Last October MVK and I ventured to Australia. It’s not news that getting to Oz from Canada takes foreverrrrrrrr…. So we decided to split up our travel time by stopping in Tokyo. Our layover was just under 24 hours. The majority of our layover was overnight but we still managed to see a lot of the city in our short time there.
If you ever have a long layover (8+ hours) get your luggage sent through to your final destination. That way you are free to roam without the hassle of having to lug your suitcases around. Trust me on this one!
Once we landed in Tokyo we immediately jumped on the train and heading to Shibuya Crossing. Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. It stops traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to inundate the intersection. It is an amazing sight to see. There is a Starbucks that overlooks the crossing which offers an incredible view and free wifi, and also cool Asian Starbucks specialty drinks. So win-win-win. Shibuya is also known for it’s incredible shopping which we definitely took advantage of. We also visited a brewery and saw too many karaoke bars to remember.
Be aware the train does not operate on a 24 hour basis as we had assumed. So come 1am when we were going to head back to the airport we were shocked to find all of the stations locked. Thankfully Tokyo feels incredible safe so we ended up walking around the city until 5 am when the trains started up again because a cab back to the airport from Shibuya was going to run us $300 usd :S. We saw hidden temples, beautiful parks, random arcades, high end car dealerships and obviously we stopped at McDonalds.
So if you find yourself in Tokyo for a layover and you have a few hours to kill my advice is check out Shibuya Crossing. You will not be disappointed. I promise.