If anime alone doesn’t tempt you to take a trip to Japan or even consider living there, their language, culture, heritage, and country will sure do. Whether you’re travelling for fun or work, Japan is one of the countries that you should discover and enjoy while visiting. Tokyo, the busy capital, in specific, has many things for tourists to enjoy and plenty of activities to do. The metropolitan has tons of things to show you, so are you ready for an unforgettable adventure?
Since Tokyo is a big city, we couldn’t just fit all the best things to do while visiting the capital. However, if you are a first-timer and want to get some inspiration, here is a compiled list of the best things —in our humble opinion— to do on your vacation there to make your trip memorable and fun, but remember! Tokyo has so much more to offer!
View the City From Tokyo Skytree
We’ll start with one of the most famous landmarks in Tokyo, Tokyo Skytree. The tower’s height is approximately 633.984 metres, which makes it the tallest tower (not building!) in the world. You’ll enjoy the jaw-dropping view from this tower since you’ll be able to get a panoramic view of Tokyo and its skyscrapers and dazzling lights. The ticket may be on the pricey side (about $25), but it’s still an unforgettable experience. If you’re afraid of heights, just visiting the tower and enjoying looking at it will be worth the trip.
Capture the Busy Capital at Shibuya Crossing
If you need proof that Tokyo is one of the busiest cities in the world, visit the famous intersection at Shibuya Crossing. Photographers from all over the world visit this place to take the coolest photos of pedestrians surrounded by big screens displaying flashy ads. When the light goes green, we promise you’ll be fascinated by the view of thousands of cars crossing the intersection. Make sure you choose a high location near the intersection so you can truly enjoy the view.
Discover Disneyland and DisneySea
At the Tokyo Disney Resort, you can find two kid-friendly Disney theme parks: Disneyland and DisneySea. They are the best places to visit in the city if you’re travelling with your little ones, but adult Disney fans can equally enjoy the magic! At Tokyo Disneyland, you can ride almost all of the iconic Disney attractions, including Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, Thunder Mountain, Snow White’s Adventures, and more. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, the first trackless coaster in history, is one of the park’s most special attractions.
DisneySea, on the other hand, was made with adult fans as their target audience. The experience at DisneySea is one you cannot come across at other Disney resorts. Although the attractions in this theme park are fewer than its neighbour’s, Disneyland, DisneySea’s rides will be more than enough for you. Some of the rides include the Tower of Horror and Toy Story Mania! (we can hear your happy screams, 90s babies). The dining options are some of the greatest compared to other Disney parks, with more refined food options at DisneySea.
Indulge in Traditional Japanese Tea at Sakurai Tea Experience
You cannot be a true tea addict unless you try this one-of-a-kind experience. In a space brimming with glass jars and more than 30 types of green tea, you will have a unique experience at Sakurai. Japan is known for its tea ritual, so it only makes sense that you try it for yourself to feel the relaxation and meditation. The founder and owner, Shinya Sakurai, travels the world to gather special leaves for a unique tea taste you’ll never find anywhere else, thanks to his 14 years of study.
Visit Sensoji, the Oldest Temple in Tokyo
In the centre of Tokyo, specifically in Asakusa, you can find one of the most visited attractions that you cannot miss. Of all the temples in Tokyo, Sensoji is undoubtedly the most well-known and frequently visited. It is the most ancient Buddhist temple in the city, and its five-story pagoda, incense trails, and enormous eaves will make you feel like you have time-travelled to an earlier Tokyo, the 7th-century Tokyo, to be exact.
Take as many photos as you can and enjoy the tasty street food near the temple gates. Asakusa is a combination of modern society and the cultural and historical side of Japan, so you’ll have everything in one place; no wonder why it’s one of the best attractions in Tokyo and the whole of Asia.
Take a Stroll in Shinjuku Gyoen Garden
If you want to appreciate Japanese nature and enjoy the greenery, you should take a walk in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and unwind. Although the garden is located in Tokyo, it enjoys a mix of French and English breathtaking landscapes that will help you create amazing memories. If you’re lucky and travelling in the Spring, you’ll witness one of the most beautiful scenery in the world, the cherry blossom season.
Buy Fresh Goods at Tsukiji Outer Market
Pretty much every seafood lover enjoys a stroll in a fresh fish market, where sea goodies will be scattered everywhere. And this is not just any fresh fish market; this is the world’s biggest all-inclusive outer market and one of Tokyo’s top attractions. At Tsukiji Outer Market, you’ll find plenty of local restaurants (sushi restaurants are scattered around the area), kitchen utensils, groceries, and more. You can even have a little snack while exploring the oceanic goods that can only be found in an island country like Japan.
Enjoy The Nature at Yoyogi Park
Care for a day between the arms of trees? Yoyogi Park is the answer. In addition to being located in a strategic place, the park is the perfect place for picnics and watching entertaining performances. Both tourists and residents enjoy the shade of the beautiful trees of Zelkova. Sit around the pond and enjoy people-watching; you will certainly be amused.
Marvel at Tokyo Tower
While this tower may not be as popular as Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower is still one of the main and unmissable attractions in Tokyo. You can enjoy the tower either by watching it from a distance and appreciating its beauty or by doing city observation from the tower itself. The trick behind enjoying watching Tokyo Tower is choosing the right viewing spot, so make sure you do thorough research beforehand to enjoy the experience fully.
Dine at Maid Cafe
If you’re fascinated by Japanese Otaku culture, including anime, gaming, manga, and underground idols, this place is a must-visit. Located in Akihabara (dubbed the capital of anime), Maid Cafe is an entertaining place to be, where you’ll be served by an anime-like maid and enjoy colourful drinks and food. It’ll be like walking into your own version of anime.
Attend Sumo Tournaments
Although Japan is widely known as the land of the samurai, their Sumo heritage can’t be overlooked. You don’t want to miss out on Sumo tournaments that take place in Tokyo, Ryogoku Kokugikan, where you can be surrounded by 11,000 Sumo fans in a large stadium. In the same area, you can also watch boxing events, but the main event that takes place in this area is the Sumo tournaments. You can explore a whole subculture here, with its own distinct history.
Have a Drink at The Bellwood
If you’re looking for an extraordinary bar in Tokyo, check out The Bellwood. This opulent bar is decorated with modern-retro elements, including a stained glass panel with the bar’s name. It was inspired by a Japanese coffee house from the early 20th century. Although the bar recently built a glass-enclosed private room to hold a series of food-and-cocktail experiments, the main area is still perfect for after-work beverages or late-night drinks.
Go on a Shopping Spree at UNIQLO Stores
If you’re a fashion enthusiast, you’ll probably care a great deal about visiting this place. Japanese fast fashion company UNIQLO offers a variety of stylish, high-quality, and reasonably-priced clothes, including formal and informal attire, technologically-advanced functional undergarments, and limited-edition graphic T-shirts. Over the past ten years, the brand has effectively expanded its fan base around the world and dramatically enhanced its appeal. Today, UNIQLO is among the most well-liked stores in Japan among foreign tourists.
Drive Rental Go-Kart
Participating in special events and tours are fantastic things to add to your trip itinerary if you want to explore the traditional or distinctive cultures of Japan. Tokyo offers a wide range of activities, from traditional cultural experiences to cutting-edge, contemporary ones, and go-karting has become one of the most popular alternatives among visitors in recent years. You can manoeuvre a Go Kart through the city in character-themed clothing if you have a valid Japanese or international driver’s licence!
Go Treasure-Hunting at Oedo Antique Market
Oedo Antique Market is a great outdoor market held close to Tokyo Station twice a month with vendors offering amazing antique and retro goods. To market their unique items, many self-employed sellers set up shop. Tokyo doesn’t have many stores selling antique or vintage household goods, so if you’re seeking old, unusual, or one-of-a-kind Japanese antiques for your home, that’s where you should go. All of the things sold at Oedo are one-of-a-kind original pieces. In Tokyo, it would be difficult to locate a permanent store with the selection and style found here. We recommend coming early in the day for the best deals.
Spend a Full Day at Harajuku
This place will satisfy your inner fashionista, especially if you’re into Kawaii or Japanese culture. Harajuku is home to plenty of stores, cafes, and fashion boutiques where you can go for a shopping spree and spend a lot of money. Harajuku is also a fantastic chance for you to get acquainted with street art and take fabulous Instagram-able photos.
If you don’t like modern tourist attractions because they’re always crowded, you may like Yanesen, with its old-fashioned Japanese surroundings. This is your chance to meet the real Tokyo and get familiar with its old-fashioned buildings and culture. Don’t expect anything trendy or fashionable; this is, in fact, the opposite. You can see how locals spend their lives eating, shopping, and working.
Have Fun at Isetan
Although Isetan started as a kimono shop in 1886, it’s now the biggest and most popular department store in Tokyo. Over wide, big nine floors, you can enjoy your shopping spree among local and international brands and indulge in delicious Japanese snacks.
Spend a Night at a Ryokan
The Ryokan is a historic hotel with a traditional Japanese design that provides hospitality and real Japanese accommodations. While there are many fantastic Ryokan-style lodgings in Tokyo where you may have a true Japanese staycation experience, the city is also full of modern accommodations like opulent hotels, chic guest homes, and capsule hotels.
The attractions in Tokyo can leave you in awe of their beauty, and we want you to fully enjoy your trip while you’re there. The longer your stay is, the more places you can visit, so it is best to plan a long vacation. Make sure you create a travel itinerary with these activities, but you can certainly add more things to do in the big city!
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