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HomeAsia TravelIssues to Do in Tokyo, Japan (Per District): Final Information

Issues to Do in Tokyo, Japan (Per District): Final Information

At a really younger age, I stumbled into the bemusing world of anime (Japanese animations) and manga (Japanese comics). Proper then and there, I have change into deeply enraptured with Japan’s tradition and customs, after which over time, my love for this excellent but usually eccentric nation continued to develop. So once I lastly noticed a chance to go on a visit to Japan, you possibly can simply think about how ecstatic I used to be as I booked my airplane ticket! (Issues to Do in Tokyo)

For thee mentioned journey, I’ve set it to final for a span of two weeks with an enormous chunk of my days wholly devoted to the bustling and dynamic metropolis of Tokyo… YES, that lengthy (and I nonetheless felt prefer it wasn’t sufficient). You see, it IS a extremely large metropolis, and for those who’re actually pressed on time, I imagine that so as so that you can not less than get a very good “really feel” of it, you want to be there for not less than 3 days.

TRIVIA: With over 13.5+ million individuals throughout an space of two,000+ km2, Tokyo — which is formally referred to as because the Tokyo Metropolis — truly contains of: 23 particular wards, 26 cities (Tama Space), 3 cities + 1 village (Nishi-Tama District), and a number of other outlying islands. Not lots of people know this… however the core or most populous a part of Tokyo (which us, vacationers, usually go off to) primarily contains a choose few locations throughout the 23 particular wards.

As seen above, the purple space in Tokyo is the place the 23 particular wards are discovered, and just some locations in these wards are the place vacationers usually go to. (Picture from Wikipedia)

Every of those particular wards has its personal main districts, and touring from one district to a different can take an hour — or extra! When you take all of those information (the dimensions, the journey time, and the complexity of the metropolis) into consideration, it’s best to get an concept by now that it could possibly be a irritating process so that you can analysis and manage your itinerary.

BUT fret not. Fortunately for you, I’m right here to lighten your process as I provide the final lowdown of the TOP issues to do in Tokyo — as grouped by the hottest particular wards after which additional subdivided by main districts!

On this method, you possibly can certainly streamline your Tokyo journey simply and very quickly.

…You’ll be able to thank me later. *wink*

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Tokyo Journey Information F.A.Q.

What’s the tipping coverage in Tokyo?

There may be NO tipping tradition in Tokyo usually. If you find yourself giving somebody a tip, they’ll principally be confused why, and they’re going to certainly find yourself giving the cash again to you. Typically, it’s even thought-about impolite and insulting for those who tip them.

What’s the energy socket utilized in Tokyo?

Tokyo usually makes use of two plug varieties: sort A (two flat parallel pins) and kind B (two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin on the backside). The nation operates on a 100V voltage and a frequency of fifty/60Hz.

What are the present journey restrictions and quarantine insurance policies in Japan?

Please examine their newest journey advisories web page for extra particulars.

What are the highest excursions to do round Tokyo?

Come and take a look at this checklist of the highest issues to do which options the most effective actions and excursions to do in Tokyo’s Asakusa, Shibuya, and extra!

Desire a detailed Tokyo journey information?

For more information about the most effective months to go to Tokyo, find out how to get round, and many others. — come and browse my Tokyo Itinerary information!

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Prime Issues to Do in Tokyo

» Chiyoda (千代田区)

Translated as “subject of a thousand generations“, Chiyoda is called the political middle of Tokyo. In spite of everything, it’s right here the place yow will discover lots of the predominant authorities establishments of Japan such because the Emperor’s seat on the Imperial Palace, the Supreme Court docket, and extra.

Then again of the spectrum although, you’ll additionally discover a quirky facet to Chiyoda by way of Akihabara (ordinarily referred to as Akiba).

The place to eat in Chiyoda?
Aside from going to the realm of Yurakucho, go to…

The place to sleep in Chiyoda?


Dubbed because the otaku* cultural middle and tech purchasing district of Japan, strolling by Akihabara’s predominant avenue referred to as Chuo-dori will already provide you with an concept of what this district is all about. You see, Japan could have a tremendous olden tradition, BUT it has additionally developed an equally superb fashionable tradition over the latest years, and it’s in Akihabara that you would be able to get a glimpse of this considerably wacky ‘evolution’.

*Japanese time period for individuals who have obsessive pursuits generally in the direction of anime and manga. A synonymous phrase in English could be ‘geeks’.

A few of the prime issues to do in Tokyo’s famed Akihabara are the next:

Store or window store for otaku merch

Regardless of for those who’re not an otaku, it’s fairly good to do a fast cease by locations like Mandarake or Tokyo Anime Heart in an effort to get a better look into the way of life. Mandarake, a gigantic 8-floor complicated that is stuffed with merchandise associated to anime and manga, is the most effective go-to area for those who’re a hardcore otaku or not less than a educated one at that; whereas I imagine {that a} go to to the Tokyo Anime Heart is finest carried out first by individuals who do not know of the otaku scene in an effort to acquire a greater understanding of it.

Eat on the Gundam cafe (for the Gundam followers!)

If what Gundam is and also you’re a fan, certainly a stopover right here must be included in your issues to do in Tokyo! Nonetheless, be suggested that the ready time can take some time since there are a whole lot of different followers, similar to you, who need to check out this themed cafe. If in any other case, you don’t have any concept what Gundam is, it’s a preferred mecca anime sequence again within the 70s that result in producing billions of revenue and which finally change into one of many well-known icons of Japan. In truth, a life-sized model of a Gundam robotic has been erected in one of many main districts: Odaiba (mentioned under).

Buy low-cost tech devices at Yodobashi

Aside from being the otaku tradition that’s rampant in Akihabara, there’s additionally an ongoing craze for house electronics right here! The proper web site to buy such issues? Yodobashi! I’ve confirmed that the gadgets listed below are cheaper than in Europe and even within the Philippines; however for positive, there are different cheaper smaller shops round. However the factor is: you probably have time to go to only one tech retailer within the district, then this 9-story constructing is your finest wager

See the Kanda Myojin Shrine

Amidst the ocean of ‘weirdness’ and tech developments, you possibly can escape to the Shinto shrine of Kanda Myojin that has enshrined 3 main kami (spirits) —  two of which belong to Japan’s Seven Gods of Fortune who, because the title goes, deliver luck and success. Nonetheless and the identical, because it’s close by Akihabara, it promotes itself as a protector of devices too. Reality be informed, they maintain ceremonies to ‘safe’ electronics, and the shrine even offers charms for such.

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As I’ve acknowledged earlier, Chiyoda is known as the political middle of Tokyo and it’s right here in Marunouchi the place you will note the aforementioned authorities establishments. Other than this reality, Marunouchi can be one in all Japan’s nice enterprise districts.

Imperial Palace

That is the principle residence of the Emperor of Japan and it’s truly an enormous park surrounded by moats. It comprises buildings together with the palace, personal residences of the Imperial Household, workplaces, museums, and extra. At present, the Imperial Palace is open to the general public besides on Mondays, Fridays, and particular events; nonetheless, no buildings might be entered.


Positioned simply on the northwest part of the Imperial Palace is that this moat part that’s generally referred to as Chidorigafuchi Park. This space is very advisable throughout sakura (cherry blossoms) season because it is without doubt one of the finest spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing). So as to add: they often mild up the timber at night time throughout that interval after which you possibly can even lease boats there!

Tokyo Central Railway Station

That is the busiest railway station in Japan by way of the variety of trains per day and it’s fairly a sight to see! For starters, you’ll immediately discover this constructing due to its crimson brick look — a glance that survived from when it was first opened in 1914.

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Yurakucho is a hanging but enjoyable distinction to the close by upscale Ginza district, primarily due to its traditional-looking eating places which can be constructed beneath the practice tracks of the JR Yamanote Line — referred to as Gado-shita (which accurately means: under the girders).

As a customer, I guarantee you that one have a look at Yurakucho will make you’re feeling as if you’ve taken a visit again in time throughout Japan’s early postwar interval! These days, a whole lot of Japanese salarymen have made this location their favourite eating place after work as they flock to izakaya (Japanese-style bars highlighted by their crimson lanterns referred to as akachochin) and yakitori (grilled skewered hen dishes) eating places.

• • •

» Chuo (中央区)

In English, Chuo means “Central Ward” and it was given this identify due to the way it has been the principle business middle of Tokyo all through historical past — however after all, today, that is being challenged by the mammoth: Shinjuku. Nonetheless, essentially the most well-known main district of Chuo could be Ginza which is kind of a favourite of shopaholics!


Considered probably the most luxurious purchasing districts on this planet, Ginza is a heavenly location for customers due to its upscale purchasing scene filled with nearly each huge worldwide model that exists.

The icing on the cake? These manufacturers are sometimes housed in such ostentatious-looking constructions that may make your eyes drop in amazement and marvel! As such, for those who’re a shopaholic, this neighborhood is without doubt one of the prime issues to do in Tokyo for you.

Stroll and store by Chuo Dori

As the principle purchasing avenue in Ginza, you will see right here all the most important model retailers, shops, and eating places doable. Come nighttime, you’ll positively be feasting upon its blinding but lovely neon lights. A few of the notable buildings right here could be the Wako (that has the long-lasting Hattori Clock Tower), Hermes, Dior, and Zara amongst many others.

However if you would like the most effective ‘festive’ expertise of this avenue, I counsel strolling by right here on weekends from 12PM to 5PM (till 6PM from April to September) as a result of it is typically closed to car site visitors — an occasion referred to as ‘Pedestrians’ Paradise’.

Come throughout a depachika

Depachika is a mixture of the phrases depato (division retailer) and chika (basement). In Japan, many of the huge shops resembling that of Mitsukoshi have their basement flooring made into some form of meals market — however truly, if I’ve to explain it myself, I’ll name it a ‘meals theme park’ as a result of you may get to have a enjoyable but fast introduction into the VAST number of Japanese meals there.

Apart from, the stalls are very beneficiant with gifting away samples too; so for those who’re on a finances, you actually don’t have to purchase one thing (although will probably be respectful to take action, naturally).

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Have you ever watched the Wolverine film made in 2013? Filmed in Japan, there was one construction there that caught my eye and it was a constructing that seemed prefer it was made from stacked washing machines! This was apparently impressed by the prevailing Nakagin Capsule Tower in Ginza which is principally a uncommon instance of the architectural ‘Japanese Metabolism’ type.

Initially a residential space, the rooms listed below are like tiny pods — very similar to the well-known cramped Japanese capsule resort rooms: designed for a single individual with a built-in mattress and TV. Regrettably, the constructing is slowly deteriorating and it’d quickly be up for demolition; that’s why I counsel sighting this distinctive construction earlier than it will get taken down.

Watch a kabuki present on the Kabuki-za Theater

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama finest identified for its elaborate costumes, eye-catching make-up, and exaggerated actions. As one of many 3 main classical theatre artwork kinds in Japan, it will be a nice factor so that you can witness a kabuki play as part of your ‘issues to do in Tokyo’. And the place finest to look at it apart from in its principal Tokyo theater, proper?

Kabuki-za Theater has performs virtually on daily basis and common tickets for a single act can price round 2,000 yen ($20~). If you wish to watch a whole play, it would price extra after all; however a single act needs to be a pleasant preliminary immersion.

Dine at Sukiyabashi Jiro

There are a number of Michelin eating places in Ginza and one of many 3-star ones is Sukiyabashi Jiro which is arguably top-of-the-line sushi eating places on this planet. Run by sushi grasp Jiro Ono who has been featured within the world-known documentary movie: Jiro Goals of Sushi, securing a reservation right here might be extraordinarily troublesome — other than the truth that consuming right here might be dear (their omakase course menu is round 30,000 yen or $300~).

Nonetheless: the expertise will probably be WORTH IT. Ideas for reservations? Greatest to do a telephone reservation a month earlier than your supposed go to; however, do it on the first day of that month. Moreover, it’s simpler or preferable to ebook by way of a neighborhood, a daily (it’s actually nice you probably have connections), or a prestigious resort (case by case).

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Translated to: “reclaimed land”, Tsukiji is finest identified for its fish market which is alleged to be the biggest on this planet, contemplating that it handles greater than 2,000 tons of 450 seafood varieties every day.

• • •

» Minato (港区)

Minato is especially filled with varied embassies and multi-national companies, but it does have 2 main districts which can be a must-see in your checklist of issues to do in Tokyo!

The place to sleep in Minato?


As a man-made island, it was initially constructed to guard the town towards doable sea assaults; right this moment, nonetheless, the island remodeled right into a futuristic enterprise and residential space. Right here, yow will discover…

Fuji TV Space

That is referred to as as such due to how the Fuji TV Constructing (one in all Japan’s largest TV stations) towers above every little thing else. As a customer, you possibly can positively go into Fuji TV’s observatory deck that’s positioned within the round portion of the institution. Different issues to see round right here could be the shopping center Decks Tokyo Seashore, the plaza of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza the place the large Gundam robotic is displayed, and the scenic Rainbow Bridge (which appears dashing at night time, and the place you can even discover a duplicate of the Statue of Liberty.)

Palette City

In the event you’re up for some severe leisure and purchasing spree actions, I counsel that you simply head on to Palette City! Right here, yow will discover the next venues: Venus Fort (a mall that appears like a European city), Toyota Mega Net (a automobile showroom the place you possibly can check drive automobiles), and Leisureland (a big gaming complicated).

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Are you up for partying?! In case your reply is a powerful YES, then it’s best to come to dive into the most effective nightclub scene over at Roppongi! This district is well-known amongst locals and expats alike — which isn’t shocking given how Roppongi Hills is one in all Japan’s richest and largest property developments.

Drop by the Mori Tower and Tokyo Midtown

Because the centerpiece of Roppongi, Mori Tower is primarily an workplace constructing; however its decrease flooring are stuffed with greater than 200 retailers and eating places and its prime flooring has an remark deck that offers you a wonderful view of Tokyo (entrance is at 1,800 yen ($18~) that’s open from 10AM to 11PM (1AM on Fridays and Saturdays).

Beneath Mori Tower, you will see an enormous spider sculpture referred to as Maman which implies ‘mom’ in French. That is made by the artist Louise Bourgeois.
NOTE: Tokyo Midtown is one more constructing that you would be able to go into for those who’re up for extra purchasing and leisure!

Admire Japanese artwork and tradition within the district’s museums

There are 3 museums in Roppongi which can be price your time. At the beginning could be the Nationwide Artwork Heart (Kokuritsu Shin-Bijutsukan) which is Japan’s largest artwork museum.

The quirky factor about that is that it’s an ’empty museum’ — which means that it doesn’t have everlasting exhibitions; but it permits any short-term exhibitions, and this set-up has been profitable thus far. Subsequent could be the Mori Artwork Museum in Mori Tower which showcases each modern and worldwide fashionable artwork. Lastly is the Suntory Museum of Artwork in Tokyo Midtown which focuses extra on conventional Japanese artwork.

• • •

» Shinjuku (新宿区)

As a significant metropolis middle, Shinjuku has the busiest practice station on this planet (Shinjuku Station), it homes the administration middle for the Tokyo authorities, and holds a plethora of wonderful issues to do in Tokyo!

The place to eat in Shinjuku?
Aside from going to areas of Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho, or Shin-Okubo Koreatown, go to…

The place to sleep in Shinjuku?

Have a picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen Nationwide Backyard

Greatest visited throughout sakura and fall season, Shinjuku Gyoen is only a stone’s throw away from Shinjuku station and it’s certainly one of many metropolis’s largest and most favored parks. Right here, you will see three totally different gardens, a standard Japanese panorama backyard, a French backyard, and an English panorama backyard. There may be even a beautiful greenhouse close to Okido Gate that you would be able to go to.

Go on prime of the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing

Towering at 243m, the Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities Constructing has two towers and every of those has an observatory that guests can go to for FREE in an effort to get a fowl’s eye view of Tokyo. I personally suggest the southern tower because it exhibits a greater ‘facet’ of Tokyo (closes at 5:30 PM), whereas the northern tower is finest for night time photographs because it closes later into the night time (till 11PM).

Higher but, eat and be entertained at Robotic Restaurant!

Tokyo, the land of the bizarre (as some would say), lives as much as its identify as a result of it does supply a number of themed eating places like that of The LockUp (prison-like), Zauo (fish on your personal meals), and Alice in Wonderland Restaurant (self-explanatory).

However essentially the most entertaining and weird themed restaurant I’ve visited? That might be Robotic Restaurant! A construction of glitz, lasers, and robots, my ‘ordeal’ on this restaurant was… undescribable — in a great way! Greater than the easy bento packing containers that they serve, what you truly needs to be right here for is the leisure present that they provide. It’s simply so eclectic that it’ll blow your thoughts away (once more, hopefully in a great way, haha).

READ: My Loopy Robotic Restaurant Expertise in Tokyo


Eat at Omoide Yokocho or at Shin-Okubo Koreatown

Omoide Yokocho or extra generally referred to as “Piss Alley” just isn’t as disgusting because it sounds. Primarily based proper subsequent to the practice on the west facet of Shinjuku Station, this can be a place that’s virtually much like Yurakucho close to Ginza — besides that Omoide Yokocho options extra various tiny eateries that serve ramen (Japanese noodle dish), sushi, kushiyaki (skewered grilled meat), amongst many others. The retailers predominantly solely communicate Japanese; however as a foreigner, it’s not arduous to only level your order to them.

Store at Don Quijote

Don Quijote or ‘Donki’ for brief is a reduction chain retailer in Tokyo that’s iconic not just for its regular gadgets (that may be very low-cost) but additionally for its entire vary of amusing merchandise that may border on distinctive or absurd… suppose cosplaying costumes, breast-shaped pillows, eccentric eyewear, NSFW merchandise, and many others. For one factor, these can all make for humorous presents or souvenirs to take house! (y the best way, all of their merchandise are sectioned per theme by flooring — which might attain as much as 9 flooring.

Catch sight of a life-sized Godzilla

Japan’s well-known big monster and popular culture icon, Godzilla, might be seen in Shinjuku atop Toho Cinemas. It’s a pleasant spectacle as a result of he appears like he’s taking a peak from the constructing above — seconds away from wreaking utter havoc. Now, he is straightforward to identify since he’s positioned in Kabukicho and even close to the Don Quijote store at Yasukuni Dori avenue. However I did discover that not lots of people would discover him at first as a result of the people round me solely began taking pictures of him after they noticed me taking photographs in his route. So… hold your eyes peeled!

Cease by the Samurai Museum

As a Japanophile, I’ve additionally been enchanted by the tradition and historical past of the samurai (or bushi) — Japan’s notable navy warriors. Their noble period could have led to 1868 however their story lives on in locations just like the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku. Adults can enter for a charge of 1,800 yen ($18~) in an effort to see the spectacular reveals; however the spotlight of this place might be the experiences that you would be able to attempt: photoshoot with fundamental samurai gear (500 yen $5), sword battle efficiency with an actor (free), samurai calligraphy lesson (500 yen or $5~), {and professional} picture shoot with full samurai gear (begins at 32,000 yen or $320~).

TRIVIA: Loads of individuals would suggest animal cafés as one of many prime issues to do in Tokyo. Examples of such are a cat café, owl café, rabbit café, hedgehog café, and many others. However personally, I don’t suppose I can deliver myself to suggest it as nicely…

The way in which I noticed it, although the animals are extremely cute — add the truth that it’s euphoric to be surrounded by them as you eat some snacks — I somewhat felt that the area supplied for all these animals was NOT sufficient. And given this small area, they had been all the time subjected to strangers/guests who would all the time need to contact them (even when they don’t need to) or hassle them (to the purpose that they go to such lengths of mildly pulling them to get a photograph, harassing them whereas they’re resting, and many others.).

Apart from, I discovered such a robust distinction to the animals’ habits (particularly these of cats in a cat café) in the direction of their true-blue handlers vs. the café’s visitors — which simply exhibits that they might a lot somewhat need to be left alone somewhat than be touched by fixed new faces that they haven’t warmed as much as but.

General: I go away it as much as you to resolve what you would do, however these are my two cents about the entire ‘animal café’ concept.

• • •

» Shibuya (渋谷区)

Very similar to Roppongi, Shibuya is known as a significant nightlife space; nonetheless, I imagine that it’s extra prominently regarded as a significant purchasing and leisure venue particularly due to its robust youth presence in style and tradition.

The place to eat in Shibuya?
Aside from going to areas of Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho, or Shin-Okubo Koreatown, go to…

The place to sleep in Shibuya?


I was flying from Europe once I first arrived in Tokyo, so you possibly can think about how drained I used to be when I landed round midnight… My lodging was positioned in Shibuya and as I pushed myself by the group of individuals in Shibuya Station (one more one of many busiest stations in Tokyo), I felt my weariness rising an increasing number of… however ‘lo and behold, the second I stepped out close to the Shibuya Crossing — I used to be blown away.

EVERYTHING was beaming with shade, power, and life and I can’t assist however really feel my stress slowly melting away! That’s how vibrant Shibuya is.

Stroll by the busy however colourful Shibuya Crossing

Most likely essentially the most distinguished landmark of the district, the Shibuya Crossing in entrance of Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit is flooded by individuals each time the crossing mild goes inexperienced — a particular mesmerizing show that’s backdropped by the big neon boards and video screens.

Naturally, this has change into a generally filmed and photographed spot in Tokyo, and if you would like a pleasant view from a vantage level, I counsel going to the QFRONT constructing the place an enormous Starbucks cafe might be discovered.

Say hey to Hachiko

Hachiko is the identify of an admired Akita breed canine within the Japanese tradition again within the 30s who exemplified very good loyalty to his proprietor even after his proprietor’s loss of life.

As much as this present day, Hachiko has been remembered for these superb traits and that’s why this bronze statue of him that was put up in 1934 in entrance of Shibuya Station stays to be a well-revered level in Japan.

Store until you drop in Shibuya!

As I walked by Shibuya throughout my 1st day in Tokyo, I immediately observed how everybody was donning beautiful outfits! Everybody was soooo trendy and I needed to joke that amidst them, I felt like I used to be in peasant’s clothes… LOL.

This all made sense because the Japanese are into style; coupled with the truth that Shibuya is a mecca for purchasing, then it’s anticipated. For the most effective purchasing streets to go to: Heart Gai, Koen Dori, and Spain Slope. For a definite must-visit? That might be the complicated of Shibuya 109!

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The Japanese are most certainly essentially the most fashion-forward people who I’ve ever seen. You don’t imagine me…? Simply go to the Harajuku district and also you’ll see for your self how proper I’m!

Take pleasure in Takeshita Dori

The birthplace of Japan’s style traits, Takeshita Dori is a slender avenue that’s stuffed with charming retailers and cafes. It’s a particularly sought-out place in Tokyo (particularly by fashionistas) so it will possibly get very crowded right here, particularly on weekends. A few of the stuff you shouldn’t miss out on? The doorway — take a photograph right here as you see your self flashed on the display screen. After which there’s additionally the 100-yen store: Daiso Harajuku, avenue style retailer: Pink Latte, and many others.

Discover Omotesando

If Paris has Champs-Elysees, Japan has Omotesando. If Takeshita Dori is extra for low to mid-level customers, Omotesando is extra for the older or wealthier customers. One store although that’s totally different from many of the institutions on this locale, which I believe is price taking a look at, is Kiddy Land. It provides a spread of cute toy merchandise that’s not just for youngsters however for the kids-at-heart!

Be a lolita for a day at Maison de Jullieta

Kawaii (cute) tradition is a ‘factor’ among the many Japanese and a type of kawaii style types could be the candy lolita look. In Maison de Jullieta in Harajuku, you possibly can costume up as one — full with costume, make-up, and hair association at a worth of round 10,000 yen ($97~)!

Dine at Kawaii Monster Cafe

Consistent with Harajuku’s colourful splash of colours and eccentric ambiance, there exists the Kawaii Monster-themed cafe! With over 5 separate themed areas, the cafe is sort of a rainbowholic’s paradise the place each nook is stuffed with kawaii ornament and Instagram-worthy scenes. Plus, the costumed workers who every have their ‘personalities’ will serve you outsized sweets that may final you for hours! That is positively one of many prime issues to do in Tokyo!

Take a purikura!

Purikura runs like a photograph sales space — however ‘leveled up’ in a Japanese sort of method. Via these machines, you possibly can take pictures of your self or your folks in a studio-esque sales space; after which, you’ll be digitally enhanced. By that, I imply robotically Photoshopped in a kawaii method: greater eyes, whiter pores and skin, and narrower face. To take it a step additional, you possibly can even add stickers on it and even false eyelashes or whatnot to your face earlier than printing the pictures out.

You’ll find these cubicles in Harajuku at locations like  Uratake’s Woman Fashion or Purikura Store Noa, and throughout Tokyo’s arcade retailers — usually put on the highest or basement flooring.

Drop by Meiji Shrine

Devoted to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji (1st emperor of Japan) and Empress Shoken, the huge Meiji Shrine is a superb tranquil ‘escape’ from the hectic Harajuku. As a customer, you possibly can partake within the routine Shinto acts: shopping for amulets, writing out your want on an ema (picket plates), and making choices on the corridor. For correct habits when visiting a shrine, you possibly can learn this information.

TIP: If you wish to witness a standard Japanese Shinto marriage ceremony, head right here round 10AM and check out your luck!

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Yoyogi is an adjoining neighborhood in Harajuku and what’s notable right here is the extensive Yoyogi Park — which can be simply subsequent to Meiji Shrine. This park is definitely a hanging distinction to that of the neighboring shrine (particularly in the course of the mornings) as a result of it’s a typical assembly place for Japanese individuals from all ‘walks of life’.

Because it’s simply close to the stylish Harajuku, you’ll usually discover crowds of band members, lolitas, cosplayers, and fashionistas in attention-grabbing clothes (they’re typically concentrated round Jingubashi or the bridge close to Meiji Shrine). Taking pictures of those individuals in fancy clothes is completely wonderful, but it surely’s finest if you ask for permission first since not all of them are there to please the group — they’re often simply there to hang around or do practices, and many others.

TIP: In the event you’re searching for the highest issues to do in Tokyo, it’s best to go right here on Sundays so you possibly can witness the rockabilly dancers. They principally seem like Elvis’ clones given their leather-based clothes and gelled hair, and so they all the time dance so energetic and are greater than keen to be photographed. There’s no set schedule so it’s a matter of luck for those who spot them!

• • •

» Taito (台東区)

This particular ward is the smallest amongst all of Tokyo’s wards, however regardless of its dimension, there are a whole lot of landmarks and must-dos that you simply shouldn’t skip!

The place to eat in Taito?
Aside from going to areas of Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho, or Shin-Okubo Koreatown, go to…


Ueno is finest referred to as the house of Ueno Park — a big public space that was part of Kaneiji Temple (previously one of many metropolis’s wealthiest temples).

At present, after Kaneiji suffered destruction in the course of the Boshin Civil Struggle, the grounds had been transformed into what Ueno Park is at present: an expanse that consists of a number of museums (Tokyo Nationwide Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Artwork Museum, Nationwide Museum for Western Artwork, and Nationwide Science Museum), the Ueno Zoo, and the beautiful Shinobazu Pond.

And with over 1,000 cherry blossom (sakura) timber within the park, it’s a improbable selection for sakura-watching in the course of the time of late March to early April.

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A significant district in Taito that may be simply explored on foot, Asakusa is alleged to be the middle of Tokyo’s shitamachi (“low metropolis”) — which implies that it’s an ‘olden’ district the place you may get a really feel of how Tokyo was up to now a long time.

Gown up in a standard kimono

That is your likelihood to attempt on Japan’s elegant conventional put on: a kimono! Placing on a kimono might be VERY intricate, however don’t fear as a result of there are rental retailers unfold out all through Japan (catered each to women and men) that allow you to put on it outdoors for a day for a worth that begins at 5,000 yen ($46~).

And when in Tokyo, the place finest to do that than in Asakusa which is able to function an ideal backdrop (given its olden setting), proper? I went by this expertise myself in Asakusa and it was a pleasure to stroll round city in my kimono! I felt like a legit Japanese lady too, particularly since some locals and vacationers had been mistaking me for one as they both throw compliments or take pictures. Discovering a very good rental store might be tough although since many of the homeowners don’t communicate an oz of English; relaxation assured, with my information under, yow will discover handle simply wonderful!

READ: Find out how to Lease a Japanese Kimono for a Day

TIP: To get essentially the most out of your ‘look’ as one of many prime issues to do in Tokyo, go lease a standard Japanese rickshaw too whereas touring Asakusa!

See Asakusa’s prime shrine and temple

It’s vital so that you can know as early as now {that a} Japanese shrine and temple are totally different. First issues first: a shrine is devoted to the Shinto religion, whereas a temple is devoted to Buddhism. 

Some distinct distinction to additionally be aware of is that Shinto shrines often use the suffix ‘jingu‘; they’ve a torii gate and a purification fountain on the entrance. Buddhist temples use the suffix ji n their identify; they all the time home a picture of Buddha and have a big incense burner on the entrance.

Asakusa has a famend shrine, Asakusa Shrine (Asakusa-jinja), and a famend temple, Senso-ji (which is definitely Tokyo’s oldest temple). The Asakusa Shrine is positioned simply east of the big Senso-ji which has a formidable “Thunder Gate” referred to as Kaminarimon (which is a logo of Asakusa and Tokyo) and a purchasing district, Nakamise-dori, the place you should purchase native snacks and equipment (you have to attempt the senbei or rice crackers, and Ningyo-yaki or small desserts).

TIP: In the event you can go to in mid-Might, go to Asakusa and be a part of the spectacular Sanja Matsuri (pageant) held by the Asakusa Shrine as part of your issues to do in Tokyo.

Head over to Sumida River

For a leisurely stroll, go over to Sumida River and lounge by Sumida Park which stretches on each side of this physique of water. Like what you’d count on, there are cherry blossoms right here that come alive in spring, after which throughout July on its final Saturday, this turns into an amazing spot for viewing the Sumida River Firework.

NOTE: In the event you see a golden constructing with an odd golden construction on prime that appears like a tear drop, that’s the Asahi Beer Tower with its ‘Asahi Flame’.

Partake in a Japanese tea ceremony

Extremely influenced by the rules of Zen Buddhism and a well-respected pastime, the Japanese Tea Ceremony (also called the ‘Means of the Tea’) is a standard cultural exercise that’s elaborate and refined, and wherein matcha or powdered inexperienced tea is ready and drunk by a bunch.

To be frank with you: this can be a very lengthy ceremony the place you’ll sit immobile for hours as you comply with a set of pointers… however it’s a hanging instance of Japan’s superb tradition that’s distinctive for immersing one’s self with. For a very good place to do this, ebook it on-line with a tea grasp.

Have dinner with a Geisha

Geisha or maiko (geisha in coaching) are conventional high-class Japanese entertainers. They’re NOT prostitutes. If you wish to ebook them for a non-public dinner, they’re VERY costly and that’s primarily due to the coaching they went by and the costly clothes that they put on which might vary from $30K to $80K. Nonetheless, it’s now doable to ebook such a once-in-a-lifetime expertise with Klook at a way more reasonably priced worth.

TRIVIA: Geisha have actually dwindled down in numbers however most of them can nonetheless be present in Kyoto (the birthplace of geisha tradition), other than Tokyo and different components of Japan.

READ: Interview with Kimicho, a Geisha in Tokyo

OTHER Issues to Do in Tokyo — and Issues to See

  • Hanayashiki = is alleged to be Japan’s oldest amusement park (inbuilt 1853)
  • Asakusa Engei Corridor = an amazing place to look at kabuki, rakugo, manzai comedy skits, and different Japanese performances

• • •

» Bonus Ideas

  1. Attend a pageant! In the event you can ebook your tickets at any time, I’d suggest that you simply wrap it round a day whereby one in all Tokyo’s festivals (matsuri) is occurring! Colourful and vibrant, partaking in these sorts of occasions will probably be one thing that you’ll keep in mind fondly for the remainder of your life. For a whole checklist of festivals in Tokyo, see right here.
  2. Eat. Eat. EAT! This goes with out saying, however sure please stuff your self loopy with all the everyday Japanese meals that you’ve ever heard of! That is the right alternative to reward your self with genuine Japanese fare and sweets: sushi (go eat it at a singular sushi belt restaurant), ramen (noodle soup), tempura (deep fried seafood + greens), tonkatsu (pork cutlet), mochi (rice cake), dango (steamed dumplings) and MORE.
    → Be careful for my upcoming publish that may focus on intimately the highest meals that you have to eat whereas in Japan!
  3. Konbinis are your finest pal! Some individuals say that consuming in Japan is dear, however that’s NOT true! If the place to go and the place to look, you possibly can dine for reasonable. For example, one in all essentially the most reasonably priced locations that you would be able to ever get meals from could be Japan’s konbini (comfort retailer). I child you not: Japan’s konbini is ABOVE any comfort retailer that will ever exist worldwide and that’s primarily as a result of… they could even have every little thing you would possibly ever want (meals, mail, supply, utilities, tickets, and many others.). And thoughts you: their meals is nice tasting — which is available in SO many types! I significantly suppose that if I had been to remain for a number of months in Japan, I nonetheless gained’t be capable to eat ALL the attention-grabbing meals and snacks that I noticed there.
  4. Go and benefit from the merchandising machines! Japan has a LOT of them — too many actually, and they don’t solely supply drinks (sizzling + chilly) however even meals. However that doesn’t cease there as a result of some merchandising machines even supply another uncommon gadgets like amulets, batteries, cigarettes, seals, t-shirts, toys, umbrellas, books… There may be additionally a merchandising machine that sells used panties. Err… Yep, the Japanese can actually put virtually something conceivable of their merchandising machines, that’s for positive.
  5. Watch a sumo match! How a few recreation of sumo (a Japanese wrestling sport)? I watched a match in Osaka once I was in Japan and I cherished it — it was intense! I initially wished to look at a match in Tokyo, however I used to be too late for the reserving. The three grand tournaments occur in January, Might, and September and Tokyo’s Nationwide Sumo Corridor is Ryogoku Kokugikan. I counsel that you simply try the schedule and ebook your tickets with BuySumoTickets.com as a result of I had a easy time coping with them.
    → Be careful for my upcoming Sumo publish and information!
  6. Marvel at Japan’s ‘genius’ bathrooms. This may not be a ‘huge’ factor for you, however for me, it was — and I discover it price mentioning on this publish… However okay, it’s not precisely one of many prime ‘issues to do in Tokyo’ however extra of a ‘factor to count on’ as a result of I truthfully suppose that the Japanese have the bathroom expertise all discovered with their elaborate ‘bidet bathrooms’! Mainly, these have many superior options that you’ll hardly ever see outdoors of Japan, a few of that are: seat warming, deodorization, ‘behind’ washing, and background music. It’s loopy AND enjoyable! So be happy to experiment with it whenever you’re utilizing one. (After I left the nation, I made a psychological observe to myself that the bathrooms in my future home would be the identical as that in Japan).
  7. Go to different close by cities! In the event you may prolong your keep, it’s best to journey to the encircling areas in Tokyo resembling that Nikko, Kamakura, Hakone (to see Mt. Fuji up shut), and Yokohama. There are a great deal of issues you are able to do in these locations that you would be able to’t do in Tokyo: visiting a ryokan (conventional inn), mountain climbing to a number of nature trails and falls, and many others.
  8. …Or you probably have extra time, go additional out of Tokyo and go to locations like Kyoto, Hokkaido, Hiroshima, Osaka, and extra!

• • •


There may be undeniably a TON of different issues to do in Tokyo that may final you a LIFETIME — however for a short-term journey, I imagine that the checklist above is sufficient of a abstract for serving to you resolve on the BEST actions and sights to set your eyes on.

I could have visited Tokyo for five days, however I really felt like I’ve barely scratched the floor… it’s simply too big and wealthy! Due to that and extra, you wager that I will probably be coming again once more (and repeatedly!) to this unbelievable capital that seemingly has EVERYTHING that I can ever ask for in a metropolis.

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