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Short breaks in Tokyo – a tantalising taste of food, fashion and architectural forms

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A short break in Tokyo offers an overview of the city’s finest cuisine, shopping and historical sites. Book a Tokyo hotel and follow this fascinating two-day tour

Tokyo short break day one, morning

Your short break in Tokyo should start in with a stroll along Omotesando, a tree-filled boulevard brimming with luxury boutiques and quirky stores. Pass the sleek and chic Tadao Ando-designed Omotesando Hills mall and see fashionistas walk by. Follow Omotesando west to Meiji-Jingumae crossing, then head to Harajuku’s Takeshita-dori, a street that’s full of eclectic clothing stores and trendy youths. Visit nearby Ota Memorial Museum of Art for a look at intricate woodblock prints, or stroll to Meiji Shrine, dedicated to Japan’s first emperor and empress after samurai rule.

Start: Omotesando
Nearest metro station Omotesando

Afternoon

No Tokyo short break is complete without a trip to Shibuya, a shopping and entertainment district filled with neon lights. A quick trip on the JR Yamanote line will take you from Harajuku to Shibuya’s famously crowded crossing. Grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s many cafés or feast on all-you-can-eat succulent meats and broth at Mo Mo Paradise. Shop at department stores Parco and Seibu for classy clothes and pretty stationery, or explore nearby Tokyu Hands for knick-knacks, costumes and homewares.

Start: Shibuya
Nearest JR station Shibuya

Evening

A short train ride takes you to Roppongi, Tokyo’s nightlife hub and home to the Mori Art Museum. Open every day until 10pm except Tuesday, the cutting-edge museum exhibits contemporary art and has a viewing platform that’s perfect for taking in glimmering evening cityscapes. After the dizzying views, dinner at Inakaya offers theatrics and a feast of grilled meat, vegetables and seafood. While not cheap, it’s famous for its lively atmosphere and delicious fare.

Start: Roppongi
Nearest metro station Roppongi 

Tokyo short break day two, morning

Start your day early with a trip to Tsukiji fish market. Giant tuna auctions between 5am and 6.15am make the world’s largest fish market worth visiting in the wee hours. Follow it up with breakfast at a sushi bar by the market. Stroll to nearby Ginza, where modern designs like Sony Plaza jostle with the Kabuki-za Theatre and early 20th-century architecture. The Ginza WakoMitsukoshi and Matsuya buildings make for beautiful viewing; or step inside for a spot of department store shopping. Test out the latest Apple gadgets at the seven-storey Apple Store on Ginza-dori

Start: Tsukiji fish market 
Nearest Tokyo metro station Tsukiji 

Afternoon

Head west past Tokyo Station to the gleaming Shin-Marunouchi Building, where dishes of soba noodles, sushi and tempura as well as striking city views from the open-air terrace await you. A stroll west brings you to the Imperial Palace gardensImperial Palace cameos, rolling lawns, moats and ever-changing city vistas are on display en route to Kitanomaru Park near Kundanshita station. Drop into the National Museum of Art for a look at Japanese modern art; visit the Science Museum or controversial Yasukuni Shrine outside the park in Kudanshita

Start: Shin-Marunouchi Building, Marunouchi 
Nearest metro Marunouchi or JR station Tokyo Station 

Evening

From here, it’s one stop on the Tozai line to tranquil Iidabashi, home to picturesque waterways. Enjoy a sunset drink at Canal Café, followed by a wide array of Japanese cuisines at Hana Noren

Start: Canal Café 
Nearest metro: Iidabashi