Tokyo is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis. It is also one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, making it one of the largest and most exciting megacities on the planet.
Rocked by earthquakes and scorched by war, this centuries old city has refused to kneel. Always changing, and with a diverse collection of neighborhoods, no two experiences of the city are ever the same; is also home to the Imperial Palace and the seat of Government and Parliament. Explore the city and begin with our list of the top places to visit in Tokyo.
When you’re ready to brave the streets of Tokyo, head to Asakusa’s, Thunder Gate and explore Nakamise Dori, a market street where worshippers have been buying religious charms and snacks for centuries.
After the crowds, re-center yourself in Ueno park.
before delving into the cultural treasures of the Tokyo National Museum.
While conformity and tradition are two of the glues that bind Japanese society, Tokyo’s youth love to express themselves too. And nowhere is this more evident than the suburb of Harajuku, renowned throughout the world as a center of youth culture and fashion.
Harajuku is also home to one of Tokyo’s largest green spaces, Yoyogi Park. On Sunday’s, locals gather to relax, rehearse and just hang out, making it the happiest 134 acres in this city.
Just to the north of Yoyogi Park, pass beneath a towering Torii gate and into
a forest of 100 000 trees, originally sent here as saplings from all over Japan. And finally, pass through the main gates to Meiji Shrine.
Here, millions come each year to pay their respects to Emperor Meiji, the beloved 19th century ruler who helped Japan throw off its feudal cloak and grow into to the dynamic country it is today.
Just south of Yoyogi Park is Shibuya, home to one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. Every area of Tokyo dances to it’s own distinctive beat,…in Shubuya the beat, is shopping.
In nearby Ginza, huge department stores like the historic Wako Store await.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the main street is closed to traffic giving Ginza a relaxed, and slightly surreal atmosphere.
But Ginza has a grittier side too. Be sure to check out the tiny yakitori joints and beer halls tucked away beneath the railway arches around Yurakucho Station.
For a change of pace, explore the downtown business district of Marunouchi, whose wide tree-lined avenues and boutique stores lend Tokyo a certain, New York touch.
If you’re into anime, manga, or gaming, you’ll feel right at home in Akihabara Electric Town. As its name suggests, this area really lights up after dark.
As the sky glows in blaze of neon, head to the restaurants and pubs in Shinjuku, one of the city’s main dining and entertainment areas. Stay up late, and let the magical lights of Tokyo’s nights, melt into your memory,…forever.
Japanese have a saying, “dumplings are better than flowers”, so, no matter how much nature is revered, food comes first! Tokyo is one of the culinary capitals of the world. The city’s restaurants have been awarded more Michelin stars than any other city, and when the food’s this good, Tokyo residents don’t mind waiting!
For the freshest sushi and sashimi, head to the Tsukiji Fish Markets,then after your meal, pick up some sushi knives to take home.
When it’s time to rise above Tokyo’s never-ending canyons of glass and steel, ride the elevator to the observatories of Tokyo Tower. For even higher views, head to Roppongi Hills.
From the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower, Tokyo spreads out beneath you, all the way to Mt Fuji, Tokyo Bay and beyond.
Set on the western banks of Tokyo Bay, the city of Yokohama is only a half hour train ride from central Tokyo.
This historic port became the first gateway to Japan when the country opened itself to the West in 1854. Compared to hyperactive Tokyo, life moves a little slower here, making it the perfect place to catch your breath.
Today, Narita is the gateway to Japan. When most people think of Narita, they think of its international airport. However this small city of winding streets, ancient temples and gardens is a fascinating window into old Japan.
Just like the sun, Tokyo has continued to rise, blending the old with the new, and the new with tomorrow. Tokyo is a spectacular matrix of villages, towns and cities, strung together by a subway and train system that never rests. Just like the Japanese pop culture monster
Godzilla, Tokyo’s size and energy can intimidate first time visitors. Yet despite the neon, noise and sheer volume of people.
Because, whether you’re young at heart, or prefer things the old fashioned way, everything has it’s place in Tokyo, and there’s a place here waiting, for you.