*THINGS TO DO: You will never experience a fraction of what Tokyo offers during one visit. Advice: Choose specific sights, areas, and interests and focus on them. Here are a few suggestions.
Tsukiji Fish Market
As the largest wholesale fish market in the world, this is a definite must-see. Handling over 2,000 tons of marine products a day, Tsukiji is a bustling city of its own. Workers in tailor-like fit cargo pants and vests complete with Marc Jacobsâ€“esque black rubber boots frantically scurry about on scooters, trucks, and carts. Thereâ€™s a seeming absence of method to the madness; but with closer inspection, the reason why most of the world looks to this aquatic bazaar for tuna is evident. The tuna auction is ultra-popular, and visitors are limited to 120 a day (you must apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center beginning at 5 a.m.). Be sure to partake in a sushi breakfast at one of the surrounding eateriesâ€”it certainly beats the Rooty Tooty Fresh â€˜N Fruity at the local IHOP. tsukiji-market.or.jp
Tokyo consists of several districts, each the gatekeeper of particular interests. Harajuku is the area surrounding Harajuku Station, which lies between the streets of Shinjuku and Shibuya. The cityâ€™s world-renowned teenage street culture and fashion reigns supreme (Gwen Stefaniâ€™s hit â€œHarajuku Girlsâ€ and Nicki Minajâ€™s fleet of fans, Harajuku Barbz, originated from these young people and their extreme style). Take a stroll down Takeshita Dori, the thin street robust with boutiques, shops, and fast food joints. Hang a right, and head to Shibuya for Don Quijote (â€œDonkiâ€)â€”a festive Japanese discount store featuring everything from clothes to tech items. Itâ€™s a rite of passage. donki.com
In stark contrast, Omotesando is the Champs-ElysÃ©es of Tokyo. For those with a haute addiction, this tree-lined luxury retail area is for you. The five floors of Louis Vuittonâ€™s Omotesando location, once the brandâ€™s largest store in the world, mimic a stack of LV trunks. Omotesando Hills is a six-story shopping complex that was once the Dojunkai Aoyama Apartments. In its new incarnation, Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, and Jimmy Choo are the residents. For another dose of runway-ready fun, head over to Ginza, the cityâ€™s most famous area for luxury shopping. Lanvin, Prada, HermÃ¨s, and basically every other label is in Ginza. Diorâ€™s Ginza store sports a faÃ§ade of white and gray artistically placed abstract lines.
Above: Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest wholesale fish market in the world covering 57 acres with 1500 stalls. Left: Stylish girls roaming around the Harajuku Station district.