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Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Tokyo skyline and mount fujiA sprawling, vibrant metropolis, Tokyo has much to offer the visitor. You've taken the obligatory cherry blossom festival tourist shot, sampled enough authentic sushi to feed a family of sumo wrestlers, joined the never-ending daily rush of commuters at the Shibuya Crossing, and experienced a taste of Japanese architecture infused with a love for nature at one of Japan’s most popular temples, Meiji Shrine. But there are so many affordable options beyond that, if you are looking for something a little more offbeat.

You could pay for a guided tour of the city…

Or you could choose your own path for free! Hop on the subway, which in itself is an experience in bustling Tokyo. Hop off at one of the lesser known stations, closer or further along the lines (take a walk back in time at Asakusa) depending on how bold you are. Get lost in the side streets and smaller alleyways, and explore the restaurants and cafes hidden in the laneways. You never know what you may stumble upon!

For the price of a cup of coffee

While it has only been the past couple of years that cat cafes have popped up around the rest of the world, allowing its patrons to enjoy caffeinated drinks in the company of the furry feline critters, they have been a staple of the Tokyo café scene for a very long time. For something different, try a bird café such as Ikefukurou Café, only a few minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station, and meet its fourteen resident owls who are all happy to be petted and pose for photographs.

Why see another Marvel franchise flick…

When you can see a Japanese game show? You may have to be rather creative in your methods of sourcing a ticket, but if you can do so well in advance, you are in for one of the wackiest days of your life. Some highlights include human Tetris or soccer with binoculars. It gets really interesting when celebrity contestants start playing games where they try to guess which supposedly inanimate objects are actually candy molded into elaborate shapes, and which ones are just say…a shoe.

Have dinner at a sushi restaurant…

Tokyo shopping precinctOr make your own! If you get beyond the sushi, seaweed and raw fish that immediately come to mind when we think of Japanese food, why not take a sukiyaki cooking lesson? Sukiyaki, a local favourite, is a stew consisting of meat and vegetables and a sweet salty soup, usually cooked and simmered at the table during the meal. The contents are then usually dipped in a sauce of raw beaten eggs before being eaten.

You’ve saved on accommodation, so splash out and…

Live it up as you soak in Tokyo after dark! A view is best appreciated with a drink in hand with good company, and Tokyo offers up no shortage of sky bars, such as that at the The Peak Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Lost in Translation style. But why not try your hand at karaoke while you’re at it? If you’re emulating Bill Murray, make sure to go for rooms 601 and 602 at Karaoke Kan. For a more luxurious vibe, Lovenet will cater to your every whim, whether it be singing from a hot tub or a room that looks like a set straight out of a David Lynch movie.  

Hire a car and take a day trip to the Fuji Five Lake region at the base of Mount Fuji. There is a lot to see, so if a day is not enough, stay for a night or two. A gorgeous lakeside wilderness area, Fujigoko offers outdoor sports such as skiing, hiking, and fishing. For a slower paced day, seek out the hot springs or one of the many museums nearby.

Spend Less, Do More

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team

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