Tokyo is one of the most unique cities in the world and one that is always happening with life, culture and wonderful things for us travelers to do. Far dumped from its small fishing town image (about 200 years ago), the city has emerged as one of the world’s crowded capital cities that is wonderful for us travelers to visit.
It’s not just a draping metropolis of millions of people but more of a group of mini-cities that have been grouped together to produce modern-day Tokyo. The city isn’t just ‘one big city’, it’s filled with a huge blend of identities and incredible places that can be easily experienced once you scratch the surface of this draping city.
Just like any other thing in Tokyo, there never feels like there’s much time to do everything you want. I mean, the city is vast and I’m not even sure you’d even have just the time to see it all within a whole year visit! Anyway, before I move on continually about how big and amazing Tokyo is anymore, I wanted to give you names of some of the best places you have to see on your first visit to the city, though be aware, after your first visit, you’ll still be holding a list as long as your arm of things you need to go back and see.
Here are the 11 Best Places to Visit On Your Trip To Tokyo:
Visit the Imperial Palace
Till date, the official home of the Emperor of Japan, The Imperial Palace is a place you have to see when going to the Marunouchi district. The main palace is encircled by some vast grounds and is situated on its own little island surrounded by a large moat. Although you do not have inside access to some of the grounds, you can stroll through the nearby Kitanomaru Park and Imperial Palace East Gardens.
Appreciable sights within the Imperial palace grounds include the wonderful and photogenic Nijubashi Bridge, the East Higashi-Gyoen garden and Edo Castle.
You can’t go inside the inner parts of the palace (unless you’ve got connections to high places ) but you can ask for a tour through the Imperial Household website at particular times of the year.
Dive into the Ginza District
If you are searching for a spot of retail therapy, the Ginz District is your stop! Often called the Times Square of Tokyo, Ginza is a crowded place to visit and is one of the great images of sparkly lights, big buildings, and charming streets that we all know Tokyo for. During weekends, transport is diverted on the roads and Ginza turns into a pedestrian’s dream.
Here you will find a multitude of every type of shop, bar, food spot, and cafes trading everything you could possibly imagine. Think of Willy Wonka created cities… Ginza is an exact representation of what it would look like!
Experience everything kawaii in Harajuku
Harajuku is popular the world over for its fashion and culture. It’s such a buzzing area of Tokyo and one you can not hate if you like everything kawaii (cute).
Gorge on some gyoza dumplings from the street food style stalls, shop all things beautiful at KiddyLand (not just for kids) and head over to the adorable hedgehog cafes and cat cafes in all of Japan!
If you really want to make your kawaii notch even higher, move over to the Kawaii Monster Cafe for an ecstatic and extrovert meal in one of the fanciest restaurants I’ve ever seen!
Discover the National Museum of Nature and Science
Split into numerous different sections, the National Museum holds scientific displays on renewable energy, space travel, and the latest technological creations – you might even grab a look at some of those snazzy Japanese robots they create.
And not just that, the natural section of the museum holds a beautiful selection of traditional Japanese outfits and exhibits of ancient creatures found in this region of Japan.
Visit the Sensoji Temple
Tokyo has many ancient sites, but none quite as appreciable as the Sensoji Buddhist temple. Perched in the Asakusa district, this temple is committed to the goddess Kannon and was originally built almost 1,500 years ago. Make sure to head over to the Kaminarimon Gate, the incense vat, and the flock of temple doves that are considered to be the sacred messengers.
Sensoji is amazingly famous with Buddhists and tourists like us. If you want to avoid the buzz, plan to reach early in the morning for a more incredible experience.
Spot the cherry blossom (Sakura) at Ueno Park
Whilst Tokyo is hugely built up, it also features some wonderful natural parks that you could not afford to miss on your trip. Ueno is the most popular and spread well over 200 acres. This wonderful outdoor area has various areas including the Shinobazu Pond, the Toshogu Shrine, and an option to see the Sakura, too (which takes place usually around March-April in Tokyo).
It is easy to see why this park is so famous, and you could easily spend a day strolling around this beautiful park!
Admire the art at Tokyo National Museum
If you want to satisfy your inner love of all things in Japan, you should take a halt at the Tokyo National Museum. This is an art lover heaven and holds around 100,000 works from Japan, China, and India pairing with a host of national treasures.
Top picks of this incredible museum include a range of Buddhist sculptures, a bunch of ancient weaponry, and a selection of cultural Japanese clothing and earthenware.
See the Meiji Shrine
One of the most eminent traditional site in Tokyo and is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife. Located within the lands of Yoyogi Park, the shrine has a real Japanese design with many pagodas and an inner courtyard that’s not something you would want to miss.
This astonishing temple is encircled by a huge forest that contains literally thousands of trees and offers a numerous amount of trails to meander through if you want a little break from the constant buzzing of city life. Inside the complex, there is also a museum that holds different royal artifacts and a collection of artwork.
Spot Mt Fuji from the Tokyo Skytree
You are not allowed to miss the Tokyo Skytree as it literally touches the sky above the city at a whopping 634m tall. As with most of Tokyo, it’s quite new but has become one of the top places to see the city from high above the skyscrapers. On a sunny day, you can see Mt Fuji touching the blue sky from a distance.
Explore Akihabara Electric Town
Situated in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo, Akihabara is chock-a-block stuffed with all things larger than life. Think of huge stores, big glistening lights, and roads running down the street that never really turn into night (from all the glowing lights). It’s a place you have to delve into. Once being a huge electrical hub, this place is now popular for its love of anime and everything manga.
Experience Kabuki-Za Theatre
Kabuki is a type of theatrical performance that is largely famous in Tokyo and Japan, and the Kabuki-Za Theatre is actually the best place to view a cultural show. The fantastic design of this structure depicts ancient Japanese, and the performances performed within are legendary.
The air of a Kabuki show is a no match to anything great and spectacular to behold – Enjoy the theatrics, gorge on some of the delicious street food, and find yourself in this slice of Japanese culture.