24 hours is not even remotely enough to see such a great and diverse city as Tokyo, but with a very early start, discipline, and a bit of stamina, you can knock off many top attractions in a day. If you get your skates on, here’s what you could cover.
Rise super-early and join the queue for tickets to the tuna auction at Tsukiji Market. If you miss out, wander around the market and take an early breakfast of sashimi, sushi or tempura made with the freshest of fresh ingredients.
Stop by the impressive Imperial Palace, right by Tokyo Central Station. There’s plenty to see just exploring the palace grounds and gardens and to get the fishy smell out of your nose.
Walk to nearby Ginza for some window-shopping or blow out on your credit card with designer labels. The Matsuya Department store has pretty much everything you could ever need – and more. Or take in the Tokyo National Museum only a few train stops away.
Time to head back in time to old Tokyo at Asakusa and the Senso-ji Temple. Browse the shops along Nakamise Street and pick up a yukata or delicately painted fan. Up the road, Kamiya Bar, is a good spot for a rest and a drink or stop for lunch at Asakusa Sometaro.
Rise to the top of the Tokyo Skytree. If the weather is clear, you may even see sacred Mount Fuji in the distance.
Head to Harajuku. After admiring the famous fashion styles on Takeshita Dori, stop by Oriental Bazaar for some souvenir shopping then take a stroll in Omotesando and wander around the grounds of the Meiji-jingu Shrine.
Take the subway line across town to Shibuya. Walk across the famous ‘Shibuya Scramble’ to discover one of the city's best shopping districts. Most shops are open until 8 pm. On your way back to Tokyo Central, jump off the metro and explore high-tech Akihabara.
If you’ve made advance reservations, take dinner at one of the World’s 50 best Restaurants: Narisawa or Nihonryori RyuGin. Otherwise Gonpachi in Roppongi is more casual and heaps of fun. For the views featured in Lost in Translation, head to the New York Grill on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel.
Check out the tiny bars of the Golden Gai or the streets of the Kabuki-cho nightlife district both in Shinjuku, home to the extraordinary Robot Restaurant. Neon-lit bars and dance clubs are open until the wee hours.
If you’re up to it, head over to Karaoke Kan in Shibuya, which featured in the film ‘Lost in Translation’. The action keeps going all night until 6 am.
Still not flagging after your early rise? Zoetrope in Shinjuku for a whisky nightcap is open until 4.00 am. Otherwise head back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest – after all tomorrow a train trip to Mount Fuji beckons.