Beaming with cultural spots, amazing sights and an interesting mix of the old and new, it’s no wonder that Tokyo City has been among the bucket-list destinations of most travellers. With so many places to see and a lot of things to do in Tokyo, how does one plan an itinerary that ensures you get the most out of your trip to Japan’s busy capital?
To experience the best of what Tokyo has to offer, we’ve come up with a list of 9 tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your first Tokyo Tour.
You’ve probably seen Tokyo’s Eiffel-inspired structure a couple of times on social media. Painted in bright orange and white, Tokyo Tower is the second tallest structure in Tokyo. While it was primarily built in 1958 for communication and broadcasting purposes, this popular landmark functions as an observatory deck that offers one of the most spectacular views in the city.
Located in the city’s Sumida District of Minato, you shouldn’t dare miss the huge rocket-like ship that never fails to catch the attention of tourists — Tokyo Skytree. As the tallest structure of Japan (and the world’s highest freestanding tower), it provides tourists the most incredible panoramic views of Tokyo. This is also where you can have the chance to stand on a floor that’s plated by glass!
Despite Japan’s obvious technological advancements, its people never forget their past and honor their religious beliefs. The Meiji Shrine, also known as Meiji Jingu, is an example of such. Dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his Empress, this Shinto shrine was constructed to commemorate the Emperor’s role in restoring Meiji.
There are over a thousand temples found in the Land of the Rising Sun. But if you must visit Tokyo City, it would be a missed opportunity not to see their oldest and most visited temple — Sensoji Temple. Over 1,400 years old, this temple stands as a reminder of the resilience of Japanese people and new beginnings. This place is also among the few destinations that would give you ancient Japanese era feels.
Tokyo National Museum
As a cultural hotspot, Tokyo is also home to a number of historic museums including Tokyo National Museum. Built in 1872, the city’s oldest and largest museum houses the best art collections, archeological artefacts and more than a hundred natural treasures. It has six separate buildings that can be mistakenly a museum of its own.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
If you want to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Tokyo City, then you better head over to Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Simply referred to as Tochō by locals, this Gothic-cathedral like building has three different structures and an observation platform. At night, it gives you the chance to admire the sprawling vibrant district of Shinjuku — the center of nightlife in Japan’s capital city. This should be on your list if you’re going on a Night Tour in Tokyo!
While Ueno Park has been mostly visited during the Cherry Blossom season, it has become a favorite tourist attraction because of the museums, shrines, and gardens it houses. With over 300 acres, it’s filled with top cultural attractions. Here, you’ll be able to visit Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Zoo (Japan’s oldest zoo), and come across Japan’s top university, which is the University of Tokyo.
Inspired by myths and legends of the sea, Tokyo DisneySea is a popular fantasy theme park that caters to kids-at-heart. Since it aims to target a more grown-up audience, the attractions appear to be more realistic and a wide selection of service restaurants is provided in the area. It has seven themed ports (featuring Venice style canals, a mermaid lagoon, and an Arabian coast to name a few) and each has an ability to let you imagine being transported to a different place.
Your first Tokyo Trip won’t be complete without taking a walk across the famous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing. When all the traffic lights turn red at the same time, witness how hundreds of pedestrians surge into the iconic intersection that’s just outside Shibuya Station. Experience the so-called “scramble” and at least for a day, feel what’s it like for a local who’s crossing it every single day.
But ff you want to see Japan’s capital city from a local’s perspective, then joining walking tours in Tokyo is definitely something that you should try! Let a local guide you through the bustling city and discover tips and secrets you won’t necessarily find on the Internet. Plus, it’s your chance to mingle with fellow tourists as you discover why it’s among the world’s greatest cities.
Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travellers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!
Ronica is a writer who loves books and photography. She likes to discover new dishes, explore places she's never been to, and try exciting activities. She hopes to satisfy her curiosity by traveling the world.