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33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

Austin, Texas
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33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

Your help is needed please!

Yes, others have asked similar questions about short time trips. This is slightly different or I wouldn't ask - I have read many similar posts and am not finding what fits into my wife's and my personality for a stopover.

We arrive in Tokyo February next year after 12 days in Surin Beach, Bangkok & Chiang Mai, Thailand and are looking for a food and shopping Tokyo-Overload-Experience before heading back to the states (1st time in Tokyo). We arrive at 8:00 am Feb 2014 Narita on a Thursday and depart the next day at 5:00 pm from Narita. It's actually a relatively expensive (cleaned me out of my One World miles to do it) stopover for us, extending the trip by two days, so we can see how Tokyo is in the culinary & shopping arts....never been there.

Original thoughts were to head to a Major downtown Tokyo shopping/restaurant zone Hotel to base out of (very nice hotel please), check in or drop luggage and head out to shop in the late am then eat, then shop, then eat, then party. I have a personal need to find the absolute best Ramen restaurant near to wherever we stay in Tokyo for lunch and the best sushi for Dinner that night. I've watched "Jiro dreams of Sushi" 5 times and would love to eat at his restaurant but because it's now so "movie popular" and such a cliche for me to go there and indulge, I know it might be a bit difficult to do (get a reservation) and hope that TA peeps may have other incredibly awesome advice for incredible Sushi that night for dinner.

So, advice is requested for this big celebration trip (my 50th and my wife's 30th: I act like a 30 year old by the way): convenient over-the-top excellent hotel in Tokyo to stay in a vibrant shopping/bar/restaurant zone and the accompanying Ramen/Sushi restaurants & night time bar/clubs to indulge in.

We don't want to spend a lot of time getting to the restaurants by taxi or train since we'll have an hour+ either way to and from the airport, so picking the area to sleep, eat and have fun is the most important part to us. We're not looking to save money by going to a cheaper bar that has cheaper drinks or lower price dining options... I say this because some responses I see advise on how not to spend too much money for cocktails or dinner-we're only here for a short time, so great service, convenience to location and great food is more important to us than taking a train or taxi to a place that's less expensive...time will be our most valuable & limited resource for this stop.

Help us decide with some recommendations:

Name a Hotel Near a Shopping Zone that's tons of fun:

Ramen Restaurant for lunch nearby:

Sushi Restaurant for dinner:

Bars/Clubs for after dinner:

Don't mind taxis, but don't want to spend a lot of time in them.

Thank you in advance for your kind help!

New York, NY
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1. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

palace hotel tokyo opened last spring, has great views, rooms (some with balcony) and great service. it's close to marunouchi and all the boutique shops there, plus a short walk to tokyo station and daimaru dept store. you could venture over to the main ginza strip and the mitsukoshi dept store there. i'm not saying ippudo is the best ramen and there are many different types of ramen, but there is one close to palace hotel in the lower levels of one of the marunouchi buildings. there are a ton of sushi places that people say are the best (saito, sawada, kyubei, mizutani, harutaka, umi, jiro and jiro roppongi etc etc etc) so go wherever you or your hotel concierge can get a reservation. if you can eat beef and haven't had real jpns beef before (not the fake cross-bred stuff in the US), it would be sad to leave japan without trying it.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

Staying at Ginza could be an option. Great shopping area with lots of (fine dining) restaurants. In terms of sushi dinner, some of the famous or Michelin starred ones in Ginza (if you end up staying in this area) are Jiro, Mizutani, and Sushi Kanesaka. I heard that you probably need to make a reservation about a year in advance for Jiro (not sure how true is that!). I've only tried Sushi Kanesaka and it was stellar (made reservations 3 months in advance). Ginza may not be known for having many cheap eats or ramen shops but among the few in Ginza, Kinmaru is worth writing about. The tonkotsu ramen is very good and you can choose the level of "hardness" you'd like for your noodle.

Another way to sate your ramen cravings is to go to Tokyo Station and head to Ramen Street inside the station itself. It's where the several popular ramen shops are congregated. Look out for the shop with a perpetual line outside (Rokurinsha) for the best tsukemen. Rokurinsha opens at about 7:30am so having breakfast there is an option.

In terms of bars, Golden Gai in Shinjuku is a very unique experience in Tokyo. There are about 40 tiny dive bars congregated together along narrow alleyways. Each bar only seats up to 6 people so they're tiny. It was like having all these speakeasy bars congregating in this area. That was definitely a memorable and fun experience for my husband and I.

Edited: 27 March 2013, 19:34
Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

Take a look at this map of the Tokyo Station - http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3037.html . Most of the hotels shown are top notch, with great views. Many also have good cocktail bars - http://www.bento.com/tccocktail.html . Good shopping in Marunouchi, with Yurakucho and Ginza close by.

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

Thank you all very much. Very good advice, specifically directed to my requests, and exactly what i was looking for. I appreciate it very much!

MoFo

Orange, California
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5. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

MoFo, I love your adventurous spirit! I am leaving for Tokyo next week (no first trip) and will be watching this thread for responses. I found this series of blog posts on The Points Guy to be helpful as he lists various dining options and pricing: thepointsguy.com/2011/… as well a shopping experiences on a short trip (3 days) to Tokyo in 2011. Good luck! Tokyo is wonderful and I know you'll have fun!

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

The Points Guy's blog is extremely helpful and spot on for precise foodie descriptions. Thanks so much for sharing.

7. Re: 33 Hrs in Tokyo-1st Time:Food & Shopping Uber trip

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