The city has something for all, it has a great array of shopping districts like Harajuku (for the trendy and fashionable lover of clothes) and then you have Ginza, home to all of the well-known high end brands (note tax free shopping is easy everywhere in Tokyo, so make sure you keep your passport and entry slip with you).
When you think of Japanese food, you are spoilt for choice, from sushi to gyoza to steak. One of the coolest spots we managed to go to were Genki Sushi, which has affordable and great-tasting sushi, near to Shibuya, home to one of the most busiest crossings. If you are able to head to Harajuku then be sure to check out Gyoza Lou. It’s hard to miss as it’s the place with a queue to the main road. Another great place for foodies is Ichiran ramen, it’s a 24-hour place found in most districts of Tokyo, serving great-tasting ramen.
The city is bustling with sites and places to go at all times of the day. It probably is the only actual city in the world which in our opinion is 24 hours. Areas such as Shinjuku and Roppongi Hills boast some of the coolest spots in the city to hang out for post-work drinks and if you are late to the party then you have Golden Gai, a street with over 150 tiny bars open till the early hours of the morning. If you still find yourself with energy at 5am, you can head on over to Tsukiji Fish Market, home to the largest fish market in the world and some of the freshest sushi, where you’ll find rush for both breakfast and lunch.
The key to getting around Tokyo is to plan and know where you want to go. The city has a great transport system and stations are all displayed and announced in Japanese and English, but English is not that widely or fluently spoken. If you don’t fancy sitting amongst millions underground, then you can opt for driving around the city dressed up as a character from Super Mario cars in your own go kart.
As mentioned, the city is for everyone, and when you fancy a great spot for lunch, dinner or evening drinks then these are our two favourite rooftops:
Hacienda Del Cielo – a Mexican rooftop restaurant and bar located on the 9th floor around Shibuya City. Now I know we wouldn’t necessarily come all the way to Japan to eat Mexican food, especially if you are in town for a short time. But not everyone is a fan of raw fish and pork-based ramen broth. So having done our research we found that this could be a place where you might find yourself indulging on some tacos, enchiladas and fajitas.
The food was good and a great value for money. We found ourselves on the terrace which during the current season was heated and under cover. The indoor restaurant was bustling with local and expat business individuals, creating a lively atmosphere. The rooftop terrace area was divided into two parts. One was the area dedicated to dining and the other being solely for drinks and snacks. With the weather being great, it’s a great place to soak up the sun and lounge with friends until the late night enjoying the bright lights of the city and great views of Tokyo Tower.
The Rooftop Bar on top of the Andaz hotel at Toranomon Hills – Now this is what we are talking about!
Unobstructed views of Tokyo. Views from altitude stretching as far as Tokyo’s sky tree to up close and personal with Tokyo Tower. This restaurant and bar is set up ideally for first dates or business meetings. The outdoor terrace is open throughout winter due to the cool touch of heated blankets at every seat. The roof itself is grilled therefore it is open, but creates enough of a draft to keep you cool whilst dining. The menu boasts great local treats like sushi and fried chicken, known as karagee, accompanied with a great tasting wasabi mayonnaise.
Note, the rooftop is only open from 5pm onward and I would say reserve especially over weekends and late nights. The service is fantastic and the staff are very attentive and knowledgeable on what to recommend on the menu. Unlike Hacienda del Cielo, this rooftop is slightly dear but those who are familiar to Tokyo will be aware of this being common practice in most high-end establishments. However, don’t be put off, as for sunset and night views of Tokyo this is truly the place to be and with you having to pay 900 – 3000 Yen (APPROX) to reach the heights of Tokyo Tower or the Sky Tree, you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of red or perhaps green tea for less.