On my way to Hawaii, I decided to take a long stopover in Tokyo and get an introduction to Japan, a country I have not yet visited. I only have just a little over 24-hours so I need to make the most of my visit and I do just that!
For this trip, I fly from Singapore to Haneda airport. This airport is much closer to the city center but can be more expensive to fly to than Narita. The airport is easy to navigate and clearing customs here is hassle free.
I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in the Roppongi district. The hotel lobby, piano bar and restaurants are located on 45th floor and the views are outstanding. It probably does not hurt that this happens to be the tallest building in Tokyo! I am very happy with this choice and the view from my room is also outstanding where I can see Tokyo Tower and have a gorgeous view of the city. The next morning, I visit Hinokizaka, a sushi restaurant at the Ritz Carlton that has floor to ceiling windows. On this clear sunny day, I can see Mt. Fuji! Outstanding!!
That night I walk towards Tokyo Tower where I attempted to have dinner at Shiba Tofuya Ukai. This restaurant has a beautiful Garden and a gorgeous view of Tokyo Tower but you need to book it well in advance as the restaurant is very popular and I could see why. I was hoping for a cancellation but there were none so I had to seek out another restaurant. The very kind people at the restaurant did give me a good recommendation for another restaurant.
Their recommendation was Gonpachi, a 3-floor restaurant that is very busy. The bottom two floors are livelier but are fully booked, however on the quieter 3rd floor, the chefs prepare the sushi right in front of you and I get a set at the sushi bar and I am not disappointed. The sushi and other dishes here are excellent and I can definitely recommend this restaurant.
After dinner, I visit the Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest, colorful, and most famous intersections in the world. When it is time for pedestrians to cross, hundreds of people come from every direction. On this night, the intersection is crazy busy and filled with lots of interesting the people including some girls dressed in Geisha costumes that grab me for a picture during my crossing. Nearby, I find an interesting and fun bar nearby called Local House. Here, I try a few different beers and have a good time before heading back to the hotel. If I had more time, I would definitely explore this area more.
The next morning, I enjoy a brunch at Hal Yamashita located at the Galleria Shopping Center near the hotel to fuel my visit to the Old Temple Sensoji. Here I explore the cultural sites and buy souvenirs in the crowded shopping area.