The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

When we were planning our one month Japan itinerary, we knew we wanted to fit in as much as we could, into those four weeks. Japan might be a pretty small island, but there’s an incredible amount of things to see and do. It would take an entire lifetime and then some, to just explore Tokyo. We wanted to visit as many cities as we could, tick off as much as possible, and have the time of our lives while we were at it.

Well, I’m happy to report that all three of those goals were achieved!

We managed to travel to six different cities over a four week period. Starting in Yokohama, we then traveled to Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nagano and finally, Tokyo. We didn’t want to spend the entire four weeks, only exploring the major cities.

We wanted a taste of traditional Japan amongst all of the bright neon lights. So we broke up the bustling cities with some lesser known, traditional towns across Japan.

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary | Rhiannon Travels

The Ultimate One Month Japan Itinerary

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Days 1 to 3 – Yokohama

We were quite sluggish upon arriving at Haneda Airport at around six thirty in the morning. We were running on almost no sleep, after suffering through two six hour flights, plus a seven hour layover at Singapore Airport. That was before we even arrived in Japan.

Before leaving Australia, we researched the best way to get from Haneda Airport to our hotel in Yokohama. It ended up being super easy, and all we had to do was catch a bus to Yokohama City Air Terminal (also known as YCAT), then catch a train to Shin Yokohama Station. Click here for more information on getting from Haneda Airport to YCAT.

Finding our way from Yokohama City Air Terminal to our hotel was quite overwhelming. We arrived during the morning’s peak hour rush, so combine that was almost zero sleep and being thrown into a foreign country – it was pretty intense. In an exciting way, of course. We eventually managed to manoeuvre our way through the hundreds of business people, rushing in every direction through the station.

Where to stay in Yokohama

We stayed at the Shin Yokohama Kokusai Hotel for our first two nights in Japan. The hotel is fairly close to the Shin-Yokohama Station, however it took us a while to find our bearings when we first arrived, and definitely took a few wrong turns. Be sure to have an offline map with directions to your hotel, before arriving in Japan.

Note: Something that we didn’t realise before arriving in Japan, is their hotel check-in policy is quite strict. Check-in time starts at 3pm (in most hotels across Japan) and if you arrive early, you are not allowed to check in without paying to do so. We arrived at around 10am, but were so desperate for a shower and bed, we paid the extra fee to check in early. From memory, it costs about 1,000 yen per hour before check-in time.

Visit the Cup Noodle Museum

We decided to visit the Cup Noodle Museum on our first and only full day in Yokohama. If you’ve never heard of the Cup Noodle Museum before, it’s basically exactly what it sounds like. You can learn all about the history of cup noodles throughout the world, and even design your very own cup of noodles!

We’ve written an entire post about our experience at the Cup Noodle Museum. So go give that a read for a full recap of our noodle cup designing adventure.

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After designing your Cup of Noodles, the friendly staff member lets you capture each step of the process on camera!

Shopping in Yokohama

If shopping is something you’re keen to do while in Japan, Yokohama has quite a few shopping malls. Queen’s Square and Landmark Plaza are two of the more generic shopping centres that you’ll find. However, if you’re looking for a more unique shopping experience, visit World Porters. This mall attracts a younger crowd, so you’ll definitely find some bargains if you shop around.

Yokohama Ramen Museum

On our last night in Yokohama, we decided to set off on foot to the Yokohama Ramen Museum. We had read about this place during our Japan research, and it was added straight onto our bucket list. The Ramen Museum is an awesome, well, museum, filled with everything you didn’t think you needed to know about ramen.

To make the experience even better, you’ll find two floors downstairs that are designed to replicate streets and houses from an old town in Tokyo. These floors contain around a dozen different ramen restaurants. Choose your meal using the vending machine outside of each restaurant, and take a seat inside. You can also purchase mini ramen bowls, if you would prefer to sample more than just one.

Note: The bowls are huge. Even the mini bowls were just about all the food I could manage. Keep this in mind if you want to try as many ramen meals as you can.


The atmosphere and design of the Ramen Museum is definitely unique. Entry to the museum and access to the restaurants costs 310 yen per person, plus whatever you decide to spend on ramen. There is also a bar with super cheap alcohol. That had me sold, for sure!


Days 3 to 10 – Osaka

Day three on our one month Japan itinerary started with a Shinkansen Bullet Train ride from Yokohama to Osaka. The journey only took around three hours, and we even saw Mt Fuji on the way from the train! We’ve already published our Osaka Itinerary in a seperate post, simply because we had so much to talk about.

There is so much to see and do in Osaka, that we highly recommend staying in the city for at least a few days. We stayed in Osaka for seven days, and even that wasn’t enough time. That being said, we did manage to tick off quite a bit from our list.

Where to stay in Osaka

We stayed at the Hotel MyStays Sakaisuji-Honmachi during our time in Osaka. This was a great location, putting us super close to the main shopping and entertainment district of Osaka, Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street. We were also close to major train stations, tons of food options and plenty of things to see and do.

Note: Osaka is a great starting point to explore nearby cities and prefectures. As you can read about here, Japan’s train system is world class. It’s super quick and easy to travel to almost any city across Japan. We suggest making the time to visit Kyoto and Nara during your time in Osaka.

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit Nara, but we did take a couple of day trips to Kyoto and absolutely loved it. You can read all about Kyoto in our Osaka post as well.

Shopping in Osaka

There are plenty of places to shop in Osaka. The most popular shopping districts, Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street, were only a twenty minute walk from our hotel. You’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of chain stores, Japanese souvenir stores, boutiques, street food, restaurants and much more.

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The bright neon lights of Dotonbori in Osaka’s shopping district.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios was one of the main reasons we wanted to visit Osaka in the first place. We’re both huge Harry Potter fans. As soon as we realised there was a Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Osaka’s Universal Studios, we just had to go. If you love Harry and his friends as much as we do, definitely set aside a day to live it up at Hogwarts.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Osaka. I lived another dream of spending the day at Hogwarts. Japan, I love you.

Day trip to Kyoto

Kyoto is one of my favourite places in Japan. It’s such a beautiful way to get an insight into traditional Japan. With endless shrines, temples and beautiful places to sit and relax, you’ll fall in love with Kyoto just as much as we did. We spent one day exploring Arashiyama and another visitng the Fushimi Inari shrine.

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The beautiful Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto. A perfect day trip from Osaka!


Days 10 to 12 – Hiroshima

The first thing I’m going to say about Hiroshima, is that I wish we stayed longer. After spending such a long time amongst the crazy hustle, bustle and flashing neon lights of Osaka, Hiroshima was a very welcome change of pace. The people are incredibly kind and friendly, and there’s a beautiful peaceful vibe about the city.


It took roughly two hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Compared to the rest of our Bullet Train journeys, this one was fairly quick. When we arrived at Hiroshima Station, we then had to catch a tram to our hotel. The tram ride costs a flat rate of 160 yen for adults, which you drop into a clear container before departing the tram. Super easy!

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The Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum.

Where to stay in Hiroshima

We stayed at the Comfort Hotel in Downtown Hiroshima. This was the perfect location, as it was within walking distance to almost everything we wanted to see during our short time in Hiroshima. There was a train station nearby and the tram stop that we needed to get back to the airport was right outside our hotel.

Shopping in Hiroshima

Hondori Shopping Arcade is the main shopping mall in Hiroshima. It’s very similar to Osaka’s Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi Street, but a lot less busy. You’ll find tons of familiar chain stores, restaurants, pharmacies for some reason, boutiques and street food. We walked up and down this mall quite a lot, and found something new each time!

Don’t miss the Book Off store in Hiroshima. If you love finding classic gaming consoles, super cheap electronics, Japanese and English books for less than a cup of coffee and an endless amount of toys, Book Off is going to feel like heaven. It’s essentially a second hand store, but it’s the best second hand store you’ll ever visit. I promise.

Cheap food in Hiroshima

During our time in Hiroshima, we discovered a wonderful little Italian food chain called Saizeriya. Their menu is loaded with delicious, super cheap meals to suit almost anyone’s taste in food. Some of their menu items include foccaccia (100 yen), garlic bread (170 yen), soup (150 yen), various pasta and pizza (400 yen), chicken and steak meals (up to 900 yen) and desserts (400 yen or less).

Other than food, you can also get unlimited soft drinks, juice and iced teas from the drink bar for 190 yen. Water is free. And the best part of all, you can get half a bottle of wine for 200 yen. Yes, I had some with lunch. Yes, it’s cheap house wine but still, 200 yen? Can’t complain about that. It was drinkable, and that’s all that matters!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome

Our first and only full day in Hiroshima was spent at the Peace Memorial and A-Bomb Dome. It’s pretty difficult to explain the feeling you get when visiting this area of Hiroshima. The park is extremely clean, quiet and relaxing. I highly recommend paying the 200 yen entrance fee to visit the museum, even if you don’t know anything about the history of the Atomic Bomb devastation.

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We didn’t know a great deal about it, but it’s a surreal experience learning about the devastating events that happened. It will give you a new perspective about why the people of Japan are such friendly, accepting and wonderful people.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Hours + Pricing

Cost: 200 yen
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6pm
Closed: The main Museum building will be closed until July 2018.

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The Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.

Hiroshima isn’t a city with lots of tourist attractions or crazy things to see and do. But if you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful city to visit, to help break up the hustle and bustle of big city Japan, we definitely recommend adding Hiroshima to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful city with lovely people and an inspirational history.


Days 12 to 14 – Nagoya

If there’s one thing I regret from our trip to Japan, it’s cutting our time in Hiroshima short to visit Nagoya. Each to their own, but I wasn’t too fond of Nagoya. Although it’s Japan’s fourth most populated city, compared to Yokohama, Osaka and Hiroshima, it was pretty dirty and uninspiring. There isn’t a whole lot to see and do, besides the Nagoya City Science Museum and Planetarium and Toyota Museum which were both closed the day we visited.

Where to stay in Nagoya

We stayed at Hotel Trusty during our two days in Nagoya. This wasn’t a very good choice in regards to location, because we had to walk quite a decent distance to the main part of the city. It was also one of the dirtiest Japanese cities we had seen so far. Choosing a hotel that’s closer to the main attractions will make your experience a lot more convenient.

Learn from our mistakes

Be sure to check opening hours for main attractions before planning out your day. Two of the things we wanted to see during our time in Nagoya was the Planetarium and Toyota Museum. Both were closed on our only full day in the city. Don’t end up like us, bitter at Nagoya, wishing we were still in Hiroshima. Plan your visit better than we did!

Shopping in Nagoya

Oasis 21 is a modern shopping complex with a ton of cool shops and restaurants. Oh yeah,  it’s also conveniently a bus terminal! There is almost always some sort of event held underneath the epic glass roof filled with water. There are also a few larger shopping malls in the area, dozens of restaurants and in true Japanese fashion, an endless amount of convenience stores.


Days 14 to 17: Nagano

Nagano was on our itinerary for one main reason: snow! We spent quite a long time during the planning stage of our Japan trip, trying to find an easily accessible way of seeing snow. Eventually, we settled on Nagano.

We arrived in Nagano early afternoon on March 14th, via the Bullet Train from Nagoya. Nagano Station is fairly small – as is the city itself – so finding our hotel wasn’t difficult. It took around 20 minutes to walk from the station to our hotel (Hotel Kokusai 21).

Where to stay in Nagano

We stayed at Hotel Kokusai 21 during our time in Nagano. Our hotel was in a pretty good location, taking us roughly twenty minutes to walk to the station. There were a few convenience stores within walking distance, plus plenty of vending machines and even a Japanese style Denny’s restaurant. Our hotel was huge, definitely one of the biggest Japanese hotels we’d had so far.

Shopping and Dining in Nagano

We were pretty hungry the day we arrived in Nagano after not having enough time that morning to eat breakfast, before leaving Nagoya. So the fact that we spotted a Japanese style Denny’s a few minutes from our hotel was pretty exciting and super convenient.

Right next to Denny’s is a Family Mart convenience store. If you’re not familiar with Japanese convenience stores, they’re basically the best thing in the world. Selling everything from water and alcoholic beverages to quick snacks, toiletries and hot meals. I bought a bottle of wine, Russell bought a bottle of whisky and we also stocked up on snacks.

Day trip to Hakuba

Our first full day in Nagano was the day I finally ticked see snow off my bucket list. Excitement was bubbling over the edge, as I added layer after layer of warm clothing onto my body, and made sure my camera battery was fully charged. It was the moment I had been dreaming about for most of my life.

We took a bus from Nagano Station to Hakuba, and ended up in the beautiful snow village of Happo One. Something cool about Happo One, is the 1998 winter Olympics were hosted there! The Ski Jumping Stadium is still there, Olympic rings and all. For around 500 yen, you can take a ski lift to the very top, and be rewarded with the view in the photo below!

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A beautiful view of Hakuba in Nagano, Japan. Our first time seeing snow!

To read all about our day in Hakuba, click here. It was such an unbelievable experience. I’m so glad I can say that I saw snow for the very first time, in Japan.

Nagano is a great city whether you visit during the warmer or colder months. Similar to Hiroshima, it’s a nice place to rest and recharge, especially if you’re headed to another big city.

Or, like us, the mother of all big cities: Tokyo!


Days 17 to 29 – Tokyo

Ahh, Tokyo.
Japan’s capital and the world’s most populated city.

With a population of around 13 million people, 47 different prefectures and endless things to do, you’ll need an entire lifetime to explore the city. Once again, because I talk a lot, we have a seperate post all about our time in Tokyo. If you’re interested in reading about everything we did during our twelve days in Tokyo, click here for a full recap!

Where to stay in Tokyo

We spent twelve days in Shinjuku, which is one of Tokyo’s most popular cities. Shinjuku is in a great central location, and is the perfect base to explore Tokyo. We stayed at Shinjuku New City Hotel, which was only a 20 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, the biggest train station in Japan.

Shopping in Tokyo

The shopping in Tokyo is probably the best I have ever experienced. With a literally endless amount of shopping malls, outdoor shopping streets, boutiques, souvenir stores, department stores and more; there’s something for everyone.

I had a ball shopping on Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Shibuya is filled with familiar chain stores like Forever 21, H&M and Gap. Don’t miss Shibuya Crossing – the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world! Enjoy the view from Starbucks or one of the shopping buildings surrounding the crossing.

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The crazy, bustling Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan! The busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.

Dining in Tokyo

Whether you love sushi, fried meat on sticks, tasty desserts, noodles, pizza, pasta or almost anything else – Tokyo is a city filled with cuisine from across the globe. Restaurants in Tokyo have more Michelin Stars than Paris and New York combined. Regardless of your budget, you will have no problems finding something delicious to eat during your time in Tokyo.

Attractions in Tokyo

There are so many different things to do in Tokyo. From spending a couple of days at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, to enjoying a Robot Restaurant show in Shinjuku. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens, shrines and temples throughout Tokyo. Visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for an incredible FREE view of Tokyo!

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Head to Shinjuku to enjoy this incredible view for FREE at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building!


Tips for First Time Visitors to Japan

Now that you have some ideas for your own one month in Japan itinerary, here are some tips and tricks to help make your visit as smooth sailing as possible!

Purchase a pair of comfortable sneakers

One thing I noticed during our month in Japan, was that we walked a lot. My phone has an inbuilt pedometer (as do most smartphones these days) and there were multiple days where I walked over 20,000 steps.


If you enjoy exploring new places on foot like us, you’ll definitely need to invest in a good quality pair of sneakers or walking shoes. There are tons of different styles available for both men and women.

Invest in a good backpack

Japan is one of the best places in the world for day trips. You can explore so much more of the country, simply by taking the Shinkansen Bullet Train to smaller towns from major cities across Japan. If you’re keen on doing some day trips during your time in Japan, you’ll need a good quality backpack, or daypack, to keep all of your essentials.

Don’t forget your camera

Almost everywhere you travel to across Japan, is incredibly beautiful and worthy of the millions of photos you’re going to take. Before arriving in Japan, consider purchasing a good quality camera, if you don’t have one already.

I have the Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera, and I love it. It takes incredible photos and has a whole bunch of awesome features and settings that I’ve had lots of fun testing out.


If you would prefer to try your hand at a more in-depth camera, consider a DSLR like the beautiful Canon EOS.

Bring plenty of entertainment for the Bullet Train

If you plan to travel between cities and prefectures in Japan, you’ll probably be catching the Shinkansen Bullet Train quite a bit. Depending on the distance you travel, the journey could take more than two hours. Think of the Shinkansen as a much more comfortable plane.


I like to have plenty of options available when it comes to keeping myself amused. General things like a good book, my laptop to watch movies or get some writing done, or a Kindle filled with tons of classics to read.


So there you have it, our one month Japan itinerary. Just remember, there is a lot to see in Japan. One month is definitely not enough to see everything. But it’s still a good amount of time to tick lots of awesome places off your Japan bucket list. Use this guide as a starting point to plan an amazing and memorable visit to the incredible Japan.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

Have you been to Japan before? What was your favourite city? Tell me in the comments!

Did you like this post? Pin it or share it with your friends!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Post updated in January 2018. All prices and facts are correct at time of last post update. 

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

Using the Japan Rail Pass to Explore Japan on the Shinkansen

Using the Japan Rail Pass to Explore Japan on the Shinkansen

When we were planning our month long trip to Japan back in March 2017, working out the train and transport system was our first priority. Train travel is the most efficient way of getting around Japan, as there are hundreds of regular train and Subway lines. But if you want to travel between cities in Japan, you might need the Japan Rail Pass. This pass gets you on the super fast and exciting Shinkansen Bullet Train, and will take you from city to city in record time.

We used the Shinkansen Bullet Train five times, traveling between Yokohama, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nagano and Tokyo. This guide for the Japan Rail Pass is perfect for anyone who is unsure about whether they need the fastest, most convenient and cheapest way to travel from city to city within Japan.

Japan Rail Pass: Is it Right For You? | Rhiannon Travels

The most important piece of advice I can give to someone visiting Japan for the first time, is trying not to become overwhelmed by the amount of people. We arrived at Yokohama Station highly jet-lagged, having not slept for over 24 hours, and were thrown straight into the deep end. I remember it vividly: us standing to the side, watching hundreds of men and women in business suits rushing past us. I wish I had filmed this moment, but we were so exhausted, it was the last thing on my mind.


If only we knew at the time just how simple the Japanese train system actually is. It might look horribly intense and terrifying at first. But once you get the hang of things, and you’re not dragging heavy suitcases on over twenty hours of travel exhaustion – it is actually quite simple. So here is our guide on using the Japan Rail Pass, and other tips for train travel throughout Japan.

Using the Japan Rail Pass to Travel Around Japan

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

What is the Japan Rail Pass?

The Japan Rail Pass is made for visitors to Japan, who will be in the country for less than 90 days. If you are planning to travel to multiple cities across the country, the Japan Rail Pass is perfect for you. Instead of purchasing individual Shinkansen Bullet Train tickets (more on the Shinkansen later in this post), the Japan Rail Pass gets you onto as many Bullet Trains as you like.


Not only can you use the Japan Rail Pass to travel between cities on the Shinkansen, you can also use it for any JR train lines throughout the country. Simply look out for signs directing you to the JR trains in any of Japan’s train stations, show your JR pass at the window and you won’t have to pay any extra to board those trains.

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Tips and Information about the Japan Rail Pass

Purchase your Japan Rail Pass before arriving in Japan

The Japan Rail Pass is only available online, to non-Japanese visitors. That means, if you live in Japan or are staying in the country for longer than 90 days, you will not be able to purchase the pass.


The JR Pass isn’t available once you arrive in Japan, so be sure to plan ahead, purchase before you arrive and have it delivered to your home.

Choose a Japan Rail Pass to suit your length of stay

Choose the Japan Rail Pass that suits you, based on the length of time you’ll be staying in Japan. For example, Russell and I purchased a 21 day pass, which cost us 59,350 yen each (everyone in your group will need their own pass).


We stayed in Japan for an entire month, so this gave us plenty of time to activate the pass and get the most use of out it during the time we spent in Japan.

You can also purchase a seven day pass for 29,110 yen or a fourteen day pass for 46,390 yen.

The Japan Rail Pass isn’t for everyone

Before purchasing your Japan Rail Pass, you should first decide whether or not you actually need one. If you are spending your entire visit to Japan in Tokyo, you won’t need a JR Pass. You can simply use the regular train or Subway systems to get around Tokyo. The same applies for any other city in Japan.

However, if you are going to be visiting multiple cities, you will more than likely need a JR Pass. We spent time in six different cities across Japan: Yokohama, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Nagano and then Tokyo.


This meant we were able to travel from one side of the country to the other, and even ventured to Japan’s countryside to spend a couple of days in the snow.

Use JR train lines as often as you can

As I mentioned earlier, your Japan Rail Pass gets you on more than just the Shinkansen. There are JR train lines in most stations across Japan, so be sure to utilise these as often as possible. All you need to do is show your JR Pass at the window alongside the JR gates, and you’ll be let straight through without having to pay any extra.

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The Japan Rail Pass lets you travel across Japan at a super discounted rate

If we were to purchase individual Shinkansen tickets for each journey throughout our time in Japan, it would have cost far more than the price of our Japan Rail Pass. Not only this, but we also caught a lot of regular JR trains in each city that we visited, meaning we saved even more money. If the JR Pass works out to be cheaper for you, we highly recommend purchasing it.

The Shinkansen Bullet Train

If you decide to purchase the Japan Rail Pass, you’ll be able to travel around the country on the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train. The Shinkansen reaches speeds of up to 320 kilometres per hour, which will definitely get you to your destination in record time.


One of the most important things to note about Japan, is that everything is incredibly punctual. Meaning if your Shinkansen is leaving the station at 11:23am, be there and ready to go because it will not wait for you.

The Shinkansen travels between most major cities across Japan. The first one we rode was from Yokohama to Osaka; then from Osaka to Hiroshima; Hiroshima to Nagoya; Nagoya to Nagano and finally from Nagano to Tokyo.

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Tips and Information about the Shinkansen Bullet Train

You can reserve seats on any Shinkansen Bullet Train

You can reserve a seat on any Shinkansen Bullet Train throughout Japan. Simply head to the train station early enough before the time you wish to leave, and most of the time it’s easy enough to reserve a seat. That being said, if the reserved seats are in fact sold out, there are a couple of other options.


You can either reserve a seat for the next train, then hang around the station for an extra hour or so. Or you can choose a non-reserved seat. This just means you’ll be in a first come, first served situation. Head straight to the platform that your train will be leaving from, then either place your suitcase or a personal item on the line outside of each train car; or stand in line and wait.

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This will guarantee you board the train first, and will therefore find a seat quite easily, even without a reserved ticket.

Bullet Trains have luggage compartments 

This is something we weren’t sure about the first time we boarded a Shinkansen. Russell and I used the Bullet Train to travel between cities across Japan, so we had all of our luggage each time we did this. So we were hoping there would be plenty of room to store all of our luggage on the train, without having to keep it in front of our feet for the duration of our trip.

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When we boarded our first Shinkansen, we were surprised to see that there was ample space above our heads (similar to the overhead bins on a plane) for suitcases, handbags and backpacks. However, if your suitcase is too large to fit in the overhead storage, don’t worry. At the back of each car throughout the train, there is an extra area where you can store your suitcases, which is pretty handy for people like me who have a bad overpacking problem, and shop way too much.

They also have bathrooms and rubbish bins

Most Shinkansen Bullet Trains have bathrooms on board. They are located between most carriages, and are super modern, clean and easy to use. If you choose to buy some snacks before boarding the train, there are also bins located next to the bathrooms on most Bullet Trains. Use these to dispose of your rubbish before departing the train, just incase you don’t come across a bin right away (more on this soon).

Some Shinkansen Bullet Trains have a snack service, too

This isn’t available on every train, but some Bullet Trains have snack carts. Someone will walk up and down the aisles with food, which you can buy right then and there. Think Hogwarts Express style. You can pretend that you’re a wizard for the day.


From what I can remember, we only had this option on one of the trains we caught, though. If you are catching an early train or want some food to eat throughout the journey, purchase some snacks from one of the many vending machines or convenience stores located in the train station.

General tips for Transport and Navigation in Japan

Purchase a Suica or Pasmo Card

When you arrive in Japan, you will need to purchase a Suica or Pasmo card. The train system is the best way to get around Japan, and you will use these cards to do so. There’s a 500 yen deposit fee when purchasing the card, which you can get back if you return the card at the end of your stay in Japan.


To start using your Suica or Pasmo card, simply load any amount of money onto the card that you like. We started with loading 2,000 yen onto our Suica card, because we weren’t too sure how it worked or how expensive fares were. This lasted us a couple of days, until we had to reload again.

We used a Suica card for the duration of our trip, and didn’t have any issues. The Suica and Pasmo cards are essentially the same thing, they are just sold by different companies.


Note: We decided to keep our Suica card as a souvenir, so we didn’t get our 500 yen deposit back. If you do want the deposit returned, ask at one of the information windows in any train station at the end of your trip. That being said, unless you’re desperate for that 500 yen, I suggest keeping your Suica or Pasmo card as a little memento from your time in Japan!

Ask conductors at Train Stations for help

Most train conductors will be very helpful when it comes to directing you to the correct train or platform, regardless of the communication barrier. We relied heavily on Google Maps to direct us around Japan, which worked well most of the time.


But if you are unsure, simply find a conductor and point to the station or location in which you are heading, and they will do their best to give you directions.

Make sure to leave via the correct exit

As I mentioned earlier, Google Maps will be a lifesaver when it comes to train travel in Japan. The information is very helpful, and will give you step by step directions for getting from one destination to another. Another great thing about Google Maps, is it will also give you the exit that you need once getting off the train.


Be sure to pay attention to the yellow signs – see the photo below as an example – as they will tell you if you’re heading the right way or not. The signs are very clearly marked (with west exit, north exit etc) so it will be easy to find your way once you know the exit you need.

Japan Rail Pass: Is it Right For You? | Rhiannon Travels

Note: If you are arriving at one of Japan’s larger train stations such as Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station, leaving through the wrong exit could cause you a very frustrating detour (if you’re in a hurry). So when you are putting your destination into Google Maps, be specific. If you want to visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Govern Building for its incredible free view of Tokyo, don’t just type Shinjuku. Type in Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and you’ll get accurate directions.

Don’t be intimidated when traveling by trains

It will probably seem confusing and a bit scary when catching a train in Japan for the first time. Like I mentioned earlier, on our very first day in Japan, we had to catch a train to Yokohama Station. It was around seven o’clock in the morning, we were running on no sleep and were thrust into peak hour in the busiest city in the world.


At first, it was super intimidating. But one of the best things about Japan, is their extremely friendly and helpful locals. So if you are ever stuck, ask for help. Honestly though, you won’t need to worry too much. Every train in Japan has an English translation of all the information you need. Use Google Maps to navigate your way around each city, and simply head to the platform that Google Maps is telling you to!

You’ll catch on in no time – I promise.

There are vending machines everywhere

If you’ve been hanging out for a bottle of water, an icy cold soft drink or even a hot coffee, the Japan’s vending machines will be your best friend. They are literally everywhere, and especially in train stations. Whether you’re stepping off the train or heading out of the station, I guarantee you will come across at least five vending machines before you even leave the station.

Bins can be hard to come across

This was something that surprised us a little bit. Rubbish bins are rare all across Japan. You will maybe find them outside of the occasional vending machines, but other than that, you’ll need your hiking boots to track one down.


Depending on the train station, you might find one on the platform when boarding or leaving the train, but not all the time. So keep that in mind, and dispose of any rubbish you have when you do come across a bin.

Note: This is based on the fact that Australia has public rubbish bins everywhere. So the fact that bins are scarce, might not be such an odd thing about Japan, but it was definitely something that we had to get used to.

Take your time when catching trains

I mentioned this earlier, but everything in Japan runs precisely on time. Trains are no exception, and although they run on time, they also come very frequently. So don’t rush for your train. Always be sure you know which one you need, that you’re standing on the correct side of the platform and your train is heading in the right direction before boarding.


If you miss the train, don’t worry, there will be another one a few minutes later. The same applies with the Shinkansen Bullet Train. Even if you have a reserved seat, if you miss the Shinkansen, there will be one an hour or so later – so don’t stress!

Japan Rail Pass: Is it Right For You? | Rhiannon Travels

Purchasing a Japan Rail Pass to use the Shinkansen Bullet Train as well as regular trains, Subway and JR train lines, is the easiest way to navigate around Japan. We were surprised at just how easy the whole process was, from purchasing our JR Pass online before we arrived in Japan; to sitting down on our very first Shinkansen.


With the friendly and helpful Japanese locals ready to help out whenever you need it, there is absolutely no reason to stress.

Here is a brief recap of the important tips we have covered in this post:

  • Use Google Maps, and make sure you leave via the correct exit
  • The Japan Rail Pass can be used on regular trains throughout Japan, not only Shinkansen Bullet Trains. Keep an eye out for JR Lines in most of Japan’s train stations.
  • Take your time when catching trains, because they run very frequently
  • Japanese vending machines are perfect for snacks to eat on the Shinkansen, or while you’re waiting for the train
  • Purchase a Suica or Pasmo card to travel around Japan using the regular train lines

Have you visited Japan before, and did you purchase the Japan Rail Pass? If you think of any tips that I have missed, leave them in the comments below!

Related: Read our Japan Archives

Did you like this post? Pin it for later or share with friends!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

We are both huge theme park and Disney fans. Once we learned that there is a Disneyland Resort in Japan, we knew we absolutely had to go. Tokyo is home to Disneyland and the most unique Disney park in the world, DisneySea. DisneySea is incredible, and is a place that all Disney fans should visit. If you’re planning a visit to Japan, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea should definitely be on your list.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

Before visiting Japan, we had only visited California’s Disney Parks – Disneyland and California Adventure Park. Although we’ve both been to these parks multiple times, we hadn’t widened our Disney horizons beyond Anaheim. That’s why we decided to spend a day at each of Tokyo’s Disney parks. We chose to visit DisneySea first, then head back the following day for Disneyland!

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

How to get to Disney Resort

Japan’s train system is world class. Meaning you can travel between cities in Japan super quick and easily. Disneyland is no different.

JR train line to Maihama Station

If you’re traveling from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Shingawa, Yokohama or Akihabara, catch any of the JR train lines at one of the stations above, that is heading to Maihama Station.

Use Google Maps for directions from your hotel to the nearest major station. The Google Maps app will give you step by step directions, including the train(s) you need to catch and the best exits to leave via. It will also give you the direction and how far you’ll need to walk in between.

Pretty handy, huh?

Disney Resort Monorail from Maihama Station

Once you arrive at Maihama Station, you’ll then need to catch the Disney Resort Monorail. The monorail is decked out in Disney, and is super adorable. Even the windows are shaped as Mickey’s head. The monorail will take you directly to the entrances of both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, so just hop off at your desired park!

The monorail is super easy to find. Just follow the huge crowd of people dressed as Disney characters and you’ll be fine.


Tip: If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can actually use this to get to the Disney parks. Simply show your JR pass to an officer standing next to any JR entrance gate, and you’ll be let straight through – without having to pay any extra! For more information, here is a detailed explanation of the trains you can catch from the main stations around Tokyo.

Two Days at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea | Rhiannon Travels

The adorable Mickey shaped handles on the Disney Resort Monorail!

Ticket Prices & Where to Purchase Tickets

There are a few options when it comes to purchasing tickets to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The ticket you choose to buy depends on whether you want visit just one park or both.

1 day Passport

Adult – 7,400 yen per person
Ages 4 to 11 – 4.800 yen per person
Ages 12 to 17 – 6,400 yen per person

2 day Passport

Adult – 13,200 per person
Ages 4-11 – 8,600 yen per person
Ages 12-17 – 11,600 yen per person

3 day Magic Passport*

Adult – 17,800 yen per person
Ages 4-11 – 11,500 yen per person
Ages 12-17 – 15,500 yen per person

4 day Magic Passport*

Adult – 22,400 per person
Ages 4-11 – 14,400 yen per person
Ages 12-17 – 19,400 yen per person

*A Magic Passport gets you into both park on the 3rd or 4th consecutive day. This allows you to spend the morning at Disneyland, then end the day at DisneySea (or vice versa).

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

The best places to purchase tickets

I am about to give you the most important piece of advice I will share throughout this entire post.

Do NOT purchase Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea tickets at the gate.

You will absolutely regret it. The lines are excruciatingly long and you will end up spending a great deal of your time waiting in lines, before you even enter the park. Instead, there are a few ways to purchase tickets before arriving at Japan’s Disney Resort.

Selected Disney Stores around Tokyo

Some of the Disney Stores located throughout Tokyo actually sell Disneyland and DisneySea tickets. Tickets cost the same as everywhere else, and will save you a ton of time on the day. It also means you won’t struggle with an online purchase.

The following stores sell Disney Resort tickets:

  • Shibuya Koen Dori
  • Odaiba Aqua City
  • Ikebukuro Sunshine City Alpa
  • Hachioji Tokyu Square
  • Machida 109
  • Akishima Mori Town

Online

Tickets can be purchased online via the Tokyo Disneyland Resort website. If you’re staying at a hotel, the front desk will more than likely be happy to help you purchase your tickets and print your confirmation or e-ticket.

At selected convenience stores

Family Mart or Lawson convenience stores throughout Tokyo generally sell tickets to a lot of attractions, including Disneyland and DisneySea. If you’re unsure, walk in and ask! Japanese people are some of the friendliest I have ever met, and will almost always go out of their way to help in any way.


We purchased our 2-day passports from the Shibuya Disney Store a few days before our first day at Tokyo Disneyland. This turned out to be a great decision, as it meant we only had to wait in line for 10 minutes, instead of up to an hour. If you aren’t able to purchase tickets online, plan a day in Shibuya and do two things at once!

Disneyland and DisneySea: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve visited Anaheim Disneyland before, Tokyo Disneyland is very similar. It’s laid out pretty much the way way, and you can still walk through and admire Cinderella’s Castle. Mind you, the castle looks totally different! The characters are the same and you can still indulge in dozens of delicious churros.


However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, while still wanting to experience the magic of Disney, we recommend DisneySea.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Everything about Tokyo DisneySea is amazing. From the props and buildings, to the decorations, rides and attractions. Not to mention the huge river stretching across almost half of DisneySea, from Port Discovery to Mediterranean Harbour. The detail that’s been put into DisneySea is hard to describe, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself!


In my experience (having been to Anaheim’s Disneyland and California Adventure Park multiple times), DisneySea is completely different. The sheer size of everything around you, like the Journey to the Centre of the Earth volcano, is incredibly impressive and like nothing we have ever seen before.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Food: Quick Eats & Food Carts

Just like every other theme park in the world (Disney or otherwise), there are food carts absolutely everywhere, catering to almost all of your sweet and savoury food cravings. These are the general snacks you’ll find throughout Disneyland and DisneySea:

Churros – 310 yen
Fried dough pastry, aka the best theme park food on Earth

Popcorn – 310 for a regular box, 1,000 to 2,300 yen for a character souvenir bucket
Flavours: Cappuccino, caramel, milk chocolate, honey, soy sauce, butter and regular salted. The flavours will vary depending on which park you visit, and the land within that park.

Ice cream – 200 yen to 300 yen

Soft drink and water – 200 yen to 300 yen

There are a good range of Japanese and Western food options available at the snack carts throughout Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. Japanese snacks include: steamed buns filled with various meat, dessert steamed buns with strawberries, mochi dumplings filled with custard, and various fried delicacies.


We visited Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea at the end of our month long Japan trip, so we were running a bit low on money. This meant we couldn’t really experiment too much for the different varieties and snacks, and food wasn’t our main priority.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Food: Restaurants

The restaurants at both of Tokyo’s Disney parks are very similar to any other Disney park you would have been to. They’re all themed, based on which land they are in. Although most sell the same general food options, you might find a bit of variety if you shop around first.


We didn’t spend too much time exploring the restaurants, as we were on the hunt for cheap and quick food. But if you like pizza, french fries, sandwiches, bakery foods, rice, pasta, Japanese cuisine and a lot more, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

As far as theme park food prices go, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are very reasonably priced. You can get a huge cup of french fries for 500 yen, a decent sized slice of pizza for around 450 yen and from what I saw, the fancier meals were better than expected at less than 2,000 yen (they usually include a main meal, drink and a side of some sort).

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Time and money saving food tips

Bring your own snacks

Before arriving at Disneyland or DisneySea, stock up on snacks and drinks at one of Japan’s hundreds of convenience stores. You’re allowed to bring in your own food, so why not make the most of it?


This will not only save you money, but also tons of time throughout the day. The lines for most restaurants at both parks get super long, so bringing your own lunch and snacks will make your day a lot easier! Expect to wait at least half an hour for the most popular popcorn carts!

Bring a water bottle

There are heaps of water fountains located in both parks. Usually you’ll find at least one in each of the different lands, so there’s no shortage of cold water available for free. We were glad we decided to bring our own water bottles, as it saved so much time and money throughout the day!

Eat lunch earlier in the day

Waiting in long lines at a theme park is inevitable. But we were surprised at just how long the lines were at food carts and restaurants around the park. So we suggest eating lunch earlier as opposed to, well, lunch time!

The restaurants in particular remain fairly quiet up until around 11am, so head there earlier in the day to save some time. Every minute counts, especially if you’ve only got one day to explore the park.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Rides at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea

You’ve made it to the part of this post you’re actually here for: the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea rides!

It’s no secret that Disneyland in general is a very busy place. No matter which Disney park you visit or what time of the day, you’re gonna have to share the park with other people. I know, it sucks.

The minimum wait time for almost every ride was around 140 minutes. Even more so on the bigger, newer and most popular rides and attractions. Unless you get lucky and visit on a quiet day, this is the general wait time for most rides.


For example, when we visited Disneyland (on a Thursday in winter) we arrived at the park around fifteen minutes before it opened. We would have arrived earlier if it didn’t take an hour to get from our hotel to the park. It just didn’t seem worth getting up at 4am to be there by 6am with everyone else.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Remember earlier in the post, when we recommended that you don’t purchase your tickets at the gate?

Well, when we arrived at Disneyland, there was a line to even enter the line. The people who hadn’t already purchased their tickets (either online, from a convenience store or a Disney Store) would have been waiting in line for over an hour. That’s just to purchase the ticket.


Guests then need to line up to enter the actual park. Since we pre-purchased our tickets at Shibuya Disney Store, we were directed straight to the second line. This took around twenty minutes to get through. Once the clock struck eight o’clock, the gates opened and thousands of Disneyland guests ran to their favourite ride.

Our plan was to get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain. By the time we finally made it into the park, it was already 8:10am. The line to get a Fast Pass was crazy long, and the standby wait time for Space Mountain was well over 100 minutes.

Moral of this story? Purchase your ticket beforehand, and arrive as early as you can.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Space Mountain will always be worth the wait.

Tips for using Fast Passes

A Fast Pass is your best bet in getting on most (if not all) of the major rides and attractions. Insert your park ticket into a machine located outside of each ride that has a Fast Passes available. The machine will then print out a ticket with the name of the ride at the top, and an hour time bracket for you to come back later in the day. When you go back during your allotted time, you will be able to breeze past all of the people who have been standing in line for over an hour, and get on the ride in under 10 minutes! Well, most of the time. Sometimes you may have to wait a little longer than expected, but either way, it’s better than 140 minutes.


Note: You can only get one Fast Pass ticket at a time. For example, if you get a Fast Pass for Space Mountain as soon as the gates open, you’ll have to wait a couple of hours until you can get another Fast Pass (for a different ride or the same ride).

[bctt tweet=”Why are Fast Passes a must when visiting Tokyo’s Disneyland and DisneySea? Click to find out!” username=”rhiannontravels”]

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Fast Passes available at Tokyo Disneyland

These are the rides at Tokyo Disneyland that have Fast Passes available. There are only a small number of Fast Passes available for each ride, per day. So to make things easier for you, we’ve sorted the rides below into the different lands throughout Disneyland. You’re welcome.

Westernland

Big Thunder Mountain

Critter Country

Splash Mountain (semi water ride)

Fantasyland

Haunted Mansion
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt (Fast Passes run out fast)

Tomorrowland

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
Space Mountain (my all time favourite ride. Super fast paced roller coaster in almost complete darkness)
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Monster’s Inc. Ride & Go Seek (interactive ride for kids. Fast passes generally run out quick, so get in early to avoid missing out)

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Fast Passes available at Tokyo DisneySea

These are the rides at Tokyo DisneySea that have Fast Passes available. There are only a small number of Fast Passes available for each ride, per day. So to make things easier for you, we’ve sorted the rides below into the different lands throughout DisneySea. You’re welcome.

American Waterfront

Tower of Terror
Toy Story Mania (Fast Passes run out super quick. Get one early to avoid missing out. We missed out and didn’t get to go on this ride, unfortunately)

Lost River Delta

Indiana Jones (super fast roller coaster)
Raging Spirits

Arabian Coast

The Magic Lamp Theatre

Mermaid Lagoon

Mermaid Lagoon Theatre

Mysterious Island

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Age & Height Limits

As you might expect for a theme park, all of the attractions at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea require riders to be of a certain height and sometimes a certain age. To make things easier for you, I’ve included links to both the Disneyland and DisneySea website pages, which list each ride individually, as well as the age and height restrictions for that particular ride.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Parades

I can’t really give any advice or suggestions in regards to the Disneyland or DisneySea parades and shows, as we prioritised rides over parades. But from what we could tell by queues, the “Big Band Beat” show at DisneySea and the “Happiness is Here” daytime parade at Disneyland are unmissable!

Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea Helpful Tips

Buy food before lining up for a ride

This is a great way to save time while waiting in long lines. We saw people snacking and even eating their lunch while waiting in lines for rides! It’s a pretty convenient way to kill some time, and eat some delicious food.

Get to the park early

If you only have one day at each park, we definitely recommend arriving earlier than 8am (when the park opens). The earlier the better to be honest. You’ll be able to fit more into your day, and won’t risk missing out on Fast Pass tickets.

Plan your day around Fast Passes

Before you arrive at Disneyland or DisneySea, write a list of your must see rides and attractions. Next, write down whether that particular ride is a Fast Pass attraction. When you arrive at the park, head for the ride at the top of your list and grab a Fast Pass. Then, head to number two on your list and wait in the standby line.

By the time you’ve been on that ride, eaten some food and had a look around, it will be time for you to grab your second Fast Pass ticket! Planning your day around Fast Passes is the best way to ensure you experience most (if not all) of the rides and attractions on your list!

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: What To Expect + Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

In Conclusion

I hope I’ve given you plenty of tips, to help you make the most of your day at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. The service from every single staff member at Disneyland and DisneySea is absolutely amazing. So if I have left something out, I’m sure any of the friendly Disneyland peeps will be happy to help you out!

The four most important things you need to remember before your visit to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are: get to the park early, plan your day around Fast Pass tickets, bring your own snacks and water bottle, and don’t buy your tickets at the gate. Purchase Disneyland and DisneySea tickets from a Disney Store or convenience store a couple of days before you visit.

If you have any other questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to ask them down below! I’m more than happy to help out! Have you been to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea? What did you think? I’d love to know!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to follow along with our travels. You can also find us on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram!

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Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: Tips to Help You Plan Your Day! Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea: Tips to Help You Plan Your Day!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Post originally published in March 2017. Updated in January 2018.

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

A 12 Day Tokyo Itinerary: Things to See and Do

A 12 Day Tokyo Itinerary: Things to See and Do

We spent twelve days exploring Tokyo during our month long trip to Japan, back in March 2017. Since there are so many things to do and see in Japan’s capital, I’ve decided to put together this Tokyo itinerary, to help you plan your trip. Tokyo is as bright, bustling, beautiful and exciting as you have imagined, and it definitely cannot be explored in just twelve days.

You can, however, see a lot of what the city has to offer, and I have listed some of my favourite things to see and do in this Tokyo itinerary.

Not only is Tokyo the biggest city in Japan, it’s also the most populated metropolitan city in the world. If you only have a few days to explore Tokyo, it will more than likely seem quite overwhelming. Don’t let the sheer size and amazement of Tokyo scare you away.

There are thousands of things to see, do and love about Tokyo, so get comfortable. I’m about to share our own Tokyo itinerary, to both inspire and help you plan your own visit.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital City

Russell and I had a long list of things we wanted to see and do. We knew that although we had twelve days to explore the city, we wouldn’t see it all. That’s alright though, because it gives us an excuse to go back and see the things we missed! Here is our twelve day Tokyo itinerary.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

Tokyo Itinerary: Day One

Arriving in Tokyo

Just like our previous commutes between cities across Japan, we arrived in Tokyo on the Shinkansen Bullet Train. It took roughly two and a half hours to travel from Nagano to Shinjuku New City Hotel, which would be our home for the next twelve days. If you’re unfamiliar with the Shinkansen, it’s a super high speed train, that travels between most major cities across Japan.

Travel times vary depending on the distance between cities, so be sure to bring some entertainment for the journey. If you enjoy reading, consider purchasing a Kindle. These are perfect for extended travel times, and will keep you busy for the duration of your Bullet Train ride!

Shinjuku New City Hotel - Tokyo Accomodation Review

Japan’s hotel policies are quite strict, and if you arrive before 3pm, you’ll more than likely not be able to check-in to your room. That being said, one of the best things about Japan’s hotels is they will hold your luggage for free while you wait. We arrived at around 2pm, so we dropped off our suitcases and headed down the street for some lunch.

Relaxing Afternoon in Shinjuku

We stayed at Shinjuku New City Hotel, which is a 10 minute walk to Shinjuku Station – the largest train station in Japan. Tokyo was the last stop on our month long Japan adventure, so we decided to spend our first afternoon in Tokyo taking it easy. It had been over a week since we were last able to do some washing, so that was priority for the afternoon. We loaded up a machine, then walked to the Family Mart convenience store down the road, to stock up on snacks and alcohol.

Related: Our Stay at Tokyo’s Shinjuku New City Hotel

Tokyo Itinerary: Day Two

Harajuku

Harajuku is one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s also the hub for teenage fashion and culture, with the main attraction being Takeshita Street. If you have visited Osaka before, or have read my Osaka itinerary, Takeshita Street is very similar to Osaka’s Dotonbori. There are dozens of cute clothing shops, souvenir stores and fast food options to keep you happily strolling through Harajuku for hours.

A 12 Day Tokyo Itinerary: Things to See and Do | Rhiannon Travels

Related: A Suggested Osaka Itinerary

One thing to remember about Japan, is that most major cities are going to be busy almost every day. If you want to try and avoid the crowds as best as possible, I suggest visiting Harajuku during the week. Weekends are painfully busy, and you’ll be bumping shoulders with people all day long. We spent a Sunday dodging selfie sticks and winding our way through Harajuku’s busy weekend crowds. It was still an awesome experience, but learn from our mistakes and visit during the week.

A 12 Day Tokyo Itinerary: Things to See and Do | Rhiannon Travels


Takeshita Street has a ton of fun second-hand clothing stores, and both Russell and I scored some awesome bargains. Take the time to browse each store, even if you don’t think you’ll find anything. Tokyo is a very unique city, and there are hidden gems behind every corner.

A 12 Day Tokyo Itinerary: Things to See and Do | Rhiannon Travels

Harajuku Quick Facts

Address: 1-chome Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: Take the JR Tamanote Line and get off at JR Harajuku Station. Take the Takeshita Exit into Harajuku
Best Time to Visit: During the week, avoid weekends and public holidays

A 12 Day Tokyo Itinerary: Things to See and Do | Rhiannon Travels

Shibuya & Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, with thousands of people crossing to the other side of the road every 2 minutes. For one of the best views of Shibuya Crossing, head up to the Starbucks – you can’t miss it! You will more than likely have to push your way through for a good spot, but if you’re patient, you’ll get great photos and footage of the Shibuya Crossing scramble.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital City

Shibuya Quick Facts

Access: Get off at Shibuya Station, leave via the Hachiko exit and you’ll be right amongst the action!
Best time to visit: It’s been said that Shibuya Crossing is best between 7pm and 8pm each night. This must be because there are far more people using the crossing, and therefore a much more amazing sight. We visited during the afternoon, but it was still impressive to watch.


Another cool place to visit while you’re in the Harajuku area, is the Meiji Shrine. It was under construction the day we visited, so we didn’t get a great sighting of it. But the scenic walk up to the shrine itself is well worth it.

Tokyo Itinerary: Day Three

Akihabara

Akihabara is the anime, video game and electronics hub of Tokyo. If you’re a fan of old school video game consoles, or the endless amount of anime that Japan is known for, you’ll have a blast exploring Akihabara. Even if video games and anime aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to see in the bright and colourful district. There are also a ton of food options, so you won’t be limited for choice.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital City

Shinjuku Batting Centre

After exploring Akihabara, we headed back towards our hotel in Shinjuku. The night before, we made a list of things we wanted to see and do in Tokyo for the rest of our stay. While researching, we came across the Shinjuku Batting Centre. I have absolutely no coordination when it comes to sport, so we decided to swing by (see what I did there?) the batting centre on our way back from Akihabara.

Shinjuku Batting Centre Quick Facts

Address2-21-13 KabukichoShinjuku 160-0021
Access: Take the east exit at Shinjuku Station
Cost: 300 yen (28 balls)

As long as you keep paying the 300 yen (there will be a machine inside the batting cage), you can stay for as long as you like. Just make sure to rotate turns, so the people waiting behind you don’t miss out.

Tokyo Itinerary: Day Four

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Russell and I stayed in Shinjuku for entire 12 day duration of our stay in Tokyo, which put us centrally located to a lot of the best things to do in the city. Directly across the road from our hotel, on the other side of Shinjuku Chuo Park, is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.

There are two towers (Northern and Southern), and both have FREE observatories at the 202 metre mark. Each tower reaches a total height of 243 metres, so you’re extremely close to the top.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

If you visit on a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of famous Tokyo attractions like Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Skytree. Each observatory has a cafe and souvenir shop, plus restrooms and seats if the amazing panoramic views are tiring you out. Did you sense my sarcasm there?


If you choose to head up to the observation decks of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for sunset, be prepared to queue for quite a while. The lines can get extremely long, which isn’t surprising since you’re getting an incredible free view of the busiest city in the world! We went up twice – once during the day and again once it had become dark on our last night in Japan.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Quick Facts

Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-8001
Access: Take the east exit out of Shinjuku Station. OR the Tocho-mae Station on the Oedo Subway Line is located in the basement of the building! How convenient.
Cost: 100% free! (unless of course you decide to buy some snacks or souvenirs once you’re at the top. Just a heads up, it’s super overpriced)

Note: Before entering the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, you’ll be required to have a bag check. As long as you’re not taking anything dodgy up to the top, you’ll breeze through.

The rest of our 4th day in Tokyo was pretty relaxing. We wandered around the area near our hotel, had some lunch, restocked our snacks and alcohol supply and headed back to the hotel. Remember, it’s a good idea to have some ‘rest days’ while traveling. Especially if you’ve crammed in a lot into a short amount of time.

Day 5: Tokyo Mega Pokemon Centre & Shopping

Like most of the world, I hopped on the Pokemon Go bandwagon when it was a huge craze. Also like most of the world, I stopped playing after a month or so. Russell has been a lifelong Pokemon fan, so obviously the biggest Pokemon Centre in Japan had to be on our itinerary.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

The Mega Pokemon Centre is located in Sunshine City shopping mall, where you’ll find a ton of cool things to do even if you’re not a Pokemon fan. No matter which Pokemon is your favourite, or what type of souvenir you hope to return home with, you won’t be disappointed. I’ll be honest – I don’t know much about the Pokemon world. All I do know is that Squirtle is my favourite, and Pikachu is yellow. But even I was impressed by the sheer size and awesomeness of the place.

You’ll find an endless amount of cool stuff to buy: badges, Pokemon cards, backpacks, notebooks, stationery, clothes, socks, books, plastic and cuddly Pokeballs, stuffed Pokemon toys, food and much more. I recommend setting aside at least a couple of hours to explore the Mega Pokemon Centre, especially if you’re a die hard fan. You’ll need as much time (and money) as possible.

Mega Pokemon Centre Quick Facts

Address: 3-1-2 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 170-6002 (Sunshine City shopping mall)
Access: Take the east exit out of Ikebukuro Station. From there, it’s roughly a 10 minute walk.
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm
More Information: Mega Pokemon Centre website

After spending a decent amount of time doing laps around the Mega Pokemon Centre, we explored the rest of Sunshine City shopping mall. Sadly, we were running fairly low on money, so we weren’t able to shop up a storm. But it was still fun walking around and seeing some familiar and not so familiar stores.

Day 6 and 7: Tokyo DisneySea & Tokyo Disneyland

Disneyland and DisneySea are two attractions that just have to be on your Tokyo itinerary. While in Shibuya, Russell and I bought our two day Tokyo Disney Park tickets at the Disney Store. I’ve published an entire post about both of the Disney parks in Tokyo, because I had far too much to say!

Click here to read all about our amazing experience at Tokyo’s Disneyland and DisneySea. I’ve included a ton of super helpful tips on everything from food, ticket prices, fast passes, wait times and much more.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

Day 8: Odaiba

Odaiba is a popular entertainment and shopping district in Tokyo. It’s located on the man made island in Tokyo Bay, which is pretty cool if you ask me. There’s a surprising amount of stuff to see and do in Odaiba, it just depends on what you’re interested in.

We originally planned our Odaiba visit to see the giant Gundam robot outside of the DiverPlaza Tokyo Plaza shopping mall. But because we have such wonderful luck, it was taken down just before we arrived in Tokyo, to be replaced later in 2017. This was truly devastating, because I was excited to take a selfie with the giant robot I didn’t know anything about. Oh well. Next time!


There’s also a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty, plus a ton of shopping malls with various stores and restaurants. Not to mention the 5th floor of the AquaCity mall, has a ramen food court. Yeah, that’s a thing. Our broke asses couldn’t afford to eat there. But still, that’s pretty darn cool.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan's Capital City

Tip: Track down the Italian chain restaurant, Saizeriya for a quick bite to eat. There is a huge variety of super, duper cheap food, and 200 yen glasses of wine (which I took full advantage of). Unlimited drink refills and a double mozzarella pizza for under 5 bucks is also another reason to eat at Saizeriya. We ended up eating at various Saizeriya locations all over Japan, once we discovered how delicious and cheap it was!

Day 9: Tokyo Giants Baseball Game, Golden Gai & Kabuchiko

As soon as we discovered there was a Tokyo Giants home game scheduled during our stay in Tokyo, getting tickets became a priority. You can purchase tickets to sporting games online or at some convenience stores, but we decided to take the train to Tokyo Dome itself!

Right next to Tokyo Dome is Tokyo Dome City, which is an awesome theme park in the heart of Tokyo. So if you’re keen to hit up a baseball game while in Tokyo, I recommend buying your tickets from Tokyo Dome a few days beforehand.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

In true Rhiannon fashion, I decided I wanted to get drunk before heading to the game. So after I finished off half a bottle of wine and Russell had a glass of Whisky, we headed to the train station. Let me just tell you: drunkenly catching a train in the busiest city in Japan is quite an experience. Not that I encourage excessive consumption of alcohol, but it did make the experience a whole lot more fun.


The Tokyo Giants baseball game was a lot of fun. The atmosphere at a Japanese baseball game is something I’ve never experienced before. The fans of the away team get extremely into it, and almost every single one of them stand up and sing, dance and even jump up and down in support of their team. It’s very cool to watch.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital CityA Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

If you decide not to eat beforehand, you may be a bit disappointed in the selection of food. You can, however, purchase a Bento box to enjoy while you watch the game. Prices aren’t great, but that’s to be expected. I suggest bringing your own snacks and bottle of water. We didn’t think to do this, and ended up spending 400 yen EACH on two airplane sized bottles of water.

Tokyo Dome Quick Facts

Address: 1 Chome-3-61 Koraku, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-0004
Access: Suidobashi Station on the JR Chuo Line (use your Japan Rail Pass if you have one!)
Japan’s baseball season: March to October

After the baseball we headed back to the hotel, drank some more alcohol and ate some food. Then we headed out to experience Shinjuku’s night life!

The Robot Restaurant in Kabuchiko was on our list of things to do. However due to the flashing, colourful, robot experience costing a devastating $80, we settled for a photo of the sign outside instead. But if you aren’t broke and want to be part of something that will literally blow your mind, definitely budget better than us, and experience the Robot Restaurant.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

Golden Gai is Shinjuku’s well known street of super tiny bars. To be honest though, they look more like household kitchens. Most of the bars cost 1,000 yen to even walk through the door, not to mention the 500 yen or higher drink prices. So naturally, we didn’t actually go into any of the bars.

The street itself was fairly disappointing, especially after all the rave reviews we read. But I guess if you have some money to blow, the experience itself would be pretty cool. Instead, we bought cheap booze from convenience stores and wandered the streets of Shinjuku’s Red Light District.

A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

Days 10 & 11: Explore Shinjuku

After 10 days of almost perfect Tokyo weather, our last few days in Japan was spent with almost 48 hours of non-stop rain. Of course this was very disappointing and rather inconvenient, but we tried to not let the weather ruin our last couple of days in Japan. So, despite constant rain, we headed out to explore more of Shinjuku.

12 Day Guide to Exploring Tokyo: A Tokyo Itinerary For a Memorable Experience

If you’re at the end of your time in Tokyo, I suggest simply exploring. Whether that’s shopping, wandering the streets or visiting a few shrines and temples, take a day to relax and appreciate the wonder that Tokyo has to offer. Even after spending one hour in Tokyo, it’s easy to see that it’s the busiest city in the world, but it doesn’t have to feel like bedlam the entire time.

Day 12: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden & Packing

12 Day Guide to Exploring Tokyo: A Tokyo Itinerary For a Memorable Experience

This was our last day in Japan. It was a nice sunny day, so we took advantage of that and walked to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. For 200 yen, you get entry and access to the beautiful and relaxing park. There are a ton of places to have a picnic with family, or simply walk the paths and enjoy the serenity.


We visited at the beginning of spring, so Cherry Blossoms were blooming and petals were starting to fall. Every man and his dog was snapping away on their cameras. It’s a cool sight, seeing large groups of people standing right next to a single blossom petal, taking photos from dozens of different angles. But a couple of photos while walking through the crowd was good enough for me. I did take the opportunity for a close up when I came across an unpopular blossom tree, though.

12 Day Guide to Exploring Tokyo: A Tokyo Itinerary For a Memorable Experience 12 Day Guide to Exploring Tokyo: A Tokyo Itinerary For a Memorable Experience 12 Day Guide to Exploring Tokyo: A Tokyo Itinerary For a Memorable Experience


I hope you’ve found this Tokyo itinerary helpful. Like I said, you’ll need a lot more than 12 days to explore Tokyo. There is so much to see and do, this Tokyo itinerary is purely just the start of your massive Japan adventure! Whatever you do, definitely make sure to visit the Disney Parks!

Have you been to Tokyo before? What was your favourite part? Tell me in the comments below!
I’m also happy to answer as many questions that you have, so if I’ve missed anything in this Tokyo Itinerary, ask me below!

Did you like this post? Pin it for later, or share with your friends!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

If you’re looking for the perfect Tokyo accomodation, consider booking your stay with Shinjuku New City Hotel. Visiting Japan for the first time can be overwhelming. There’s so much to see and do, millions of people, and a lot of bright lights in Japan’s bustling cities. Tokyo is like nothing we have ever experienced before.


Before booking our trip to Japan, Russell and I did a lot of research, writing down everything we wanted to see and do. When it came time to book our accomodation in Tokyo, we looked back on this list and realised that the best area to stay was Shinjuku.

We started looking into hotels, finding the ones that were conveniently located, and eventually came across Shinjuku New City Hotel. It was the perfect choice for us. We could walk to Shinjuku Train Station (the biggest train station in Japan), there were plenty of food options nearby, convenience stores on every corner, and one of the most exciting districts in Tokyo was less than 20 minutes away.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review | Rhiannon Travels

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!

The Room: Semi Double, Non Smoking

Something you should keep in mind when booking accomodation in Japan, is that most rooms are going to be much smaller than western countries. Given the sheer amount of people who live in Japan, everything needs to be smaller. With more people, means less space available for accomodation. So if you’re expecting to have a large and luxurious room during your stay in Japan, think again.

Our room at Shinjuku New City Hotel was perfect for us. We chose the Semi-Double, non smoking room. Although it was small, we were still able to live comfortably for our twelve night stay. Our double bed was positioned against the wall, which meant Russell had to climb over me each time he wanted to get out of bed. So keep that in mind if you’re traveling with your partner.


There was plenty of space for two suitcases plus any carry on luggage that you may have. We had both of our suitcases open on the floor, and there was still space to walk around the room without bumping into anything. We had a huge desk along one side of the room, with a flatscreen TV and cosmetic light.

To make life even more convenient for guests, there were three power pints on the headboard. This feature, combined with the light switch and heater function, made for a very lazy and super convenient sleeping situation. Shinjuku New City Hotel is designed with business people in mind. Which explains the ultimate convenience and plenty of power points.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

Our room also had a mini fridge and freezer, kettle, mugs, clothing cleaning products and a few other items which were more for business men and women to keep their clothes clean and wrinkle free.

The Bathroom

Just like the hotel rooms themselves, Japanese hotel bathrooms are quite small. They have everything you could possibly need, it’s the size of the bathroom itself that you’ll have to get used to.


Our bathroom at Shinjuku New City Hotel was a very decent size, compared to the previous hotels we stayed at in Japan. There is plenty of room to have a shower or bath (Japan’s hotel rooms have a shower over bath – like what you’ll find in the United States).

Along with the decent sized bathroom itself, we were also lucky enough to have three large bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body soap. Hotel bathrooms that come with shampoo and conditioner are my favourite kind, because it means I don’t have to lug around extra weight in my suitcase! The bathroom also had a razor, two toothbrushes and toothpaste, two glasses and two hair brushes.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

The Lobby & Facilities

The lobby area in Shinjuku New City Hotel is pretty cool. There are a ton of helpful amenities and facilities to make your stay more comfortable and home like, compared to other hotels we stayed at during our Japan trip.

Upon entering the lobby, to the left is a laundry, smoking room, microwave, and computers with internet and printing access. There are also seven vending machines – four beverage (Coke range and various other soft drinks, hot/cold coffee and milk), one cigarette vending machine, a snack and cup noodle machine and even an ice cream vending machine! You’ll never go hungry or thirsty if you stay at Shinjuku New City Hotel.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

The laundry has six washing machines, two of which are combined washing and drying. There is a coin machine with detergent available for 100 yen. The regular washing machines cost 300 yen each load, and the washing/drying machines can cost up to 600 yen depending on the size of the load and the cycle you are using.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation ReviewShinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation ReviewShinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

The printing and computer area is a great idea, and can come in handy if guests need to print tickets for an attraction, such as Disneyland and DisneySea. The internet and printers require a small cost to use, but it’s cheap if you only intend on using them for a few minutes.

The ice machine came in handy quite often, too. We took up a few plastic cups full of ice each time we arrived back at the hotel, and kept them in our mini freezer. Perfect for our one (or three) alcoholic beverages each night.

Related: Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea: Tips to Help you Plan Your Day

The Area & Distance to Popular Attractions

Shinjuku New City Hotel is in a super convenient area. It’s centrally located to a lot of the major attractions and things to do in Tokyo. The hotel is a short 15 minute walk to Shinjuku Station, where almost all of the main train lines depart and arrive. It’s the biggest train station in Japan, though. So keep that in mind if you’re new to the city, and haven’t had a chance to accustom yourself to the overwhelming amount of people.


There are plenty of nearby convenient food options as well, both Japanese and Western options. If you’re travelling with kids (or picky eaters like myself), head out of the hotel and turn left, a short walk down the hill will bring you to McDonalds. There are a few convenience stores within walking distance, also. You’ll find a Family Mart, 7/11 and also a pharmacy nearby.

Related: Shopping & Food in Japan

There was a Dominos Pizza menu sitting on the desk in our room, which we totally forgot about. One of the first few nights we stayed at Shinjuku New City Hotel, we decided to head out and grab some dinner. At first, because we were tired and didn’t feel like walking too far, we headed towards McDonalds. But then, we remembered Dominos.

Since we were already out, I did a quick Google Maps search and discovered there was a Dominos one street over from the hotel. We ended up buying two giant (and I mean giant, like could-have-just-ordered-one type of giant) pizzas for around $30. So if you’re craving pizza, don’t pay for delivery. After leaving the hotel, turn left and head down the first street. Once you get to the intersection, turn right and a short walk down the hill will bring you to Dominos! You’re welcome.


If you’re looking to enjoy some nightlife, Kabukicho is the Entertainment district of Tokyo. There’s so much to see, including the Robot Restaurant, which we unfortunately didn’t get a chance to do. Kabukicho is around a 20 minute walk away from Shinjuku New City Hotel.

Also, for an epic free view of Tokyo, head across the road from Shinjuku New City Hotel and you’ll find the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. It’s completely free to go up one of the two building towers, and enjoy a breathtaking view of Tokyo. On a clear day you can even see Mt Fuji! Try to spot Tokyo’s major attractions, like Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Skytree and more.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

Related: A Tokyo Itinerary: 12 Day Guide to Exploring Japan’s Capital City

Free Shinjuku Station Shuttle Bus

Shinjuku New City Hotel has a very convenient free shuttle bus to and from Shinjuku Station. We didn’t use this, since the station itself is within walking distance. But if you have a lot of luggage or don’t feel like walking to the station, the free shuttle bus is a great way of getting back and forth.

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

Simply ask at the reception desk when you arrive at your hotel, how it works and how often it leaves. There’s also a schedule on the wall near the entrance of the hotel, if there aren’t any staff available.

More information about Shinjuku New City Hotel

Strict check-in time of 3pm

If you arrive earlier than 3pm, you won’t be able to check in. But the best thing about Japan’s hotels is you can leave your luggage in the lobby free of charge. We arrived at around 2pm, dropped off our suitcases and went to McDonalds for some lunch. We came back at around 2:45pm and didn’t have to wait long before we were able to check in.

Room cleaning is compulsory on the fourth consecutive day

If you are staying at Shinjuku New City Hotel for more than three days, regardless of whether you hang the ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door, you’ll return to a clean room. I’m not sure why this is, but if there is a reason why you do not wish for your room to be cleaned on the fourth day, speak to someone at reception and ask if they will make an exception.

There are smoking and non smoking rooms available

If you are a smoker and would prefer a smoking room, you can choose this when you book your stay. If you’re staying in a room with other members of your family who do not smoke, there’s a smoking room in the lobby.

The hotel and every room has free wifi

Internet access in each room is very easy to set up and use. The connection and speed is great, too. We had no issues throughout our whole 12 day stay at Shinjuku New City Hotel.


So if you’re looking for a place to stay in Tokyo that is close to all of the main attractions, stations and necessities, I definitely recommend Shinjuku New City Hotel. You’ll get a super comfortable, convenient and affordable (just over $100 a night) hotel, with tons of cool included amenities. Check out Shinjuku New City Hotel’s website here, to book your own stay in the heart of Tokyo!

Have you stayed in Shinjuku New City Hotel before? What did you think? Tell me below!

Did you like this post? Pin it for later or share with friends!

Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review Shinjuku New City Hotel: Tokyo Accomodation Review

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!


rhiannontravels

Rhiannon is a travel blogger from Adelaide, Australia. Together with her partner, they have been traveling the world for around two years, and hope to not only visit every country in the world one day, but also live in Japan. Rhiannon started this blog back in September 2016, and has been helping people just like you, travel the world with ease!