Traveling to Asia is a great way to experience a completely different culture and learn a great deal about an area of the world that the traveler hasn’t gone to before. One of the top cities to visit in Asia is Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Tokyo offers an incredible array of things to do and see, and it is surprisingly affordable to go there too. There are so many different things available to experience in Tokyo that the perfect vacation can be created for each individual person that travels there, whether they are interested in shopping, historical sites, architecture, nightlife, the waterfront and bay area, gardens, professional sports, and live performances.
Here is a look at ten great things to see and do in the fantastic international city of Tokyo.
Take A Tour
Tokyo is a huge city, one of the world’s largest, and there are all sorts of areas and neighborhoods in the city worth visiting. One of the best ways to experience the city, see where certain landmarks and attractions are, and get a feel for the layout of it is to take a tour. There are a number of ways to tour the city including on foot, by bus, by car, self-guided recording, on bike, on Segway, and more. Touring Tokyo is a very good way to start off a vacation to the city.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
The city of Tokyo, and all of Japan really, is known for the many beautiful gardens that are found there. One of the most beautiful is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This peaceful and relaxing setting can be enjoyed on a number of levels by the people lucky enough to visit there. From seeing the plants and landscaping and understand what goes into raising them, to just sitting back and relaxing and soaking in the garden experience, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is indeed something that should not be missed.
For those interested in religious or historic sites, a great place to visit while in Tokyo is Meiji Jingu. This Shinto shrine was built in the early 1900s and was completed in 1920. There are two magnificent gates that guard the entrance and this is a popular place for those who are fans of architecture, gardens, and even birdwatching. The site is also notable because of the damage it received during World War II, and the subsequent repairs that had to be made.
One of the best experiences that anyone interested in Japanese culture can have when visiting Japan is taking in a theatrical performance. The Kabukiza Theater not only is the site of a number of well done performances, but the facility is rather impressive too. This is a great place for a first time visitor to Tokyo to get a taste of traditional Kabuki performances.
Part of the joy of visiting Tokyo is exploring the city and learning about the history and culture of the city and the surrounding area. The Edo-Tokyo Museum was built and operates expressly for the purpose of telling Tokyo’s story to anyone who enters its doors. There are many great displays and exhibits, wonderfully reproduced buildings, and even the original Edo Castle.
The Tsukiji Market
A great way to spend some time in Tokyo is to go out in public and see the people of the city go through the motions of their daily routine. One of the best places to do this people watching, along with a good amount of personal shopping, is the Tsukiji Market. The Tsukiji Market is a large street market and tourist attraction where almost anything can be purchased. Many locals and tourists rave about the sushi that can be had there.The Tsukiji Market is considered the largest fish market in the world. They receive shipments of products from all over the world. Fascinating auctions occur early mornings around 5:00 AM.
Roppongi Hills is a wonderful neighborhood that is gaining in popularity as a place for visitors to head to when they want to experience some of the nicer attractions in the area. There are a number of great hotels, delicious restaurants, interesting museums, and theaters that host both film and live stage performances. Roppongi Hills is an area in Tokyo that almost every visitor enjoys experiencing. This center was started by Minoru Mori, who envisioned a metropolitan area surrounded by people who could not only work, but shop, play, and relax at the same time. The highlight of the area is a tall building appropriately called the Mori Tower.
Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum is not only a great place to visit for those that have never been there before, but it is also a wonderful place to come back and see regularly on repeat visits to the city of Tokyo. One of the largest collections of Japanese artwork and historical artifacts can be found here, but due to limited space, less than ten percent of the collection can be displayed at a time. This means that the exhibits rotate regularly so that there is almost always something new to see.
Hama Rikyu Gardens
Set right up against Tokyo Bay, Hama Rikyu Gardens is one of the most beautiful garden in the entire city of Tokyo. Both visitors and locals enjoy strolling through the well manicured and landscaped garden area and watching the activity out on the water. The Hama Rikyu Gardens are a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a break in a calm atmosphere.
One of the best places in Tokyo to go for anyone interested in history is the Yasukuni Shrine. This shrine was built to honor the memory of those that have lost their lives while defending their home country of Japan. There is a museum on site that has had somewhat of a controversial past as it studies World War II exclusively from the Japanese side of the experience. This does however give guests visiting Tokyo from the United States, Australia, and Europe a completely different perspective to see this period of history through.
Tokyo is a lively city that has been pleasing the visitors that come there for more than a century. While there are many areas of the city that are unfamiliar to the traveler, it doesn’t take much to familiarize oneself with the general layout and the neighborhoods and districts where most of the attractions and things to do are located at. Tokyo offers incredible restaurants, great accommodations, and a long list of exciting and interesting things to do. A great experience awaits anyone who has the foresight to choose Tokyo as their next vacation destination.