Our modern society is based on a minimalist trend which has integrated in all the aspects of our life. In most places of the world, modernism has a way of dispersing traditions. However, this is not the case of Tokyo which is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. This is one of the few places in the world where technology is constantly evolving without taking traditions out of the way. All tourists that come to Tokyo are fascinated by the numerous museums, mesmerizing modern architecture, breathtaking religious sites and much more. There are countless places to visit in Tokyo and each one has a unique beauty.
Sensōji Temple is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo. It is the largest ancient Buddhist temple in the world. Sensōji is a temple dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy. According to a local legend, in the year 628, a statue of the goddess was fished out of Sumida River. The brothers who found it put it back in the river, but through a miraculous chain of events, it kept coming back to them. The temple was built nearby in order to honor the goddess. This temple can make for a great visiting experience as it gives the travelers a chance to dive into the Buddhist religion. Furthermore, there’s a great shopping street from the temple’s outer gate until its second gate. The street is over 200 meters long and it is packed with souvenirs shops and kiosks with traditional street food. Aside from Sensōji Temple, there are many more religious sites to visit in Tokyo such as Meiji Jingū, a shrine dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken. You might also enjoy visiting the Yasukuni Shrine dedicated to the soldiers who died on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, or the Zojoji Temple located next to Tokyo Tower. One of he most interesting things to see at the Zojoji Temple is the Unborn Children Garden which features numerous statues that represent unborn children. The statues are decorated with baby clothes and many people believe that they help the unborn children move on to the afterlife.
As all metropolitan cities, Tokyo has plenty of shopping districts which will satisfy even the most pretentious shopaholics. If you are looking for souvenirs and symbolic gifts for your loved ones, you should stop by Namakise. This is the oldest shopping center in Tokyo and one of the oldest in Japan. Aside from the souvenir shops, this center is also packed with local snack venues. If you want to indulge in a high fashion shopping experience, you should head to The Ginza shopping center. However, if you want to have a little fun while shopping, you should go to the Shibuya 109 shopping center in the Shibuya region. This place is considered to be the Mecca of chic and for fashion victims, it is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo. While shopping here, you will have the opportunity to observe the most sophisticated Japaneses women. You will be surrounded by colorful outfits featuring lace, ruffles and ribbons. Simplicity is uncommon in the Japanese fashion concept and if you visit this shopping center, you will know why. Even if you wouldn’t normally dress like the women who shop here, you can’t help but be mesmerized by them.
The Tokyo Tower is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo. It is the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower and it works both as an observation tower as well as a communication tower. Visitors can climb to the main observatory (150 m high) or the special observatory (250 m high). Both observatories offer a unique panorama of the city which is why this is a must-see attraction. The imperial palace and the east garden are also important landmarks that should be visited by tourists. The Palace is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. Unfortunately the palace buildings are only open to the public on special occasions such as the New Year’s Greeting and the Emperor’s birthday. However, the gardens are always opened and they make for a great visiting experience. The Tokyo city hall is another main Tokyo attraction. This impressive building is 243 m tall and it is ranked as the 7th tallest building in Japan. You should know that not all Tokyo landmarks are impressive from a visual point of view. Some have a symbolic meaning which is far more important. This leads us to the next item on our landmark agenda: the Hachikō Statue. If you are not familiar with the Hachiko Story, you should watch the movie before visiting the statue. However, you should prepare a few packs of tissues as you will be doing a lot of crying while watching this movie. This statue brings homage to one of the most beloved dogs in the world whose story taught us the meaning of loyalty.
Places to visit with children
One of the things that defines the Japanese culture is a jovial and childish attitude towards life. Therefore, you should not be surprised by the fact that Tokyo features a lot of great children friendly attractions. If you are visiting Tokyo with your children, you should definitely take them at Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySEA. Tokyo Disneyland was opened in ’83 and it was the first Disney theme park to be built outside the U.S. Furthermore, Tokyo DisneySea is the fourth most visited theme park in the world. It features 7 adventurous areas: Mermaid Lagoon, Mystery Island, Mediterranean Harbor, Lost River Delta, Arabian Coast, American Waterfront and Port Discovery. If you are traveling with little girls, you might want to stop by the Sanrio Puroland which is the home of the world famous Hello Kitty. Furthermore, if you want your children’s vacation to be unforgettable, you should also consider a trip to the Pokémon Center. However, be prepared to spend some money as this store is packed with countless Pokémon goods. You might also want to stop by the Ueno Zoo where you will be able to observe unusual animals such as the Japanese macaques or the wild cormorants. Last but not least, Kidzania is a great children center where kids can take part in fun and educational activities.
Whether you want to enjoy a great show or party until the dawn, Tokyo is full of options. For example, Roppongi is a very famous nightlife district which features numerous night clubs, restaurants and bars. If you don’t feel like partying, you might want to view a traditional kabuki drama show. The best place for such an experience is the Kabuki-za Theater in Ginza.
The Japanesse people are well known for their exuberance. Therefore, if you want to have the full Tokyo experience, you should go to certain key points in the city. For example, you should visit the Yoyogi Park. During the weekend, this park is packed with young people who generally engage is seemingly weird activities. However, the great thing about this park is that everybody feels free to be themselves. Another great place for people watching is the Shibuya Crossing which is probably the most crowded place in all of Tokyo.
The Green Outdoors
Generally, Tokyo is a very crowded and loud city. This is why it may seem impossible to find some secluded areas where you can enjoy some peace and quiet. Fortunately, Tokyo has numerous parks and gardens which are perfect for a quiet and lazy afternoon. Furthermore, some are characterized by a unique beauty. For example, the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery is one of the best places to visit in Tokyo at the end of March or at the beginning of April. This time of the year is the sakura season. otherwise known as the cherry blossom which is best observed in this park. Another beautiful garden that you should stop by while visiting Tokyo is the Shinjuku Gyoen Garden. This garden is very well taken care of and it is even nice to visit during the winter.
As we mentioned above, Tokyo is a very exuberant city. When visiting it, you will have the possibility to enjoy some truly unique traveling experiences. For example, if you want to laugh until you cry, you should make a reservation as the Robot Restaurant. This place has a unique design and it features an amazing and extremely funny robot show. If you want to watch a live sumo battle, you should visit the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium. Furthermore, in order to truly breath in the Japaneses culture, you should stop by a Manga Shop. You don’t have to be a fan of this art form in order to have a great time at a Manga Shop. On the contrary, you will have the opportunity to see just how much influence this art form has on the Japaneses culture. In fact, one might even say that Tokyo is a manga world.
Museums and galleries
As all cities of the world, Tokyo has a lot of cultural attractions where tourists can admire historical artifacts or impressive art works. For example, at the Edo-Tokyo Museum you can admire numerous dioramas, artifact and models which take you on a journey through Japan’s history. The National Science museum is modern approach on the old fashioned museums. This particular museum has a lot of educational activities for children of all ages. If you want to admire unique displays of modern art, you should stop by the Mori Art Museum. These are but a few of the many cultural places to visit in Tokyo. It would probably take several months to explore everything that this city has to offer. However, we hope that you will find this guide useful and that it will help you have a great vacation in Tokyo.