Tokyo is a not a friend to the early riser – or the jetlagged. On my recent trip, I woke up every morning around 5 am and, after a couple of hours enjoying lounging about, I was raring to explore this exciting city – but, nothing, it seemed, was open much before 11 am. Until I started looking more closely, and realised there is actually a lot to do in Tokyo before breakfast. So, here’s my guide to early morning Tokyo…
13 Fun Things to Do in Tokyo – Before 10 am
1. Go See Thousands of Waving Cats
Shrines and temples are great things to do in the early morning in Tokyo; they are often open 24 hours, or at least open extremely early and by going before breakfast you usually beat the crowds.
One place where this definitely pays off is Gotoku-ji in Tokyo’s South East. Known as the temple of beckoning cats, this is actually a large space with an impressive pagoda, numerous outlying buildings and a cemetery to walk around, but what brings the tourists here is the area of the temple which is lined with thousands of white maneki-neko, the lucky, waving cat.
The area containing the cats, however, is very small, if there are more than about four people in it, it feels crowded. Getting there first thing gives you more opportunity to have the place to yourself – and the best chance of awesome pictures.
Gotoku-ji opens at 6 am and is about a 30-minute journey to Gotokuji station on the Odakyu line from Shinjuku. Miyanosaka on the Tokyu-Setagaya line is a little bit nearer to the temple entrance and you can connect to this via the Odakyu line or the Keio Line.
One piece of advice – download the Hyperdia by Voice app shortly before you leave. This app …continue reading