Flight and hotel Tokyo
Have the experience of a lifetime in Tokyo
City breaks in Tokyo make for an experience you'll never forget. The Japanese capital is renowned for its sublime mix of ancient and modern; where you can spend hours strolling through the serene grounds of moss-covered Shinto shrines and enjoy evenings exploring streets lit by LED and neon beneath glistening skyscrapers. From cultural spectacles like kabuki and sumo to the latest trends in fashion and technology, as well as world-renowned cuisine that fits every budget, this megacity has it all. Its location wedged between majestic mountains and the gleaming Pacific make it all the more exciting to explore.
Things to know before booking Tokyo city breaks
When choosing your hotel and flight from London to Tokyo, be aware that there are two different international airports that service the city: Haneda, which lies on Tokyo Bay and has easy transport links to the city, and Narita, which is about an hour’s train journey away. The city is roughly split into the older and more traditional eastern half, which is becoming increasingly popular with travellers, and the modern western half – something else to consider when choosing a Tokyo hotel or flight from Manchester or elsewhere in the UK.
Tokyo's currency is yen, and although credit cards are usually accepted in larger shops, cash is still king –though this is changing. Foreign cash cards are accepted at post office and Seven-Elevan ATMs, and don't be afraid to ask around. It’s easier than ever to get around the city in English, though the locals will always appreciate an 'Arigatou gozaimasu' (thank you). A flight and hotel in Tokyo is just the beginning of your Japanese adventure.
When is the best time to visit Tokyo?
Aside from during Japan's two rainy seasons – May to June and October to November – city breaks in Tokyo are wonderful at any time of year. For traditionalists, there’s nothing more quintessentially Japanese than checking out the cherry blossoms in spring, while in summer the city plays host to historic Obon festivals where the streets fill with revellers dancing and carrying portable shrines. Foodies should fly to Tokyo for package holidays in autumn, when cooler weather after the sultry summer whips up appetites for a smorgasbord of seasonal delicacies. Winter here is sunny and crisp, making it great for sightseeing, while the world-famous powder in the mountains surrounding Tokyo tempt travellers for weekend ski or snowboarding trips.
What is there to do in Tokyo?
Tired of Tokyo, tired of life – the old London adage could be said for a city with so much to do it would take a lifetime to get bored. First time visitors will want to soak up the culture by catching some Kabuki or Noh theatre, and of course check out sumo wrestling – Japan’s national sport – in Ryogoku. More dedicated sports fans can also meet their Japanese counterparts at a Yomiuri Giants or Yakult Swallows baseball game. For shoppers Tokyo is paradise on earth, with familiar Japanese brands like UNIQLO and Muji tucked inside towering department stores selling everything from electronics to world-renowned cosmetics. For entertainment, both kids and adults can enjoy things like Tokyo's multi-storey arcades and cat cafes, as well as boat tours across Tokyo Bay and the Sumida River, or a trip to Tokyo Disneyland.
Exciting sights and experiences—Tokyo has it all
There are plenty of blockbuster sights that first-time visitors can't miss, including Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine. Some of the top experiences to add to your wishlist might include:
- Dive into the chaos of the Shibuya scramble crossing.
- Explore the whimsical world of Studio Ghibli at the Ghibli Museum.
- Learn about the history of the city at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
- Soak up the post-war atmosphere at Ameya-yokocho.
- Travel into the future by taking the Yurikamome line to Odaiba.
One you've ticked those off, head to the streets. In a city teeming with as much life as Tokyo, every neighbourhood seems packed with action, and taking a stroll is the best way to experience it. Definitely spend time at a weekend in Tokyo walking through hip Shibuya and Shimokitazawa, get your fill of anime in Akihabara, or wander streets straight out of the Showa-era in neighbourhoods like Asakusa and Yanesen.
What delicious adventures await in Tokyo?
Tokyo is foodie heaven, with everything from Michelin-starred ramen to smokey yakitori bars proving mouth-watering distractions while you weave your way through town. Not to be missed is an evening at an izakaya, a type of bar that serves up small tapas-style dishes along with refreshing beers and plentiful varieties of saké. Even budget-conscious travellers can get their fill of sushi at classic conveyor belt restaurants where plates are ¥100 each. For the best value-for-money at restaurants in every price range, go for lunch and look for places crowded with hungry office workers seeking out their favourite business lunch deals. Make sure you don't miss Japan's world-famous vending machines!
Take more than just pictures
No package holidays in Tokyo would be complete without bringing a little of it home with you. Japan has plenty of unique and quirky souvenirs to choose from, some of the best are found at stores like Tokyu Hands and Don Quijote (a sight in and of itself). Bring something back for anime fans from otaku centres Akihabara and Nakano. For more traditional souvenirs, pick up the cute and embroidered protective o-mamori amulets from the temples and shrines you visit, or head to the Chicago second-hand clothing store in Harajuku and get your own antique fashion items.