Travel Postcard: 48 Hours in Tokyo

Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:05am EST
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Futuristic, frustrating and fascinating sum up Tokyo, a city of contrasts where narrow alleys packed with dark, smoky restaurants lie within view of extravagant buildings that would fit into a "Batman" film.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors to the Japanese capital get the most out of a short stay.


6 p.m. - Head to the Yurakucho area, just off the posh Ginza shopping district, for dinner under the raised train tracks of the Yamanote Line, which circles the city.

The area under the tracks is packed with restaurants, anything from Italian to Thai to California cuisine. But try Andy's Shin Hinomoto, across from the Yurakucho Denki Building. Run by the genial Andy, a Brit, Shin Hinomoto features sashimi, stir fries, tempura and daily specials in a long room with arched ceilings and a jovial, casual atmosphere. (03-3214-8021).

If Andy's is full, opt for some of the tables on sidewalks under the tracks, beer, and some sticks of grilled meat.

8 p.m. - Stroll the Ginza area, where brand-name stores like Cartier line up with department stores on broad, neon-lit streets. Or take a cab to Shinjuku for a drink at the bar of the Park Hyatt Hotel (, where Bill Murray met Scarlett Johansson in the movie "Lost in Translation."

SATURDAY   Continued...

<p>Pedestrians walk past on a pedestrian crossing at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Issei Kato</p>