The list of things to do in Tokyo could be rather endless as there are enough amazing and different things to do to fill up all your time. If you’re squeezed for time during your Tokyo visit, these are 10 things you just can’t miss and must organize into your trip!
What does it feel like to be at the center of the world? Well, find out at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing, the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world with an average of 2,500 people crossing every time the signal lights are green. Then, stop to say hello to the dog statue of Hachiko and get hypnotized by the crowd from one of the observation points nearby.
Mario Cart in the street, maids inviting you into their cafe, idols singing, retro games shops, floors and floors of arcades and games.. Welcome to Otaku’s World! If you’re an anime or games lover, you cannot miss visiting Akihabara where you can also find good electronic deals and old collectible items. Even if you’re not really into those types of things, we recommend it anyways for a chance to discover this crazy side of Japan and learn how Japanese people have fun. Discover Akihabara and visit a maid cafe with our guide!
Tokyo is considered the world’s culinary capital thanks to its 230 Michelin-starred restaurants. Japanese food is much more than sushi and ramen; there is an incredible variety of high quality foods and different tastes depending on the seasons. Japanese cuisine does not focus only on the balance of taste, but also in the harmony of flavour and eye-catching presentation. Chefs put thought into choosing ingredients and consider cooking an act of love to the customers. Read about Japanese table manners here.
Red is the color of Asakusa – you’ll see it in the big paper lanterns of Sensoji, the enormous main gate supervised by the two Kaminari guardians, and the many souvenir and food shops that fill Nakamisedori. Red represents good health and longevity so it’s not surprising that this temple is considered the protector of good health. It’s said that putting your hurt body part through the incense smoke will accelerate your recovery. Red Asakusa and the wooden houses make you feel like you’re walking in an old village. While you’re there, why not take a cruise on Sumida River like how people of Edo Era used to do?
If Asakusa is red, then Harajuku is equivalent to rainbow. Harajuku is the center of fashion for young Japanese teens; it’s where color and oddness reign and where the word “kawaii”, cute, reaches its peak. Upon entering Takeshita Street through its iconic entrance, visitors are immediately met with the smell of crepes and the craziness of rainbow food. Get lost in the back alleys of Harajuku among art galleries, emerging stylish and vintage shops, and unique cafes and restaurants. And don’t forget to take purikura, the cutest photo you’ll take during your travel!
Shintoism is an autonomous religion of Japan that worships nature and ancestors. Meiji Jingu, where Meiji Emperor and his wife have been enshrined since 1820, is a quiet power spot that’s tucked away in the middle of bustling Tokyo. You can feel the peacefulness of nature and even a spiritual atmosphere in the Shrine. Since the shrine is dedicated to a couple, it’s not rare to see a Shinto wedding ceremony at Meiji Jingu. Many couples like to take photos nearby where there are two trees known as “husband and wife.”
From Meiji Emperor to the current emperor, nature is highly valued and even the fil-rouge. It’s not possible to access the inner ground of Imperial Palace, but the East Gardens are open to general public for free. It’s right in the middle of Tokyo and is an ideal place to take a stroll in nature. You can also see the breathtaking Ninomaru Garden, a beautiful example of traditional Japanese style garden.
After the sun goes down, neon lights glow up the night and the narrow alleys start getting swarmed with people. The Kabukicho area of Shinjuku is a spot where you can enjoy the chaotic atmosphere and there you” also find English menus available. Golden Gai is a network of alleys full of bars and small drinking places, the best way to enjoy a night out in Tokyo!
Tokyo is grouped by different areas and one is shitamachi, an old nostalgic town that survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and bombing during WWII. There are Showa influences throughout the town and it still looks now how it did in the past. The area known as YaNeSen (referring to Yanaka, Nezu and Sendai) is perfect to explore while walking. There, you can discover a local feel, visit old shops and temples, and overall be in an Edo atmosphere.
Ginza has always been an important central area for business and leisure activities. It’s the luxury center of Tokyo and it’s where you’ll find international luxury brands in futuristic architectural buildings. You’ll get a sense of elegance walking around Ginza while admiring the modern buildings designed by world-famous architects. Some shops also display art installations so you’ll get to enjoy those in addition to the buildings! You can also attend a kabuki performance at the Kabukiza theatre and enjoy fine meals in precious restaurants, like kaiseki cuisine with a Michelin starred chef.
In addition to must-see spots, it’s always fun to experience a new city with a local – book our private guide service here.