Tokyo_SensoJi

10 Amazing Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

We just returned from our trip to Japan, and we thought it would be fun to hear about another traveler’s favorite experiences in the crazy city of Tokyo.  We loved Japan and can’t wait to share more about our adventures with you soon, but for now, we are excited to have Marie from Miles of Happiness share her recommendations on 10 amazing things to do in Tokyo! 

Since I live in Hong Kong, what I like most is the short distance between home and a country I’ve always dreamed to explore. Japan. I already had the chance to get on a few trips, particularly in Tokyo, a city that never stops fascinating me.

Sure, there are enough to do to keep you busy for weeks. But let start with the basics: 10 amazing things to do in Tokyo. If you’re planning to go, you should also read the “48 hours in Tokyo” guide on my blog Miles of Happiness. The perfect itinerary has been prepared for you!

1. Watch the Sumo Wrestlers during their morning practice

Immerse yourself deep in the Japanese culture with a visit at the Sumo’s morning practice. Some of the stables allow visitors to watch. It’s a pretty intense experience. It starts early on the morning, and last for two to three hours. Most of the sumo stables are situated in Ryogoku, Sumo Town.

2. Stroll in Meiji Jingu temple

Tokyo_MeijiJingu
Tokyo is dotted with wide green parks and gorgeous temples, and if I had to see only one, Meiji Jingu would probably be the one. Right in the middle of the city, this big temple hosts lots of traditional ceremonies. It may be your chance to see an authentic wedding, a Japanese ritual or even a Geisha dance!

3. Stay in a traditional ryokan

There are maaany charming ryokans to stay in, you can easily find one online. It gives you the chance not only to meet to local people, but also to discover the Japanese lifestyle, and maybe even to learn a few words of Japanese!

4. Eat in a sushi bar

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The Tokyoites eat their sushi quickly and standing, in sushi bars. For Frenchies that love spending hours at the restaurant, it was a bit of a surprise. But every time we tried, we feasted –and actually liked the bar style. It’s not a legend: sushi in Japan are insanely delicious. I realized that, before tasting Japanese sushi, I didn’t even know what was real sushi.

5. Explore Senso-ji temple & Asakusa district

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It’s one of the most touristic attractions of the city, so try to get to Senso Ji as early as you can, to avoid the crowds. The temple is quite imposing, hidden at the bottom of a long alley full of souvenirs shops. If you want to buy kimonos or ceramics, you’re in luck, there’s a big range of Japanese goods, from the tourist traps to the authentics.

6. Enjoy Harajuku’s punky vibes

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Photographers, artists, you gonna love Takeshita-dori ! This little street is known for its punks, Lolitas, aspiring goths and other extravagances: a heaven to get some inspiration! I Also great for the grown up kid in us: colorful candies, funky tights, etc.

7. Walk on the famous Shibuya Crossing

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Shibuya Crossing is rumored to be of the busiest intersection in the world. Watching the crowds coming and going is fascinating – it looks like a nice dance ballet. While you’re there, go for a shopping session in Shibuya. This is the place to shop!

8. Admire Omotesando’s stunning architecture

Omotesando is one of the world’s best outdoor modern architecture museum. Every building is an art piece there, designed by some of the most talented architects ever, from Tadao Ando, Herzog & De Meuron to Kengo Kuma… Beside that, the luxury shop windows are real art pieces.

9. Wake up early and discover Tsukiji Fish Market

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It’s the biggest fish market in the world. The seesaw motion of the fishmongers on their motos and their fenwick is something really unique! It’s also the opportunity to take a delicious sushi-breakfast. Would you dare?

10. Spend a night in a Capsule Hotel

I was a bit skeptical about it, but actually, it’s not stressful at all. The capsules are quite big, and you even have a TV inside! There are plenty of options in Tokyo, from the backpacker capsule to the luxurious one. Pic the one that suits you the best!

 

About the Author:

Marie Pottiez is a travel blogger, founder of Miles of Happiness.  Curious of everything, she has an unquenchable thirst for discovery and sharing.

Originally from France, she lived in Belgium, New Zealand and Indonesia, before settling down in Hong Kong in 2014. She spends as much time as possible traveling throughout Asia, discovering new pieces of paradise all year long.

You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, watch her videos on Vimeo and get inspired with her Pinterest.

 

33 Comments
  • Norman
    Twitter:
    Posted at 03:35h, 04 April Reply

    Glad you liked Japan! It is, without doubt, my favorite country in the world. All that sophisticated culture, the friendly people, the breath-taking landscape, the hotels, kabuki, geisha, onsen…ah..for the sake of brevity i’ll stop here! 🙂

    to expand your list:
    -Going to the kabuki theater is fun (you can book just one act)
    – disneyland
    – mori tower or skytree (i’D prefer the former)
    – jogging around imperial palace
    – shopping at ginza
    – exploring the subway stations
    – go to one of the strange cafés (like cat patting /the robot bar or so..)

    as for food – Tokyo has the most 3 star restaurants in the world. So skip the sushi and get some real japanese food 😀 (tho there is also a three star sushi restaurant :P)
    Norman recently posted…Jūnihitoe – My outstanding kimono fashion experience in JapanMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 23:01h, 13 April Reply

      I can definitely see why it’s your favorite! Such a great place with so much to offer! Great tips to add to the list–we were able to see some of the ones you suggested, but I’ll have to add the others for next time!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Yonderbound: A New Way to Book TravelMy Profile

  • Olga
    Twitter:
    Posted at 00:22h, 05 April Reply

    I would visit Japan just to eat sushi… Just the mere idea of it makes me want to salivate, haha
    Olga recently posted…15 Beautiful Travel Quotes To Tease Your WanderlustMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:59h, 13 April Reply

      Same here, haha! I’ve been craving it since we got home and had to cave in and go out for some last night–it was good, but not near as good as Japan’s!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Yonderbound: A New Way to Book TravelMy Profile

  • Shazia Chiu
    Posted at 00:23h, 05 April Reply

    I love your photos 🙂 Can’t wait to see Japan someday!

  • Megsy
    Twitter:
    Posted at 03:08h, 05 April Reply

    I am just dying to visit Japan and try some authentic sushi – I just know it will rock my world!
    Megsy recently posted…021 Thingyan: The wildest water fight on earth (Podcast)My Profile

  • zof
    Twitter:
    Posted at 03:50h, 05 April Reply

    The food…I’m afraid I’ll never stop eating when I finally get there…
    zof recently posted…Travel Flashback #15My Profile

  • Dave Briggs
    Posted at 05:26h, 05 April Reply

    Every time I read about Japan, I want to get out there and do some cycling! How cycle friendly is Tokyo?
    Dave Briggs recently posted…Cycling Holidays – Supported, Guided, and Self Guided Bike ToursMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:53h, 13 April Reply

      Tokyo seemed pretty cycle friendly–there were bikes everywhere! I would love to get out and cycle in Japan’s nature, too–that sounds great as well!

  • Alli
    Twitter:
    Posted at 09:37h, 05 April Reply

    i would just love to do number 3 and 4!!! I have actually been dreaming of visiting Japan for years. I think my chance to go will be sooner rather than later! 🙂 Awesome tips.

  • Stephanie
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:12h, 05 April Reply

    The perfect article for me because i’ve just moved to Japan! I live in Northern Honshu but was lucky enough to spend a week in Tokyo before training. I loved Harajuku, such a crazy place. Senso-ji was a wonderful experience too. I got my fortune told there and it was good fortune thankfully!

    I wasn’t brave enough to go the fish market though. Some girls in my dorm went and said there was Whale and Dolphin 🙁

    Great post!
    Stephanie recently posted…First Impressions of JapanMy Profile

  • Sophie
    Twitter:
    Posted at 10:49h, 05 April Reply

    Thanks for sharing. I feel like Japan has been on my bucket list for so long now and I only live 4 hours away. Maybe it’s time to finally go!

  • Robson Cadore
    Twitter:
    Posted at 17:24h, 05 April Reply

    Well, 10 more reasons to visit Japan!
    I’m crazy about markets and the Tokyo`s Fish Market is on my bucket list for ages!
    If all goes well We gonna hit Japan on April next year.
    Cheers!
    Robson Cadore recently posted…Top Things to do in Langkawi [For Non Romantic People]My Profile

  • zoomingjapan
    Twitter:
    Posted at 13:28h, 06 April Reply

    Well, those are for sure some great things you can do when in Tokyo.
    But Tokyo being one of the biggest cities in the world has a lot more to offer.
    I also recommend doing some day trips to nearby places (e.g. Mt. Fuji, Hakone, Nikko, Boso Peninsula).

    I’ve been living and traveling in Japan for the past 7 years.
    I was really fascinated by Tokyo when I went there for the first time, but nowadays I enjoy the rural, hidden spots a lot more. 🙂

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 22:47h, 13 April Reply

      Agree, Tokyo definitely has so much to offer! 🙂 I’m sure you’ve seen so many amazing things in the 7 years you’ve been there! Stay tuned for even more Japan goodness coming soon!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Yonderbound: A New Way to Book TravelMy Profile

  • Miles of Happiness - Marie
    Twitter:
    Posted at 04:01h, 09 April Reply

    Tokyo is such an amazing city, I can’t wait to go back there and discover more and more!!

  • Victoria
    Twitter:
    Posted at 09:23h, 10 April Reply

    Jenna, love the pictures and how alive you made everything look and feel. pinning for my Japan board. I need to help my parents and my teen son prepare for their trip across Japan in July

  • Hannah
    Posted at 01:25h, 15 April Reply

    Somehow I haven’t made it to Japan yet….looks amazing

  • Rashaad
    Posted at 11:35h, 25 August Reply

    Having lived in Japan, I have (a) attended sumo matches in Ryogoku and done items 2, 3, 6 and 7.
    Rashaad recently posted…Home Sweet Home – GraduationMy Profile

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