sense of the real everyday Tokyo.


Ginza shopping district

The avenues of the Ginza shopping & fashion district.

The avenues of the Ginza shopping & fashion district.

Ginza is Tokyo’s most fashionable shopping district, not exactly a place to make bargain purchases. But there are other reasons. Ginza captures much of the sense of Tokyo — the city’s colors, lights, upper-class inhabitants and Japan’s modern architecture are all visible here.

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The Traveling Reporter supports the campaign against Japan’s hunt on dolphins.

Infographic: The Cove Campaign is Working

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The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.