No trip to Japan is complete without a quick stop in the country’s legendary capital Tokyo. We’ve been around the world from London to BangKok, and we can honestly say that there is no better city to shop, eat and play. The city has an almost seamless mixture of popular culture and Japanese traditional culture, one thing mixing into the next. No gaps, only spaces filled with intrigue and wonder. With so much to see, where do you go? Why not start with our top 10 picks? Here’s a list of our favourite spots that make a great trip.
1. Shop till you drop in Harajuku
Harajuku (原宿 in Japanese) is a station located between Shibuya and Shinjuku on the JR Yamanote loop line around central Tokyo. This busy stop has all of the latest fashion in Japan, some of the most interesting shops, and miles of backstreets packed to the brim with the most amazing finds. From strange bars to the best styles, Harajuku is the place to be for fashion lovers.
Address: 1 Chome Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
2. Take in a show at the famous Kabuki-za, Ginza
Kabuki-za (歌舞伎座) in Ginza is a traditional specialising in Kabuki. Opening in November 1898, this one of the oldest and grandest theatres in the city. But what is Kabuki? Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. The performers often wear glamorous costumes going back to the Edo period and act out classical literature and sometime historical event. If you’re in the mood for culture, there’s no better place.
Address: 4 Chome-12-15 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
3. See all of Tokyo from Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower in Sumida. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634 meters in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa. It also happens to be nest to Asakusa, one of the most popular destinations for tourists coming to the city.
Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-8634, Japan
4. Checkout the famous Senso-ji temple
Since we’ve already visited Sumida, why not walk over to Asakusa, after all it’s only a 17 minute walk away from the Skytree. Sensoji temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon and located in Asakusa district, is the city’s oldest religious building. In fact, the temple opened in 645AD. The path leading up to the temple is flanked by traditional vendors sell all manor of good, and the surrounding streets are a great place to stop and eat some of the best food the city has to offer.
Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
5. Have some fun as Tokyo Disney Sea
Okay, now this one isn’t very traditional, and it might not even be as Japanese as the others on this list, but it’s still pretty awesome. Yes, DisneySea made it on this list, and why not. Nowhere in the world will you find another Disney Sea, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more elaborately planned theme park. So if you’re looking for just some good fun, come check out its massive volcano, full size old school ocean liner, and its amazing rides.
Address: １−１３ Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031, Japan
6. Be amazed by Mori Digital Art Museums fabulous lights
We have never seen a city more full of museums and entertainment than this, and Mori Digital Art Museum takes the cake. The museum is covered in intense, vivid patterns and designs—creating an artistic, ever-evolving world. These highly interactive artworks all come together to create one limitless world that welcomes you to dive right in.
Address: Japan, 〒135-0064 Tokyo, Koto City, Aomi, 1 Chome−3−8 お台場パレットタウン
7. Get a classic photo at Shibuya crossing
What can we say, you all know this one, and chances are you’ve seen its photo about a hundred time, but it’s still a great place to see. Checkout Shibuya cross for a great classic photo of Japan and all the wonderful neon and signage that comes with a blade-runner style city life. If you’re up for a bit of a walk, it’s not even that far from Harajuku, just 10 minutes from the famous “Cat road”. (Make sure to exit through the Hachikō exit).
Address: 1 Chome-2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan
8. Taste something fresh at Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji fish market is a must see for many visiting Japan, but it might not be for the reasons that you think. Apart from being of of the world’s largest fish markets, you can also find some great eats. Some of these stalls are open for public purchase and you’ll definitely find the freshest seafood anywhere in the city. Try some grade A sushi, BBQ prawns from a charcoal fire, or my personal favourite BBQ scallops with soy sauce and butter.
Address: 4 Chome-16-16番2号 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
9. Relax in Yoyogi park
Even the most energetic of use need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city sometimes, and this is where Yoyogi park comes in. Yoyogi is just about smack dab in the centre of the city. Pretty close to Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku if you’re looking for a bit of a rest. Its one of Tokyo’s largest city parks, featuring wide lawns, ponds and forested areas. The park is a great place for viewing cherry blossoms in the spring and houses the famous Meiji Shrine.
Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan
10. End your day in Oedo Osen
This is this largest hot-spring theme park in Japan, maybe even the world. This mega leisure complex in Odaiba near Tokyo Bay that features both indoor and outdoor hot springs, as well as a food and shopping arcade. It is conveniently located near the Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Monorail Line, about 20 minutes from Shimbashi Station. With its many malls, it’s also a great place to go shopping.
With a huge outdoor foot-bath river, Edo themed interior, it may not be your traditional osen experience, but it is definitely worth going to see. Maybe checkout the Mori Digital Art Museum While you’re near by.
Address: 2 Chome-6-3 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan
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