3 Hours In Tokyo!

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

If you only have a few hours in Tokyo, where will you go?


For our Hokkaido winter trip last February, we had about 3 hours to spare in Tokyo before our flight back to Manila from Narita International Airport. It's our free time so we can do and go wherever we want! It's our shopping day, too!

Looking past tall skyscrapers and complex overpass, I caught some of the iconic landmarks of Tokyo perfectly framed by our tour bus windows.

As our tour guide showed us photos and snippets of Tokyo from a clear book, we passed by the Rainbow Bridge of Odaiba, had a glimpse of the Tokyo Tower on left side window of the bus, saw the detailed Tokyo Skytree at a distance, and then eventually got off Shinjuku where we were left on our own to explore.

I still got the chills Tokyo gave me the first time I was here. Konnichiwa, my favorite city!

tokyo tour bus


Tokyo Tower


I was talking to Shaira a while back when she asked me about Tokyo pre-loved shops on our few hours in the city. It's her thing, if you follow her social media life you'll know that most if not all her clothes are from second hand shops all over the world! It's her first time in Japan, and it's impossible if she'll not visit even just one while she's here.

Most of the thrift stores that I know of in Tokyo are in Harajuku. There's a haven for second hand luxury bags in a corner of Takeshita (Brand Off!) and along Jingumae (Ragtag!), and of course, the popular pre-owned clothing shop Chicago which is also in Takeshita.

With the consent and company of our guides, and a Suica card in my pocket, we hopped in a train to Harajuku for our short Tokyo shopping adventure!

shaira luna

tokyo subway

tokyo subway

takeshita street harajuku

I cannot count the number of times I've been here, and I know it is already infamous for being crowded, overpriced, and touristy. But Takeshita will always have a special place in my ❤. It showed me the extreme and varied culture of Tokyo on my first time here in 2015--where being different is very much welcome.

takeshita street harajuku

takeshita street harajuku

This is the entrance to the thrift clothing shop of Takeshita called Chicago. The price is not super cheap, but you'll spot great finds from sports and luxury brands. They have stuff from Adidas to Burberry.

chicago thrift store harajuku

chicago thrift store harajuku

chicago thrift store harajuku

They also carry Japanese sukajan (souvenir jackets) and kimono.
sukajan japanese souvenir jacket

The displays are all well-styled, it's fun and inspiring to shop away!
chicago thrift store harajuku

chicago thrift store harajuku

Aside from clothes, they also have shoes and accessories:
chicago thrift store harajuku

chicago thrift store harajuku

Remake Cut Shirt section:
chicago thrift store harajuku

Shaira said she'll stay in Chicago for the rest of our hours here, so I left her to roam around Takeshita. The few hours I was alone again suddenly made me miss the solo traveling life! I checked out the stores that I want (WeGo, Daiso, and a sneakers store), had snack in Lotteria (mozarella cheese sticks!), and took lots of random street snaps along the way. 

takeshita harajuku

Sakura and other spring themed knick knacks in Daiso:
daiso takeshita harajuku

Was able to get a black suede bucket hat in WeGo. Most of my nice caps are from this brand!
wego takeshita harajuku

wego takeshita harajuku

Neon Fila Disruptor!
neon fila disruptor

harajuku subway station

We eventually met up with our guide so we can go back to Shinjuku on time. We're still early for our meet up with the group, so we decided to just go around for a "photo walk" aka take pictures of our Tokyo OOTDs, lels.

Vanity aside, we also went inside the huge Don Quijote store of Shinjuku, starting from the top floor heading down. They have EVERYTHING that you need if you're planning to shop during your limited stay in Tokyo. Preloved luxury goods on the top floor, Japanese beauty brands, costumes, electronics, and even Japanese snacks!

godzilla shinjuku

godzilla shinjuku

godzilla shinjuku

We had no patience to look for a lunch place (haha) so we just went to a kombini near Don Quijote. When I travel alone, my usual go-to food place is either cafes or convenience stores para mabilisan, haha!

shinjuku tokyo

shinjuku tokyo

Tiny cans of Sapporo and Asahi beer in Don Quijote:
shinjuku tokyo

Just passed by this pre-owned luxury goods store:
shinjuku tokyo

Shaira said that when you look up and around this part of Shinjuku, it's as if we're taken back to the 80s!
shinjuku tokyo

shinjuku tokyo

shinjuku tokyo

Final Tips!

First Things First

❤ Tokyo is about 1.5 hours away from Narita International Airport. Make sure that you allot enough time to get to the airport 2 hours before your flight.

❤ Going around with your luggage is super hassle, and might even slash off minutes from your limited time in the city (from slow walking, carrying, etc). Tokyo offers coin lockers in their major train stations where you can leave your bags first so you can conveniently explore. Price is according to the size of the locker, and they even have big ones that will fit really large luggages.

❤ And since you're already in a train station, the best transportation to go around Tokyo for me is still their subway. Download the Tokyo Subway app, and since you'll only be here for a few hours, you don't have to get a reloadable card and just purchase individual tickets to your destination.

Where to go?

1) Shibuya - Hachiko statue, Shibuya Crossing, shopping, and Ichiran ramen
2) Shinjuku - Don Quijote, GU (Uniqlo's sister company, but a bit cheaper), Ichiran ramen
3) Harajuku - Takeshita, Jingumae (my favorite), and Cat Street

Shibuya and Harajuku are relatively "walking distance", so if you're a walker or feeling hyper on your trip, you can go to both places to explore, take photos, eat, and shop.

Where to eat?

1) Ichiran
2) Any convenience store - Lawson, Family Mart, 7Eleven

Where to shop?

1) GU
2) Don Quijote
3) Daiso
4) WeGo

You can check out my other Japan Travel Blogs and Alternative Tokyo Itinerary.

japan airlines narita

sakura lounge narita

japan airlines vegetarian

Special thanks to Japan Airlines and Havas Manila for having me for this media trip! Thank you Mr. Ogawa, Mika San, Cid and Jookie for taking care of us! I've been to a lot of cities since our Japan winter trip last February, but I can still remember every destination, every food we ate, and all the beautiful memories we had in this beautiful country! Thank you for taking me to another side and explore MORE OF JAPAN. ❤

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