Amazing Things to Do in Tokyo: A City like No Other
Missing travel? Plan your next trip to Tokyo and find the top things to do on your next adventure.
Tokyo, the capital city of Japan 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!
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!
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 to book in advance and go on a guided tour to get the most out of your visit.
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.
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 fear of heights or maybe not.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where to Stay in Tokyo
Tokyo is massive, but the good news is that it has a well-connected and highly-convenient transport system. Before deciding where to stay, we recommend you to plan your trip in detail, so you can pick an area that best suits your requirements.
- Shinjuku is the transport hub of Tokyo. It’s close to many attractions and offers a wide range of choices for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
- Shibuya, with its vibrant appeal, is a hotspot for the youth. It’s also home to many popular attractions and is packed-with shopping stores.
- 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.
- 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.
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. 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. With Pilot, tailoring your perfect dream vacation alone or with friends is just a step away.