Visiting Tokyo - What to See and Do
(Tokyo International Airport HND, Japan)
is a country of amazing contrasts. Within its capital city, Tokyo
, these contrasts are blindingly profound. Tourists will have a ball when visiting this spectacular city. The best of Japan's modern glitz and glamour willfully share the limelight with grand, historical attractions. Tourists can spend days sightseeing the city's landmarks without nearing a hint of boredom.
Travellers won't have to worry about getting around, as the city's subway network is simply astonishing. Every corner of Japan's capital is connected through this vast underground network. The sparkling sights of Ginza are within minutes of Ebisu's nightlife. Meanwhile, travelling from the bustling downtown area to Tokyo's periphery has never been easier.
Visitors to the Japanese capital can bask in the marvel of Japan's historic Imperial Palace, or cruise along the waterfront of Tokyo Bay at night. Shop in the stunning department stores of Ikebukuro, or embrace Japan's sporting prowess at a Nippon League baseball game. Tokyo offers so many entertaining things to see and do that tourists will barely have time to rest.
Ten things you must do in Tokyo
- The Imperial Palace still stands at the forefront of Japan's tourist sites. Even though the palace itself is closed to the public, the parks moats, and attractions around this site have seen its popularity grow in recent years. The Edo Castle is not an authentic structure, but it still offers an insight into life during the city's early leadership years.
- The simple yet stunning Meiji Shrine is Tokyo's most significant religious structure. Built in 1920, the shrine incorporates many tranquil paths and well-landscaped gardens, in addition to its main structure. This site gets extremely busy during the holiday season, especially around Golden Week and New Year. If tourists are lucky, perhaps a traditional Japanese wedding will be occurring during a visit.
- No tourist should pass up the opportunity to experience the Tokyo Disney Resort. Including both Sea Disney and Disneyland, the resort boasts many days' worth of wonderful attractions. The park stands just to the north of Central Tokyo, in the Chiba district. Come and enjoy the enchantment that this large amusement park has to offer.
- Dance away the night or simply relax with a beverage in Roppongi. Most people start partying in another district, then head to Roppongi after midnight. Clubs tend to stay open here until the trains begin operating the next morning, unlike other areas of the city. A high expat community frequents this area, while locals also haunt Roppongi.
- The most convenient way to see the city is by Sky Bus Tokyo. Patrons are taken around the central districts of the capital aboard a double-decker, roofless tour bus. Ginza, the Imperial Palace and the Marunouchi district are just some spots worth seeing upon this 45-minute sightseeing tour. Newly arrived tourists will be able to get a feel of the city centre, helping them become accustomed to Japan's capital.
- Renowned for its high-end fashion stores and mesmerising facade, Ginza has become a stunning jewel upon the Tokyo crown. With large department stores like Mitsukoshi and Wako dominating the streets, and a plethora of speciality fashion stores based within Ginza, this neighbourhood is a must-see site. During the day, the streets are usually closed off to traffic, so pedestrians can explore freely.
- The city's history is too often overlooked for its modern glamour. Fortunately, the Tokyo National Museum is the perfect place to dive into the city's fascinating past. More than 100,000 relics and artist pieces are on display, ranging from Buddhist statues to calligraphy sets. The Heiseikan is a separate complex within the museum, housing archaeological treasures from Japan's earliest civilisations.
- Shopping along the market street of Ameyoko is one of the city's hidden splendours and something of an underrated attraction. This noisy, crowded, bustling bazaar is a true Asian market. Seemingly unruly, yet meticulously ordered, Ameyoko is the ideal spot to find cheap souvenirs, crafts, food and some clothing. Haggling is expected, but always with a friendly attitude. Of note, this giant marketplace is found just to the south of Ueno Station.
- Sumo culture is thriving, with competitions held several times a year in Tokyo. Tournaments occur in January, May and September at the Ryogoku Kokugikan - the largest sumo stadium in Japan. A sumo museum is found on the first floor, meaning that tourists can understand more about this unique sport before experiencing it live. It is a good idea to book seats in advance.
- The city is home to several baseball teams that play in the Japanese major leagues. The Tokyo Dome hosts plenty of games during the regular season, and with the success of the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows, numerous play-off games are held too. The crowds at these games are both fun and energetic, and the level of baseball is world-class.