Tokyo: Every traveler dreams of making the best out of one’s travels. You want to come back feeling better – rejuvenated, satisfied and fulfilled; these are after all why you travel. This is why the choice of destination is always an important factor when having a good overall experience is a goal. With TripAdvisor® announcing the results of its annual Cities Survey for 2014, you can now decide on your next tourist city destination.
According to these results, “Tokyo comes in as the #1 city for overall experience. It also claimed top spots for helpfulness of locals, taxi service, local public transportation, and cleanliness of streets.”
There is so much to visit and experience in Tokyo. The real challenge is deciding on your itinerary. It really makes sense to join organized tours so you’ll be spared the tough job of making your own. For backpackers and those traveling on a tight budget, do research, learn about your options, discover useful resources, and plan well.
Top Tokyo Attractions
If this will be your first and last time to go to Japan, don’t miss the top attractions of the city. GoJapanGo offers a list of Tokyo Ten Tokyo Attractions:
- Edo Tokyo Museum: a museum of the history of Tokyo in Sumida . The main features of the permanent exhibitions are the life-size replica of the Nihonbashi…
- Harajuku: Harajuku is a significant fashion and shopping district, but it also includes Tokyo’s most popular shine, Meiji Jingu Shrine and one of the most signficant parks in Tokyo, Yoyogi Park…
- Koishikawa Korakuen Garden: is a beautiful historic Japanese garden close to Tokyo University, who now owns the park, in the Bunkyo ward…
- Meiji Jingu Shrine: is one of Tokyo’s most popular shines. Meiji Jingu Shrine is in the middle of large evergreen forest of 120,000 trees which is surprising given it is in Harajuku…
- Sensoji Temple: is an ancient Buddhist temple also known as Asakusa Temple. Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest, and one of its most significant, temples…
The list also includes:
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – a large, beautiful garden containing Japanese as well as French and English gardens;
- Tokyo Disneyland – Disney’s popular theme park in Japan that has been running since 1983;
- Tokyo Imperial Palace – the home of the Japanese Emperor that’s bordered by a moat and a high wall;
- Tokyo National Museum – the most renowned museum in Japan housing fine Japanese artifacts; and
- Tokyo Tower – Tokyo’s 333-meter Eiffel Tower, a Japanese iconic structure with public observation deck and cafe.
Tokyo’s Beautiful Seasons, Shrines and Temples
Tokyo’s cherry blossoms; if you love gardens and nature, come in the last week of March through mid-April when these are fully in bloom. While the entire country is looking wonderful at this time of the year and hundreds of gardens are open to visit, Tokyo’s Yoshino in Nara Prefecture is undoubtedly the best. Equally worth your time are Kitanomaru Park and Tokyo’s Imperial Palace East Gardens both located in central area.
Just before leaves start to fall, these turn into the hues of bright orange and red making the season spectacular. Like its cherry blossoms, the entire country is stunningly gorgeous at different times of the year, but in Tokyo this happens mid-November. There are numerous gardens to visit such as Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Rikugien Garden and of course the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
Tokyo has its own share of amazing Shinto shrines, and Buddhist temples. Many of these have been razed by fire during World War II, but there remain some fine examples such as the Meiji Jingu Shrine in the center of Harajuku District of Shibuya Ward.
Fashion and Shopping
Having citizens who love fashion and shopping, Tokyo boasts of being among the best shopping hub and fashion capital of the world. When you are just here for a few days, you want to maximize your time by spending enough time doing it in the best possible places, here are some tips for you:
- Ritzy shoppers looking for upscale and international signature brands can head to Ginza and Omotesando in the Harajuku District of Shibuya. Ginza is the home of the biggest brands in the city and Omotesando, though smaller in scale, is also filled with boutiques carrying international labels.
- Ginza will not also fail you if you are looking for department stores loaded with a wide assortment of great stuff. Shibuya also makes a great destination for eager shoppers with its large number of department stores.
- Shibuya is also known for its trendy fashion for the young fashionistas. The place is also like a huge ramp where most young Japanese come and strut in the latest fashion wear; Those into fashion will love to sit down here to watch people come and go.
- Shibuya 109 Building orichimaruky? is a shopping centre intended for teens. It is the home for kogal subculture identified with mini skirt, platform boots, chic accessories, colorful hair, heavy makeup, and artificial suntans.
- Takeshita-dori epitomizes the avant-garde of fashion in the city where all the latest in trends in Japanese street fashion is alive. The place is frequented by young Tokyoites, a spot worth seeing if you are into fashion.
- 100 Yen shop is a 5-story building that’s a shopping haven for those watching their budget. It is chock full of goods that are no more than 100 yen. In general, the qualities of the goods are surprisingly very good.
Nights in Tokyo are unlike anywhere else in the world with its geishas, karaokes, clubs and bars, restaurants, and hostess bars. No matter your interest, you’ll find something definitely for you. Head to Ginza, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Shibuya, known to be the liveliest nightlife districts in Tokyo; each has its own kind of ambiance.
- Ginza: This swanky district also features exclusive establishments and fine dining places, upscale host and hostess bars, chic clubs, and bars and night clubs.
- Shinjuku: The most prominent red light district, Kabikicho lies northeast of Shinjuku Station, with its hundreds of entertainment establishments from “for adults only” sort of entertainment to exclusive and upscale clubs, restaurants and bars.
- Roppongi: This is the prime destination for tourists being the most accessible district with great nightlife. Although usually safe be careful with unscrupulous dealings such as ridiculous hidden fees, fights and spiked drinks.
- Shibuy: commands a younger local audience, who patronize the numerous nightclubs, bars, dance lounges and restaurants that it has to offer. Shibuya is also home to the Love Hotel Hill with a high concentration of love hotels. Shibuya is somewhat less seedy and more easily accessible to foreign tourists without Japanese language knowledge than Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district.
What is Tokyo without food?
Eating is heavily indulged as a night activity. Tokyo is a food haven with its dining establishments ranging from modest family restaurants to old-fashioned izakaya and high-class restaurants. Authentic and traditional Izakaya can be found in Asakusa. For swanky towering buildings with restaurants in the top floors, Shiodome, Shinjuku and the Tokyo Station district are great places to visit. If you are out to have some unique good and great overall experience try the restaurant under the train tracks of the JR Yamanote Line or Shin in Shibuya.