Consisting of the south-western part of the Kanto region, the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands, Tokyo is a diverse city in and of itself, the political and economic centre of Japan and home to over 13 million people.
Old meets new here, where temples and gardens make way for ‘electric towns’ and vast skyscrapers. Simply wander the streets and you’ll be amazed at how the scenery and atmosphere alter from area to area; like Asakusa – a real contrast of old and new which is the essence of Japan.
Here you can walk slowly up a busy road packed with locals and tourists buying snacks and shopping for souvenirs, before arriving at Sensoji Temple where you find the same locals and tourists giving up offerings and praying for health, good luck and prosperity; a real environmental contrast in just one street is part of what makes this city so unique.
Sights not to miss include the Imperial Palace and Imperial Gardens, Sensoji Temple, Tokyo Skytree, Meiji Shrine, Tokyo National Museum, Ghibli Museum and Tokyo Disneyland; a family favourite.
You’ll be truly spoilt for choice, but with so much to see and do here, our expert team recommends these top attractions:
- Shinjuku – a bustling “sleepless” part of downtown, with lively bars, restaurants and a thrilling entertainment scene. The area west of Shinjuku station is home to Tokyo’s largest concentration of skyscrapers including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, KDDI Building and Park Tower.
- Ginza - for its luxury shopping!
- Shibuya – this well-known fashion centre is popular with younger visitors as it’s known as a place where new trends begin their life! Two of the busiest railway stations in the world are found here, and of particular note is the Shibuya Crossing located in front of Shibuya Station (made famous by Lost in Translation).
- Akihabara – also known as ‘electric town’ is fit to burst with electronics shops! More recently the area has become known as a centre for Japanese otaku and anime culture, with lots of shops specialising in anime, manga and retro video games. The architecture has a distinctly Blade Runner feel to it!
- Asakusa – this is where you’ll discover the Sensoji Temple, which is approached via Nakamise – a shopping street providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and souvenirs.
- Tsukiji – is one of the largest wholesale fish and seafood markets in the world. A great stop for foodies on their tour through Tokyo.
- Roppongi Hills – is a modern entertainment and shopping complex with restaurants, hotels, an art museum and an observation deck at the 238-metre-high Mori Tower.