Tokyo is definitely one of those top places in every traveler’s to-do list. The city is a marvelous mix of modern living and old-fashioned manners, slick high-tech gadgets and cutesy cartoon mascots. It’s terribly crowded, yet can be strangely quiet. It’s home to the understated, and the wacky, and you often find them right next to each other on the sidewalk. That’s the beauty of this not-so-pretty city that, and the fabulous food and unparalleled mass transit system. There are shrines and stone lanterns and other traces of old Japan scattered among the skyscrapers, swanky shopping malls and hole-in-the-wall noodle shops. The trick is to sample it all, to visit the serene garden and the massive office tower with a sky deck.

Here’s how to see the loveliest  and liveliest  sides of Tokyo in in a day or two. There is plenty to see, go and do, so the visitors must be prepared. This guide will let you not to miss essential places and provide with the ultimate Tokyo experience.

1. Sensōji (浅草寺)

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. From Wikipedia

Sensō-ji is Tokyo’s largest ancient Buddhist temple and a major Tokyo attractions for Japanese and foreigners located in Asakusa. The temple is dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon, also known as Guan Yin or the Goddess of Mercy.

It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect, it became independent after World War II.

Address:
2-3-1 Asakusa Taito-ku, Tokyo

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line – Asakusa Station
Toei Subway Asakusa Line  – Asakusa Station

Fee:
Free

Hours:
Summer (Apr-Sep) 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Winter (Oct-Mar) 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Website:
http://www.senso-ji.jp/about/index_e.html

2. Nakamise Shopping Street (仲見世通り)

Nakamise Shopping Street sells various Japanese souvenirs

Nakamise Shopping Street sells various Japanese souvenirs. From Wikipedia

Located just before Sensoji after Kaminarimon or “Thunder Gate”, a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning, Nakamise is one of the oldest shopping centers in Japan.

Apart from typical Japanese souvenirs such as yukata, keychains and folding fans, various traditional local snacks from the Asakusa area are sold along the Nakamise.

Address:
2-3-1 Asakusa Taito-ku, Tokyo

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line – Asakusa Station
Toei Subway Asakusa Line  – Asakusa Station

Hours:
Daily Around 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Depend on the shop)

Website:
http://asakusa-nakamise.jp/e-index.html

3. Meiji Shrine  (明治神宮)

Meiji Shrine is a quiet place with lots of trees in urban Tokyo

Meiji Shrine is a quiet place with lots of trees in urban Tokyo

Meiji Shrine, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. Meiji Shrine is famous for local Japanese as the most famous shrine to visit for Hatsumode, first visit to shrine, during New Year holidays. To pay respect, follow these manners.

At a Torii (shrine archway), bow once when entering and leaving. Stay on the right or left side and do not walk in the middle of the Torii, because it is the path for gods.

At Temizuya (water well) : Rinse your left hand then right hand. Then Rinse your mouth with your left hand before rinse your left hand again. Lastly rinse the dipper (allow the remaining water to run down the handle of the dipper).

At the Main Shrine building :  Bow twice. Clap your hands twice. Make a wish if you like & Bow once again.

Address:
1-1 Yoyogikamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line – Meiji Jingu Mae Station
Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line – Meiji Jingu Mae Station

Fee:
Meiji Shrine is free.
Treasure House and Inner Garden costs 500 yen each.


Hours:
From sunrise to sunset. For New Years eve, it specially opens for all night for Hatsumode. Treasure House and Inner Garden is open 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

4. Imperial Palace & East Garden (皇居 & 皇居東御苑)

Imperial Palace is surrounded by beautiful sakura, cherry blossoms during spring

Imperial Palace is surrounded by beautiful sakura, cherry blossoms during spring. From Wikipedia

Tokyo Imperial Palace is the formal Edo castle, and now the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. Except on Jan 2 (New Year’s Greeting) and Dec 23 (Emperor’s Birthday), the palace buildings and inner gardens are not open to the public. Only on both specific dates, visitors are able to enter the inner palace grounds and see the members of the Imperial Family, who make several public appearances on a balcony.

The Imperial Palace East Garden, is a part of the inner palace area and are open to the public. Running around Imperial Palace is a common after work activity. Sakura flowers bloom so beautifully during spring.

Address:
1-1 Chiyoda Chiyodaku Tokyo

Getting there By Train:
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, JR – Tokyo Station
Tokyo Metro Tozai, Chiyoda, Marunouchi, Hanzomon Line – Ōtemachi Station (exit C13a – closer to East Garden)
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line – Nijubashi-mae Station (exit 6)
Tokyo Metro Tozai Line – Takebashi Station (exit 1a – closer to Hirakawa-mon Gate and Kita-hanebashi-mon Gate)

Fee:
Free


Hours:
From March 1 to April 14 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (entry up to 4:00 p.m.)
From April 15 to the end of August – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (entry up to 4:30 p.m.)
From September 1 to the end of October – 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (entry up to 4:00 p.m.)
From November 1 to the end of February – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (entry up to 3:30 p.m.)

Website:
http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/eindex.html

5. Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場)

Morning Tuna Auction at Tsujiki Fish Market

Morning Tuna Auction at Tsujiki Fish Market. From owlettour.jp.net

Tsukiji Market, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. It handles more than 400 different types of seafood from cheap seaweed to the most expensive caviar, and from tiny sardines to 300 kg tuna and controversial whale species. The most interesting part is the Tuna Auction. It is limited to 120 visitors per day. Viewing tickets are issued on a first come, first serve basis beginning at 4:30 a.m. at the market’s Fish Information Center, located next to the Kachidoki entrance. (Not the main entrance)

The first 60 ticket holders are able to view the auction from 5:25 AM until 5:50 AM, while the other 60 ticket holders can view the remainder of the auction from 5:50 AM until 6:15 AM. To watch Tuna Auction, it is advisable to stay near Ginza area so you can catch a cheaper cab early in the morning. No trains are operating at this hour.

Address:
5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Getting there By Subway :
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line – Tsukiji Station
Toei Subway Oedo Line – Tsukijishijou-mae Station

Fee:
Free

Hours:
Outer Market varies by shop but typically 5:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Wholesale Area after 9:00 a.m.
Tuna Auction 5:35 a.m. – 6:15 a.m. (restricted to 120 visitors/day)

Website:
http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm

6. Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー)

Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in Japan

Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in Japan

The Tokyo Skytree is its two observation decks Tembo Deck & Tembo Gallery which offer spectacular views of Tokyo city skyline. On the base of Tokyo Skytree host a large shopping complex with aquarium called Solamachi Town.

Address:
1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

Getting there By Subway :
Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line & Toei Subway Asakusa Line – Oshiage Station
Tobu Skytree Line – Tokyo Skytree Station

Fee:
Depend on the sites. Refer to official website.

Hours:
Observation Deck 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Solamachi Shops 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Solamachi Restaurants 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sumida Aquarium 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tenku Planetarium 11:00 a.m. 9:00 p.m. (Depend on the show schedule)

Website:
http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/

7. Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySEA (東京ディズニーランド&東京ディズニーシー)

The entrance of Tokyo Disneyland

The entrance of Tokyo Disneyland. From Wikipedia

Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre theme park based on the films produced by Walt Disney. It was opened in 1983 as the first Disney theme park outside of the United States.

Tokyo DisneySea, the 4th most-visited theme park in the world is also the 9th park of the 11 worldwide Disney theme parks to open.

Tokyo DisneySEA has beautiful scenerya

Tokyo DisneySEA has beautiful scenery. From Wikipedia

Inspired by the myths and legends of the sea, Tokyo Disney Sea is made up of seven themed ports of call: Mediterranean Harbor, Mystery Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery and American Waterfront.

When it comes to the difference of “DisneySEA” and “Disneyland”, it is important to state that Disney sea has more “adult” friendly where it has less attraction rides for kids and provide alcoholic drinks. Tokyo Disneyland is sort of like Florida’s Magic Kingdom; it’s lots of character stuff and cute things. And also should state that DisneySEA is the original park which exists only in Tokyo.

Getting There By Train:
JR Keiyo Line – Maihama Station
For Tokyo DisneySEA, take Disney Resort Line from Maihama Station and get off at Tokyo DisneySEA station

Fee:
1 Day Passport
Adult (18 and over) 6,900yen
Junior (12-17) 6,000 yen
Child (4-11) 4,500 yen
There are also 2 Days Passport and more kinds. Please refer to the official website for further information.

Hours:
Varies, check the official website.

Website:
http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/

8. Kabukicho (歌舞伎町)

Kabukicho, a sleepless night town

Kabukicho, a sleepless night town. From Flickr

Kabukichō is an entertainment and red-light district in in north east Shinjuku beyond Yasukuni-dōri Avenue. It is very famous for hostess bars, host bars, love hotels, shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is often called the “Sleepless Town”. The district’s name comes from late-1940s plans to build a kabuki theater: although the theater was never built due to financial difficulties, the name stuck.

Address:
Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Getting There By Train :
JR Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Toei Subway Oedo & Shinjuku Line – Shinjuku Station

Hours:
Depend on shops but most of them daily 7:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.

9. Ginza (銀座)

High class brand shops gather in Ginza

High class brand shops gather in Ginza

The Ginza is considered as the high fashion center and contains many upscale shops and restaurants. It is one of the most expensive real estate in the world. During weekend, the street will be closed to motor traffic during the day hence becoming a Pedestrians’ Paradise.

Getting There By Train :
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi, Ginza & Hibiya Line – Ginza Station

Hours:
Depend on shops but most of them daily 10:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

10. Yasukuni Shrine (靖國神社)

Yasukuni Shrine is one of the largest shrine in Tokyo

Yasukuni Shrine is one of the largest shrine in Tokyo. From Wikipedia

Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. When the Emperor Meiji visited Tokyo Shokonsha for the first time in 1874, he composed a poem; “I assure those of you who fought and died for your country that your names will live forever at this shrine in Musashino”.

Every year July 13 – 16, one of the biggest summer festival Mitaka Matsuri is held. Yasukuni Shrine is also a famous view spot for sakura cherry blossom flowers and yellow ginkgo leaves..

Address:
3-1-1 Kudankita Chiyoda-ku Tokyo

Getting there By Subway :
Tokyo Metro Tozai & Hanzomon Line – Kudanshita Station
Toei Subway Shinjuku Line – Kudanshita Station
JR Sobu Line – Ichigaya and Iidabashi stations

Fee:
Free


Hours:
Daily 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Website:
http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/yushukan/

11. Akihabara Electric Town (秋葉原)

The Electric Town Akihabara

The Electric Town Akihabara. From Wikipedia

Akihabara is the largest town collecting all kinds of electronic appliances and devices in the world. The products at the very top of technology are always abundantly available here. Also Akihabara is well known as manga and anime town, with hundreds of manga and anime related shops. There are lots of arcade game center, karaoke, maid cafes, and restaurants. You could spend all day here.

Getting There By Train :
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line – Akihabara Station
JR Yamanote, Sobu Line – Akihabara Station
Tsukuba Express – Akihabara Station

Hours:
Depend on shops but most of them daily 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Website:
http://akiba.or.jp/english/

12. Roppongi and Roppongi Hills (六本木&六本木ヒルズ)

Roppongi Hills is a shopping and office, museum, movie theater complex

Roppongi Hills is a shopping and office, museum, movie theater complex

Roppongi is well known as the city’s most popular nightlife district among foreigners, offers a large number of foreigner friendly bars, restaurants and night clubs. Recent redevelopment projects, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown have increase Roppongi’s appeal to a wider range of visitors big shopping complexes & luxury hotels. Mori Museum in Roppongi Hills and The National Art Center Tokyo near Tokyo Midtown always do interesting modern art exhibitions. The view from observatory of Roppongi Hills is astonishing.

You will be able to see Tokyo Tower and Mt. Fuji

You will be able to see Tokyo Tower and Mt. Fuji

Learn more about Roppongi Hills Observatory: Tokyo Night View Tour – Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Roppongi –

 

Getting There By Train :
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line – Roppongi Station
Toei Subway Oedo Line – Roppongi Station

Fee and Hours:
Depend on the sites. Refer to each official site below.

Website:
Roppongi Hills http://www.roppongihills.com/
Tokyo Midtown http://www.tokyo-midtown.com/en/
The National Art Center Tokyo http://www.nact.jp/english/index.html

13. Kubukiza (歌舞伎座)

Kabuki theater Kabukiza has beautiful exterior

Kabuki theater Kabukiza has beautiful exterior

Kabukiza in Ginza was the principal theater in Tokyo for the traditional kabuki drama form. It is the only theater in Japan that has shows every month. The building’s design is old and unique, registered as a Tangible Cultural Property by the Agency for cultural affairs in Japanese Government in 2002. Ticket can be purchased online in advance but also available directly at the Box Office on B2F floor.

Address:
4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo

Getting there By Subway :
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line – Higashi-Ginza Station
Toei Subway Asakusa Line – Higashi-Ginza Station

Fee:
Single Act Ticket 1,200 yen – 1,400 yen

Hours:
11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Depend on the show, refer the timetable on the official website.

Website:
http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/eng/contents/theatre/kabukiza.html

14. Tokyo Tower (東京タワー)

Tokyo Tower is more than just an observatory

Tokyo Tower is more than just an observatory

Tokyo Tower, at 332.5 metres (1,091 ft), the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower is a communications and observation tower. Completed in the year 1958 as a symbol for Japan’s rebirth as a major economic power.

Visitors can ascend to the main observatory at 150 meters and the special observatory at 250 meters to get a bird’s eye view of Tokyo. On the foot, there are shopping, restaurant, and aquarium complex called Foot Town. Especially, Tokyo One Piece Tower has just opened on March 2015, which contains attractions and restaurants relating to the anime One Piece. The temple called Zojoji near Tokyo Tower is a great view point to capture the complete structure of Tokyo Tower.

Address:
4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line – Kamiyacho Station
Toei Subway Oedo Line – Akabanebashi Station
Toei Subway Mita Line – Onarimon Station
Toei Subway Asakusa Line – Daimon Station
JR Yamanote Line – Hamamatsucho Station

Fee:
Main Observatory (150m) 900 yen
Special Observatory (250m) 700 yen


Hours:
Main & Special Observatory (150m) 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
FootTown 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Webiste:
Tokyo Tower http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/eng/
Tokyo One Piece Tower http://onepiecetower.tokyo/en/
Zojoji http://www.zojoji.or.jp/en/

15. Yanesen (谷根千)

Yanesen districts preserves scenery of good old Japan

Yanesen districts preserves scenery of good old Japan. From Flickr

Yanesen is one of the few districts in Tokyo where the shitamachi atmosphere, an old town ambience reminiscent of Tokyo from past decades, still survives. Yanesen is the collective name for the Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi neighborhoods. It’s a great area to explore on foot and see the remnants of the shitamachi atmosphere of good old Tokyo — the traditional Japanese townscape and the friendliness and hospitality of the residents living there—all in the heart of the metropolis. 

In Yanesen, you can experience the true essence and identity of Japanese culture by taking part in Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangement, Calligraphy, etc. And also you will be able to wear a  Kimono and stroll around this wonderful part of “Old Tokyo”. You can experience those activities at Yanesen Tourist Info. and Cultural Center.

Yanesen Tourist Info. and Cultural Center

Address :
Yanasen, 3-13-7 Yanaka, Taitou-Ku

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line – Sendagi and Nezu Station
JR Yamanote Line – Nippori Station

Fee:
Depends on the course. Refer to the official website for details.

Hours:
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Webiste:
http://www.ti-yanesen.jp/en/

16. Shibuya Crossing (渋谷スクランブル交差点)

Shibuya Crossing became the symbol of Tokyo

Shibuya Crossing became the symbol of Tokyo. From Flickr

This world’s most famous crossing has been appeared in many films and photography. You may not think that it is seriously like that; crossing hundreds of people every minute. Well, it is actually! Once you get off at Shibuya station, follow the crowd and they will immediately take you to Shibuya Crossing.

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Hanzomon & Ginza & Fukutoshin Line – Shibuya Station
JR Yamanote Line – Shibuya Station
Tokyu Toyoko Line – Shibuya Station
Keio Inogashira Line – Shibuya Station

17. Hachiko Statue (ハチ公)

Hachiko Statue is the most popular meeting location in Shibuya

Hachiko Statue is the most popular meeting location in Shibuya

Hachiko is the name of the dog from one of the most touching real life story in the world. It has been made as a film starring Richard Gere in 2009.

Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in University of Tokyo, took in Hachikō, a golden brown Akita, as a pet. During his owner’s life, Hachikō greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachikō was waiting. Every day for the next nine years the dog waited at Shibuya station. Hachikō died in 1935, and was found on a street in Shibuya. Eventually, Hachikō’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty, particularly to the person and institution of the Emperor.

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Hanzomon & Ginza & Fukutoshin Line – Shibuya Station
JR Yamanote Line – Shibuya Station
Tokyu Toyoko Line – Shibuya Station
Keio Inogashira Line – Shibuya Station

18. Harajuku (原宿)

Takeshita Street in Harajuku is one of the most crowded street in Tokyo

Takeshita Street in Harajuku is one of the most crowded street in Tokyo. From Flickr

Harajuku is a town next to Shibuya, well known as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Kawaii icons are everywhere especially in Takeshita street, where hundreds of fashion shops gather. You will be able to see lots of people with unique clothing styles.

Popular food in Harajuku is crepe, where you will see many crape stands and young girls having them as a break of shopping.

Getting There By Train:
JR Yamanote Line – Harajuku Station
Tokyo Metro Chiyoda & Fukutoshin Line – Meijijingu-mae Station

19. Sanrio Puroland (サンリオピューロランド)

You will be able to meet Hello Kitty

You will be able to meet Hello Kitty. From Flickr

Sanrio Euroland, the home of Hello Kitty, My Melody and other Sanrio characters, is the 2nd theme park in Japan featuring characters, following Disneyland.The park is located indoor, so it is an all weather park which offers a variety of live performances and attractions.

Address:
1-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo

Getting There By Train:
Keio Line – Tama Center Station

Fees:
Adult 3,300 yen
Children (age 3-17) 2,500 yen

Hours:
Usually 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., but depend on the day. Exact time is on the official website.

Website:
http://en.puroland.jp/

20. Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo (ポケモンセンターメガトウキョー)

Huge Pikachu welcomes your visit to Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo

Huge Pikachu welcomes your visit to Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo

The Pokémon Center is a specialist store for Pokémon goods. The wide range of original Pokémon Center goods are the most popular items found at the Pokémon Center. There are also many huge Pokémon displays are available for photo shooting. If you are a Pokémon fan, Pokémon Center is the place to go!

Address :
Sunshine City alpa 2F
3-1-2 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Getting There By Train:
Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line – Higashi-Ikebukuro Station
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi & Yurakucho & Fukutoshin Line – Ikebukuro Station

Hours :
Daily 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

These are wonderful places that you can put your eye in and these places will surely fill you with wonderful utmost experience!