24 Hours in Tokyo

24 Hours in Tokyo

I must admit at this point my knowledge of Tokyo is limited. That needs to change and fast. I’ve got 24 short hours to navigate and tour the colossal city that is Tokyo.


Since Boeing’s Dreamliner delivery to Continental is delayed, I’m screwed out of a direct flight from Auckland to Houston. The next best thing is to route through LA or San Francisco on Air New Zealand like I am on my outbound flight. The problem is that I’m flying on miles, and Continental has no more reward seats available on Air New Zealand. Neither does Thai Air. Singapore Airlines does, but it’ll take three stops to get me home. My best available option is to fly from Auckland to Tokyo to Houston. Believe me, I’ve tried everything: Hawaii, Sydney, Melbourne, Fiji, Tonga, Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore, with every combination imaginable. So, Narita and Tokyo it is! The other issue is that my flight lands in Narita about 20 minutes before the Continental flight to Houston leaves. The next non-stop flight to Houston doesn’t leave until the next day, thus, 24 hours in Tokyo.

Sunset on the Sumida River

I’m certainly not complaining about visiting Tokyo by any stretch of the imagination; it’s on my bucket list. I just want to make sure that I am able to hit the high points lest I never return. How am I going to squeeze the most into those 24 hours? I’m going to need a good strategy. I’m going to have to attack Tokyo like Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest.

Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo

My best estimate is that it will take one hour on the train to get from Narita to Tokyo. I’m staying at the Conrad Hotel located above the Shiodome area in the Ginza district. By all accounts, this is a fabulous hotel with a wonderful view of Hama Rikyu Garden and the city.

Walking distance from the hotel are the Kabuki-za Theater, International Forum, Sony Building, Shiodome, and Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest in Asia. I’d like to see the Imperial Palace Grounds, Senso-ji Temple, and maybe take a boat ride up the Sumida River.

Tsukiji fish market 08

Am I biting off more than I can chew? Do I need to edit? I have no earthly idea. I need help! Tell me what’s worth it and what can wait. Is there something that I just have to make time for? Keep in mind that this stay will be in winter, and that I arrive at 4:30 pm and leave the next day at 5 pm. Considering customs, travel time, and check-in minimums, I probably have closer to 18 hours. Come on, y’all. Help me out. The person with the best advice might just get a Hello Kitty souvenir.

Featured Image: PMorgan via Flickr

Sit back and stay awhile