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Tokyo secrets reveal unparalleled skyline and sushi worth bragging about

Updated: January 9, 2013
By: Ian Yacobucci
Tuna sushi - Tokyo, Japa

Tuna sushi – Tokyo, Japan

If you’re wondering what two things I always do before leaving Tokyo the list isn’t very long.  In fact, there are really only two things I never miss when visiting Tokyo, and you won’t want to either.  First, you need to enjoy a sushi breakfast near the Tsukiji fish market, and after that it’s off to 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo for a drink and the best view of the city.

On my last day in Tokyo this year I made an effort to eat my favourite sushi breakfast.  For many tourists visiting the Tsukiji fish market, the biggest fish market in the world, is a must.  However, eating fresh sushi at one of the restaurants in Tokyo’s Tsukiji-jogai market next door to the market is even better.

Toro (fatty underbelly) sushi is the best nigiri you can get and these were the mouth watering pieces I enjoyed- Tokyo, Japan

Toro (fatty underbelly) sushi is the best nigiri you can get and these were the mouth watering pieces I enjoyed- Tokyo, Japan

The Tsukiji fish market is a place of business and not very tourist friendly.  In fact, it’s actually quite unsafe as trucks and forklifts fly down the busy thoroughfares at full speed delivering the days catch to restaurants in Tokyo and the rest of Japan.  If you go early enough you might be able to catch a few unique pictures, but I wouldn’t waste time trying to watch the tuna auction or even enter the fish market itself.

In my opinion, you’re better off to wake up at a reasonable hour and head to the Tsukiji-jogai market for an enjoyable sushi breakfast.  The Tsukiji-jogai market is right next to the Tsukiji fish market and my favourite restaurant is Sushizanmai, where I always order the tuna set.

Sushizanmai sushi restaurant - Tokyo, Japan

Sushizanmai sushi restaurant – Tokyo, Japan

At Sushizanmai the tuna meal costs 3000 yen ($30 USD) and you get every cut of tuna as well as the house Miso soup.  This might sound expensive for a sushi meal however, when you consider that one piece of toro (the fatty underbelly) can cost 2-400 yen or $5 US dollars the price isn’t too bad.

My amazing sushi breakfast. Sooooo good!!! Tokyo, Japan

My amazing sushi breakfast. Sooooo good!!! Tokyo, Japan

Once I’ve had my sushi fix I make time to check out the best view in Tokyo.  For this I make an evening trip to the shopping and partying district of Shinjuku where the Park Hyatt Tokyo is located.  Made popular by the 2003 film Lost in Translation the Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of the fanciest hotels in the city, and from the hotel bar on the 41st floor there is no denying the beauty its Tokyo night view.

Best view in Tokyo from the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo

Best view in Tokyo from the 41st floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo

Although drinks are expensive, a beer with a small bowl of snacks costing about 1200 yen ($13 USD), the view is spectacular.  Yes I know, who would pay that for a beer?  Well consider this.  To go to the top of the many tourist buildings that overlook the city you’re looking at paying a minimum entry fee of 1000 yen ($10 USD).  What that gets you is a noisy overcrowded viewing platform with windows covered in hand prints and nowhere to relax.

Can't deny the price of a Suntory Premium Malt with a view like this - Tokyo, Japan

Can’t deny the price of a Suntory Premium Malt with a view like this – Tokyo, Japan

Now contrast this with an elegantly decorated and romantically lit room on the 41st floor of the nicest hotels in Tokyo.  Inside you’ll find plush chairs, a fancy window-side bar, polite staff English speaking to wait on you, and the best view of the city.

After you’re seated, you get to relax and watch the city lights flicker like thousands of twinkling stars filling the night sky while relaxing lounge music hums in the background.  Needless to say, it’s one of the most romantic places in Tokyo and undeniably boasts the best view of the city.  Even better is that there’s no cover and very few people.

Now go out and have some fun!

Yak

Ian Yacobucci

Traveling the Trans-Siberian, mountaineering the Himalayas, or teaching in Tokyo I'm always trying something new. As a someone who's worked, studied, and traveled to 40+ countries around the world I'm here to share my experiences so you can do the same!

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12 thoughts on “Tokyo secrets reveal unparalleled skyline and sushi worth bragging about

  1. Agness

    Looks like a perfect evening to me. I’m so jealous of the view. It is a lot like the view from the top of the Pearl Tower in Shanghai. I love Sushi!

    Reply
    1. Ian Yacobucci Post author

      You’re certainly right about that view Agness. I didn’t actually make it to the top of the Pearl Tower when I was in Shanghai but I did make it to the Hyatt there for a drink and a view of the Bund…now I’ll have somewhere else to check out when I get back :)

      Reply
  2. Anna

    I also agree with your strategy of paying a bit more for a drink if it comes with a great view. I remember doing the same in Hong Kong: went to Peninsula hotel for cocktails, but not only! Included: great view, bar designed by Philippe Starck and excellent service!

    Reply
    1. Ian Yacobucci Post author

      Sounds right up my alley Anna! I hope to go to Hong Kong in the future so I’ll definitely put that on my places to visit :)

      Thanks for the tip,

      Yak

      Reply