Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be in Tokyo in the early morning? Without the usual hustle and bustle, you will see an elegant, bashful city with many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Yes, it is true that most places in Tokyo only open from 9 or 10 a.m, but there are also several activities that you can enjoy way before a busy day begins.
Watch the Tokyo Morning Sunrise
As “the land of the rising sun”, it is only a must to watch the beautiful dawn at least once if you come to Japan. Tokyo might not be the first place the sun chasers think of, but if you find yourself in the city in the early morning, don’t miss out on the chance to welcome the first sunlight of the day. It doesn’t matter whether you are a fan of nature or skyscrapers, there are some guaranteed places in Tokyo that will give you a perfect view of the first sunbeam of the day. Check out our article for more information here.
Credits: Matthew Landers (Unsplash)
Go for a Walk or Jog
A great way to kickstart your morning is to go for a walk or jog around the city. Admittedly, Tokyo is the perfect city for pedestrians. Almost every place is accessible on foot, and the pavement is large and spacious. Even if you have been walking around the city countless times, taking a stroll around the neighborhood in the morning is an entirely different experience.
I was in Shinjuku, the busiest place in Tokyo, in the early morning before sunrise a few weeks ago, and I could barely see any cars. The streets were so quiet I could hear my own footsteps! If you really want to break a sweat and go jogging or running, there are a few places that you should definitely check out. The Imperial Palace, Ueno park, and Yoyogi Park are some excellent choices!
Credits: Julie Anne Garrido (Unsplash)
Eat a Hearty Japanese Breakfast
Contrary to Western breakfasts which often consist of sugar-laden cereals and white bread, a typical Japanese breakfast is based around rice and other sources of nutrition such as protein and fiber. The traditional breakfast is usually a teishoku meal (set meal) with one main dish (usually grilled fish) and other side dishes such as rice, miso, and pickled veg. If you are looking for a place that serves authentic Japanese breakfast dishes, I recommend you check out Maido Ookini Higashi-Shinjuku-Shokudou. It’s open from 6 am with a variety of dishes for you to pick, ranging from grilled fish to omelets, and has even been featured in Food vlogger Mark Wien’s YouTube video during his trip to Japan.
Visit Shimokitazawa for Shutter Art
Graffiti used to be a big problem in Shimokitazawa. Instead of establishing stricter rules and punishments to tackle the problem, the Shimokitazawa Ichiban-gai community decided to ask mural artists to decorate the shutter doors with beautiful works of art. From paintings of women in traditional clothes to samurai to other creative illustrations, you can catch a glimpse of almost anything related to Japan’s culture in Shimokitazawa while admiring the talents of the artists.
As the murals are on the shutter doors, you can only either see these in the early morning before the shops open or in the late evening after the shops close. For the best experience, I encourage you to visit Shimokitazawa in the morning so that you can marvel at the vibrant colors and fascinating details of each piece of art in ample sunlight. In fact, this neighborhood is so charming and unique in its own way that it’s worth spending an entire day checking it out!
Go to a Usually Busy Spot like Shibuya Crossing
As the world’s busiest crosswalk, it’s almost impossible to imagine a quiet Shibuya Crossing. However, if you get here in the early morning before the place is filled with people rushing to their workplace or going shopping, you will witness the impossible. I wouldn’t say that the place is completely empty, but it is nothing compared to the usual amount of hundreds of people waiting at the intersection.
Don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee at the Starbucks overlooking the crossing and enjoy the brief quiet moment of Shibuya before the place snaps back to its usual liveliness!
Credits: Jezael Melgoza (Unsplash)
Discovered Your Favorite Things to Do in Tokyo in the Morning?
Whether you are a morning person or not, I guarantee you that waking up early to enjoy the beauty and quietness of Tokyo will be one of the best things you can do while staying in Japan!
- 5 Best Places to Catch the First Tokyo Sunrise of 2022
- Discover Shimokitazawa, A Glimpse Back in Time
- 7 Cheap Spots and Activities You Can Enjoy for Free in Tokyo
- What Is The Most Cost-Efficient Fast Food In Japan?
Featured photo credits: Photo by Julia Solonina