Tokyo Time Warp Adventure

Erik Palm

Journalist, Culture junkie. Foodie.

皇居 - Imperial Palace

Start the day by going to the mighty Imperial Palace near Tokyo station, for a stroll in its Eastern gardens (the inner gardens are only open to the public twice a year, the Emperor's birthday on Nov. 23 and Jan. 2).

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Then continue to Momat (The National Museum of Modern Art), which is located nearby. It celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and is Japan's best museum of its kind, as well as home of the National Film Center - the country's largest museum for cinematography.

浅草駅 (Asakusa Sta.)

After that, take the Ginza Line to Asakusa, to be mesmerized by Tokyo's largest Buddhist temple Sensō-ji, which is located next to the train station. First, go through the gate Kaminarimon, adorned by a giant lantern, whereupon you'll see an old fashioned street with small shops, leading up to Sensō-ji. If you see one temple during your stay, this is the right choice.

Asakusa Kannon Onsen

In this atmosphere, it is fitting with some meditative recreation in a traditional sento or onsen bath house (heated water, or water from hot spring), such as Asakusa Kannon Onsen, near the Sensō-ji-temple.


Then switch the vibe completely by an excursion to Akihabara Electric Town, the nerd's paradise and Tokyo's largest hub for tech gadgets, manga, anime, luxurious plastic toys - and sex products. Here geeks (otakus) of all ages can unleash their obsessions.

@ Home Cafe

A must is to have dinner at a "maid cafe" where Japanese girls in cute fairy tale dresses serve you. If you dare, a visit to the seven-storey store Pop Life, is also recommended. It's an exposé of Japan's giant sex product industry. Nothing for the faint of heart though.

渋谷 (Shibuya)

Take then the Yamanote Line to Shibuya, Tokyo's hipster hub, full of fun shopping and cool nightlife. The giant crossing by the Hachiko exit was canonized by Scarlett Johansson in the movie Lost in Translation.


Perhaps the most famous meeting place in all of Tokyo is the dog statue with the same name as the exit. Sit down next to it for a while and watch a few hundred of the approximately one million people that each day passes here. Only New York can compete with the creativity and style variation of Shibuya fashionistas.

Shibuya Yokocho

After that, walk over to the super cozy alleyway Nonbei Yokocho, located along the Yamanote Line train tracks on the same side as Meiji Dori. There you can to dine in one of the mini restaurants, for example the lovely Osakedokoro Enoki. The place has no menu and only eight chairs. If you manage to get a seat, you should let the owner Doi - also called "mama" - surprise your taste buds. Then get a drink at one of the many bars on this "Drunkard’s Alley" as the street is called. Top it off with a lively visit to one of Shibuya's many karaoke places, like Big Echo or Shidax.

TRUMP ROOM (トランプルーム)

The evening's climax is reached at the spectacular mini-three-storey club Trump Room close by, with one of the coolest club clienteles and interior designs in Tokyo (crazy hipster kids among hundreds of gold mirrors and chandeliers). If it is open this evening, that is. Otherwise, go to the slightly less colorful and more polished club Le Baron de Paris, a few minutes from nearby fashion boulevard Omotesando.

I would stay at: PARK HYATT TOKYO 新宿パークタワー

Are you one of the many who plan on checking off scenes from Lost in Translation during your stay in Tokyo? Then you should stay a night - or more if you can afford it - at Park Hyatt Tokyo, where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson met in the hotel bar. Luxury is permeated in everything here. But its totally worth it.