Top 15 Things to Do In Tokyo, Japan

Things to Do In Tokyo

Why You Must Go To Tokyo

Things to Do In Tokyo
Rainbow Bridge Tokyo

Tokyo is a location always finding a way into the future, producing in sci-fi streetscapes of crackling neon and rising towers. It is constantly reinventing itself, most newly as a cooking and pop culture heaven (and a must-visit for anyone interested in either). Yet it is also a location rich in history, and you can find marks of the shogun’s capital on the kabuki stage or under the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park.

There are exceptional museums here, along with anything else you could ask of Japan atmospheric shrines, grand temples, interesting modern architecture, classy gardens and, yes, even hot springs. Tokyo, nevertheless, is also a place where sightseeing and tour can take a backseat. To get to know the location is to enjoy it as the locals do, by eating up on sushi in Ginza, trying to find new looks in Harajuku or just strolling the lanes of one of the city’s more atmospheric sectors, such as Kagurazaka or Yanesen, and don’t forget the different and usually extravagant nightlife – more evidence of Tokyo’s lively spirit in this post.

Top 15 Things to Do In Tokyo, Japan

1. Imperial Palace

Things to Do In Tokyo
Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace fill the site for the Edo-jō that is initial Tokugawa shogunate’s castle. In its heyday this is the fortress that is largest in the globe, though little remains of it now apart from the moat and rock walls. Must visit place from our In Things to Do in Tokyo List. Nearly all of the 3.4-sq-km complex is off-limits, as this may be the emperor’s home, however you can join certainly one of the free tours organised by the Imperial domestic Agency to see a little an element of the element that is internal.


Tours (enduring around 1¼ hours) run at 10am and 1.30pm usually on through to Saturday, but not on public vacations or afternoons from belated July through to the end of August Tuesday.
Reservations are taken via the site, phone or by post up to an ahead of time month. Instead, show up at least 30 mins before the tour at the tour office at the is kikyōmon if there is room you’ll be in a position to register and participate. Bring photo ID.
The trip will simply take you past the palace that is present Kayden, a modest low-rise building completed in 1968 that replaced the one built in 1888, which was mainly damaged during WWII.

2. National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT)

Things to Do In Tokyo
National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT)

Frequently changing displays through the museum’s collection that is superb of than 12,000 works, by both local and worldwide performers, are shown over floors four to two; special exhibitions are installed on the ground floor. All art works date from the Meiji period onward and provide a sense of how Japan that is contemporary now, has developed through the medium of portraits, photography, modern sculptures and video works. Don’t skip the ‘Room having a View’ for a panorama of this Imperial Palace East Garden. Editor’s Choice in Things to Do in Tokyo List

3. Intermediatheque (Museum)

Dedicated to interdisciplinary analysis, this place finely picks from the wide library of the University of Tokyo (Tōdai) to craft an interesting, modern museum experience. Experience the best ornithological taxidermy library in Japan to a giant pop art print or the exquisitely cased skeleton of a dinosaur. A big Tōdai lecture hall is rebuild as a forum for events, such as the playing of 1920s jazz audio recordings on a gramophone or old movie screenings.

4. Tsukiji Market

Things to Do In Tokyo
Tsukiji Market

Good fresh fruit, vegetables, plants and meat are offered right here, but it is seafood around 2000 tonnes of it traded that is Tsukiji that is daily is well-known for. The marketplace that is frenetic that is inner is slated to take to Toyosu in 2017 and sometimes even later on; the equally fascinating exterior market,comprising hundreds of food stalls and restaurants, will be put.
Before coming right here, always check the market’s out online calendar to make sure it’s open, and for directions on going to the tuna deals, which start around 5am.


Tsukiji’s celebrity attraction is maguro (blue-fin tuna) as large as submarine torpedoes and weighing because much as 300kg: the sight (and noise) of these flash-frozen whoppers being auctioned is a classic Tokyo experience, worth getting up early (or staying up late) for.
Workout respect and caution whenever Tsukiji that is visiting therefore to maybe not spoil the possibility for future visitors. Big groups, babies and small children are forbidden through industry that is inner when the marketplace does move, public access towards the market that is newest will change.

5. Hama-rikyū Onshi-teien (Gardens)

Things to Do In Tokyo
Hama-rikyū Onshi-teien (Gardens)/Wenjie, Zhang

This gorgeous garden, is one of Tokyo’s very best, is all that is remaining of a shogunal palace that once stretched into the spot now utilized by Tsukiji Market. The primary qualities are a huge duck lake with an island that’s home to a lovely tea pavilion, Na-kajima no Chaya, as well as some beautifully maintained trees , some of which are hundreds of years aged. Aside from visiting the park as a side trip from Ginza or Tsukiji, try travelling by boat to or from Asakusa via the Sumida-gawa (Sumida River).

6. Roppongi Hills

Things to Do In Tokyo
Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills set the standard for 21st-century estate that is real in Tokyo. The centre piece of the working office, shopping, dining and activity complex is the 54 storey Mori Tower, home towards the Mori Art Museum and Tokyo City View observatory. Spread around it is lots of general public art, such as Louise Bourgeois giant spiny Maman spider sculpture and the benches cum sculptures along Keyakizaka-dōri, as well as the Edo style Mohri that is recreated Garden.

7. Shibuya Center-gai

Things to Do In Tokyo
Shibuya Center-gai/Joi Ito

Shibuya’s drag that is main close to vehicles and chock-a-block with fast-food bones and high-street fashion shops. At night, lit bright as time, by having a dozen contending soundtracks (coming from that knows where), wares spilling on the roads, touts in sunglasses, and strutting teens, it seems like a block party or Tokyo’s form of a vintage evening market that is Asian.

8. Meiji-jingū (Shrine)

Things to Do In Tokyo

Tokyo’s grandest Shintō shrine is committed to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken. Created in 1920, the shrine had been demolished in WWII air raids and reconstructed in 1958; however, unlike so many of Japan’s post-war reconstructions, Meiji-jingū has a feel that is genuine. The towering 12m wood torii gate that represents the entry had been created from a 1500-year-old Cyprus that is Taiwanese. Note that Meiji-jingū is undergoing renovations bit by bit in planning for its anniversary that is 100th will continue to be available. Editor’s Choice in Things to Do in Tokyo List

9. Takeshita-dōri

Things to Do In Tokyo

This is Tokyo’s fashion that is magnificently outré, where stylish duds sit alongside the trappings of decades of fashion subcultures (plaid and safety pins for the punk’s colourful tutus for the decora; Victorian dresses for the Gothic Lolitas). Be warned: this pedestrian alley is a niche site that is pilgrimage teens from all over Japan, which means it may get loaded with people.

10. Omote-sandō

Things to Do In Tokyo
Omote-sandō/Kakidai

This imperial avenue was primarily created as the official approach to Meiji-jingū. Now it’s a stylish strip lined with premium boutiques. The designer shops come in designer complexes, which means Omote-sandō is among the best areas in the city to see modern architecture.
Highlights consist of the Dior boutique by SANAA (Nishizawa Ryue and Sejima Kazuyo), and the Tod’s boutique by Itō Toyō both Pritzker Prize receiving Japanese architects.

11. Nezu Museum

Things to Do In Tokyo
Nezu Museum/Wpcpey

Nezu Museum delivers a combination this is certainly striking of and brand new: a well-known collection of Japanese, Chinese and Korean antiquities in a gallery room created by modern designer Kuma Kengo. Must visit place from our In Things to Do in Tokyo List. Choose things from the collection this is certainly considerable displayed in regular events. The explanations which can be English typically quite great. Behind the galleries is really a woodsy yard that is strolling with rock routes and studded with teahouses and sculptures.

12. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Things to Do In Tokyo

Tokyo’s chair of energy, created by Tange Kenzō and finished in 1991, looms big and seems notably like a pixelated cathedral (or the lair of an animated villain). Just take an elevator through the ground-floor to build 1 to 1 associated with the double observatories being 202m-high panoramic views over the never-ending cityscape (the views tend to be practically similar from either tower). For a time that is clear morning is best), you’ll capture a glimpse of Mt Fuji into the western.

13. Shinjuku-gyoen (Park)

Things to Do In Tokyo
Shinjuku-gyoen (Park)

Though Shinjuku-gyoen had been created as a refuge this is certainly imperial (completed in 1906), it is today definitively a playground for everybody else. The large yards make it a favourite for urbanites in need of an escape that is fast the hurly burly of town life. Don’t skip the greenhouse, having its huge lily shields and orchids being completely created additionally the cherry blossoms in springtime.

14. Tokyo National Museum

Things to Do In Tokyo
Tokyo National Museum

If you are visiting only one museum in Tokyo, be it the Tokyo National Museum. Here you will discover the world’s biggest range of Japanese art, such as ancient pottery, Buddhist statues, samurai swords, colourful ukiyoe (woodblock prints), gorgeous kimonos and much, much more. Site visitors with only a couple of hours to spare should must focus on the Honkan (Japanese Gallery) and the charming Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures , which demonstrates masks, scrolls and gilt Buddha’s starting Hōryū-ji (in Nara Prefecture, dating from 607).


If you have more time in hand, you can explore the three-storied Tōyōkan (Gallery of Asian Art), with its range of Buddhist sculpture from around Asia and delicate Chinese ceramics. Must visit place from our In Things to Do in Tokyo List. The Heiseikan, accessed via a pas-sage on the 1st floor of the Honkan, houses the Japanese Archaeological Gallery, full of pottery, talismans and articles of daily life from Japan’s prehistoric periods.
Check whether or not it’s possible to reach the usually off limits garden, which includes some vintage teahouses; it opens up for the public starting mid-March to mid-April and starting late October to early December.

15. Sensō-ji

Things to Do In Tokyo
Sensō-ji/jreysp

Tokyo’s many temple this is certainly checked out a fantastic picture of Kannon (the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy), which, according to legend, ended up being miraculously taken out from the nearby Sumida-gawa by two anglers in advertising 628. The picture has actually remained at that moment previously since but is never ever on general public dis-play. The dwelling this is certainly current from 1958. Entry to the temple complex is via the great, purple Kaminari-mon and hectic road this is certainly shopping. Editor’s Choice in Things to Do in Tokyo List


Before driving through the gate, look to either part to see statues of Fūjin (the god of wind) or Raijin (the god of thunder), and beneath the huge purple lantern to visit a gorgeous dragon this is certainly created.
Stalls along Nakamise-dōri offer everything from traveller trinkets to real crafts which are edo-style. At the end of Nakamise-dōri is the temple itself, and to your remaining you will spot the Five-Storey this is certainly 55m-high Pagoda. It’s a 1973 repair of a pagoda built by Tokugawa Iemitsu.


It’s a secret as to whether or perhaps not the picture this is certainly old of really is present, as it is not on general public show. This does not end a flow this is certainly constant of from going to. As you’re watching temple is really an incense this is certainly huge: the smoke is stated to bestow health and you’ll see individuals rubbing it within their figures through their particular clothing.


A shrine built in honour for the broth-ers just who found the Kannon statue that inspired the building of Sensō-ji in the east side of the temple complex is Asakusa-jinja. (Historically, Japan’s two religions, Buddhism and Shintō had been connected plus it wasn’t un-common for temples to consist of shrines and vice versa.) The building this is certainly existing coated a deep tone of purple, times to 1649 and is just an uncommon illustration of very early Edo structure. It is additionally the epicentre of one of Tokyo’s most important celebrations, May’s Sanja Matsuri.The temple that is whole is often hectic, specifically therefore at vacations; consider checking out at evening to see it with less folks and the structures beautifully illuminated.

Bonus – Ghibli Museum

Things to Do In Tokyo
Ghibli Museum/Lora Sutyagina

Master animator Miyazaki Hayao, whoever Studio Ghibli produced Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, created this museum. Followers will relish the first sketches; children, even when they’re not really acquainted with the flicks, will fall in love with the fairy-tale environment (together with huge pet coach). Don’t miss out the initial 20-minute animated quick playing on the ground this is certainly first. Editor’s Choice in Things to Do in Tokyo List


Passes should be bought ahead of time, and you also must select the time this is certainly precise day you want to consult with.
Get seats through a vacation broker because it will need some Japanese-language abilities to navigate the violation machine) just before arrive in Japan or from a kiosk at any Lawson convenience shop in Tokyo (this is trickier. Both choices are explained at length on the internet site, for which you may also locate a chart this is certainly of good use. Tickets are non-transferable; you could be expected to demonstrate an ID.


Getting to Ghibli (pronounced ‘jiburi’) is perhaps all correct area of the adventure. A minibus (circular trip/one means ¥320/210) leaves for the muse-um every 20 moments from Mitaka Station (coach end 9). The museum is regarding the advantage this is certainly western of, so you can additionally go truth be told there through the playground from Kichijōji Station in about half an hour.

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