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What Should be Visited While in Tokyo?

By Brentyn, published on 30/06/2019 Blog > Languages > Japanese > Touring Tokyo Monuments and Places of Interest

“Oh the places you’ll go.” -Dr.Seuss

Tokyo is a city that one should visit at least once in his or her lifetime. Exotic and unique in all aspects possible; a complete thrill ride for Westerners since nothing can be compared to back home. The Japanese capital boasts delicate cherry blossoms, nearby Mount Fuji, narrow streets filled with typical shops, and beautifully maintained Imperial Gardens.

Tokyo is the most populated metropolis in the world and is second in terms of the overall area. 

Since 28% of the entire Japanese population lives in the Greater Tokyo Area, visiting the capital city is a must on a first trip to the Japanese archipelago.

Tourists love to admire Tokyo’s diversity, emblematic sites, and delicious cuisine. 

In today’s article, Superprof has the goal of demonstrating to curious ones the most famous monuments and points of interest that should be visited by anyone passing through Tokyo for a few days or few weeks.

Be Well Prepared for your Tokyo Trip

Japanese culture is very, very rich and visiting Tokyo becomes the thrill of a lifetime since tourists are introduced to traditional Japanese customs, astronomically high towers, electric metro lines, and futuristic billboards.

It is extremely wise to keep a travel guide of your Japanese adventure to track all of your plans before departure and the places you visited or unique experiences while travelling through the land of the rising sun. 

Tokyo is a perfect balance of modernity, traditional aspects such as Zen gardens or onsens, and delightful treats such as authentic ramen and sake. To make a long story short, Tokyo is a real pleasure for tourists if done well. To ensure a successful trip to Japan’s capital, the following resources that can be consulted:

  • Lonely Planet’s paperback travel guide,
  • Blog articles,
  • Reputable travel forums,
  • Internet travel guides from sites such as TripAdvisor or Wikitravel,
  • Press articles,
  • Word of mouth from coworkers or friends who have recently went to Tokyo,
  • And many more options!

Yes, if you plan your trip to Tokyo on a whim, there are helpful resources that will make your trip hugely successful. By consulting travel guides, visitors learn more about which points of interest or monuments are worthy of discovery.

Let’s uncover the capital city of the land of the rising sun together!

What are the most acclaimed districts in Tokyo?

Shibuya: A Japanese Neighbourhood That Cannot be Missed

Most people have either seen photos or videos of the world’s busiest crossing: Shibuya Crossing. If not, look up some information right now; you’ll be blown away!

A valid symbol of Japan’s capital, Shibuya district is not only known for its dense crowds that cross the streets from all directions, many nightclubs, restaurants, and comfortable accommodations make it one of Japan’s most acclaimed districts.

Seeing the Shibuya district and its crossing for the first time feels more like a dream than reality. 

Upon arriving at Shibuya Station, try to find a lookout point to observe the thousands of people crossing the streets and the bright lights and billboards that one would expect from a city as futuristic as Tokyo.

Small cobblestones streets are a defining characteristic of Europe; we’re not in London anymore Toto! 

The Imperial Gardens: Where Nature Resurfaces

Between Tokyo’s bright billboards and crowded streets, there are beautiful gardens to the east of the city.

Which ones? 

The Imperial Palace, the residence of the emperor, boast perfectly manicured gardens that leave all horticulturists in awe. The Imperial gardens are a perfect representation of a typical Japanese garden. They are serene and tranquil, which is an ideal escape from the hectic city life.

It is essential to state that tourists can not visit the interior buildings and gardens except on the 2 of January for New Year’s greetings and on the current Emperor’s birthday. The Imperial Gardens allow all visitors to see Tokyo from a distinct angle.

The park around the Imperial Palace can be visited at all time and should be on the top of one’s list of the things to see while travelling through Tokyo.

Between modern skyscrapers and traditional temples, Tokyo truly is a feast for the eyes that Westerners will appreciate and recognise that the land of the rising sun is unique.

How to find appropriate accommodations in Tokyo for your specific needs?

Tokyo Tower: An Iconic Symbol of Japan’s Capital

Tokyo Tower Visiting the Tokyo Tower offers panoramic views of Japan’s capital. (Source: pixabay)

It’s a safe bet to assume that the Tokyo Tower is not unknown to the majority of our readers, and rightly so! Indeed, the Japanese version of the Eiffel Tower finished construction in 1961 and is the tallest steel structure in the world.

Thirteen metres higher than its famous relative from France, the Tokyo Tower measures 333 metres and allows visitors to have a full panoramic view of the entire metropolis of Tokyo.

The Tokyo Tower is an ideal place to take photos from above in complete relaxation. 

Not only an observation deck, but the Tokyo Tower is also a radio and television structure. Also, it is essential to state that during bright days, Mount Fuji can be seen from the observation deck.

Asakusa’s Buddhist Temple

Japanese temples of Shintoism and Buddhism Senso-Ji, a touristic temple in the Asakusa region of Tokyo, is a must-see while in Tokyo. (Source: pixabay)

Among the monuments and touristic sites to visit while travelling through Tokyo, the district of Asakusa must be mentioned. Asakusa is a stark contrast from the modernity that Tokyo is often linked with since the whole area feels very Japanese and tourists can become quite disoriented.

In the sector of Asakusa, is found one of Japan’s most celebrated cultural treasures: the Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple. 

The Senso-Ji temple embodies the quintessence of Japanese culture and tradition. 

Dedicated to the goddess of Bodhisattva Kannon, this temple is surrounded by beautiful little shops; like we needed any more reminders that we were nearing a touristic location!

However, a sense of calm is present, which makes visiting this temple with pagodas a tranquil experience in one of the world’s largest cities!

Do I need to be fluent in Japanese to travel to Tokyo?

Meiji Shinto Shrine: The Symbolic Soul of Tokyo

Every city has monuments and points of interest that are more important than others. In Tokyo, the Meiji Shinto Shrine is one of the essential places to visit; you cannot board your flight out of Haneda Airport without visiting this great location.

Dedicated to the late 19th-century emperor, Meiji, who opened the country of Japan to the western world, it is a famous temple that makes others nearby pale in comparison.

The Meiji Shinto Shrine has earned the merit of being called one of the world’s most important religious buildings. 

This shrine can be accessed by going through Yoyogi Park from the city centre. Walking through the park creates a very forest-like setting that is a very much needed change of scenery since the stress of the hectic city life is left behind. After spending some time visiting the shrine, many individuals make their way to the nearby Harajuku district to observe some of Japan’s most eccentric fashion.

From peaceful Shinto shrine to bustling fashion district; Tokyo truly is a city of sharp contrasts!

Tsukiji Fish Market: A Classic Rendezvous Spot for Tokyoites and Foreigners

Japan's fish markets Tsukiji Fish Market, the world’s biggest fish market, recently moved to Toyosu. (Source: pixabay)

For those who love to eat fish and want an authentic taste of local life, the Tsukiji Fish Market should not be avoided. It was the largest wholesale fish market in the world until it was transferred in late 2018 to the Toyosu Market, only 2.4 kilometres away.

Since the closing of Tsukiji, Toyosu Market has become the largest fish market in the world. 

Even though the action, the fisherman, and the tuna sales have moved away from Tsukiji, it is still a touristic location to try some of the world’s most authentic and delicious seafood; you won’t find it fresher anywhere else!

From Tsukiji, we recommended getting up early and taking a short trip to the Toyosu Market to witness the tuna auctions at 5:30 am. 

How to get around Tokyo?

Odaiba: Witness the Modernity of Tokyo

Odaiba is a Tokyo-based neighbourhood where manga sites are mixed with modern and futuristic buildings such as the Fuji TV building and the Tokyo Big Sight; places where you can observe views of the entire Tokyo Bay and the skyline. Also, it is essential to state that while the panoramic views from these buildings are brilliant in the day, the Rainbow Bridge can be seen illuminated in the evening.

While it is true that Tokyo is Japan’s bustling capital known for large modern buildings and some iconic Buddhist temples, it is much more than that. Spending time to explore Tokyo is a rewarding experience, and within a few minutes, it is possible to move from one neighbourhood to another using the most efficient metro system in the world.

When visiting new districts, tourists have the opportunity to discover local spots that are not necessarily known to others. 

So, are you ready to explore some of the world’s most impressive monuments and sites in the world’s largest city? Pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

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