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Yebisu Garden Place in Shibuya Ward | © 淳平 筈井/Flickr
Yebisu Garden Place in Shibuya Ward | © 淳平 筈井/Flickr

Best Things to See and Do in Tokyo

Picture of Alicia Joy
Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 24 April 2017

Tokyo is a city where there is always something going on and always something to see. We’ve narrowed down the top 10 things to see and do so you can make the most of your time here.

Tsukiji

Tokyo is famous for its fresh, quality sushi, and the best place to get your hands on some is Tsukiji Fish Market. You don’t have to wake up early to enjoy the cheap and delicious eats found here, but earlier is still better: many sushi restaurants here do open up with the market and can sell out fast.

Asakusa and Senso-ji

The well worn historic neighborhood of Asakusa and Senso-ji are a must on every traveler’s list, because there’s nothing else quite like it in Tokyo. This ancient temple and its iconic red lantern, along with the Nakamise shopping street set up along the approach, will take you back to old Japan.

Harajuku, Omotesando and Aoyama

The stylish districts Harajuku, Omotesando and Aoyama can be explored in a single day. Harajuku and the famous Takeshita-dori are the place to go for offbeat fashions and knickknacks. Admire the stunning architecture and shop high end brands in Omotesando, and then finish up in the art galleries and cafes of cultured Aoyama.

Tokyo Skytree

Spend an evening at the pride of the Tokyo skyline, the Skytree and the Skytree Town (Soramachi) at its base. Get lost among the boutiques or make your way to the observation decks for an unrivaled view of the city. In the summer months, outdoor dining is at its best – reclining chairs are set up so visitors can view the tower with a cocktail or two.

日本〒131-0045 Tokyo, Sumida, Oshiage, 1 Chome−1−2

Naka-Meguro and Daikanyama

The Meguro River lends Naka-Meguro a special charm. Here, you’ll find cool cafes, restaurants and the odd boutique selling goods for the modern flower child. Its classier neighbor Daikanyama is popular with locals. It’s an upscale neighborhood characterized by winding lanes, one of a kind specialty shops and really great dining.

Akihabara Fandom

Tokyo’s Electric Town still wows visitors with the sheer volume of anime, manga and gaming paraphernalia available. You can find anything you need to complete your collection, from DVDs, detailed figurines and costumes to magazines, manga and an endless supply of knickknacks – badges, phone traps, clothes and more. This is also the place to go to check out Tokyo’s quirky maid cafes.

Yanaka Ginza Shitamachi

Historically, the shitamachi (low city) was a place where the less affluent worked and lived. Today, there are few places left in Tokyo where you can experience the old world, and Yanaka Ginza shopping district is one of them. The staircase here is famous among locals, and has been featured on TV and in movies.

Ryogoku Sumo

Ryogoku is the capital of sumo culture in Tokyo. Take in a match at the Ryogoku Kokugikan or learn the history of the sport at the Sumo Museum. The district is also home to a large number of little known historical landmarks and sumo stables, some of which might let you watch the early morning practices for free.

Ueno Park Museums

You can easily spend an entire day at Ueno, Tokyo’s largest park. It’s here you’ll find the Tokyo National Museum, the city’s most famous art museum, along with the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the underrated Shitamachi Museum, among others. Spend an afternoon museum hopping and finish up with a picnic in the park.

Shibuya Nightlife

The nightlife in Shibuya is unrivaled, and visitors are spoiled for choice. You can choose to spend an evening sipping cocktails thirty floors up or rocking out at an underground DJ bar. Or share a pint with the locals at the Showa Era bars by the tracks or before checking out the local clubs and live houses.