What you should do in Tokyo when it's 5 in the morning?
(Originally posted on Quora, March 9, 2018)
My recommendations are based on my experience.
Breakfast with a View of Imperial Palace
The Restaurant by Aman, Tokyo
6:30AM - 10:30AM
Aman Tokyo is one of the latest addition to Tokyo's Luxury Hotels. Their restaurant (located on some 30th floor) has a magnificent view overlooking the Imperial Palace, which I really enjoyed.
You can choose Japanese style breakfast, American or Continental. Reservation is required. The decor and the view are worth every Yen. You can also visit the restaurant after 11 AM for a cup of coffee, which is more affordable.
Onsen in the Heart of the City
Spa | LaQua, Tokyo Dome
Open from 11:00 AM till 9:00 AM (22 hours)
Morning Onsen/Hot Springs is a luxury most Japanese can experience only when they're on their vacation.
So why not take advantage of it while in Tokyo? Spa LaQua is located near Tokyo Dome.
They have both indoor and outdoor Onsen for you to enjoy. After the bath you can enjoy the Japanese style of Western-style breakfast at their Cafe or nearby Tokyo Dome Hotel.
Be Nostalgic at Public Bath
Tsubame-U Sento, Ueno/Okachimachi
Sento is an old-style Public Bath. Tsubame-U (Sparrow Bath) is a Registered Important Cultural Properties. Until some thirty to forty years ago, there were Sentos all over in Tokyo, as many small apartments had shared bath. Sentos are known for their signature painting of Mt. Fuji. There used to be many artists who specialized in painting these Sento walls, but now they are all gone because Sentos are disappearing (I heard there might be one or two left in Tokyo).
It's Not Breakfast at Tiffany's
Kabukicho is the Red-Light district of Tokyo. Most businesses stay open all night and close early morning. It's never advertised, but it has always been the town that never sleeps before New York City and Las Vegas (I am guessing).
So, what do all those night-time workers do after they finish their shifts? They go out for a drink and a dinner (for then).
Yes, at 5 AM, you will encounter young male & female "Hosts," having grilled salmon breakfast, or Gyudon (beef bowl) with a bottle of beer at Yoshinoya, the beef bowl fast food restaurant.
The reason I know is because I've been there (some twenty years ago).
I had to admit it was quite a site. Not like twilight zone, but hey, definitely out of this world, if you know what I mean.
If you are lucky, you may see some drunken Japanese salary-man passed out on the street. Oh, that is perfectly fine. It happens every day and every night. It's no big deal. No one gets hurt. Really (OK sometimes bad things happen, but not like NYC or Vegas).
It's not definitely for everyone. It's people watching on acid, if you enjoy seeing that sort of thing.
Not So Many People, Shibuya Scramble Crossing
Saturday or Sunday, 5AM
People, people and more People. That is what you will see at the world-famous Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble Crossing. But wait, go there early weekend morning and you may find less, or almost no one at the crossing.
A great Instagram moment for a selfie. Yay!
Starbucks on the 2nd floor of Tsutaya opens at 6:30AM, so you can enjoy Latte as you overlook the crossing.
(Here is a YouTube video shoot on Sunday at 7AM.)