Home to a population of well over 13 million people, the capital of Japan is undoubtedly the most happening city in the Far East. With so many people to keep busy, one thing is for sure: there are endless possibilities when it comes to things to do in Tokyo.
Bright neon lights and cherry blossoms, geishas in kimonos and cosplayers—the convergence of past and present is evident everywhere you look in Tokyo. When in the capital of the Land of the Rising Sun, simply being there is an experience in itself. Sometimes in Tokyo, activities take a backseat because there is so much going on and taking it all in can take a while. Once everything sinks in, deciding what to do in Tokyo becomes all the more exciting.
Here’s a short guide covering the essential sights to see and things to do in Tokyo:
Authentic Japanese Zen
It may have its roots in China, but most people associate the concept of Modern Zen with the Japanese. If this inner peace and an immersion in culture is what you are after, then your itinerary should include a visit to landmarks like the Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, Sensoji Temple, and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. More than the respite these green spaces offer from the busy metropolis, these oases also provide a glimpse into the rich heritage the Japanese so consciously want to maintain and uphold. Serenity and tranquility despite the flickering neon lights and seemingly endless rush hours are exactly what you will find.
More than the Usual
After getting a healthy dose of Zen, next on the list of things to do in Tokyo is take in all that the modern city has to offer.
Known all over the world for its cuisine, Japan’s sushi and sashimi are perhaps the most distinct of all its contributions to the global food scene. Sure, cities across the globe are constantly trying to up their game, but nothing compares to what is found in Tokyo.
When in the city, do as the locals do and head on down to Tsukiji Market. Even those whose palates are not fond of raw fish will make memories that will last a lifetime in the world’s biggest fish market. Visit early in the morning to see the bulk of fresh tuna hauls and other catch from the sea.
When it comes to Tokyo activities, you would be remiss not to visit the famed Shibuya District. This is perhaps that one part of the city where all things you know about Japan come to life. Shopping, fashion, technology—name it and you will find it in Shibuya. For higher-end shopping, visit the Ginza district, which many regard as Tokyo’s answer to New York City’s Fifth Avenue. For eccentricities and even more retail therapy, head on over to Harajuku, which has inspired fashion icons from all over the globe.
So many adventures await in Japan’s bustling capital. With so much to see, it’s best to get your itinerary together soonest. Plan what to do in Tokyo early so that you don’t miss out on anything.