10 hours in Tokyo

A quick intro: the always undervalued layover when done right can be an excellent opportunity to revisit your favorite cities. Put it another way: If it made any sense to fly JFK to SFO via Narita I would do it every time. (It never makes sense, until you have to go to Vietnam and then it all makes sense)

  • 5am: rent wifi hotspot at the airport (¥1,200). The reason modern travel is amazing and 10 hours in a city is viable has everything to do with having Google Maps, reviews and overall internet in your phone. Never cheap out on this.
  • 6am: late fish market visit. Couldn’t really enter. Tours are way earlier, but it’s the only thing open at this ungodly hour and they probably serve the freshest fish for breakfast at all the small sushi shops outside
  • 8am: coffee at Tokyo station. I don’t drink coffee (any more energy would probably evaporate me) but tea works and the station is an amazing labyrinth of shops and food stands
  • 10am: Onsen is unbeatable pleasure. Traditional Japanese Bath houses, usually part of Ryokans or famous in Holiday retreat destinations can be a shocking experience to foreigners, but past the shyness, awkwardness and complex rules of the place and I could do this every morning. 40 degree (Celsius) water baths, steam room, outside volcanic-heated mineral-infused pools are the best Japan has to offer. さやの湯処(Maenohara Onsen)
  • 1pm: perfect Ramen factory. This franchised fast ramen place is one of the best ramens in the world. You get to choose the thickness, oiliness, spiciness and overall awesomeness of your soup, they have half-way noodle refills on demand and from door to first taste it takes less than 5 minutes (¥900–1,300, Ichiran Shinbashi shop)
  • 3pm: last minute shopping. Race your way through Muji, Lofft, Itoya, and a couple isles in Tokyo station before boarding the train for the airport.

This is not a guide, specially if it’s your first time in Tokyo much of your time would be wasted at an Onsen, go to Shibuya instead, Asakusa, whatever landmark you can grab in 10 hours, but it’s my fourth time here and I wanted to get a taste of my favorite things.

The BAN is a collective group of Nomads writing about their weirdly worldly exploits and conquers, it’s not art, it’s not commercial, its not authoritative. It’s for us, our friends and our children. Opinions and suggestions are welcome only as such. Peace out soldiers.

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