There is so much to do and see in Tokyo but here are five things you can start with!
This is a response to My Trip To Japan.
Tokyo is a great place to travel for various reasons, from fantastic food to endless opportunities for shopping to incredible traditional and modern sightseeing locations. I’ve spent the last two weeks in Tokyo and loved every minute of it, especially exploring the many different and unique regions of the capital of Japan. My boyfriend and I have been staying in Kichijoji, a region home to the impressive Inokashira Park, Ghibli Museum, and many an animal cafe. However, I’ve had the chance to visit many other regions that each have something special to offer, from Harajuku’s showcasing of youth culture and fashion to Shibuya’s world-famous bustling crosswalk. Take advantage of your time in Tokyo and be sure to add these things to your bucket list!
1. Eat at an izakaya
Picture this. After twenty-four hours of travel, you finally arrive in Tokyo on a hot July evening. You take a shower and even though all you want to do is sleep, your stomach is starving for something other than airport or convenience store food. So you go to an izakaya (“stay-drink-place”) where you can eat and drink to your heart’s (and stomach’s) desire. Usually, izakayas are open late as many locals visit during a night out, so it’s the perfect place to go if your flight arrives later in the day. From yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) to a great variety of drinks, going to an izakaya is the quintessential part of an eating experience in Japan.
2. Spend the afternoon at a local park
As I settled into my jet lag during my first week in Tokyo, exploring our hotel’s neighborhood between naps was a great way to become familiar with the area. Luckily, Inokashira Park was a few blocks away, the perfect place for taking photos, reading, and listening to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Be sure to grab a snack or meal from the convenience store and have a picnic at one of the amazing parks in Tokyo!
3. Visit traditional shrines and temples
During my trip, I was fortunate enough to go to the Mitama Matsuri festival at the Yasukuni Shrine, where 30,000 lanterns are strung and performances take place to honor the spirits of the dead Although there may not be a festival when you go to one of Tokyo’s amazing shrines and temples, there are definitely worth the visit. The Sensoji Temple in the Asakusa district is a top tourist attraction as well, with a several-century-old shopping district.
4. Explore the night life in Shinjuku and Shibuya
A list of top things to do in Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without including the regions best known for their nightlife. Shinjuku’s nightlife (or red light) district, Kabukicho, is home to Tokyu Kabukicho Tower, the city’s largest entertainment complex complete with bars, restaurants, an arcade, and a club. Shibuya is the place to go for comedy clubs, pub crawls, and live music. There is so much to explore and try, whether you’re traveling solo or with friends!
5. Go on a shopping spree
Tokyo has many opportunities for shopping, from anime-themed stores in Akihabara to high-end department stores in Ginza. Personally, I have loved buying mystery packs of Sanrio characters and capsule toys from gacha machines! Be sure to set aside a day or two, as well as space in your luggage, to pick up some quality goods.
The truth is, there are hundreds of articles and videos about things you have to do while you’re in Tokyo. Be sure to check them out, but also keep in mind that the city has so much for you to discover too! Don’t be afraid to go off on your own and throw out the itinerary lists that are found all over TikTok. As with every travel experience, your trip to Tokyo will be what you want to make it. Before your journey, be sure to check out my article about tips to consider before traveling abroad!