Experience a global cultural megacenter
Tokyo is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. It has served as the Japanese capital since 1869, its urban area housing the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese government. Tokyo forms part of the Kanto region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo.
Discover 30 awesome experiences in one of the greateast cities in the world:
1. HARAJUKU TAKESHITA STREET
Nothing says fun like Takeshita Street—one of the busiest and brightest shopping streets in Tokyo. Stores on Takeshita Street include major chains such as The Body Shop, McDonald's, and 7-Eleven, but most of the businesses are small independent shops that carry an array of styles.
2. MEIJI JINGU SHRINE
Meiji Shrine is a shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Located just beside the JR Yamanote Line's busy Harajuku Station, Meiji Shrine and the adjacent Yoyogi Park make up a large forested area within the densely built-up city. The spacious shrine grounds offer walking paths that are great for a relaxing stroll.
3. NAKAMISE STREET
Nakamise is the most famous shopping street in Asakusa. The street runs for 250 meters on the main approach to Sensoji Temple and is lined on both sides with shops selling traditional souvenirs, snacks, and sweets.
Accessed via the Rainbow Bridge or the futuristic Yurikamome train, Odaiba is a high-tech entertainment hub on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay. Visitors head to the beach at Seaside Park, enjoy Mt. Fuji views from the Daikanransha Ferris wheel, and interact with robots at the Miraikan science museum. Malls include Aqua City and the Venice-themed VenusFort, and there are sushi bars with views along the waterfront.
5. SENSOJI TEMPLE
Sensoji (also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple) is a Buddhist temple located in Asakusa. It is one of Tokyo's most colorful and popular temples. The legend says that in the year 628, two brothers fished a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, out of the Sumida River, and even though they put the statue back into the river, it always returned to them. Consequently, Sensoji was built nearby for the goddess of Kannon. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo's oldest temple.
6. SHIBUYA CROSSING
The sprawling scramble intersection just outside Shibuya Station is an embodiment of Tokyo itself: action in all directions. Three huge television screens mounted on the buildings facing the intersection flash all day, while the rest of the area is covered with lights, advertisements, and more lights.
7. TOKYO SKYTREE
Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower in Sumida, Tokyo. It became the tallest structure in Japan in 2010 and reached its full height of 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world, displacing the Canton Tower and the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa (829.8 m/2,722 ft).
8. TOKYO TOWER
Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-koen district of Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.9 metres (1,092 ft), it is the second-tallest structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, over 150 million people have visited the tower. FootTown, a four-story building directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops.
9. TOYOSU & TSUKIJI OUTER MARKET
The Toyosu Market is a wholesale market in Tokyo, located in the Toyosu area of the Koto ward. There are two buildings for seafood and one for fruits and vegetables. Tourists can observe the market on a second floor viewing deck. There are restaurants with fresh seafood and produce from the market and shops (Uogashi Yokocho). It is built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. It replaces the historic Tsukiji fish market. Auction tours, events, merchandise sales and restaurants can be used by general consumers and tourists. When it opened on 11 October 2018 it became the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.
Tsukiji Outer Market is a district adjacent to the site of the former Tsukiji Wholesale Market. It consists of a few blocks of wholseale and retail shops, as well as restaurants crowded along narrow lanes. Here you can find fresh and processed seafood and produce alongside food-related goods such as knives.
A visit to Tsukiji Outer Market is best combined with a fresh sushi breakfast or lunch at one of the local restaurants. The restaurants are typically open from 5:00 in the morning to around noon or early afternoon. Because most of the fish served and sold at Tsukiji Outer Market is delivered directly from Toyosu Market, this is one of the best places in Tokyo to enjoy fresh seafood.
10. ZOZOJI TEMPLE
Next to Tokyo Tower, Zojoji Temple houses figures of huge historical importance. The temple relocated to its present site in 1598 when the warlord and future leader of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, stormed into Edo (now Tokyo) and made it his family temple.
11. PLAY AT ARIGATO JAPAN FOOD TOURS
Arigato Japan Food Tours help you make delicious memories of Japan during your travels to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima! On the tours you’ll taste local and regional specialties like okonomiyaki, yakitori, sashimi, taiyaki, gyoza, nabe, yakisoba and so much more. They will show you places locals cherish for an off-the-beaten-path, foodie experience of daily life in Japan that you won’t soon forget.
12. PLAY AT FOODIE ADVENTURE JAPAN
Foodie Japan is your unique guide through Tokyo taking you on a tour through the unknown, the quirky or the traditional side of this versatile city. On the hunt for the craziest bits & bites that Tokyo has to offer you’ll come along rainbow cotton candy, savory street food or monster ice cream.
13. PLAY AT CITY UNSCRIPTED TOKYO
Find a host in your destination. The hosts are often people with full-time jobs, working with City Unscripted part-time to meet new people, explore new places and share their passion for their city. They love getting to see new points of view, meeting people from different places and cultures - it's not a one-way experience or a lecture it’s a genuine passion.
14. PLAY AT CULINARY BACKSTREETS TOKYO
In order to fully appreciate Tokyo and its deep food scene it’s necessary to not only peek behind the curtain of yesterday, but also join the constant flow of people eating their way through the city of today and even tomorrow. This Tokyo walk will allow you to do just that, taking you on a journey that serves as an edible survey of the city’s culinary past, present and future.
15. PLAY AT GURUGURU GUIDE
GuruGuru Guide is a Japanese, local guide matching service. They are there to inspire unique and quirky encounters between travellers and locals. GuruGuru Guides are themselves all travellers. They are a curious (and sometimes kooky) bunch of people. GuruGuru Guide have animators, foodies, yogis, dancers, magicians, chefs, sculptors, vegans, train-enthusiasts, film makers, musicians, writers, hikers, beer drinkers and a whole lot more.
16. PLAY AT HELLO! TOKYO TOURS
Hello! Tokyo Tours offers culturally immersive tours of Tokyo led by expert local residents. Discover Japan's rich and fascinating culture, customs and history. Hello! Tokyo Tours specialise in Private Tours and Small Group Tours of Tokyo and surrounding areas.
17. PLAY AT JAPAN WONDER TRAVEL
Let Japan Wonder Travel be your friends! They craft and create original tours by selecting the best content for you to enjoy Japan one step deeper with their professional guides. Japan Wonder Travel will help you discover and make sure you have an authentic experience by providing excellent service that will help make your stay in Japan as easy and as comfortable as possible.
18. PLAY AT MACTION PLANET
Maction Planet has been operating through word of mouth since 2008. In 2017, encouraged and persuaded by their guests, they launched their website with the goal of helping even more people experience the delights that Tokyo and Japan have to offer. Everything they do at Maction Planet is inspired by Tokyo, the World’s Greatest Metropolis.
19. PLAY AT MIWA'S JAPANESE COOKING CLASS
The concept of Miwa's Japanese Cooking Class was born when the co-founder, Miwa, lived in Cambridge, UK in 2016. While her husband was studying at University of Cambridge, Miwa started to utilize her previous experience of cooking and opened her first Japanese cooking class at home for the locals. The first class was only with 3 people, but it then grew its popularity by word of mouth. Later, a cooking class company in Cambridge offered her to host a Japanese cooking class gathering more than 10 people (with some waitlisted). Coming back to Tokyo, Japan in summer 2017, Miwa wanted to continue teaching Japanese cooking to tourists to Japan and opened Miwa's Japanese Cooking Class in May 2018.
20. PLAY AT NARIKO'S KITCHEN
Are you looking for something different during your stay in Japan? Then immerse yourself in a cultural Japanese experience you won’t forget, and try hands-on cooking classes offered at a Japanese home.
21. PLAY AT NINJA TOUR
Crazy, fun experience! Dress in your real ninja costume and receive your training. Explore the Asakusa area with your ninja master guide.
22. PLAY AT SECRET FOOD TOURS TOKYO
Learn about the food scene and culture in Tokyo from food enthusiasts who will explain the interesting stories behind local delicacies such as 'yakitori'(skewed chicken) and 'gyoza'(fried dumplings with minced meat and vegetables). Discover the traditions and social functions of Japanese food in Ueno, Tokyo.
23. PLAY AT THE BACKSTREET GUIDES
Start your Japanese adventure with The Backstreet Guides Tours. They are experienced in helping visitors to make the most of their time in Toyko and Kyoto cities. Hand-selected quality Tokyo & Kyoto local tour guides. They speak great English and will make sure that everything is easy for you to relax and enjoy their cities.
24. PLAY AT TOKYO GRAND TOURS
Private Day Chauffeur Tour – Fully Customizable. Journey onto the best Tokyo has to offer with a professional, expert chauffeur. You will be picked up in Tokyo to see sights such as the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Imperial Palace Gardens, Senso-ji Temple, Shibuya and much more. This tour is private, feel free to customise it!
25. PLAY AT TOKYO HANDSOME BOYS
Experience the nightlife of Tokyo like a local.
26. PLAY AT TOKYO MEMORIES
Tokyo Memories pride themselves on offering the best private and off the beaten path food, drink, and walking tours. Their goal is to give you unforgettable experiences of your trip to Japan and to leave you with fantastic memories of the sights, tastes, people, and places that make Tokyo great.
27. PLAY AT TOKYO PUB CRAWL
Join Tokyo's largest and longest running nightlife tour for an evening you won't forget! You will be taken of the usual tourist trail and into the party, visiting at least 4 different bars or clubs. Expect drink discounts all night, free shots at each bar, unlimited shots in between, and a dynamic crowd of awesome people.
28. PLAY AT TOKYO RAMEN TOURS
When you're planning your trip to Tokyo, you might be overwhelmed by the number of ramen shop options. Leave this to Tokyo Ramen Tours - your local Tokyo ramen experts. They will take you to only the very best, most delicious Tokyo ramen shops! On any ramen tour, you'll also learn all about this savory dish, from its history to its preparation. Whether you're brand new to ramen or are a seasoned ramen eater, Tokyo Ramen Tours has something for you.
29. PLAY AT TOKYO SUSHI-MAKING TOUR
Tokyo Sushi-Making Tour is a professional Sushi teaching team that has taught over 5,000 international visitors how to make sushi since 2013. Their mission is to give you a fantastic memory of Japan by teaching you the art of sushi making.
30. SLEEP AT OAKWOOD PREMIER TOKYO
With Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi business district as neighbors, Oakwood Premier Tokyo is the ideal place to begin exploring the city. Traveling has never been more convenient, with easy access to major train stations, international airports, business districts and tourist attractions. Choose a studio or one, two or three bedroomed apartment.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best months to visit Tokyo are March, April, October, and November. The weather is nearly perfect, with none of the heavy rains and high temperatures of summer. Sightseeing, outdoor activities, parks, and gardens are at their best.
HOW TO GET AROUND: Subways and trains are the best way to get around Tokyo. A prepaid Suica or Pasmo card is the BEST way to pay for transport. You can buy a Suica card online at GoVoyagin.com for pickup at the airport. Taxis are excellent but rather expensive. Buses aren't recommended for short-term visitors.