Are you looking for an unforgettable travel destination? You could travel in Japan exclusively for the next decade, and you could still learn about the country and yourself. Your trip to Japan would be incomplete without a visit to Tokyo. Tokyo is one of the most amazing destinations in the world. It is the center of Japanese business, fashion, and a hotbed of culture. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it in Tokyo. You could spend a lifetime discovering this city and still wanting to discover more. If you are still not convinced, here is a list of 10 reasons why you should be visiting Tokyo.
Enjoy Japanese food
Tokyo has a breathtaking food culture. The city offers an endless variety of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. It is hard to think of sushi without wondering about sushi in Tokyo. Sushi is everywhere in Tokyo. Look for sushi in an around fish markets such as Toyosu and Tsukiji.
Here are some of the most prominent foods that you can find in Tokyo.
- Sushi – You can visit the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market to enjoy Sushi. But, expect to arrive early and stand in line — the small restaurants about the market seat only a very few people at a time. The lines form early, and you might have to wait an hour or two before you get a seat.
- Yakitori – This is a traditional Japanese dish. It is a unique variant of grilled chicken on skewers. Traditionally Yakitori is a cheap meal for people in a hurry. Recently, restaurants have been elevating the status of Yakitori by using premium ingredients.
- Ramen noodles – Perhaps my favorite slurping dish in the world. Ramen is an iconic yet inexpensive Japanese dish. For many tourists finding the perfect ramen joint is mission number one. Without a doubt, Tokyo is the ramen capital of not only Japan but the universe.
- Okonomiyaki – Although less known than sushi or ramen, okonomiyaki is an important part of Japanese cuisine. In Tokyo, you will find mouth-watering options for Okonomiyaki, which is a savory pancake. Some Tokyo restaurants even let you grill your own Okonomiyaki.
- Soba noodles – If there is one meal that represents traditional cuisine, it is Soba noodles. Soba noodles are made out of buckwheat flour, which gives it a unique flavor and scent. Soba has a deep-rooted history in the home of the rising sun.
Experience Japanese Fashion
Street fashion is alive and well on the streets of Tokyo. The city is packed with fashionable pedestrians. Visitors to Tokyo can explore fashionable Omotesandō, Harajuku, and Aoyama within a single day. Takeshita-dōri and Harajuku are the best places to visit to experience offbeat fashion. You can dress up as your favorite movie, anime, or comic book character while enjoying the city. Tokyo is one of the world’s true fashion destinations.
Tokyo a Shopping Paradise
Whether you prefer to shop for electronic goods at BIC CAMERA or rummaging for secondhand treasures at Blueworkerz, if you love shopping, you’ll love Tokyo. If you want high-end shopping, hit Ginza. The district is known as one of the hotting shopping spots in the world. The shopping options you find in Ginza are a testament to the consumer culture of Tokyo. Shoppers should also visit Shinjuku to discover major department stores and small boutiques.
In addition to Ginza and Shinjuku, consider the following districts for shopping:
Experience the Manners
You can’t visit Tokyo and ignore Japanese manners right away. No matter how much you traveled in your life, how many other countries you have visited. The manners you’ll find in Tokyo will be different than what you have experienced before. You will be amazed by the manners of people in Japan. Even during peak hours, you can see people in Tokyo waiting in their lines to get on the train. You’d have to be a complete ignoramus to miss the differences between the mannerisms of your own culture and that of the Japanese.
The people in Tokyo, yes in this huge metropolis, are extremely polite. While the Japanese don’t expect you to adopt the same mannerisms, as long as you act with kindness and respect, you will be fine.
Enjoy Public Transport
Tokyo has an excellent public transport system. There is a dense train network, subway, and bus line in the city. There are 13 subway lines in Tokyo, providing visitors with a fast and inexpensive mode of transportation. On the other hand, taxis in Tokyo are super expensive. If you are not afraid of public transportation, you will never come across the need to travel in a taxi because public transport is extremely affordable. It is one of the quickest methods to travel to other parts of the country. For example, you can travel from Tokyo to Osaka within minutes by taking the bullet train. On top of everything, you will love the punctuality of public transport in Japan.
Sumo is perhaps the most iconic Japanese sport with hundreds of years of history. You can find three of the biggest Sumo tournaments in Tokyo. These tournaments take place during the summer season. If you want to enjoy a match, you should think about visiting the Sumo hall located in Ryogoku. You will be able to enjoy a good sumo match for under 2,500 Yen. If you get there early, you will see the lower-ranked sumo wrestlers. If you want to see the highest-ranked wrestlers, go in the afternoon. Ryogōku is the capital for sumo culture in Tokyo, as well. You can also visit the sumo museum to enhance the knowledge you have about sumo.
Temples and Shrines
Shrines and temples are among the top attractions in Tokyo. Visit Zōjō-ji, an important Buddhist temple. Zōjō-ji was the burial site of several former shoguns. Meiji Shrine is another important destination. The Meiji Shrine is dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji (1852-1912), Japan’s first constitutional monarch, and his wife, Empress Shoken.
Tokyo’s Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are some of the most amazing sites in the city to visit.
Here are some of the top Shinto Shrines of Tokyo:
- Asakusa-jinja Shrine (Asakusa)
- Nogi-jinja Shrine (Roppongi)
- Meiji-jingu Shrine (Harajuku)
- Namiyoke Inari-jinja Shrine (Tsukiji)
- Kanda Myojin Shrine (Kanda)
- Yasakuni-jinja Shrine (Imperial Palace Area)
- Toshogu-jinja Shrine (Ueno)
Important Buddhist Temples in Tokyo:
- Yushima Seido Temple (Akihabara)
- Zenkoku-ji Temple (Kagurazaka)
- Zojo-ji Temple (Hamamatsucho)
- Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa)
The nightlife in Tokyo is quite insane. Shibuya is the red hot center of Tokyo nightlife. Ask dusk falls, the bright lights of Tokyo transform the city. The Tokyo nightlife has everything from upscale bars to packed clubs to strip joints and karaoke lounges.
If clubs and dancing is not your thing, you can enjoy the night scenery from a helicopter ride. Another night time alternative is a boat cruise to enjoy the waterfront scenery. You can choose from several 2-3 hour night cruises along Tokyo Bay.
Relax in the Gardens
You could spend your entire Tokyo stay visiting its magnificent gardens. The tree most popular gardens in Tokyo are Shinjuky Gyoen, Yoyogi Koen, and Ueno Koen. But I recommend that you visit some of the smaller traditional gardens too.
Stroll around Kiyosumi Garden, a traditional Japanese garden. The garden offers a picturesque design featuring a pond, large boulders, and a Japanese teahouse. If you happen to visit Tokyo during the cherry blossom season (hanami) in late March early April, visit Koishikawa Korakuen. This garden was built by the Tokugawa clan in the early 17th century.
You can enjoy a good walk in these gardens while spending your time in Tokyo. To enter a garden in Tokyo, you can expect to pay somewhere between ¥150 – ¥500.
Tokyo offers a wide selection of stunning architecture with a solid emphasis on concrete, steel, and interesting shapes. From Tokyo Tower to Nakagin Capsule Tower to Sensō-ji to Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, stunning architecture is everywhere in Tokyo.
Here are some of the most iconic buildings in Tokyo:
- Nakagin Capsule Tower
- Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
- SunnyHills at Minami-Aoyama
- Reiyukai Shakaden Temple
- Tsukiji Hongwanji
- The Iceberg Harajuku
If you are a traveler, who wants more and expects more, you must visit Tokyo. Tokyo will amaze you, and it might even overwhelm you with all it has to offer. Tokyo is a city like no other. The city offers a truly unique experience you simply can’t find anywhere else.