A traveler with a backpack sitting and looking at a traditional Japanese temple with striking red and white structures under a clear sky at dusk.

Exploring Tokyo
Like a Local

Drew Binsky is drawn to interesting places, unexpected finds, and most importantly, connecting with locals. Addy Collette is an avid traveler who is currently driving across Japan in a camper van. With Drew’s experiences and Addy’s local knowledge, this ANA Ambassador duo is creating an itinerary worth bookmarking.

A bustling street scene at night in an urban area with bright neon signs and advertisements, crowded with pedestrians traveling across Japan.
Collage of travel photos in Japan, featuring an ANA airplane, Matsumoto Castle, a woman at a shrine, origami crane, bustling street scene with a man holding up peace signs, and torii gate with a man posing with his thumbs up.

Discovering the Unexpected

This isn’t Drew’s first time planning a trip to Japan. Having lived in Korea for two years, he was able to take advantage of proximity on numerous occasions. All told, this will be his eighth trip to Japan — and having already been to Mt. Fuji, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa, he’s ready to see other parts of Japan. There’s one city Drew is particularly keen to experience like a local – Tokyo.

“I want to be in Tokyo for at least part, maybe half of my time — maybe even the majority,”  he says. “It’s fun to connect with a local because they know the lay of the land, the cool spots and the hidden gems, they speak the language.”

And Addy is the perfect person to help Drew explore the city like never before. Splitting her time between San Francisco and Tokyo, she’s got recommendations on recommendations. Together, they’ve pinned down a thrilling itinerary that balances the unexpected with cultural hotspots.

Tokyo Destinations

  • Akihabara:
    A shopping district known as “Electric Town” because of its numerous electronics retailers.
  • Shinjuku:
    A neighborhood which is perhaps best known for its karaoke scene.
  • Ginza:
    An upscale shopping district known for its fine dining.
  • Harajuku:
    Specifically, Takeshita Dori, a crowded alley of shops that is recognized as the birthplace of many fashion trends.
A map of Japan with an inset of Akihabara, Shinjuku, Ginza, and Harajuku.

For some areas, Drew is leaving his itinerary a little more open-ended, like Kitakyushu — an area he has not yet visited but intends to dig in on the local cuisine. Similarly, in Shimonoseki he hopes to taste pufferfish, a delicacy that originated in the city.

Fukuoka, with its ancient temples and beautiful beaches, is also on Drew’s itinerary. He’s hoping to explore Kyushu Island, with its volcanoes and hot springs, before moving on to Miyazaki for a slow-placed exploration of the birthplace of Japan.

ANA Ambassadors have one job — to map out the perfect, personalized trip that’s full of insider tips. Follow along to see how this trip pans out and what destinations the other ANA Ambassadors create.

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