Tokyo is a captivating city with an enchanting mix of traditional Japanese culture and modern innovative technology and fashion. So, whatever your interests are, there is something for everyone in Tokyo; hence why it is one of the most popular places to travel. If you are planning a holiday to Tokyo or you are just there for a few days, read on to discover some of the top places to visit in Tokyo and some of Tokyo’s best tourist spots so you can make the most of your time in this glorious city.
For the Foodies
1. Toyosu Market and Tsukiji Outer Market
One of the first things you think about when you go away is the food. Japan is famous for its sushi. Toyosu Market, formally Tsukiji Fish Market, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. This famous Tokyo tourist spot handles more than 400 different types of seafood and even has a Tuna Auction. Within the lively atmosphere you can encounter countless delicious street foods and try some fresh sushi for breakfast. For more information, truly Tokyo has produced a Toyosu fish market guide on everything you can expect at Toyosu Market.
2. Food Tours
A great Tokyo trip idea is to book yourself onto a food tour, where you will eat the best of what Tokyo has to offer, alongside immersing yourself in the bustling market culture. We recommend the half-day ‘Eat like a True Tokyoite’ food tour; we’re sure you’ll finish the tour smug, knowing you’ve tasted what true Tokyoite’s eat!
For the Culture Lovers
Whilst Tokyo is a busy city, it is also home to some of the most beautiful traditional temples. Sensōji is Tokyo’s largest ancient Buddhist temple and is still one of the city’s biggest attractions. This beautiful temple gives you a real sense of Japanese culture as traditional incense burns around the temple making it is one of Tokyo’s more relaxing tourist hotspots.
A popular place in Tokyo to visit is the old town of Yanaka. Yanaka is a quiet neighbourhood filled with quaint narrow streets, offering a respite from the lights and exciting busyness of central Tokyo. Expect to see an abundance of cafes, preserved old architecture, and senbei shops, which are authentic Japanese rice cracker shops.
Top travel tip: Yanaka is a short walk from Ueno Park, so why not complete your peaceful afternoon with a stroll in the cherry blossom-filled park?
Harajuku is one of the most popular districts to visit in Tokyo, well known for its ‘Instagram-worthy’ cafes and quirky fashion. Expect to see Kawaii icons everywhere, especially in Takeshita Street as well as lots of young people wearing very unique clothing styles. For a detailed breakdown and guide to the Harajuku area, read this informative post.
6. Meiji Shrine
The Meiji Shrine is an excellent Tokyo tourist spot to check out if you’re seeking both culture and nature. Construction on the shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji, began in 1915 and was completed in 1926. Sadly, the shrine was destroyed during World War Two. However, a rebuild after the war means that the site still remains an important religious shrine.
Top travel tip: the shrine is surrounded by beautiful greenery, and an unmissable experience is viewing the ‘wishing trees’, in which visitors can hang upon their wishes.
Another must-see cultural attraction is the Nezu Shrine, which is one of the oldest shrines in Tokyo! This shrine is complete with luscious greenery, ponds filled with carp and a multitude of pathways, tunnels and arches to explore.
For the Thrill Seekers
8. Akihabara Electric Town
Japan is renowned for being at the forefront of technology. So naturally you couldn’t visit Tokyo without going to Akihabara, the largest town collecting electronic appliances in the world. Products at the very top of technology are in abundance in this town. Check out TokyoCheapo’s Akihabara guide for more information.
For all the anime fans out there, Akihabara is also well known as a popular manga and anime town with hundreds of manga and anime shops to explore. To find out more about why anime is so popular, read our recent blog post.
9. Sumo Practice Viewing
Sumo wrestling is a popular traditional Japanese sport, so why not try it out for yourself when in Tokyo and visit a Sumo practice session? A number of Sumo training houses are located in the Ryogoku area (near the Asakusa area) where wrestlers live and practice.
These training sessions are a great place to visit in Japan as not only can you watch the wrestling up close, but it is a great place to learn about Japanese traditions and disciplines which you may not see in some more modern parts of the city. Read how to watch a sumo morning training session to see Japanese sumo wrestlers in action, completely free of charge.
10. Pokémon Centre Mega Tokyo
Japan is the home of anime, so when in Japan why not visit one the most popular anime stories of all time: Pokémon! It is no surprise that one of Tokyo’s top tourist spots is the Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo. This specialist store sells a wide range of original Pokémon goods, including limited edition items.
Around the store you will also find huge Pokémon displays that are ideal for captivating the attention of adults and kids alike. If you are travelling with children, head over to our dedicated blog on activities to do in Tokyo with kids.
11. Tokyo Skytree
A recently built popular place in Tokyo visit is the Tokyo Skytree, which opened in 2012. The structure is the country’s tallest and allows tourists to see Tokyo from the sky with panoramic views. The attraction is complete with an observation deck and restaurants, if you can stomach eating at a 634-metre height!
12. Kabuki-za Theatre
Located in the Ginza area, the Kabuki-za theatre is a historically rich and entertaining Tokyo top attraction. The theatre hosts daily traditional Kabuki dance-dramas, known for their captivating highly stylised performances and glamorous costumes.
Top travel tip: the area of Ginza is home to some of Tokyo’s best luxurious sushi dining places. Go all out with a show at the Kabuki-za theatre and fine Japanese sushi dining!
For those at One with Nature
13. Inokashira Park
The Inokashira Park is situated in western Tokyo in the Kichijoji area, which is full of cool cafes and shops. The park is one of the largest in the city and is a popular place in Tokyo for viewing the blossoming of cherry blossoms, if you happen to visit at the start of spring.
14. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Park is an excellent Tokyo tourist spot for nature lovers due to its variety of garden styles. The park is comprised of three styles: the most traditional is the Japanese landscape garden, filled with beautiful ponds and bridges; the symmetrical French garden; and the English landscape garden, home to cherry trees. This spot is definitely worth the visit and a welcomed breathing space from the bustling nature of the city!
What is the Best Month to Visit Tokyo?
All four seasons are distinct in what they can offer tourists. However, the most typical times to visit Tokyo are in the spring and autumn. The springtime offers the exquisite cherry blossom season when the trees are in full bloom, and autumn is locally known as the ‘golden week’, consisting of four national holidays in close succession.
Nevertheless, summer and winter should not be neglected, and we have created an informative guide to what each season can offer tourists in Japan.
Where is Best to Stay in Tokyo?
Tokyo is a huge city, so it’s crucial to know the convenient locations to stay. Truly Tokyo recommend staying in:
– Shinjuku (home of the Shinjuku National Park)
-Tokyo Station Area
-Ginza/Hibiya (where the Kabuki-za Theatre hosts their fascinating drama-dramas)
For a more in-depth guide on where to stay on your trip, we recommend checking out Truly Tokyo’s blog.
We hope this guide has given you an insight into some of Tokyo’s tourist hotspots. Before your weekend away to Tokyo, make sure to check out our informative blog to discover all things Japanese and explore our unique collection of Japanese gifts in case you forget to bring back a souvenir from your trip!