Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a multifaceted metropolis known for its artistic and architectural beauties: the imperial palaces, the sanctuaries, the temples, and above all the ryokans, the typical hotels with tatami and futon floors. Tokyo is a symbol of relaxation, thanks to the presence of the well-known Onsen, the typical thermal baths. But it's also a dynamic city, full of themed bars and seemingly anonymous alleys, but which actually hide its truest soul. Not to mention the karaoke, pachinko and ubiquitous arcades. In short, a city that never sleeps and, above all, with 1.000 facets. A city that at first glance can stun and disconcert, so much so that, after "the first time", either we fall in love with it or hate it!
Today we take you to discover the cradle of manga and anime with a guide in which we point out things to see in Tokyo, with the best attractions, from the most famous to the less known, and the best things to do!
- Asakusa and Senso-Ji Temple
- Meiji Shrine - Meiji Jingu
- Tsukiji Fish Market
- Imperial Palace
- Ueno Park
- Golden Gai
- National Museum
- Tokyo Tower
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Kinuta Park
- Azabu Juban
- Other attractions to visit
- 13 things to do in Tokyo
- User questions and comments
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1 - Asakusa and Senso-Ji Temple
Compared to modern districts, the historic Asakusa district fascinates visitors with its own atmospheres of the past, which transport tourists back in time, allowing you to see what the great metropolis was like when it was still called Edo.
In the heart of the district, and the main reason for visiting the district itself, is the famous Sensoji Temple, considered the oldest structure in Tokyo, as well as the main Buddhist holy site pertaining to the Tendai sect.
Legend has it that 2 brothers, in 628, fished a statue of the goddess Kannon in the Sumida River. Although they tried to put it back in the river, it always returned to them. That's why the temple dedicated to her was built near the river in 645, making it the oldest temple in Tokyo.
To access it you have to go through the thousand-year-old Kaminarimon gate, the very symbol of Asakusa. After the imposing entrance, to get to the temple you have to go along the shopping street, the so-called Nakamise Dori, where you can buy local souvenirs, snacks and sweets. Still on a shopping theme, in this neighborhood it is fun to take a tour of Kappabashi Dori, the street where more than 100 shops selling kitchen utensils are concentrated.
Along the Sumida River many green areas develop. The visit to the district can be considered complete by climbing the Tokyo Skytree observatory, the tallest building in the country, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city.
Visit the temple with a guide: the importance of the temple certainly deserves a thorough visit. A guided tour manages to catapult into history, including details, anecdotes and tales of Japanese culture (Info and costs here.). Also, before entering do not forget to approach the incense bowl and bring the smoke towards you, it is purifying!
- from Asakusa train and subway station (Tokyo Metoro, Toei and Tobu) in 5 min walk. Tokyo Metoro Asakusa Station is connected to the Yamanote Line (at Kanda Station) by the Ginza Line - Get Directions
- neighborhood always accessible / Temple every day 6: 00-17: 00
2 - Shinjuku
The most representative district of Tokyo. The neighborhood that never sleeps, where you constantly get stunned and dazzled by music and neon lights, and where is anything.
And also the best neighborhood to look for accommodation, both because it is well connected to all other areas of Tokyo and because there is no danger of getting bored in the evening!
The area of Shinjuku where nightlife and entertainment are concentrated is Kabuki-cho. A red sign identifies the entrance. Here you will find any kind of club, even if there is a high concentration of gambling halls, Pachinko, and various "prostitute" clubs (service not allowed for foreigners). It seems that the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia, is strongly interfering in the neighborhood, but there are no particular dangers. In order not to risk getting lost, especially in the evening, it is better for the first time to opt for an evening guided tour of Shinjuku, among the typical local izakaya, red light districts and tastings.
Being one of the most central districts of Tokyo, it is well connected by subway lines. For those who have the Japan Rail Pass we recommend moving with the Japan Rail East - Get directions.
An original restaurant: in the neighborhood there is a rather particular restaurant, much loved by young locals, the Robot Restaurant! The interior features bright colors and neon, waiters dressed in special clothes, light and sound shows and robots. A somewhat strange experience to do, but it is one of the most famous restaurants in Tokyo.
3 - Shibuya
Known for the very famous intersection, the busiest in the world, which has become its symbol, Shibuya is the district of young people and new trends. Colorful and lively at any time of day or night, it is the perfect area to shop, stop in extravagant themed cafes, go out for dinner and have fun in the evening in one of the many clubs in the area including game rooms, pachinko, bars karaoke, pubs and discos.
In the evening the alleys are illuminated by a thousand neon lights of the signs, a not indifferent spectacle.
The main shopping and entertainment area is located next to the station, where the symbol of Shibuya is located, the famous intersection mentioned at the beginning. Every time the traffic light turns green, a sea of people cross the road creating a truly suggestive and exciting moment! Even more beautiful to be observed from above at peak times.
Just outside the station, in the square, there is another famous attraction, the statue of the dog Hachiko, which became famous thanks to the film of the same name. You will recognize it from afar because there is usually a queue for a selfie with the dog.
Shibuya is located west of downtown Torkyo, on the Yamanote Line subway line, just two stops from Shinjuku - Get Directions.
Watch out for the crowd, especially during the holidays: it is not recommended to venture during some holidays (New Year and Halloween). It has happened several times, in fact, that it was necessary to resort to the intervention of the police to manage the traffic between pedestrians and crazy cars. In general, like in many other Tokyo neighborhoods, it's easy to get lost or disoriented. Especially in this super busy neighborhood, the advice is to be guided on a tour of Shibuya and Harajuku, to live an authentic experience in the picturesque heart of Tokyo.
4 - Akihabara
It is one of the most extravagant and unmistakable neighborhoods in Tokyo. Famous for its large shopping malls dedicated to electronics, in recent years it has also become the mecca of otaku, young people obsessively addicted to a particular activity, hobby or interest (specifically comics, cartoons, video games and computers). Here, in fact, there is a continuous succession of specialized shops that they sell all kinds of manga and anime related products.
In addition to the shops of the kind mentioned above, here there are also numerous maid cafes and Neko cafes. In the former you will be served, spoiled and pampered by young waitresses dressed as nineteenth century waiter, complete with apron and crinolines, who will welcome you inside the restaurant with "Welcome / Welcome back my lord"; in the seconds you can sip a coffee pampering the cat that makes you most tender. On Sundays, the district's main street is closed to traffic, allowing you to better enjoy the atmosphere and liveliness of the neighborhood.
The neighborhood can be reached with the Yamanote Line, up to the Akhiabara stop. From Shinjuku, take the JR Chuo Line (Orange Line) to Ochanomizu and then change to the JR Sobu Line (Yellow Line) to Akihabara - Get directions.
Try not to get lost: the neighborhood is a real labyrinth of sounds, lights, manga, video games. Getting lost, or having a sense of disorientation, is really easy. The advice is to be guided on a guided tour between Manga and Anime in Akihabara: you will visit the cult places such as Mandarake, Super Potato and L'Animate, real pilgrimage destinations for manga lovers, mazes on several floors where to do shopping for manga, video games, gadgets and action figures.
5 - Harajuku
Sandwiched between Shinjuku and Shibuya, this neighborhood is the heart of youth culture and new trends. The neuralgic center of the district develops around Takeshita Dori, long avenue full of small shops of clothing and accessories, vintage boutiques, fast food and food stands intent on satisfying the palate of young people (riot of ice cream parlors and candy shops and various sweets in unpredictable colors!). Harajuku is famous above all for the presence of cosplayers that meet in this area at the weekend. These are young people who are so passionate about a character that they identify with him, emulating him to the point of dressing up and acting exactly like him.
South of Takeshita Dori is there the elegant and wide tree-lined Omotesando avenue, nicknamed the "Champs-Elysees of Tokyo", where famous designer boutiques, restaurants and elegant cafes alternate. In this neighborhood, just behind the metro station, is the Meiji Jingu, one of the most important shrines in Tokyo, immersed in the enchanting Yoyogi Park, an oasis of peace and tranquility.
In Harajuku there is a JR station where the Yamanote Line arrives and less than 100 meters away is the Meiji-Jingu-mae stop of the Tokyo Metro. Alternatively, 15-20 min walk from Shibuya - Get directions.
Harajuku style: the "Harajuku style" comes from the street and consists in combining oriental fashions with western fashions. Among the many small shops of Takeshita Dori, you will also find important boutiques such as Prada or Tod's.
6 - Meiji Shrine - Meiji Jingu
Nestled in a large park, Meiji Shrine is a jewel of the Shinto religion which offers visitors an oasis of peace and tranquility, within walking distance of the busy Harajuku station. It is about one of the most symbolic sacred places in Tokyo and most loved by the Japanese as it venerates the figures of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. The life of the Meiji emperor is told in the film "The Last Samurai" of 2003.
In addition to a pleasant and relaxing walk in Yoyogi Park, you can admire the Naien park (main garden), the area with the sacred buildings, which also includes a museum where relics of the imperial family are kept, and finally the outdoor area or Gaien, characterized by the gallery of Meiji paintings, a collection of eighty illustrations depicting key events in the life of the emperor and his consort.
It is not uncommon to see the celebration of Shinto weddings. The shrine is very busy during the autumn festival and the first days of the year when the faithful go there to pray and make offerings as a good omen for the new year.
Pass by the wall of the Sacred Sake: along the way to the shrine you will come across this wall of Sake barrels. Many manufacturing industries donate it to the shrine in exchange for prayers. The oldest is the Kameda Sake Brewery, founded by a Buddhist monk 266 years ago, and still today it is the sake used for Shinto ceremonies in the Meiji Shrine.
- the entrance is a few steps from Harajuku station, accessible by JR Yamanote Line. Alternatively you can arrive at Meiji-jingu-mae metro station with the Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines - Get directions
- every day until sunset / gardens open 9: 00-15: 30, in June until sunset
- park and temple free / gardens 500,00 yen (€ 4,00)
7 - Tsukiji Fish Market
The largest fish market in the world, characterized by an internal area dedicated to wholesalers, famous all over the world for the tuna auction, and the external one where the fish is processed and sold at retail. Inside there are Tokyo's best sushi restaurants.
Waking up very early, here you will be able to attend the famous tuna auction. However, you have to show up early in the morning around 4:30 and be lucky enough to be among the first 120 who show up at "The Fish Information Center".
Last chance to visit the old market: hurry up to visit it, as a new structure is planned, the Toyosu Market 2 km away, in view of the 2020 Olympics (postponed due to Covid-19). It is absolutely worth taking a guided tour of the market: this is really great, a guide will accompany you in the most interesting sectors and will make you taste the best specialties and the freshest fish!
- taking the Hibiya-line metro from Ginza, in just two stops you will arrive at Tsukiji, the fish market district. From the station, less than 10 min walk - Get directions
- Mon-Sat 5: 00-17: 00, Sun and holidays closed
8 - Imperial Palace
It is the main official residence of the Japanese Emperor. The building is located within a small park and is located near the city station.
The complex houses several structures, including the Kyūden palace, the private residence of the Imperial Family, and beautiful gardens that can only be visited by booking online.
The Palace itself it is closed to the public and cannot be visited for two days a year: January 2 during the greeting for the new year, and December 23, on the occasion of the birthday of the current emperor. On these dates, visitors can enter the palace to see members of the imperial family show themselves to the public looking out from a balcony.
The East Gardens, the surrounding gardens are always open to the public. Developed on an area of 210.000 square meters in the past they housed the defense buildings of the Edo castle; the walls, the moat and the entrance gates are still present as well as the foundations of the ancient tower of the castle. They are very beautiful to visit in spring during hanami (cherry blossom). Possibility to rent a small boat to navigate the waters of the moat.
A single dynasty: Japan is the only country in the world that is an empire and has never changed dynasty since the dawn of its history. Tenno (emperor) is considered a true deity; its translation in fact means "heavenly ruler".
- arrive by Metro, with the Marunochi line at the Tokyo stop or with the Chiyoda line at the Oteamchi stop - Get directions
- gardens 9: 00-16: 30. Closed on Monday, Friday, from December 28th to January 3rd and on some special occasions. If Monday or Friday is a national holiday, they are also closed the following day
9 - Ueno Park
Tokyo's green lung, is located in the heart of the homonymous district. During the Edo period the park was part of the Kaneiji Temple, a huge sacred complex among the largest and most influential in the city. At the end of the 800th century, after the civil war destroyed a large part of the temple, this large area was transformed into a public park. Today some temple buildings still remain scattered around the park and represent one of the many cultural attractions for visitors.
The union between nature and culture is very strong in this place; scattered in the park we find in fact small temples, museums and the possibility of doing activities in contact with nature and animals, without forgetting the ideas for fun and relaxation. There are about 8.000 trees and in the center there is an island that houses the sanctuary dedicated to Benzaiten, goddess of fortune. The park and its attractions attract over ten million visitors a year, making it the Japan's most popular city park.
Unusually, within the park there is a large number of homeless people living there. Although wandering is illegal in Japan, their presence here is accepted as inevitable.
Take a ride aboard a swan: no, not riding the bird ... you can go around the lake with a swan-shaped pedal boat, very kitschy! And all around, the soaring skyscrapers of the metropolis create a very suggestive contrast.
- it is located in front of the station of the same name served by the JR and Tokyo Metoro metro lines, and can be reached from this in less than 3 minutes - Get directions
- every day 5: 00-23: 00
10 - Roppongi
Very popular neighborhood for its animated nightlife and where numerous restaurants, bars, clubs and discos are concentrated, particularly frequented by expats, who populate this international district. In fact, most of Tokyo's embassies and consulates are located in Roppongi.
Two urban redevelopment projects have given rise to Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, consider two "cities within the city". Both areas are home to luxury hotels, office and apartment skyscrapers, elegant shopping malls and exhibition spaces. In the center of Roppongi Hills, the Mori Tower houses the offices of major international brands such as Goldmann Sachs, Lehaman Brothers, TV Asahi and Yahoo, and many others.
Moreover, thanks to the presence of some art museums, the district is also increasingly becoming an important cultural center.
It can be easily reached by metro, getting off at Roppongi stop (H04 Hibiya Line - Tokyo Metro or E23 Oedo Line-Toei) - Get directions.
Combined visit: with a single ticket you can access the Roppongi Hills observatory deck and the Mori Art Museum. Info and costs here.
11 - Golden Gai
It is located in Kabuki-cho, the Shinjuku district that never sleeps. It is an area characterized by alleys with about 200 tiny bars able to accommodate very few people: from 5 to maximum 10 customers each. Here you can breathe areally friendly atmosphere and making friends with the few customers present is practically automatic.
The specialty of the Golden Gai locals are yakitori, small skewers of meat (usually chicken). In the past this place has been famous since it was very popular with artists, musicians, actors and directors. Very impressive in the evening when obviously all the clubs are crowded and the alleys are illuminated by lanterns.
I can not enter: be careful because in some places foreign tourists are not welcome and it is reported immediately at the entrance.
- in East Shinjuku, 5-10 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit) - Get directions
- each place has its own opening hours, generally from 18:00 pm to 19:00 pm until the next morning. The area is always open 24 hours a day
12 - National Museum
Located within Ueno Park, the Tokyo National Museum offers the richest collection of Japanese art in the world. There are memorabilia concerning the history of the nation: from the Jomon period to the Edo period.
There are present ceramics, masks and paintings. Also part of the museum complex are the Japanese gallery, the Asian gallery, the treasure gallery of the Hōryū-ji temple, a research center, a garden and various restaurants and shops. It is about an obligatory stop to get to know Japanese culture better, under each side.
This museum has changed its name several times over the course of its history. First Imperial Museum, then Tokyo Imperial House Museum, today it is simply called TMN. In 1923 this building was also heavily damaged during the earthquake which caused at least 100 victims in Japan.
- We can easily walk to the museum in just over 10 minutes on foot from Ueno (JR and Tokyo Metoro) and Uguisudani (JR) stations - Get Directions
- 9.30-17.00. Until 20.00 on the weekend. Closed on Mondays and New Year's Day
- 520 yen / € 4,20 (permanent exhibition), 1.500 yen / € 12,00 (temporary exhibitions)
13 - Ginza
Ginza is the "classy" district of Tokyo, where there are mainly high fashion shops with futuristic architecture, excellent and expensive restaurants, shops of all the biggest fashion houses in the world, such as Chanel, Dior, Hermes and many others. There are also numerous shopping centers. In conclusion, the place to indulge in luxury shopping. For an exclusive experience, we recommend opting for a guided tour of the neighborhood, for discover Ginza through the eyes of a local.
During the weekend the main road is closed to traffic and becomes a pedestrian area, in order to facilitate visits and shopping for residents and tourists. Nearby we can admire the Clock Tower (Wako).
The reference station is Ginza station, accessible directly from almost all the main places, the Ginza line (to be taken for example if you come from Shibuya), the Maranouchi line (if you come from Shinjuku or Tokyo station) and the Hibiya line ( if you're coming from Roppongi) - Get directions.
A success story: the history of the Seiko company begins in the Ginza district when Kintaro Hattori in 1881, at the age of 22, opened a watch sales and repair shop. Shortly thereafter, a company was born that today is one of the most important in the world of watches. A success inherent in the name itself; Seiko, in Japanese, in fact means "success".
14 - Tokyo Tower
Used for telecommunications, and with a design reminiscent of the famous Parisian Eiffel Tower, this tower is the symbol of Tokyo. From the terrace at the top of the tower you can enjoy a extraordinary 360 ° panoramic view over the city. The evening visit is particularly recommended, especially towards sunset. Online ticket is recommended to avoid queues at the entrance.
Inside are the FootTown, a four-story shop located at the base, and two observation platforms, the first positioned at a height of 150 meters and the second at 250 meters. Nearby, the Roppongi district, within which Roppongi Hills is located, a sort of mini-city within Tokyo.
Don't miss the summer event: from 1 June to 31 August do not miss the "Milky Way Illumination" event, the 600 steps of the external ramps are illuminated with an intense blue light and the ceiling studded with a luminous trail of stars, just like the Milky Way.
- get off at Kamiyacho station with Tokyo Metro and follow the signs. Alternatively, if you are in Roppongi or nearby, just look at where the property is - Get directions
- every day 9: 00-23: 00
- observatory at 150 m 900,00 Yen (€ 7,20) / observatory at 250 m 2.800,00 Yen (€ 22,50).
15 - Odaiba
Artificial island located in the Tokyo bay area, it was built during the Japanese speculative bubble. Here everything was built to be pleasant and innovative and in fact it is the perfect area to relax and enjoy.
The district was born towards the end of the Edo period (1868) under the Tokugawa shogunate and involved the construction of 11 small islands. Of these, only 6 were built.
The main activities to practice here are shopping, walking around the various areas, admiring the splendid view (especially at sunset) of the Rainbow Bridge, main element of the Tokyo skyline. For a panoramic and generic view, and very relaxing, you can join one of the many cruises.
The island is easily accessible by the Yurikamome elevated railway line, which takes you from Shimbashi Station to Daiba Station. Trains depart within minutes of each other and travel time is approximately 15 minutes - Get directions.
Selfie with Gundam: the super robot is the symbol of Odaiba. In front of the mall is the life-size statue, more than 20 meters high, built in metal. Impressive. The current version is the Gundam Unicorn, which has replaced the more traditional version of the Gundam Mobile Suite. The robot also undergoes transformations that last about 1 minute 4 times a day (11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00), and in the evening, from 19:00 to 21:30 every half hour, c 'is a performance with Gundam themed animations, projections and music!
16 - Tokyo Disneyland
One of the major city and national attractions! Tokyo Disneyland is an amusement park located along the city coast, south-east of Tokyo, just outside the outer ring of the subway, in Urayasu. The Tokyo park respects the structure of the California Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom of Florida.
A sort of "city within the city", where you can spend a whole day among 39 attractions and numerous dining, shopping and relaxation points. The whole divided and organized into 7 thematic areas: World Bazaar, Fantasyland, ToonTow, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Westernland and Critter Country. The natural continuation of Tokyo Disneyland is Tokyo DisneySea, another park that boasts 27 attractions with aquatic and river environments.
Watch out for the lines: if possible, it is better to avoid weekends, holidays and the height of summer, as they are the busiest periods.
- on a peninsula just outside the city, it can be easily reached by public transport. The stop that takes visitors to the main entrance to the parks area is called Maihama Station; JR Keiyo and JR Musashino Lines trains stop there, both included in the Japan Rail Pass - Get directions
- variable according to the season and particular events. Opening between 8: 30/9: 00, closing between 18:30 and 22:00. Consult the official website
- full day ticket 8.200,00 Yen (€ 65,00), reduced 6.900,00 Yen (€ 54,60), children 4.900,00 Yen (€ 38,80). Possibility of multi-day tickets, Fastpasses and annual passes, consult the official website
17 - Kanda
Off the beaten track is Kanda, a residential neighborhood located between Tokyo Station and Ueno. Academic center of the capital, here there are historical universities and a good number of temples and sanctuaries of great importance. Don't miss the Kanda-Myojin Shrine, where every year, on New Year's Eve, those who lead their own businesses go on pilgrimage to ask for a prosperous year. Instead, students go to the Confucius Mausoleum to ask for good grades in exams and buy votive pencils.
It is also very interesting to walk through characteristic and thematic streets: via Ochanomizu where there are musical instrument shops and Jimbocho full of bookstores and cafes. For fans, a visit to Origami Kaikan is interesting. Also recommended for gourmets; in fact, in this district there are more than 30 restaurants specializing in curry, a specialty for which a party is even dedicated in November.
The neighborhood is located between Tokyo Station and Ueno. The nearest station is Kanda, served by JR Yamanote, Keihin-Tohoku, Chuo, Tokyo Metro Ginza lines - Get Directions.
Taste the soba too: not far from Kanda station there are some of the most famous soba restaurants in the city, such as Kanda Yabusoba and Kanda Matsuya, which offer simple fresh soba dishes. Soba is a dish of buckwheat noodles, usually in broth.
18 - Kinuta Park
Less famous, and therefore quieter for admiring the cherry blossom, Kinuta Park in Setagaya it hosts over 900 cherry trees of different varieties!
But cherry trees aren't the park's only attraction. In addition to the numerous plant species that offer ever-changing landscapes based on the blooms that change with the changing of the seasons, the Bird Observatory is also very coveted, an area where 12 to 13 types of wild birds fly such as calgamo and kosagi, which can be admired without disturbing the observation window. While the most fearless can venture onto the suspension bridge that crosses the Tanito River! Still in the Setagaya neighborhood, cat lovers they must visit the Gotoku-Ji, an ancient Buddhist temple known for the hosts of maneki-neko: the classic figure of the cat with a raised paw.
It is a 20-minute walk from the Tokyu Denentoshi "Yoga" line or get off at the Tokyu Coach Bus stop (for the museum) "Museum" Tokyu Bus stop (for Rural Chofu) "Ki Park Ryokuchi Iriguchi" Odakyu Line "Narujo Gakuenmae" - Get directions.
Get to know the king of Japanese cherry trees: the king of all Japanese cherry trees is a real giant, his name is Jindai Zakura and he is a young boy, he is "only" 2 thousand years old! Its trunk reaches a circumference of 13,5 meters, but unfortunately it is located 100 km from Tokyo, at the Jissou Temple, in Yamanashi prefecture.
19 - Sumida
Residential district east of the center, little frequented by tourists who prefer the more central areas of Tokyo. And it's a real shame, because really interesting attractions are concentrated in this district.
On the right bank of the Sumida River is the Sumida Park, a large public green area, one of the most popular hanami destinations. History buffs cannot miss a visit to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, with meticulous reconstructions that allow you to understand how the city was before the devastation of the war (600,00 Yen / € 6,70). And for lovers of the genre, here is also the Hokusai Museum, dedicated to one of the greatest exponents of ukiyo -e who was born and lived in this neighborhood. And it's not over yet, because Sumida is the centerpiece of another well-known symbol of Japan. Here is the Ryogoku Kokugikan, the most important place in the world of sumo. In January, May and September it hosts the Honbasho, the great tournament.
It is located near Asajusa, the neighborhood is easily reached on foot. For those coming from Shinjuku, the Chuo-Sobu Line is useful; from Ueno you can reach Asakusa with the Ginza Line and then continue on foot - Get directions.
Discover the Sumo philosophy: Sumida is synonymous with sumo, and not just a sport but above all a philosophy. Currently there are few Heya (sumo schools) and these manage to support themselves thanks to the huge donations of private sponsors. Heya are considered small communities where professional and novice wrestlers with up to 30 athletes live and train. At the head of the school is the teacher. You can try a Sumo experience with a morning training session at a Tokyo stable. Info and prices here.
20 - Azabu Juban
A short distance from Roppongi is the Azabu Juban district, known for its elegant clubs and shops. Despite being in a fairly central area, this district has maintained the allure of the past. It is about a very expensive residential area, inhabited by numerous diplomats because there is a conspicuous presence of embassies here.
Here, the last weekend of August, the Azabu -Juban Noryo Matsuri is held, a street-food market with typical food from every corner of Japan. Also in Azabu Juban is the Arisugawa-no-Miya Memorial Park modeled around a hill; nearby the Tokyo Metropolitan Library which boasts a collection of over 2 million volumes and valuable historical documents.
A curiosity? It's Sailor Moon's hometown, and tons of episodes were shot right here!
The reference station is Azabu-juban served by the Tokyo Metro Namboku, Toei Oedo lines - Get directions
Other attractions to visit
The most important and well-known attractions are concentrated in very specific areas; but Tokyo is huge, and if you have more days to spare or it's not your "first time" in the capital, then you can explore "secondary" areas. We present them to you.
You can also go shopping in less touristy areas: in the chic and quiet Daikanyama, where you can stroll among designer boutiques and elegant cafes, and the romantic and vintage Naka-Meguro, among independent shops and cafes overlooking the Meguro river flanked by numerous cherry trees. Generally not included in the classic tourist itineraries, Bunkyo is a district that nevertheless offers a wide variety of places of interest. Among these, the Yushima Seido temple dedicated to Confucius and the Yushima Tenjin Shrine, linked to kami, protector of letters and studies. A short distance from the latter is the Kodokan, historic Judo headquarters, refined martial art. The Kamata district is instead very lively and has numerous izakaya (a sort of typical Japanese restaurant-pub). Kamata-Tokyu-Eki-mae-Dori-Kai is particularly well known.
Also worthy of mention is the Koishikawa Koraku-En, ancient garden dating back to the Edo period whose composition focuses on three ponds around which famous landscapes of China and Japan are recreated. Also from the Edo period, the Rikugi-en, a garden once reserved for feudal lords (300,00 yen / € 2,40).
Nakano is the unmissable destination for fans of anime, manga and collecting. Among the many famous shops is the Mandarake chain which sells everything an otaku can excite.
The Nezu Museum is also very characteristic, created by the will of an entrepreneur passionate about art and a fervent follower of the Via del Tè, here I am numerous Japanese and oriental art objects are exhibited from pre-modern times and a rich collection of Chinese bronzes and utensils related to the tea ceremony (1.000,00 yen / € 8,00).
13 things to do in Tokyo/ 13
- Take a hike to Mount Fuji: Visit the Hakone area and sacred Mount Fuji, discover the Ninja at Oshino Village, and visit Lake Kawaguchi in the Fuji Five Lakes area. Info, itinerary and prices here.
- Visit the Shinjuku Samurai Museum: you will be able to immerse yourself in the authentic spirit of warriors, discover their history, secrets and the incredible collection of swords and armor. Info and prices here.
- River cruise: don't miss a cruise on the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay from Asakusa to Odaiba, to admire the city skyline from another perspective, even better if at sunset.
- Selfie with Hachiko: taking a selfie with the Hachiko statue is a must! The dog became famous for its great fidelity, and even a film was made about its history.
- Go-cart around town like Supermario Bros: a memorable experience, complete with themed clothes! You will travel through the most iconic areas of the city like a video game character! Info and prices here.
- Fun at the Kawaii Monster Cafe: one of the most popular clubs in Tokyo, and also one of the strangest. The interior is so colorful and with so many lights that it is almost psychedelic, with special features, such as the carousel with teddy bear candies or the jellyfish bar. Info and online ticket here.
- Break in a Neko Cafe: the famous Neko Cafè (or Cat Cafè) are the places to have a drink in the company of cats to cuddle, and they were born in Tokyo. If you want to try something more extreme, then go to an Owl Cafe, where instead of cats you will find owls! Info and prices here.
- Lunch in an Izakaya: it is a typical place that represents a cross between a pub, a bar and a restaurant. Ideal for mingling with the locals and indulging in from a simple drink to a full meal.
- Break at a Maid Cafe: drink a coffee and be treated like a king in a Maid Cafè. Here a pretty maid, aka the maid, is dressed in Victorian-French style.
- Manga from Mandarake: this is the largest distributor of manga and anime in the world! A must if you are passionate, but also for the simple curious.
- Ramen in Tokyo Ramen Street: it is a street much loved by the Japanese themselves, because here there are places that serve the best ramen in the whole city! If you want to taste this traditional dish then come here.
- Meeting with a geisha: enter a modern ochaya, exclusive places located in a hanamachi (neighborhood of geisha) which can only be accessed by invitation. Here the geishas entertain guests with songs, dances, games and conversations. Info and prices here.
- Sushi course: Take classes in an informal setting, where an expert Japanese chef will teach you step by step the secrets of preparing 8-9 different types of sushi! Info and prices here.
Plan your stay in Tokyo: flights and hotels
They leave Italy direct flights from Rome and Milan with Alitalia, but many companies operate the route with 1 stop. The duration of the flight varies from about 13 hours with direct flight to over 30 with stopovers. Difficult to find flights below € 400,00 (compare flights).
To reach the center from the airport you can use a convenient Shuttle Transfer.
It is a destination that can be visited all year round, but it certainly gives its best in spring and autumn for cherry blossom and autumn foliage.
Tokyo is truly a huge city. For a first approach, a tour with a local guide is highly recommended, to identify the landmarks, acclimatize to the chaos of the city and ask a local guide for useful advice. Alternatively, there is the evergreen tourist bus.
Since there is no real center, any neighborhood can be good for sleeping. However, the optimal choice falls on the Shinjuku district: the most representative of the city and also very well connected with the rest of Tokyo (compare the accommodations on Booking.com - from € 45,00).
To get around, metro and trains are essential, punctual and very efficient. Once you reach a specific area you can explore it on foot or by bicycle.
Tokyo is a metropolis in constant ferment, a city that never sleeps. For your crazy nights you can choose between: Shinjuku, where the most famous clubs and nightclubs are concentrated; Shibuya, an area with many shops open 24 hours a day and many discos; Koenji, one of the most popular neighborhoods for vintage fashion and alternative music; or Shimokitazawa, a melting pot of streets all dedicated to entertainment including restaurants, clubs, karaoke, cafes and vintage-style shops.
If instead, you have children in tow, plan a visit to the Tokyo Toy Museum in your program, a stop at KidZania, the city suitable for children, and another at Sanrio Puroland, a paradise for Hello Kitty fans. And again, dive into a world of balls at Kodomo no Yu. The older ones will have a lot of fun between anime and manga (almost everywhere) but especially in Takeshita Street and Akhiabara.
Tokyo it is not necessarily an expensive city, with the right attention you can in fact save money, for example by opting for delicious street food instead of restaurants.
Buy the pocket wifi router to connect to the internet: for a good internet connection on your mobile phone, useful for using Google Maps and all the apps without problems, we recommend the Unlimited Pocket Wi-Fi Router Rental, a portable and unlimited Wi-Fi router, complete with charger and USB cable, which will allow you to have access to the internet at any time.
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