I'm going to Japan in April... we only have a week. We're staying in Tokyo, probably in Shibuya or Meguro, because we have friends living in Meguro. We're planning on taking an overnight trip up to Nagano to the monkey park and staying at an onsen ryokan there, and would also like to do a day trip to Johnson AFB (think it's Irumi now) outside of Tokyo because I'm doing some research on it for my thesis.
Any advice of things we should see that might fit in to a tight schedule? Or advice on places to stay--haven't booked anything yet, but we're looking at really cheap ryokans, don't want to spend much more than Y10000 a night for both of us...
Go to Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. I went on a Saturday with my brother (he lived there at the time) and I loved it. Very beautiful place and lots of people doing different types of entertainment all day. It doesn't cost anything other than the train ride.
You have to go to Tokyo Tower because the view of the city is AMAZING.
The Imperial Palace is great, but it is only open to the public a few days a year. I would still go anyway to see the outside of the Palace.
Hie Jinja and Kanda Myoujin are very lovely shrines in Tokyo that you should see and there are tons. The shrines and temples are beautiful and you should go online to see which ones you want to go to.
Nakamise is a cool pedestrian mall that has lots of little shops to get some fun trinkets.
There's Akihabara which is Electric City and you can buy and see tons of electronics of all kinds.
There are so many other places to see and you can see a lot of places in a few days.
Good luck and have fun. I had so much fun in Japan.
I agree that the view from Tokyo Tower was amazing! I was there briefly in November for work, and only had a very short time to do anything else. Also go to Gonpachi Restaurant on Roppongi - the restaurant scene in "Kill Bill" was based upon this. Fantastic sushi!