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Top attractions in Tokyo
The Japanese capital is both bold and humble, chaotic yet ordered, with people-watching as much an attraction as the sightseeing. You'll also discover great food, eccentric shopping, and a unique nightlife, but here's a mixed bag of essentials to squeeze in!
Tokyo's answer to the Eiffel Tower provides visitors with more than just an observation deck. It's also home to the Guinness World Records Museum, an aquarium, and a wax museum!
Most famous for being the heart of Tokyo's youth culture, the district is great for unique boutiques and restaurants. It's even better for sipping Macha and watching people go by!
Tokyo's most visited temple remains a site of spiritual worship as well as a hotspot for tourism. The elegant structure makes a key addition to any sightseeing tour.
If you find Senso-ji a little too busy, then check out the sublimely austere Meiji-jingu, dedicated to the 19th-century emperor who opened Japan to the West.
On a clear day you can see as far as Mount Fuji, but it's at night when the views from Japan's tallest structure are most mind-blowing! It's open daily from 8:00AM till 10:00PM.
Built on the site of the old Edo Castle, the resplendent palace gardens are made for slow history tours. They're free, but you must apply online in advance.
With the world's largest collection of Japanese arts and artifacts – from ancient pottery to majestic sculptures and samurai swords – you really can't miss the National Museum!
What to see for free in Tokyo? The world's busiest pedestrian crossing descends into organized chaos every 2 minutes. It's more impressive when it's crowded, so go at rush hour!
Cat cafés are a surprisingly common sight, but which to choose? Try the fairytale decor of Temari no Ouchi in Musashino or find unusual breeds at Chiyoda's Neko JaLaLa.
Up early? The world's largest and liveliest fish market is open daily from 5:00AM for the tuna auction, with several stalls selling the freshest sushi for breakfast!
Summer sees visitors flock to the already crowded city, but the best time to go is between September and November. Temperatures remain moderate to warm and the end of peak season means less crowds and shorter lines. Many of Tokyo's sights are completely transformed by the autumn foliage and spring is, naturally, another great time to visit for the parks, trees, and floral displays!
First time visitors should book at least 4 or 5 days to see Tokyo. However, a few extra days also allows time to check out other major cities like Kyoto or Osaka. Not that you'd be stuck for attractions in the capital!
Taxis are incredibly expensive and always run the risk of hitting stubborn traffic jams. The best way to get around Tokyo is via its extensive subway network. Be warned though, information in English is hard to come by, so prepare for you journey in advance and don't be afraid to ask station staff or commuters for help!
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- Best time to visit
- A visit in the fall offers mild temperatures, shorter lines, and beautiful foliage!
Things to Do in Tokyo
Top Attractions in Tokyo
Cities in Japan
Other Sightseeing Options in Tokyo
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What people are saying about Tokyo
Using a portable WiFi is a great option and this was super reliable. The battery lasted for a good 10 hours with regular use. The unit got quite hot in our bags and we noticed towards the end of the first week that the cable was a little damaged which meant it didn’t charge properly. We had another with us so used that and it worked fine. As we were travelling around, only staying in a place for a day we didn’t feel it would make sense to exchange the unit or request a new cable as we had the replacement already but I’m sure one could have been arranged if needed. Very reliable service with the unit waiting in our room when we arrived with a return envelope included.
A very instructive tour , and fantastic experience . Not only we learned so much historical facts as our guide Taka was so knowledgeable , but we were also given a lovely tour of the area from alongside the river , taken for an amazing view at the top of the contemporary information building ( The design and architecture of it in itself very interesting ) . This was followed by a tour of very charming and authentic back streets in the vicinity . We learned so much and we were lucky to have Taka for ourselves as he did not have other bookings that morning . A big Origato Kata , you made a memorable moment of our time with you .
The tour showed wonderful examples of modern Japanese architecture I walked neighbourhood's I never heard about and saw gems of contemporary Japanese style. Lots of information regarding the various architect's background and vision. Strongly recommend.
We were surprised that Mike focused iat short walk of 4 kilometres to show us a large variety of leaders and new architects. The tour enabled us to learn the trends in Japan. We were absolutely satisfied in all aspects.
Tour bus went around Tokyo to various places that were either inspired by, or inspired Ghibli movies. Absolutely beautiful scenery and archetecture! Guide was very kind and speaks amazing English.