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Amazing Things to Do in Tokyo: A City like No Other

Updated on:  
July 25, 2021
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Raeesha Ikram
Raeesha Ikram
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Missing travel? Plan your next trip to Tokyo and find the top things to do on your next adventure.

Tokyo, the capital city and popular destination worldwide, is full of character. On one hand, you will come across some of the finest architecture in the entire world that resembles the country’s fast-paced modernization. On the other, historic sites remain dotted throughout the city as remnants of its powerful past. Tokyo’s also a major culinary capital in the world and has a unique culture deeply embedded in its daily routine. It has a fashion sense of its own that’s hard not to love. So, Tokyo has so much to offer!

Without further ado, check out our list of the amazing things to do: Tokyo edition.

The best time to visit Tokyo

The best time to visit Tokyo is during spring (March-May) when the weather is very hospitable. It’s also the cherry blossom season that adds a whole new experience to your visit!

water sports in Tokyo river
Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash

The top things to do in Tokyo

Here are some of the top things to do in Tokyo that you can include when you plan your itinerary to this amazing metropolis.

1. Tokyo National Museum

For history buffs, Japan’s oldest museum is nothing short of a treasure trove. It’s one of the popular museums in the world featuring an extensive array of artifacts ranging from ceramics, paintings, pottery, Samurai swords to prehistoric relics. The museum complex consists of six buildings, each housing a unique collection on its own. While the museum is largely focused on Japanese artifacts, the Tokyo building is dedicated to treasures from different Asian countries. We recommend you book in advance and go on a guided tour to get the most out of your visit.

This must-see Tokyo attraction is accessible within 10 minutes walking distance from the Ueno or Uguisudani Station.

Tokyo National Museum
Image courtesy: Trip Advisor

2. Senso-Ji

If you had to choose one temple during your tour in Tokyo, Senso-Ji has to be it. The oldest temple of the city is hardly secluded because it is popular among both locals and tourists. The street leading to the temple is lined with stalls selling a variety of artisan products. The origin of Senso-Ji goes as far as 1400 years ago, although the structure you see today is relatively new, built after WWII. It resembles the significance of Buddhism to Japanese culture. The temple is very famous for different ceremonies held throughout the year, so if you are lucky, you will get the opportunity to witness one as well.

This amazing historical piece of Japanese culture is accessible within walking distance from the Asakusa Station.

Senso-Ji Temple
Photo by Kishor on Unsplash


3. Tokyo Skytree

There are many viewing points in Tokyo that lets you witness this expansive city but Tokyo Skytree offers an unmatched experience. Being 634 meters in height, it is the tallest tower in the world and only second to Burj Khalifa as the tallest building in the world. There are elegant observation decks that give you spellbinding views of the city. As modern as it may look, the structure also integrates many traditional Japanese elements. Tokyo SkyTree houses a restaurant with 360°viws, café, souvenir shop, and glass floor – great for people with the fear of heights ... probably not.

What's great about the Tokyo SkyTree is that it's within seconds of walking distance from the nearest train station. That's probably because there exists a Tokyo Skytree station right beside the attraction, accessible by the Tobu Skytree Line. Alternatively, you can also arrive by the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line at Oshiage Station, with a walking distance of 4 minutes to the Tokyo Skytree.

If you're not afraid of heights, this attraction is one of Tokyo's best in terms of views and sightseeing!

Tokyo Skytree
Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

4. Imperial Palace

Visiting the Imperial Palace is one of the most popular things to do in Tokyo. Located very close to the Tokyo Station, the palace is the current residence of the Emperor of Japan. Although visitors are not allowed inside the palace, you can still go on a tour to explore its surrounding gardens and other attractions. The sight of the castle with its high walls and moats, surrounded by the lake will surely transport you back in time.

The palace is within 10 minute walking distance from the JR Tokyo Station.

Tokyo imperial palace
Image courtesy: Tours and Travel

5. Shinjuku Gyoen National Park

If want to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a stroll in this magnificent garden. It actually consists of three gardens dedicated to traditional Japanese, French, and English landscape styles. It is abundant with many plant, tree, and flower varieties and decorated with mini ponds. You can even have a picnic in the garden admiring its lush and peaceful surroundings.

During the spring season, the garden is a popular spot to view cherry blossoms known as Japanese Hanami. The sight of nearly 1500 cherry trees adorning the garden with different shades of pink is spellbinding.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

6. Odaiba

The largest artificial island in Tokyo Bay is an area dedicated to party-goers, shopaholics, and entertainment-seekers looking for action-packed things to do in Tokyo. A lot of attractions you will come across here boast of Japan’s enviable technology, like TeamLab Borderless, the world’s first digital art museum.

Odaiba Island
Photo by shota James on Unsplash

The Marine Park here is great to indulge in water sports, while Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is a place for relaxation with a hot spring pool bath. You can also go on a ride in the Ferris wheel, shop at Aqua City, and visit Miraikan, a science and innovation museum.

Marine Park Odaiba
Photo by Jean Vella on Unsplash

7. Trying Japanese Food

Besides its host of attractions, Tokyo also treats its visitors with world-famous, lip-smacking Japanese cuisine. If you love sushi, here’s the best place to treat your appetite with a variety of traditional sushi prepared from fresh sea-food. You will find both high-end and budget-friendly options here.

Japanese Food Sushi
Photo by Florian Metzner on Unsplash

Ramen is also equally popular, and again, you will be spoilt for choices. This dish of pulled noodles served with a warm broth can easily energize you after a tiring tour in the city.

Japanese Food Ramen
Photo by AR on Unsplash

Other specials you can try here are tempura, soba, monjayaki, gyoza, and miso soup.  While a lot of dishes are meat-based, you can also find plenty of restaurants offering vegan versions that are equally delightful. So, don’t be disappointed as this culinary capital has something for everyone!

8. Shop in Tokyo’s Local Markets

Nakamise Shopping Street is lined with small shops selling a variety of goods like souvenirs, snacks, and other traditional Japanese goods. It’s the best place to get your hands on some interesting goods as keepsakes or gifts.

If you love collecting antiques or just like the idea of viewing them, you will enjoy a visit to the Oedo Antique Market. However, it is only held twice a month, so make sure you get to know the dates beforehand.

There are many other marketplaces selling clothes, seafood, and snacks in Tokyo that you can visit during the trip.

Tokyo Markets
Photo by Benjamin Wong on Unsplash

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Tokyo is massive, but the good news is that it has a well-connected and highly convenient transport system. There's definitely no shortage of places to stay in Tokyo, from the best hotels in Tokyo to budget capsule hotels, there's certainly difficulty when making a decision.

Before deciding where to stay in Tokyo, we recommend you plan your stay in Tokyo in detail, so you can pick an area that best suits your requirements.

Shinjuku

  • Shinjuku is the transport hub of Tokyo. It's where most people consider when deciding where to stay in Tokyo, after all, it's a center of all that's great to do with easy access to attractions in Tokyo. It’s close to many attractions and offers a wide range of choices for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Shinjuku Accommodations
Photo by Emran Yousof on Unsplash

Shibuya

  • Shibuya, with its vibrant appeal, is a hotspot for the youth. It’s also home to many popular attractions, including the famous Shibuya crossing, and is packed with shopping stores. The famous Shibuya crossing can be seen in many movies and films. Being famous for its title of the busiest intersection in the world, the famous Shibuya Crossing has recording of up to 3000 individuals crossing this interaction at the same time!
Shibuya accommodations
Photo by Louie Nicolo Nimor on Unsplash

Roppongi

  • Roppongi is renowned for its nightlife and is one of the high-end areas in Tokyo with great dining options. The downside is that the accommodation is not very cheap, so if you're looking for budget accommodation, this might not be your answer as to where to stay in Tokyo.
Roppongi nightlife
Photo by note thanun on Unsplash

Asakusa

  • Asakusa offers a more laid-back ambiance for travelers to enjoy a relaxing stay. It’s a very traditional area and offers the most budget-friendly accommodation choices.

Asakusa accommodations
Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

The best time to visit Tokyo

The best time to visit Tokyo is during spring (March-May) when the weather is very hospitable. It’s also the cherry blossom season that adds a whole new experience to your visit!

water sports in Tokyo river
Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash

Start Planning Your Trip to Tokyo

Tokyo should be on every traveler’s bucket list because there’s a host of intriguing things to do and see there. Additionally, with our guide, you'll have no problem deciding on where to stay in Tokyo. From the best place to stay to the cozy neighborhoods in Tokyo, we've got all the factors considered.

You will find the locals to be very warm and friendly, although language can sometimes be a barrier when communicating. Maybe you can start learning Japanese as a hobby so that you will be familiar with its common phrases and salutations!

If you are looking for a tool that helps you plan a great itinerary to make your stay in Tokyo more enjoyable, look no further. Whether it's booking your perfect hotel in Tokyo or planning your itinerary for your Tokyo trip, we've got you covered. With Pilot, tailoring your perfect dream vacation alone or with friends is just a step away.

Tokyo, the capital city and popular destination worldwide, is full of character. On one hand, you will come across some of the finest architecture in the entire world that resembles the country’s fast-paced modernization. On the other, historic sites remain dotted throughout the city as remnants of its powerful past. Tokyo’s also a major culinary capital in the world and has a unique culture deeply embedded in its daily routine. It has a fashion sense of its own that’s hard not to love. So, Tokyo has so much to offer!

Check out our list of the amazing things to do: Tokyo edition.

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