A trip to Tokyo is an unparalleled amusement park of fun. Where else in the world can you encounter such a dynamic fusion of style, culture, cuisine, and architecture as in Tokyo? A unique mashup of history and innovation, this multi-sensory experience is awakening; fragrances of ramen waft through the air, anime costumes bring out your childhood comic-obsessed self, and its quaint neighborhoods take you back in time. This bustling metropolis of nearly 14 million people satisfies even the most jaded of travelers. Foodies are in culinary heaven, artists galvanized, and the wanderlust in you comes to life in this eccentric city.
What to Do in Tokyo
If it’s something that Tokyo lacks, it isn’t in activities. Dream of witnessing the fiery national sport of competitive sumo wrestling or learning how to become a ninja warrior? Of course, you can’t miss the legendary tuna auction at the Toyosu Market, the largest fish market in the world. The ultimate way to explore the market is with an organized tour.
There is a street in Tokyo for every type of character. Identify as a tech nerd? Tokyo’s tech scene will blow you out of the water. Head to Akihabara to check out the latest gadgets on the market. Here you can also find manga, anime and gaming products.
Into the arts? Catch a beautiful Kabuki show or stroll through Yanaka, a traditional district of Tokyo lined with tiny art galleries, concept stores, and cafes.
Want to experience traditional Tokyo? Explore the Asakusa district, one of Tokyo’s most lively neighborhoods. Here you can buy chopsticks and kimonos, and snack on kaminari-okoshi and ningyo-yaki.
Coming to Tokyo to shop till you drop? Tokyo is swarming with shopping streets. Ginza is one of the best places to go for luxury shopping and Takeshita Street in Harajuku for funky boutiques and trinkets for your home.
To experience religious Tokyo, head to one of hundreds of shrines and temples located throughout the city. The Atago and Meiji Shrines and Kaneiji and Sensoji Temples, Tokyo’s oldest temple, are some of the top to see.
When you need a break from sightseeing and you can no longer handle one more Mario Kart ride, robot restaurant, or hedgehog cafe, kick back and unwind in one of Tokyo’s many green parks dispersed throughout the city. Yoyogi, Shinjuku, Imperial Palace East Gardens, and Ueno Park are among the best.
Another great option for relaxing is at an onsen. An onsen is a public bath house. There are thousands of onsens scattered across Japan due to Japan being a country of active volcanoes.
For sweeping views of the city, head up one of the city’s many skyscrapers, like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in the skyscraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku or the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo’s tallest skyscraper. On a clear day, you will even be able to see Mount Fuji.
Food, Drink, and Nightlife in Tokyo
While you can spend all your time touring the top sites in Tokyo, one of the best ways to explore the city is by tasting the capital’s mouth-watering food. Spend time devouring your way through each and every futuristic and historic street of Tokyo, each one better than the next. Tokyo is home to 230 restaurants with one Michelin star or greater. Make your way through udon noodles, ramen, fresh sushi, juicy chicken skewers, and octopus-filled dough balls (don’t knock it till you try it). Try monjayaki, a pancake-style dish maybe of a dashi and cabbage base and topped with squid, shrimp, or pork.
For desert, go for the national craze, matcha ice cream, sweet crepes, and taiyaki, fish-shaped biscuits. The best way to experience all the interesting food in Tokyo is by joining a guided tour, such as this Tokyo Food Tour.
Night owls will not be disappointed in Tokyo. With a nightlife that rivals New York City, there are countless places to party it up once dusk hits. The best nightlife can be found in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza and Roppongi. In Shinjuku, you can find piss alley.
How to Visit Tokyo
While a weekend in Tokyo is unforgettable, you need at least three or four days to experience the best of Tokyo. To make the most of your experience and guarantee a smooth journey, download railway maps and make use of the Japan Transit Planner to map out your route through Tokyo’s dizzying transport system. Join more than 6 million commuters traveling around Tokyo everyday.