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38 Fun & Best Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan


There’s no vacation spot fairly like Japan. With distinctive tradition, wonderful surroundings, cosmopolitan cities, and welcoming individuals, this island nation usually finds itself on the bucket record of vacationers. Most of them will definitely go to Tokyo, the busy metropolis between Tokyo Bay and Mount Fuji that has been central to Japan for hundreds of years.

If you weren’t positive about Tokyo, it’s undoubtedly price visiting on a Japan journey. One of its a number of worldwide airports is probably going the place you’ll fly into anyway, and if not, bullet trains from throughout the archipelago could have you on the foremost station in a couple of hours on the most.

Tokyo is a middle not just for enterprise and transportation in Japan but additionally for Japanese tradition and historical past. Some of the nation’s oldest Buddhist temples are positioned among the many metropolis lights, as is the palace of the ruling Emperor. Plus, it will be a sin to not point out the unimaginable Tokyo meals that you simply’ll discover onerous to depart from.

Many vacationers questioning what to do in Tokyo of their restricted time get overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of locations to go and issues to see. I do know the sensation – my first journey to Tokyo was a whopping 24 hours (out of a complete of 48 in Japan).

We’ve put collectively the under information of the preferred sights in Tokyo and what you might want to learn about them. Whether it’s Japanese historical past, surroundings, nightlife, or sushi you’re after, you will discover it in Tokyo – learn on to see the place and the way.

TLDR

  • Most vital landmarkMount Fuji
  • Best park – Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  • Best free exercise – Imperial Palace Easy Gardens
  • Best exercise for teenagersTokyo Disneyland
  • Best exercise for adults – Ginza Shopping Street
  • Best meals – Ramen Street at Tokyo Station
  • Best nightlife – Shibuya
  • Best all-around lodgingHyatt Regency Tokyo

Best & Fun Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

Before we get began, there’s one disclaimer: depart loads of room in your suitcase to carry residence copious quantities of Japanese snacks. With that out of the way in which, let’s check out what to see in Tokyo and the excursions and experiences accessible for them.

1. Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree and Cityscape

Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan

Let’s begin with one of many most popular tourist attractions within the metropolis: the Tokyo Skytree. It’s the world’s tallest freestanding broadcast tower and gives wonderful views of the Tokyo skyline from its 360-degree commentary deck.

Located in Sumida City, the Tokyo Skytree is only a quick stroll from the well-known Sensō-ji Temple and the Asakusa space. It’s simple to mix these locations right into a day collectively, however even when that’s not your plan, the Skytree is definitely reached through the practice station of the identical identify.

The Tokyo Skytree is likely one of the nice issues to do in Tokyo for {couples}, because the view over the glowing metropolis lights, the zig-zagging community of streets, and the tranquil Sumida River are splendidly breathtaking. There’s even a easy bar with seating dealing with the view on the prime to take pleasure in inexperienced tea or Japanese beer.

I extremely suggest a visit up the elevator on the Skytree, and I bear in mind being in awe at simply how excessive up you go and the way breathtaking the view was, which you simply can’t think about from under. Don’t overlook to purchase an admission ticket upfront to keep away from any traces. Tickets are additionally accessible with a 24-hour subway pass to assist get you there.

See Related: Best Girls Trip Destinations Around the World

2. See the Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms in Japan

If you will be in Japan for cherry blossom season, then you definately completely should take no less than one afternoon to benefit from the colourful blooms. This annual occasion begins in late March and may final till early May in some components of the nation, and with Tokyo being within the central half, its cherry timber are likely to bloom within the earlier a part of that vary.

Enjoying cherry blossom season is so particular in Japanese tradition that there’s even a phrase for it: hanami, which means viewing the cherry blossoms or having a picnic or party amongst them. And whereas Tokyo may be very a lot urbanized and a concrete jungle these days, there are nonetheless loads of locations the place these pink flowers flourish amongst inexperienced areas within the metropolis.

One of the preferred spots to see some sakura is Chigorigafuchi Park, alongside the moat of the Imperial Palace. Here, you possibly can lease a ship and row your manner by the peaceable blossoms. Others embody Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, which we’ll cowl individually later as nicely.

Many vacationers wish to heart their complete journey round seeing the cherry blossoms. If you’re one in all them, then it’s price contemplating reserving a cherry blossom tour to be sure to benefit from your expertise. You’ll additionally in all probability take pleasure in a visit to Mt. Fuji, the place there are much more cherry blossoms – extra on that later.

3. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and Cityscape

Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan

Can’t get sufficient of the Tokyo skyline, or need to see it totally free? The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has not one commentary deck however two, with none admission ticket required.

Both the north and south observatories of this authorities constructing provide panoramic views over totally different components of town at over 600 toes in peak. The Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, and snow-capped Mount Fuji are among the landmarks you can also make out from the highest.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is within the coronary heart of Shinjuku, a preferred district for meals, nightlife, procuring, and a number of other different main sights on our record. Since you’ll doubtless end up close by sooner or later, one of many observatories is definitely price visiting.

Some of Tokyo’s greatest inns are in Shinjuku and are very near this widespread attraction. I notably just like the Hyatt Regency Tokyo, which is straight linked to the federal government constructing, in addition to its subway station, and steps from all of the enjoyable of Shinjuku.

See Related: What to Buy in Japan: Souvenirs to Take Home

4. Sensō-ji Temple

Sensō-ji Temple and Skyline

Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

One of the highest issues to do in Tokyo for any vacationer is to admire the Sensō-ji Buddhist Temple. Dating again to the 12 months 645, that is Tokyo’s oldest temple and a very sacred one.

Sadly, many of the authentic temple was destroyed throughout World War II, however it has been reconstructed because it was. It is likely one of the world’s most visited spiritual websites, bringing greater than 30 million individuals per 12 months by its foremost gates.

The expertise begins in your stroll by the historic Asakusa neighborhood to the temple, the place the streets are lined with retailers and conventional avenue meals stands. Everything is scrumptious, however my prime tip is to attempt to discover some inexperienced tea ice cream to take pleasure in whilst you stroll by.

Eventually, you’ll attain the principle gates, the place an enormous pink lantern hangs. This place will get extraordinarily crowded as everybody stops to take photos. Once you’re by it, you will notice the principle Buddhist temple and its majestic five-story pagoda, that are much more photogenic.

You can go inside the principle temple, however understand that no photographs are allowed. To get the total historic and cultural historical past of this wonderful place and neighborhood, contemplate an Asakusa guided tour. Even higher could be to remain at a ryokan, a standard Japanese inn, such because the Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu, on the steps of the temple.

5. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Scenery

Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan

There is not any scarcity of Japanese gardens within the metropolis regardless of its urbanization, and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is certainly the most effective. This can also be one of many nice low-cost issues to do in Tokyo for these on a finances.

The gardens are fairly historic, having been residence initially to a big property that modified palms a couple of occasions amongst outstanding households who at all times maintained gardens. Unfortunately, the realm was one of many casualties of World War II bombings, and it was principally destroyed. After the devastation, the Japanese authorities restored the house into gardens with greater than 20,000 timber.

Today, there are three distinct types within the gardens: French Formal, English Landscape, and Japanese conventional. Chrysanthemums, roses, cacti, and different flowers are simply among the flora discovered each in greenhouses and outdoors. Tranquil lakes and streams criss-cross the park and make for peaceable strolling on this escape from town.

As talked about, these Japanese gardens are nice throughout the cherry blossom interval, with greater than 1,000 cherry timber. Garden lovers may contemplate a private tour of the house to get the total expertise.

6. Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace Scenery

Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan

Among the skyscrapers and metropolis lights of downtown Tokyo is its Imperial Palace, simply blocks from Tokyo Station. It’s full with a moat and varied gardens and is the official residence of the Emperor of Japan and among the Imperial Family.

Japan is the one monarchy within the fashionable world that refers to its head of state as “Emperor,” however similar to the United Kingdom and different monarchies, the place is generally ceremonial and symbolic, leaving the elected authorities to run the nation. However, the Emperor is very regarded and an essential image to the Japanese individuals, who continues to reside within the palace.

The Imperial Palace is constructed on an historic website that was as soon as a lot bigger than its present state and was previously referred to as Edo Castle. While a lot has modified over its 550-year historical past, among the authentic fort’s ruins are nonetheless seen within the East Gardens immediately.

Visitors can tour the East Gardens totally free year-round, however many of the Imperial Palace is off-limits to the general public. There is a brief tour supplied by the palace employees that visits a small portion of the personal grounds with out going inside any buildings. Book an Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine tour to benefit from your go to.

See Related: Real, Magical Castles in Fairytales to Visit

7. Ginza Shopping

Ginza Shopping District and Skyline
R.Bordo / Shutterstock.com

One of the highest issues to do in Tokyo for adults is procuring, and for absolutely anything. place to begin is Ginza, a glamorous, high-end district recognized for its massive malls and small boutiques the place individuals from all around the world come to buy.

The streets of Ginza are corresponding to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles or Fifth Avenue in New York however a lot bigger. The neighborhood is positioned simply blocks from Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. On weekend afternoons, the principle procuring avenue of Chuo Dori closes to automobiles and turns into absolutely pedestrianized, which attracts a vigorous crowd.

You’ll discover procuring of every kind right here, starting from luxurious retailers like Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior to unbiased Japanese boutiques. There are additionally huge malls like Matsuya, the place you will get groceries, sushi, pastries, clothes, toys, and extra. Don’t overlook to cease at Uniqlo, one in all Japan’s most profitable clothes manufacturers.

You’ll discover nice procuring throughout Tokyo, however Ginza is a spot to not miss for shopaholics. If that is your sort of factor, contemplate a Ginza exploration tour with a neighborhood information.

8. Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park Scenery

Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan

If you’re on the lookout for one other escape from the concrete jungle, Yoyogi Park is likely one of the hottest decisions for Tokyo locals. It is conveniently positioned subsequent to the key Harajuku Station and the Meiji Shrine, making them simply mixed on a go to to the realm.

The park has a good bit of historical past, being the location of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a former barracks for the US army, and the place the primary profitable powered flight in Japan took off from. Today, it’s a peaceable inexperienced house with varied lakes and hills, in addition to loads of cherry timber. This is one other widespread place for having fun with the sakura season.

Yoyogi Park is very thrilling on Sundays when every kind of fascinating musicians and performers come out. Japanese rock music, martial artists, and every kind of different avenue performers may be seen training within the park.

This is a superb place to see what actual, native life is like in Tokyo. To see extra of that, together with this space, contemplate a local life tour with a information to point out you all of the secrets and techniques of this nook of Tokyo.

9. Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji View

While there are many issues to do in Tokyo, many vacationers wish to get out of town for a day. A pure vacation spot is Mt. Fuji, an emblem of Japan acknowledged worldwide and simply two hours southwest of Tokyo metropolis.

This is Japan’s highest level at greater than 12,000 toes, and the sacred mountain is an lively volcano. While it’s seen from a number of factors in Tokyo, it’s even higher to see up-close at its toes the Japanese countryside. The widespread gateway city to the mountain is Gotemba, which has a railway station.

Numerous paths can be found to hike to Fuji’s summit, and lots of are beginner-friendly. Hiking season lasts from July to September. The chilly months flip Fuji right into a winter wonderland, the place actions like snowboarding and snowboarding can be found at two winter resorts. Spring brings the gorgeous blossoms that we’ve already talked about a number of occasions.

Most guests favor to take a day tour to Mount Fuji from Tokyo, so that they don’t want to fret about driving or taking trains. There are loads of these accessible, however I like to recommend one that features a go to to Lake Kawaguchi or Ashi, like this bus tour.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in Japan & Top Things to Do

10. Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland Entrance Sign
Dasian / Shutterstock.com

Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031, Japan

If you’ve learn my different articles, you understand that there was no manner I wasn’t going to say the world’s happiest amusement park. That’s proper, there are two Disney parks proper on Tokyo Bay, round half-hour from town heart by practice.

Tokyo Disneyland is the principle park the place you’ll discover the Cinderella Castle, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and all the opposite staples of Disney. Tokyo additionally has DisneySea, one other park with ocean-themed rides and sights from motion pictures like Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Both parks are simply as nice as you think about. It’s very enjoyable to see your favourite characters talking Japanese alongside English on their respective rides and see the retailers on Main Street promoting Japan-specific attire. Even in case you are visiting within the winter, don’t skip Disneyland on the depend of the climate – the Christmas celebration right here is spectacular.

Be positive to purchase your entry ticket online upfront, which may even embody a switch if you happen to aren’t staying at a Disney resort. Besides these, there may be additionally the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay straight outdoors the park, which has handy entry and upscale facilities.

11. Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower and Cityscape

Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Did you understand that there’s an Eiffel Tower-look alike in central Tokyo? In reality, the Tokyo Tower was designed based mostly on the well-known Parisian landmark. It’s an almost 1,100-foot communications tower within the Minato City neighborhood and has turn into a neighborhood icon.

The practical goal of the Tokyo Tower was to supply antenna house for tv and radio broadcasters after the postwar financial increase of Japan. Its Eiffel Tower design permits it to resist earthquakes and unhealthy storms, and it’s painted in orange and white to adjust to aviation guidelines.

But, the tower has developed a touristic goal as nicely. There are two commentary decks, one at round 490 toes and one other at 819 toes, with panoramic views above town. There’s additionally a customer heart referred to as FootTown (i.e., on the toes) beneath the tower with eating places, procuring, a small amusement park, and elevators to the tower.

Don’t overlook to purchase an admission ticket upfront to keep away from losing time in line. After your go to, I like to recommend going throughout the road to the small park on the hill under. It has lovely maple timber and a small waterfall which are usually missed.

12. Take a Japanese Cooking Class

Cooking Class

Besides the wealthy historical past, fascinating tradition, and pure fantastic thing about Japan, you have to be very excited in regards to the scrumptious meals you’ll be having in your journey. Healthy, contemporary, and easy, it looks like everybody likes Japanese meals. So, why not take a cooking class to see the way it’s actually completed, and take residence a brand new ability?

There are numerous Japanese cooking class experiences accessible in Tokyo. Of course, an all-time favourite is sushi, and rightfully so – as you’ll see, there’s nothing like having sushi in Japan. In this sushi-making class, you’ll discover ways to prepare dinner the right sushi rice, and tips on how to use it to make pleasant Nigiri, Inari, and three various kinds of rolls.

Japanese delicacies goes manner past sushi. You may be taught to make ramen and gyoza (also called dumplings) on this supermarket tour and class, the place you’ll additionally discover ways to get the right components. Once you strive the true factor, chances are you’ll by no means have the ability to have a look at prompt noodles the identical once more.

Don’t overlook about one of many crown jewels of Japanese delicacies – Wagyu beef. This kaiseki ryouri (haute cuisine) class will present you precisely tips on how to put together this delicate minimize, together with different conventional greens and dishes, whilst you take pleasure in delicacies like inexperienced tea and sake.

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13. Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine Entrance

Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan

Adjacent to the favored Yoyogi Park is one other one of many metropolis’s most tranquil locations, Meiji Shrine. This Shinto shrine is likely one of the hottest in all of Japan, because it’s devoted to Emperor Meiji, who dominated the Empire of Japan throughout a time of transformation right into a world energy.

Emperor Meiji’s reign was between 1862 and 1912, and the shrine was devoted only a few years after his demise. People from throughout Japan devoted supplies and labor to its building, with provides coming from each prefecture. While a lot was destroyed throughout World War II, its 170 acres have been restored.

The grounds include greater than 120,000 timber and 365 species donated by individuals all around the nation. The Meiji Jingu Museum is a recently-opened constructing close to the Harajuku Station entrance to the shrine, the place guests can see among the belongings of Emperor Meiji and the treasures of his rule. Deeper into the grounds, the atmosphere turns into serene and tranquil and a really religious spot for Shinto individuals.

As the Shinjuku neighborhood incorporates many top attractions, such because the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, that is one other excellent spot to base your keep in Tokyo. To lower your expenses, and take a look at an authentically-Japanese sort of lodging, contemplate a capsule resort such because the Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Shinjuku. It’s removed from a luxurious resort, and your “room” is really a capsule, however it’s a cool expertise to strive whereas right here.

14. Ueno Park & Zoo

Ueno Park & Zoo Scenery

Address: 9-83 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-8711, Japan

Another nice park in Tokyo is Ueno Park, which can also be residence to Japan’s oldest zoo. They are simply west of the Asakusa neighborhood and are reachable straight through Ueno Station.

Ueno Park is residence to many strolling paths, a lake with boat leases, and a number of other Shinto and Buddhist websites. It’s additionally the place a number of of Tokyo’s greatest museums may be discovered, together with the National Museum of Nature and Science, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and the National Museum of Western Art. We’ll elaborate extra on some later in their very own sections.

The Ueno Zoo has all kinds of habitats, together with pandas, gorillas, kangaroos, and extra. There are over 2,600 animals and 400 species housed right here, and there’s a petting space nice for teenagers. A five-story pagoda towers above the animals and makes for excellent pictures as nicely.

The zoo is splendidly cheap, so don’t hesitate to purchase a ticket even if you happen to simply need to have a fast look earlier than or after among the close by sights. The Ueno neighborhood is an efficient place to search out some extra conventional lodging, like this guesthouse, if you wish to lower your expenses and keep away from costly Tokyo inns.

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15. Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing Aerial View
shantihesse – inventory.adobe.com

Believe it or not, some of the well-known icons of Tokyo is a crosswalk! Shibuya Crossing is simply outdoors of the Shibuya Station and is a central level on this busy enterprise district of Tokyo corresponding to Times Square.

The difficult intersection is busy not solely with car site visitors handing over each route but additionally with pedestrians who scramble as soon as the sunshine turns pink. You can cross the road in each route, together with diagonally, and it fills with individuals systematically when it turns into the pedestrians’ flip.

In reality, vacationers and locals will even cease within the heart to take some fast selfies within the iconic spot – however be observant of the crossing clock, as guidelines are adopted strictly in Japan! You will in all probability be tempted to cross the well-known streets greater than as soon as.

When you’ve had all of your crossing enjoyable, cease by the Hachikō Memorial Statue on the identical block to pay tribute to the world’s most loyal canine. The canine, an Akita, would stroll to Shibuya Station each day to attend for his proprietor to return residence from work. One day, his proprietor suffered a deadly medical downside and didn’t come residence – however that didn’t cease the canine, who continued to attend each day for the remainder of his life.

16. See a Japanese Baseball Game

Game at Mazda Stadium
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Did you understand that “America’s favourite pastime” is one in all Japan’s, too? Baseball may be very widespread in Japan, and so they have knowledgeable league referred to as Nippon Professional Baseball, or the NPB.

The historical past of baseball in Japan dates again almost 100 years, and so they have despatched among the MLB’s greatest gamers to the US. There are twelve skilled groups in Japan based mostly throughout the nation, together with two in Tokyo, and the season runs from late March to October, which is the prime journey season for Japan.

Tokyo’s groups are the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows, the previous being the place New York Yankees MVP Hideki Matsui began. You can see a recreation and even get a pre-start introduction to Japanese baseball historical past, viewers chants, and the way locals benefit from the sport from the stands. They embody tickets to a recreation, and the expertise for the Giants is available here, and the Yakult Swallows available here.

The Swallows play on the Meiji Jingu Stadium in Shinjuku, subsequent to the Nihon Seinenkan Hotel. The Giants play on the Tokyo Dome in Bunkyo City, subsequent to the Tokyo Dome Hotel. Both are glorious locations to remain and really handy for catching a recreation.

17. The National Art Center

Tokyo National Art Center

Address: 7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-8558, Japan

Want to see among the most fascinating artwork exhibitions in Tokyo? The National Art Center is the place to go, as they at all times have one thing new to see – actually, it’s an “empty museum” with no everlasting shows!

The level of this museum is to always show rotating exhibitions from throughout Japan and the remainder of the world. That’s why many artwork lovers who’ve been to Tokyo earlier than will usually discover themselves again once more to see what the curators have put collectively for the present exhibitions.

It wouldn’t be very helpful to inform you about what they’ve proper now, as it’ll change in a couple of weeks. One of their hottest previous exhibitions was one on Monet, and a late 2022 one might be on the artwork of Japanese design.

Admission into the museum itself is free, however the particular exhibitions often require a ticket, which varies in value. The museum additionally usually hosts workshops and teaching programs led by a various set of instructors on many matters. You can try what precisely is going on on the National Art Center throughout your journey on their website.

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18. Mori Art Museum

Mori Art Museum Building

Address: Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Another excellent spot to view artwork in Tokyo is the Mori Art Museum, additionally within the Roppongi neighborhood. Founded by the true property developer Minoru Mori, who designed the constructing, this museum primarily options up to date artwork of Japanese and East Asian origins.

Its assortment has amassed over 400 items over time and contains work, drawings, sculptures, images, and movies. There are additionally frequent rotating exhibitions with a variety of themes, additionally stemming from Japan and the area.

The Mori Art Museum additionally hosts programs and workshops for artists to be taught, together with the potential for following them on-line. Don’t overlook to additionally try their rooftop Skydeck and indoor panoramic view – one other advantage of being positioned in some of the outstanding skyscrapers in Tokyo!

19. Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum Display

Address: 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan

Animation followers will certainly acknowledge Ghibli Studios as a popular culture staple. This well-known studio that created Totoro and Spirited Away relies proper right here in Tokyo, and the Ghibli Museum is the place you possibly can see all of their work showcased.

The Ghibli Museum is an fascinating expertise, combining options of a kids’s museum, a effective arts museum, and know-how shows. The studio director, Hayao Miyazaki, designed the entire thing himself, basing it as he would for one in all his storyboards. The result’s a novel constructing that’s as entertaining as one in all his movies.

An complete flooring is devoted to all issues Totoro. Guests additionally get to see a reproduction of an animation studio and see the method of making a movie. A theater exhibits some quick movies from the studio, and guests are permitted to see one per go to.

Besides all the displays, there may be additionally a rooftop backyard, reward store, and café on the Ghibli Museum. It’s essential to buy tickets upfront, because it’s the one technique to get them, and they’re aggressive to get. They go on sale on the tenth day of each month for reservations throughout the next month, which have to be strictly adopted.

True manga and animé lovers could have lots to do and see in Tokyo, together with the Ghibli Museum. Since there may be a lot, contemplate reserving a specialized guide to take you to all the greatest locations and provide you with some fan perception.

20. Piss Alley

Nigh Lights at Piss Alley

Address: 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Actually, for guests who need to see a chunk of Tokyo’s actual native historical past that has was a classy place to have time, a visit to Piss Alley is a superb selection.

More formally referred to as Omoide Yokochou, this small aspect avenue simply steps from Shinjuku Station may be very slender, with retailers, bars, and avenue meals stalls packed in tightly. This may be very totally different from the intense and fashionable Tokyo that almost all guests think about, and it’s a native hotspot totally different from different sights.

That is what makes it enjoyable, although, as it is a piece of the true Tokyo. This historic alley happened throughout Japan’s years of battle and prohibition when individuals have been poor and needed to come right here to drink in secret and eat low-cost avenue meals. As there have been no public loos, the drinkers used the road as a substitute; therefore, the identify.

For some tasty and still-cheap meals and nice Japanese beer and cocktails, take a stroll down this enjoyable avenue one night. Don’t depart Japan with out attempting some yakiniku (Japanese barbecue) or a few of Piss Alley’s unusual meals from animals and bugs you wouldn’t count on to be consuming.

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21. Ramen Street at Tokyo Station

Ramen Street Restaurant in Tokyo
Osugi / Shutterstock.com

Address: 1 Chome−9−1 Floor B1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, Japan

If you’re desirous to eat Tokyo’s best ramen, then Ramen Street is the place to be. The “avenue” is definitely a hallway of the underground procuring and restaurant metropolis beneath Tokyo Station, and it’s so well-known that it’s even seen on Google Maps.

Ramen Street is made up of eight totally different well-known ramen retailers. Most individuals are conversant in ramen as an inexpensive, easy meal, however few vacationers understand that when completed correctly, it may be among the greatest Japanese meals of your journey. If it’s your first time in Japan, you received’t imagine how vast the varieties there are.

All of the eight retailers on Ramen Street provide their very own specialties, and you will discover indicators indicating their hottest menu gadgets. English is displayed alongside Japanese in order that you understand the flavors and depth of what you’re ordering. Some even can help you select the firmness of your noodles on a scale of 1 to 5.

Ramen fanatics may do nicely with a ramen-tasting tour with a neighborhood knowledgeable who can present you much more secret spots to get the very best bowls in Tokyo. Just make certain you’re saving some meals for different Japanese meals, like sushi!

22. Watch Some Sumo Wrestling

Sumo Wrestling Fight

While baseball is sweet enjoyable, sports activities followers may even take pleasure in seeing actual sumo wrestling, which is solely referred to as sumo in Japan. It’s a nationwide sport and has skilled members, and preserves some historic traditions from Japanese historical past.

Sumo means “placing each other” in Japanese, and that’s a great way to explain it. Opponents attempt to push one another out of the round ring or throw, shove, or in any other case wrestle the opposite to the bottom in order that something apart from the soles of the toes makes contact. It’s a type of fashionable martial arts, but it has been practiced for tons of of years.

Tokyo has three grand sumo tournaments, or honbasho, annually in January, May, and September. They happen over a number of days, and spectators can see big opponents of all ranges preventing within the ring. It’s very thrilling and, after all, way more genuine than the wrestling you’ve in all probability seen at residence.

Even higher than going straight to a match, nonetheless, could be to visit a sumo stable and watch their morning follow with a neighborhood information. You’ll get way more perception into this fascinating sport and a novel glimpse into sumo that only a handful of tourists will ever see.

23. Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge and Night Lights

Address: 3 Chome-33-19 Kaigan, Minato City, Tokyo 108-0022, Japan

One of the nicest locations to benefit from the glowing metropolis lights of Tokyo is on the opposite aspect of the Rainbow Bridge. This double-decker suspension bridge connects Tokyo correct to some islands in Tokyo Bay and turns into very lovely at evening when it’s colorfully illuminated.

The wires of the bridge are lined with lamps that shine pink, inexperienced, and white on them, whereas the bottom towers are lit in shades of blue. They are utterly powered by photo voltaic power that’s captured throughout the day. It provides some fantastic shade to the already-sparkling metropolis within the background.

Many vacationers wish to cross the bridge on foot, as it’s also possible to get some nice daytime views on its walkways. From the north aspect, you get a panoramic view of the Tokyo Bay waterfront, and the Tokyo Tower is seen. The south aspect has views all the way in which to Mount Fuji.

The walkways are solely open till the early night, so plan your go to correctly. The greatest place to view the Rainbow Bridge is from Odaiba Seaside Park, which gives a Brooklyn Bridge Park-type view of it.

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24. Participate in a Traditional Tea Ceremony

Japanese Traditional Tea Ceremony

Japan is stuffed with fascinating traditions which have run deep in its tradition for 1000’s of years. One technique to get an fascinating glimpse into a few of this custom and tradition is by attending a standard tea ceremony, or sadō.

While it might appear very ceremonial and formal, a tea ceremony is definitely simply “having tea” for Japanese individuals more often than not. They do it with pals, household, colleagues, or whoever else desires to have tea, however there may be formal variations of it if applicable. So, don’t really feel like you’re intruding if you happen to resolve to affix one with traditionally-dressed locals in a particular room.

The ceremony is all in regards to the preparation and serving of matcha, or powdered inexperienced tea. It usually takes place in a particular tea room adorned with hanging scrolls, flowers, and flooring mats for seating. The host will doubtless put on a kimono, and chances are you’ll be supplied one, too. Light snacks like pastries are often served.

You can book a tea ceremony with an English-speaking teacher who can lead you thru the method and present you tips on how to recreate it at residence. There are additionally versions available led by a geisha, or feminine performing artist, who can sing, dance, and make the ceremony much more thrilling.

25. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Exhibit
cowardlion / Shutterstock.com

Address: 2 Chome-3-6 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan

If you nerd out about know-how, science, and the pure world, you’ll undoubtedly need to go to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. This futuristic museum is positioned on the Odaiba waterfront and has a number of sights that may’t be discovered wherever else.

Visitors go on a journey to see the world’s technological progress. Exhibits attain way back to a rock core that data what’s believed to be the meteorite influence that ended the dinosaurs’ time on Earth. But, the museum is generally centered on the data we have now now and the place we’re headed sooner or later.

A group of stay seismometers shows real-time detections from throughout Japan, indicating the fixed vibration of the earth beneath the islands and the occasional earthquakes felt round them. There’s additionally the Geo-Cosmos, an enormous globe product of high-resolution screens that show real-time climate, ocean temperatures, and pure and human options of the world.

One of the all-time favorites on the museum is Asimo, a robotic constructed by Honda that walks on two legs and is able to recognizing poses, gestures, motion, and objects, permitting it to work together with people. Don’t overlook to examine their web site to see what particular exhibitions might be on throughout your journey, as they’re often excellent.

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26. National Museum of Nature and Science

National Museum of Nature and Science Train Display

Address: 7-20 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-8718, Japan

Similar to the above is the National Museum of Nature and Science, essentially the most visited museum in Japan. It’s positioned within the northeast nook of Ueno Park, subsequent to the National Museum of Western Art.

This museum is all in regards to the pure world and people’ interplay with it. One of the primary issues that greet you outdoors of the museum is a big, life-size sculpture of a Blue Whale, the most important mammal on Earth. On the opposite aspect of the constructing is an previous steam engine, one in all humanity’s most essential engineering successes in (comparatively) latest historical past.

Inside the museum, you’ll see displays on inhabitants of the earth starting from dinosaur skeletons to recently-extinct animals. There are additionally meteorites, moon rocks, and historic Japanese telescopes, in addition to varied spacecraft from Japan.

If you preferred the story from above about Hachikō, the world’s most loyal canine who waited for his individual at Shibuya Station for years after his demise, you’d be happy to know that there’s an entire exhibit devoted to him right here. AvGeeks may even admire the assorted aerospace displays, together with a number of Zero fighter jets.

27. Harajuku & Takeshita Street

Crowd in Takeshita Street
Pavone / Shutterstock.com

If you’re trying to get an actual sense of Tokyo and the individuals who stay there, you will need to discover Harajuku and Takeshita Street. Harajuku is a district inside Shibuya recognized for its younger and vigorous ambiance, with avenue artwork and trend.

Takeshita Street is the principle procuring avenue within the Harajuku space. Here, you’ll discover every part from excessive trend to cosplay costumes and classic outfitters. If you’re one for non-traditional souvenirs and mementos, an outfit from right here can remind you of your time in Tokyo for years to return. You can simply entry the well-known avenue straight from Harajuku Station.

Beyond procuring, Harajuku is understood for its Instagram-worthy cafes and eating places. Stop by Totti Candy Factory for its well-known rainbow cotton sweet that might be larger than your head! If that’s an excessive amount of sugar for you, Gonpachi is a superb different the place you possibly can take pleasure in inexpensive hand-rolled sushi and extra.

Before leaving Harajuku, don’t overlook to take a photograph at a Purikura photograph sales space. These photograph cubicles will make you look tremendous kawaii, and the photographs will make for an excellent memento.

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28. Go-Kart Tour

Go-Kart Tour in Tokyo
picture by GetYourGuide

I’m positive you’ve seen these superior photographs and movies of individuals dressed up as their favourite characters whereas in go-karts on the streets of Tokyo. This tour, amongst many others prefer it, will can help you expertise the magic of this enjoyable, once-in-a-lifetime expertise!

It is perhaps onerous to imagine, however it’s a standard sight in Tokyo – vacationers are actually dressed as Mario Kart characters and driving on the open roads, alongside taxis and locals, of their little go-karts. If you performed these video games as a child, then it’s a once-in-a-lifetime alternative to carry the expertise to actual life.

This go-kart tour will take you thru a few of Tokyo’s most vigorous districts, together with Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku. You can do it with or with out dressing up as your favourite character. As you kart by these iconic districts, the tour group might be snapping photographs of you so you possibly can utterly benefit from the second.

If this appears like enjoyable to you, don’t overlook to get your International Driver’s License earlier than your journey, which is totally required to drive in Japan (even go-karts). It’s not difficult or costly, and also you’ll discover all the directions on the AAA web site. They concern the license, and you are able to do it in-store if they’ve an workplace close to you.

29. Day Trip to Nara

Deer in Nara, Japan

Tokyo is wonderful, however if you happen to’re coming all the way in which to Japan, it’s price getting out of town for a part of your journey. If I solely had in the future to do that, my vacation spot of selection would undoubtedly be Nara.

Nara is a small city southwest of Tokyo that’s near the cities of Kyoto and Osaka, making it an excellent place so as to add if you happen to’ve already deliberate on visiting a type of. You may be in both of them in about two hours on a Shinkansen practice from Tokyo, after which it’s one other 45 minutes on a regional practice to Nara.

Nara is a peaceable, typical Japanese city with beautiful parks, nature trails, and temples. But the massive cause that individuals come right here is its inhabitants of splendidly pleasant deer! In Nara Park, an open house within the heart of city, you’ll discover tons of of those peaceable animals roaming free, together with disturbing site visitors at occasions.

They don’t have the slightest worry of individuals and are very photogenic. Vendors promote primary deer cookies throughout the park. The deer will truly “bow” to you in true Japanese custom to ask for a cookie.

30. Tsukiji Outer Market

Tsukiji Outer Market Street Food

Address: 4 Chome-16 2 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

When visiting Japan, it’s essential to immerse your self within the wonderful and numerous delicacies that the nation has to supply. Though the Tsukiji Fish Market has moved areas, the Tsukiji Outer Market stays in the identical place and is called Tokyo’s “Food Town.” The market initially began as a wholesale market, however these days, you will discover distributors promoting ready-to-eat meals and varied residence items.

The greatest technique to expertise the Tsukiji Outer Market is by becoming a member of a walking tour like this one. This specific strolling tour will take you thru your complete market whilst you find out about Japan’s wealthy culinary traditions. At the tip of the tour, you’ll be transported to a cooking studio the place you’ll get to discover ways to make sushi rolls, miso soup, and a Japanese omelet first-hand from a chef.

Though the principle cause to go to Tsukiji Outer Market is the meals, there are numerous distributors that provide superior kitchenware, tableware, and even garments. Plan to spend no less than an hour or two searching the assorted stalls. Some issues that needs to be famous is that bartering on this market shouldn’t be customary and it’s very a lot appreciated to ask earlier than you’re taking photos of any stalls or merchandise.

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31. Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

Address: 13-9 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-8712, Japan

Located inside Ueno Park, the Tokyo National Museum is an artwork museum operated by the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage. It’s some of the essential museums in the entire nation, containing a lot of its most valuable artwork and nationwide treasures.

While different museums could focus on areas similar to Western artwork or Meiji-era tradition, the TNM encompasses all of Japanese tradition. This contains work, calligraphy, sculptures, and different artifacts. Some displays go a bit additional with gadgets from different components of Asia, together with gadgets from the Silk Road.

One notably beloved exhibition is that of the Hōryū-ji Treasures. Hōryū-ji is a Buddhist temple within the Nara Prefecture and is likely one of the Seven Great Temples. It’s additionally thought-about to be the oldest picket constructing on the planet and traditionally held loads of Buddhist artwork treasures, which got to the museum for preservation and show. The greater than 300 items are a real time capsule again to sixth and Seventh-century Japan.

There are additionally frequent particular exhibitions on show on the TNM, often following their Asian tradition theme. Visitors can go to the Research and Information Center to see some primary shows and be taught extra in regards to the collections freed from cost.

32. Hamarikyu Gardens

Hamarikyu Gardens Scenery

Address: 1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0046, Japan

The Hamarikyu Gardens is a spot that’s each superbly manicured and traditionally vital. The website is the place the Tokugawa household, who dominated Japan throughout the Edo interval for greater than 200 years, had a villa.

The land modified functions a number of occasions after the villa burned down within the 18th century, finally being residence to the guesthouse of the Japanese authorities for official international visits. After the air raids of World War II, the house was repurposed as Japanese gardens. They retain their seawater moat and cultural traditions even immediately.

Plenty of trails and inexperienced house encompass the tidal ponds throughout the gardens, making for a peaceable place to calm down. The flower gardens include crops and flowers for each season. At sure occasions of the 12 months, guests can see martial arts and falconry carried out right here – historic traditions that will have taken place on the property centuries in the past.

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33. Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland Entrance
asiangrandkid / Shutterstock.com

Address: 1 Chome-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo 206-8588, Japan

This one is for all of the Hello Kitty followers on the market. You received’t need to miss the final word Sanrio shock – Sanrio Puroland! This indoor theme park permits guests to satisfy their favourite Sanrio universe characters, together with Hello Kitty, Gudetama, Badtz-Maru, and Pochacco.

The theme park consists of 4 flooring and contains rides, a meals courtroom, theaters, and character meet and greets. The Sanrio Character Boat Ride is harking back to It’s A Small World as you tour the land of kawaii Sanrio characters each traditional and new. The Kawaii Kabuki theater present combines your favourite characters with conventional Japanese performing arts.

Make positive you carry your urge for food, as Sanrio Puroland gives a wide selection of scrumptious meals. These would be the cutest plates of curry and ramen you’ve ever seen. The eating places all through the theme park additionally provide seasonal and vacation plates and drinks, so there’s at all times one thing new and thrilling to strive.

Continue your expertise by reserving one of many Hello Kitty-themed rooms on the Asakusa Tobu Hotel. There are two themed rooms that may every accommodate as much as 4 friends. It’s a should if you happen to’re a giant Hello Kitty fan.

34. Gotokuji Temple

Gotokuji Temple

Address: 2 Chome-24-7 Gotokuji, Setagaya City, Tokyo 154-0021, Japan

While there are lovely temples scattered all through Tokyo, Gotokuji is a particular one. It’s one other very previous and historic one, relationship again to 1680 and surviving the bombings of World War II that claimed so lots of the others. But there’s much more to like about this temple.

Gotokuji is usually referred to as “the cat temple.” No, you received’t discover furry pals operating across the grounds – no less than not actual ones. Instead, part of this temple is full of 1000’s of the well-known Maneki-neko, also called waving cat collectible figurines widespread in Asian eating places and retailers all around the world.

One legend claims to be the story behind the waving cats. In the seventeenth century, a poor monk who lived on the temple together with his cat was taking cowl from a rain storm. A touring samurai lord was close by and took cowl from the storm beneath a giant tree when he noticed the cat waving its paw at him, beckoning him to return nearer.

When the lord went to the cat to research, lightning struck the tree, which certainly would have killed him if he have been nonetheless beneath it. He was satisfied that the cat saved his life and have become a patron of the temple in honor of it.

Today, the Maneki-neko are symbols to carry good luck, and also you’ll discover 1000’s of them left by guests within the small temple in entrance of the principle pagoda. You can get one for your self from a close-by store to carry residence or to depart with the others.

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35. Day Trip to Mount Mitake

Mount Mitake Scenery

When you’re bored with the buildings and busy ambiance of Tokyo, an excellent place to flee into the mountains is Chichibu Tama Kai National Park to town’s east. The park is huge, at almost 500 sq. miles, and whilst you received’t see all of it, Mount Mitake is a superb part to deal with.

Access to the mountain is conveniently on the rail line from Tokyo, taking about 1.5 hours to Mitake Station. The practice will drop you at a small village beside the gorges of the Tama River. While it’s lovely there, you’ll need to take the shuttle bus from the station to the cable automobile up the mountain.

After a brief cable automobile experience towards the highest, you’ll have loads of hiking trails to select from, most of that are completely appropriate for freshmen. Mount Mitake is stuffed with historic Shinto shrines, lovely viewpoints, and serene waterfalls.

There are two Japanese-traditional inns close to the height of Mount Mitake: Nobori and Shukubo Komadori-Sanso. Both have the gorgeous structure and decorations of a ryokan, and you may benefit from the historic custom of onsen at each as nicely if you happen to select to make Mount Mitake greater than a day journey.

36. Visit an Animal Café

Cat on a Cat Café

While the phenomenon of animal cafés is slowly making its technique to different components of the world, Japan is manner forward on this space. You can discover every kind of those cafés in Tokyo, and if you happen to’re unfamiliar, they’re basically coffee retailers with resident animals to pet and benefit from the firm of.

The idea began with cat cafés, that are all around the metropolis. One favourite is Tamari no Oshiro Cat Café, which is adorned as a cat “kingdom” and has round 19 resident felines accessible for consideration.

But Tokyo doesn’t cease at cats. There’s the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café, residence to a few of Japan’s favourite canine breed, the Mame Shiba Inu. There’s the ChikuChiku café, the place hedgehogs will be part of you for a drink.

Not unique sufficient for you? There are additionally snake cafés, capybara cafés, and miniature pig cafés. Basically, in case you are an animal individual and a coffee or tea drinker, you’ll be in heaven in Tokyo.

37. Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park

Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker in Tokyo Port Trees

Address: 3 Chome-1 Tokai, Ota City, Tokyo 143-0001, Japan

In addition to its extravagant trend, enormous shopping districts, fascinating cafes, and architectural wonders, Tokyo can also be recognized for its appreciation of its surrounding pure magnificence and wildlife. The Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park serves as a beautiful place to absorb the pure marvel of town.

Over 200 species of birds may be discovered all year long within the park. Rangers from the Wild Bird Society of Japan can offer you extra details about the birds you see within the park, together with the historical past of the realm.

The Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park additionally makes a improbable spot for picnics or simply to take a break between different thrilling Tokyo sights. Throughout the park, you will discover well-maintained benches and tables to calm down at.

The admission payment for an grownup is 300 yen ($2 USD), 150 yen for these over 65 and youngsters over 12, and free for kids beneath 12. The park is open each day besides Mondays and holidays from 9:00 am to five:00 pm, closing half an hour earlier throughout the winter months.

38. Have a Beach Day

Atami Sun Beach

Tokyo could also be recognized for its skyscrapers and busy streets, however that doesn’t imply the seaside isn’t inside attain. Let’s not overlook that Japan is an island nation, and there are fairly a couple of improbable stretches of shoreline inside simple attain of town.

In reality, there’s one throughout the metropolis limits: Odaiba Beach. This synthetic cove is simply subsequent to the Rainbow Bridge, however it isn’t at all times open for swimming. It’s good to see the Tokyo skyline within the distance, however for extra picturesque seashores, you’ll want to leap on a practice (or right into a automobile).

Many of the area’s best beaches are alongside the Chiba peninsula, which kinds the opposite aspect of Tokyo Bay. Onjuku Beach is one with a large, sandy shoreline the place browsing and paddle boarding are widespread, with leases accessible. It’s only a 1.5-hour experience on a direct practice from Tokyo.

You may head south of town to locations like Atami Sun Beach, which takes lower than an hour to succeed in on a Shinkansen practice. This resort space has a beautiful sandy bay that’s widespread for swimming and enjoyable. There are sometimes fireworks close by on summer season nights as nicely.

FAQ

What are the highest Tokyo vacationer sights?

While there are a ton of fantastic locations to go to in Tokyo, the shortest of journeys ought to undoubtedly embody a stroll by Ginza, the Shibuya Crossing, and Sensō-ji Temple. The Tokyo Skytree is likely one of the greatest spots for views, and also you additionally don’t need to skip any meals in order to not miss out on the scrumptious meals in Tokyo.

Are there issues to do in Tokyo with children?

There are loads of Tokyo sights which are nice for teenagers! We’d say the primary is Tokyo Disneyland, the place your whole favourite characters and rides may be discovered. Kids additionally love going to locations just like the Ueno Zoo, seeing a Japanese baseball recreation, or seeing a real-life Sumo Wrestling match.

What are the highest free issues to do in Tokyo?

Some of the very best issues to see in Tokyo are free, imagine it or not. The Tokyo Tower may be considered for nothing from the road simply beside it, whereas the well-known Shibuya Crossing is only a crosswalk that you simply undoubtedly don’t have to pay for. Exploring neighborhoods like Ginza, Shinjuku, and Takeshita doesn’t value something, both.

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