*The times represent the approximate time needed to travel between major spots.
Days 1 and 2
Start at Tokyo Station and Visit Famous Locations such as Shibuya and Asakusa
Tokyo Station is the recommended starting point for this journey. When you arrive at Tokyo Station, first make your way to the Tokyo Station Marunoucih Building and appreciate the architecture of Tokyo Station, which represents the history of Japanese railways. The Tokyo Station Gallery is another good nearby spot to visit.
After you are finished visiting the gorgeous Tokyo Station, walk to Otemachi and head to Shibuya Station using the "Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway (¥900)". After seeing both the statue of the famous dog Hachiko and the Shibuya Scramble Square, take a break for lunch at one of the restaurants in Shibuya-Yokocho. Since you are saving so much on transportation expenses via the One-Day Ticket, treat yourself to something special for lunch!
Once you have finished enjoying lunch, head to Asakusa Station and visit locations in old Tokyo, such as Sensoji Temple and the Kappabashi Kitchenware Town. The Asakusa area, which retains the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old, is a must-see and can't-miss Tokyo sightseeing location.
In the evening you can get on a water bus, take a pleasure cruise around Tokyo Bay, and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze.
The red brick Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building was constructed as a building that once symbolized Japan, and in 2012 it was restored. Tokyo Station is often used for commuting to work or school, but there are also many people who point their cameras towards this stately and gorgeous building. After visiting the station building itself, visit the nearby Tokyo Station Gallery. The exhibition contents change every few months, so there is always something new to discover, no matter how many times you visit. There are also numerous shopping spots inside the ticket gates of Tokyo Station, and the ”GRANSTA TOKYO" ekiben
(train station bento
lunchboxes) area in Tokyo Station has more than 200 types of ekiben
from all over Japan.
25 minutes by train(non-JR lines)
Shibuya (Shibuya Scramble Square, etc.)
In the afternoon, walk from Tokyo Station to Otemachi and use the "Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway" to travel from Otemachi Station to Shibuya Station. Shibuya is a hotspot for young people, and the areas around Shibuya Station are constantly giving rise to new trends, so spots that symbolize Shibuya, such as the statue of the famous dog Hachiko and the Shibuya Scramble Square , are must-see spots.
After visiting these famous sightseeing spots, go to the MIYASHITA PARK complex to enjoy shopping and dining.
At the "Shibuya-Yokocho" area on the first floor of RAYARD MIYASHITA PARK South, there are 19 stores laid out across a total length of 100m, allowing you to easily eat and compare delicious gourmet foods from all over Japan.
35 minutes by train(non-JR lines)
Asakusa (Sensoji Temple, etc.)
Asakusa is the perfect place to enjoy the atmosphere of Tokyo's good, old downtown. Sensoji Temple, with its impressive approximately 1,400 year history, is well known for the giant red lantern of Kaminari-mon, and is one of Japan's leading tourist destinations. Additionally, the Asakusa area also has unique and popular tourist spots such as the "Asakusa Hanayashiki," which is Japan's oldest amusement park, and the ever-popular Kappabashi Kitchenware Town wholesale district. If the weather is nice then take a "TOKYO CRUISE" water bus to see the beauty of Tokyo Bay from onboard a boat, with the "Asakusa Mini Pleasure Cruise (¥1,200 for adults)" being a course that allows you to cruise around the Sumida River and then return to Asakusa.
10 minutes by train(non-JR lines)
Days 3 and 4
Exploring Tokyo's Old and New Attractions in Downtowns, then Heading to Sendai City
TOKYO SKYTREE is a new symbol of Tokyo, so make sure to stop by. A short walk from Asakusa, TOKYO SKYTREE symbolizes both Tokyo's present and its outlook for the future. Visitors can enjoy the observation deck, observation galleria, and the aquarium, etc. all day long.
There are also plenty of fashionable cafes and restaurants where you can take a break if you get tired.
On the other hand, the Ameyoko shopping street near Ueno Station is a traditional and lively shopping spot. A wide variety of Asian foods and ingredients are gathered here, and you can truly enjoy the multifaceted culture of Tokyo. Despite being within the same city of Tokyo, it feels completely different than Tokyo at the TOKYO SKYTREE.
From Ueno, use the JR EAST PASS (¥20,000) and head towards Tsuruga-jo Castle in the Aizu area of Fukushima Prefecture. The JR EAST PASS is a special ticket that allows five days of unlimited rides on trains and Shinkansen trains within the applicable area, and is an incredible value, so there is no reason not to take advantage of it!
On day three of your journey, start by walking to TOKYO SKYTREE. At the TOKYO Solamachi shopping center in TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN, there are approximately 300 stores providing everything from fashion and miscellaneous goods to restaurants, and there are also a variety of events held throughout the year. At the Sumida Aquarium, also located within TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN, there are experiential events held all the time, such as peering at the faces of sleeping penguins, and is a fun time that is recommended for both adults and children alike. If you want to enjoy the TOKYO SKYTREE as well, the "TOKYO SKYTREE Enjoy Pack (Adults: ¥4,270 on weekdays, ¥4,520 on weekends)" is a combo ticket for the Sumida Aquarium and the TOKYO SKYTREE's observation deck and observation galleria.
10 minutes by train(non-JR lines)
Ameyoko (Shopping Street)
When you arrive at Ueno station, walk to "Ameyoko ("Ameya Yokocho" or "Candy Street")." Ameyoko is a famous tourist spot in Tokyo that is often featured in both domestic and foreign media. It has more than 400 unique shops arrayed across a distance of approximately 500m and is always a bustling and lively place where you can buy a variety of products such as fresh foods, brand goods, fashionable clothes, and miscellaneous goods. Of course, you can also enjoy a lot by just walking around the stores, window shopping, and feeling the unique atmosphere of Ameyoko. If you get tired, there are restaurants in Ameyoko where you can take a short break.
JR Tohoku Shinkansen
70 minutes by bus
Using the JR EAST PASS, head to Fukushima Prefecture. Tsuruga-jo Castle, one of Japan's top 100 castles, was built approximately 630 years ago and is an approximately 10 minute bus ride from Aizu Wakamatsu Station. Officially called "Wakamatsu Castle," it is famous as Japan's only red-tiled castle tower. The inside of the castle tower is a museum where you can see a wealth of exhibits related to the history of Aizuwakamatsu. Take a tour of it together with Tsuruga-jo Castle, and think back on the history of the Aizu area. Admission is ¥410 for adults and ¥150 for children, and you can visit both the castle and the castle tower.
30 minutes by bus
40 minutes by train (JR)
Days 5 to 11
Taking Advantage of the Unlimited Rides Passes and Leisurely Touring the Tohoku Region
Take advantage of the JR EAST PASS and the SENDAI AREA PASS to travel throughout the Tohoku region at a discount!
The SENDAI AREA PASS is a free pass for foreign tourists visiting Miyagi Prefecture and Sendai City. It provides unlimited public transportation rides within the designated area for one day, enabling you to conveniently explore the Sendai area.
There are numerous tourist attractions in Miyagi Prefecture. Among them, the Matsushima sightseeing cruise is especially popular, offering a landscape that will remain imprinted in your heart long after you leave.
Next, visit Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture and the Akita Inu Visitor Center in Akita Prefecture, then, as your journey draws to a close, relax, refresh, and wash away your weariness at Hanamaki Onsen in Iwate Prefecture.
Hirosaki Park, famous for its castle and seasonal scenery, is a must-see spot in Aomori Prefecture. The Akita Inu Visitor Center has a wide range of dog-related souvenirs, and, with all the money you have saved on travel expenses, you may come home with more than just a few of them!
After the hustle and bustle of travel, it is nice to take some time and enjoy a quiet morning stroll around the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen.
SENDAI AREA PASS and the Site of Sendai Castle
With the SENDAI AREA PASS, you can get around Sendai City at a great price. For ¥1,300 you get unlimited public transportation rides in the designated area for one day. Take the "Loople Sendai" sightseeing bus that makes a loop around the city, and you can get off right in front of the Site of Sendai Castle. Sendai Castle (Aoba Castle) burned down, so it cannot be toured, but it is possible to go and look at the stone walls. If you go to the nearby Aoba Castle Museum, then you can watch a video on the restoration of Aoba Castle. In Sendai City there are also many other tourist attractions such as the mausoleum of Date Masamune "Zuihoden Mausoleum," and the Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Tohoku region.
25 minutes by train (JR)
Matsushima Sightseeing Cruise
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Matsushima to the fullest via Matsushima Shima-meguri Island Sightseeing Cruises. In addition to the NIOMARU Course (¥1,500 for adults) where you can enjoy cruising on a large boat for approximately 50 minutes, there are also courses where you can charter a small boat with fewer people to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience. Chartering a small boat also enables you to sail to places that the larger boats cannot approach. About a five-minute walk from the tour boat departure and arrival location is Godaido Temple, which is designated as a National Important Cultural Property. Admission is free, so make sure to visit it when you go cruising.
30 minutes by train (JR)
JR Tohoku Shinkansen
30 minutes by train (JR)
Hirosaki Castle Tower at Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki Park is the only castle tower in the Tohoku area that has remained since the Edo period ("Edo" is the old name for Tokyo). In Hirosaki Castle Square there are also other interesting spots and structures, such as the "Ushitora Yagura" (turret) National Important Cultural Property, the 2.5m square large "Kame no Ishi" stone, and the "Gyokkaseki" which is said to be made of high-quality stone. If you visit in the spring, then you will also be able to see the beautifully blooming cherry blossoms. Admission to Hirosaki Park is free, but a fee of ¥520 is required to enter the paid areas.
30 minutes by train(non-JR lines)
20 minutes by train (JR)
Akita Inu Visitor Center
The Akita Inu Visitor Center, which was modeled after Shibuya Station as it was in the Taisho era when the faithful dog Hachiko was waiting for his owner, has an Akita Inu Museum, an Akita Inu Exhibition Room, and a souvenir corner. In the Akita Inu Exhibition Room you can also see real, cute Akita dogs. Within the facility grounds, there is also a "Railway Park" where you can see the tracks of the Kosaka Railway, which was abolished in 2009, and rental cycles so that you can have fun at your own pace. The rental cycles have a fee of ¥300 for a half day or ¥500 for a full day, but the other attractions (admission fee, etc.) are free.
210 minutes by train (JR)
15 minutes by bus
Finally, at the end of your journey, spend a relaxing time at Hanamaki Onsen in Iwate Prefecture. Here you can refresh your body and soul at the hot spring inn, or enjoy cultural spots that give a taste of what life was like during the time of Kenji Miyazawa, an acclaimed novelist born in Hanamaki. There are so many spots at Hanamaki Onsen that can be enjoyed. From late May to late October you can see the 6,000 breathtaking roses in the Rose Garden (admission fee of ¥800 required during the peak season from late May to early July). Furthermore, taking a walk to Kamabuchi no Taki Falls, where you can stroll through the sunlight as it filters through the trees, is also very popular. These two -- the Rose Garden and Kamabuchi no Taki Falls -- are located in just a corner of Hanamaki Onsen.
This journey introduced a trip through famous tourist attractions in Tokyo and Tohoku at a great value. From the vibrant and famous sights of Tokyo to a quiet hot spring town in Tohoku, this itinerary will let you enjoy the sights of Japan to your heart's content. Example transportation have been provided for reference, but walking around and exploring in the areas near the spots introduced in this journey is also recommended.
*The information provided here is as of March 2022.
*Transportation information does not include the number of transfers or transfer time.
*Admission fees may be charged depending on the spot/facility. For the latest information on business hours, days when spots/facilities are regularly closed, and prices, etc., please check the website for each spot/facility.