by Bryce Marley
This week the President of the United States of America visited Tokyo for talks with the Prime Minister of Japan. With the President's visit to Tokyo now over, it's time to look back on exactly what a high profile diplomat is taken to, in order to experience one of the greatest cities in the world, and our guide below will help you experience a one-day highlight reel of Tokyo, as planned by the government of Japan.
Lets get our day started. Below is a map of Tokyo showing all the places the President visited on his full day in Tokyo-
hy not start your day at the home of the emperor-
Although you won't be able to get a royal greeting at the imperial palace like President Obama, you can however still tour the grounds and visit the impressive gardens.
To get on a tour you must book ahead online, where you will be given an English audio guide, and be able to tour the grounds and see the impressive buildings that make up the palace.
If a guided tour isn’t your thing, a visit to the Imperial Palace’s east gardens may be more your style. These stunning gardens show the finest examples of decorative Japanese gardens with plant species from all over the country. You’ll also see traditional buildings as you get to walk behind the mammoth walls surrounding the palace.
The East gardens are closed on Monday and Friday. Take the train to Tokyo, and the main gates are a short walk from the station exit.
Official site & bookings: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/guide/koukyo.html
Part of the Presidents day in Tokyo was visiting the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, located on Odaiba Island.
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (aka The Miraikan) is one of the most unique museums we have been to anywhere in the world. This museum is filled with highly interactive exhibits in many languages, and shows all kinds of examples of how cutting edge science and technology and people are connected.
The Miraikan has exhibits about everything in the realm of science and technology, from IT to robots, all the way to space exploration, they cover it all, in an amazingly interactive way that is an absolute joy for children, and just as fun for adults.
The Miraikan is open daily from 10:00am till 5:00pm, and is closed on Tuesdays and from 28 Dec - 1 Jan. Admission is 600 yen. The best access to Odeo Onsen Monogatari is to take the Yurikamome train line, which travels around Odaiba Island, and disembark at Telecom Center Station.
Official Site - http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/en/
As part of the Presidents only full day in Tokyo was a special visit to the historic Meiji Shinto Shrine in Harajuku.
Just outside Harajuku station, hidden in this mammoth forested area in the middle of Tokyo is Meiji Shrine. Meiji is a large Shinto shrine that is dedicated to Emperor Meiji. As you wander through the gardens you will see plants that have been brought from all over Japan to this green oasis. Be sure to visit on a weekend, and you might be lucky enough to see a traditional Shinto wedding ceremony happening on the grounds.
Open year round, from sunrise to sunset daily. Jump off at Harajuku Station and make a right.
Official site - http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/index.html
After a long day of touring Tokyo like a President, how about eating like a president? The President of the USA and the Prime Minister of Japan ate at Japan's arguably most famous, exclusive, and best sushi restaurant in Tokyo: Sukiyabashi Jiro, and you can too!
Sukiyabashi Jiro is a rather small sushi restaurant nestled into the Ginza Station complex. You may walk passed it and not even give it a second look, its that unassuming. However this restaurant is one of only a handful in the world with the prestigious title of being a 3 Michelin starred restaurant.
Jiro, the head chef and owner has been running the restaurant himself for decades, with a small dedicated staff. Now in his 90's, Jiro doesn't seem to be slowing down, and still works and makes sushi daily for guests.
This isn't a cheap place to eat: A regular meal course will set you back quite a lot. The chef's recommended course is 30,000¥ (about $350AUD) per person, however you will get to sample around 20 pieces of the best sushi you will ever eat.
This restaurant only seats about 30 people, so getting a seat can be difficult. There are no walk-ins, and you must book in advance, by calling, which can be difficult to get through. As of writing this, they are fully booked for lunch and dinner for all of May, and June 2014 bookings open on May 1st.
Sukiyabashi Jiro is open for lunch and dinner and closed Sundays, public holidays, Saturday evenings and mid-August.
To find out how to book and more information, visit their official website -
After the most spectacular meal, perhaps a visit to one of Tokyo's most iconic towers is in order. For President Obama's visit to Tokyo, it was lit up in stars and stripes to mark the occasion.
The Tokyo Tower opened in 1958, serving as both a telecommunications tower and a tourist attraction. With it’s striking red and white design, it quickly became an icon in the Tokyo skyline. Although not as tall as the SkyTree, the Tower features two observation decks, and a shopping center. The main observation deck is positioned at 150 metres, and the special observation deck at 250 metres.
With shopping, dining and multiple observation decks, it's a great way to see Tokyo and also tick off an iconic landmark on your checklist. If you have limited time to visit, definitely take a trip to the tower at night. Tokyo tower has a spectacular lighting package which changes at a blink. They even have seasonal lighting events on the tower, so you may be lucky to be in for something extra special.
Tokyo Tower is open daily from 9am to 9pm*. Pricing starts at 820¥ for adults to the main observatory and additional admissions are required for the special observatory.
There is no limit to the amount of time you are allowed to spend in the tower, so make the most of your visit!
*Note: The tower may be closed early for overcrowding or inclement weather.
Official site - http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/eng/secret/
As you can see the President had a jam packed day seeing some of the best that Tokyo has to offer, and now with our guide you can too! The best part about Japlanning's presidential guide is that you can pick and choose what you like and fit it into your own presidential day!