My Must-See Places In Tokyo

I’d finally made it back to Japan and it was freakin’ cold there in February! I thought it would take me a while to come back since the tsunami struck. Although I only had a few days to prepare, this was an opportunity I wouldn’t miss. Japan is as beautiful as my first trip, both Tokyo and Osaka. This is a list of places / areas / attractions that have left an impression and those that I enjoyed visiting in Tokyo during those 2 trips.

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Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea


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I grew up going to Disneylands and these two didn’t escape my radar. A half day isn’t enough for one Disney park and people usually have a hard time choosing between Tokyo Disneyland and Disneysea. I’ve written a separate post about the “Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea Debate” that could help you decide if you only have to choose one, along with the Disney Resort details and how to get there.

Tokyo Tower

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The Tokyo Tower (and the N Seoul Tower) is probably the closest I can get to the sight and feel of the Eiffel Tower. The designer actually drew inspiration from the Eiffel Tower (320 meters). When it was completed in 1958, it stood taller at 333 meters and became “the tallest self-supporting steel tower in the world”. It is a popular Tokyo icon where you can see Mt. Fuji and Tokyo at 360 degrees from a distance. Click here for Tokyo Tower Information and how to get there.

Asakusa


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This area is famous for Tokyo’s oldest temple – the Senso-ji Temple, and its Thunder Gate. Admission is free and you are more than welcome to offer a prayer like the many people who come here. Click here for Senso-jiTemple Information and how to get there. Walk to the south of the temple and you’ll find the Nakamise Street. This street has rows of small stores selling souvenirs and Japanese snacks. One of the interesting streets in Asakusa is the Kappabashi Shopping Street (Kappabashi-dori – Kitchen Town). Restaurateurs come here to buy all kinds of kitchen stuff including those (very believable) plastic display food. Click here for more interestingplaces in Asakusa and how to get there.

Harajuku

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If I have the chance to come back, I would spend more than half a day in Harajuku and I would go there on a weekend. Takeshita Street (Takeshita-dori – Ladies’ Street) is great for shopping and the whole area is ideal for walking and people watching (I just love the Japanese fashion sense, you can be anyone you want to be). You’ll see girls all dressed up and all dolled up, guys with their hats, people in costumes and even guys dressed up in girl’s clothes. (Trivia: our Osaka guide told us how to tell that the young girls (who haven’t graduated middle school yet) from the older ones – look at their virgin hair, the hair of those in school hasn’t been dyed to a different color yet). There are also high-end fashion houses along Omotesando Hills where it is less crowded. If it wasn’t that cold, I would have loved to go to the nearby Yoyogi Park and walk the trails all the way to the Meiji Shrine. Click here for more interestingplaces in Harajuku and how to get there.

Akihabara


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If you are a techie, an anime fan, a Manga fan, a toy fan or a gamer, then the Akihabara area is the place for you. This is the land of Maid Cafes, Sega buildings, pachinko slots, gaming centers and gadgets. I met Darth Vader at LAOX. My friends bought second-hand Nintendos here for a very cheap price (3000 yen for 5 working units). Click here for more interesting placesin Akihabara and how to get there.

Shinjuku

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Various shopping malls and electronic malls can be found in the Shinjuku area. Our guide took the girls of our group to the Subnade, an underground shopping mall, to escape the cold while the guys were on their way to see the Kabuchiko, Tokyo’s red light district (we learned later that they couldn’t take in the February cold either and turned back haha). I would have gone with them to see the people in costume and eat at one of the small restaurants in the alleys of Shinjuku. Click here for more interestingplaces in Shinjuku and how to get there.

Ikebukuro


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We lived at the Sunshine City Prince Hotel in the Ikebukuro area in my recent trip. I believe it deserves to be in this list of places to revisit. I like it better than Akihabara because I can also find electronic goods and malls here and there are streets that are for pedestrians only. It has an added indoor amusement park and an aquarium, which was just behind our hotel and which we missed. Click here for my review of the Sunshine City Prince Hotel and how to get there. Clickhere for other interesting places in Ikebukuro.

Shibuya

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Shibuya is the last place I visited for this trip. I went to see a famous crossing and I was awed by the sight of so many people waiting. When the light turned green, people from all directions crossed the street in this busy intersection. I don’t know where all the people come from and where they are going and I could just watch them for a long time. I heard that there’s a Starbucks spot in a building nearby where you can do this. I missed the Hachiko Statue by the Shibuya Station, Tokyu Hands (which sells ballpens with erasable ink), Center Gai and the Spain Slope. Click here for more interestingplaces in Shibuya and how to get there.

Places I Missed
I missed watching a sumo wrestling fight, participating in a tea ceremony, going to the Tsukuji market, going to the Tokyo Anime Center, riding other heart-stopping roller coasters in a Japanese theme park, having a Japanese bath (sento), getting myself all dolled up and eating my heart out in the Ramen Museum. Sigh* Obviously, 3 days in Tokyo is not enough hahaha. These, I can definitely do on my own next time =)

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I thank AirAsia X for flying me to Tokyo and our gracious guide for the bits of information you provided. It has sparked my interest to know more about Tokyo and to appreciate every single glimpse of these six areas I visited during this trip. It has also brought back memories from my first Tokyo trip, which made me include Tokyo Disneysea and Tokyo Tower in the list. I hope this list finds its way through the internet and spark the curiosity and desire of millions of people to revisit Japan. It’s still as beautiful as before.

Tell me below: 
Where would you like to go in Tokyo? What are your must-see places in Tokyo and why? What are your must-do things in Tokyo and why? Can you name some other interesting places or things to do in Tokyo that are not in this list and haven't been suggested yet by other people below?

54 comments:

  1. Ginza District.. my friend told me this.. she lives in japan now. in you will enjoy Ginza District you love having a night life and Shopping of course :)

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  2. wala po ko ma sususgest kasi wala po ko alam sa tokyo
    di pa po ko nakaka punta doon :)

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  3. Toneri Park! My sister had been there once and she recommend it as well as I recommend it! Haha :)

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  4. try the Pachinko parlors in Tokyo :D

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  5. I wanna visit temples in Japan. It reminds me of Asianovelas. Heek!

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  6. If I have a chance to go to tokyo, I want to visit Tokyo Disneyland beacuse I've never been there. kekekeke

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  7. never been to any place in japan, but very informative though :)

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  8. I havent been to Japan yet so i honestly wouldnt know any cool places to see, but you pretty much got it all covered, go where the road leads you to. :)

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  9. Koishikawa Korakuen (Landscape garden next to Tokyo Dome.)

    I've never been to Japan and I don't know anyone from Japan, I just googled it, I think this place is nice... :)

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  10. I think Gion district of Kyoto is cool to visit when you go to Japan!! where in You can take photographs of the geisha's & experience their culture! !:D

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  11. You might as well check these cool places out:
    1. Imperial Palace.Enclosed by walls and moats, the Imperial Palace keeps much of its imposing charms to itself. The 5km jogging path around the palace gives as good excuse as any for a closer look at what’s inside.
    2. Sumo Museum. The answers to all your sumo-related questions lie in the museum’s display of costumes, ceremonial aprons (kesho-mawashi), and referees’ lacquered paddles
    3. Rainbow Bridge. There is lovely bridge over Tokyo Bay. At night, it features light shows that change every so often. It will take you from Shibaura Wharf to Odaiba’s wonderful restaurants
    4. and Toshogu Shrine. There’s a golden treasure and over 50 huge lanterns at this shrine. The main building itself is decorated with gold in 1651 and is now listed as a National Treasure. The lanterns are made of stone.

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  12. Try to go to Odaiba Island. It is the home to The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and Maritime Science Museum. It also has the replica of the Statue of Liberty and rainbow bridge. Try also the Joypolis - a virtual reality arcade. Also visit Palette Town, a shopping and amusement complex including one of the world's largest ferris wheels.

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  13. I think Gion district of Kyoto is cool to visit when you go to Japan!! where in You can take photographs of the geisha's & experience their culture! !:D

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  14. The new tokyo sky tree. Sanrio Puro Land. http://www.japan-guide.com/community/linkmd/report-757 Tokyo Game Show

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  15. Awesome place Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of Japan's oldest shrines. Founded in the 3rd century before the introduction of Buddhism, it displays a unique style of shrine architecture, called Sumiyoshi-zukuri, that is free of influence from the Asian mainland. Only two other shrine architecture styles are also considered purely Japanese: Shinmei-zukuri as seen at the Ise Shrines and Taisha-zukuri as seen at Izumo Taisha. :))

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  16. Culinary travel in Tokyo:

    A lot of people wouldn't touch 'street food' in Asia, but in super-clean Japan you have nothing to worry about. Especially good are the early-morning eateries of Tsukiji Fish Market, where you can breakfast on fresh-off-the-boat sashimi and premium sake, and the 'Yakatori Alley' beneath the old brick railroad arches near the Ginza district."

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  17. I did a research about Japan's great places. And it makes me so fond of reading and looking at all their beautiful places. One of those places that spotted my eyes and wishing that I could visit someday was Ueno Park located at Tokyo, Japan and which is among the country's first public parks. The park is a home to a number of museums and has some 8,800 trees! And what I really loved about it is the cherry blossoms they have on the park!

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  18. I haven't been to Japan but this is what I found interesting - The Railway Museum (Saitama City). It's a historical museum about the development of the railway system in Japan. Very informative place to go.

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  19. ' I suggest you go to Disneyland and wear a lot of costumes like Mickey, Donald, etc. It will be a wonderful experience for you. It's like goin back to your younger years

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  20. According to my research, the Tokyo Studio Ghibli Museum should not be missed when in Tokyo. :)

    Thank you!

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  21. Never been to Japan, but my tita lives there. If you're into shopping, go to Shinjuku - One of Tokyo's largest shopping and entertainment districts and Akihabara, all electonic gadgets' there! ;)

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  22. never been to any place in Japan,but if I have a chance to go ill go to tokyo tower, this place is interesting for me

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  23. I love Japan ever since I've known Sailormoon, Astroboy etc. And if i'm given the chance to visit Japan, would definitely say YES! : ) So, going back to the research thing, and since i love anime and stuffs, the place that i would loved for you to visit (also me...hehehe) is Mandarake Nakano! one of the popular area for anime/manga fans. Along Nakano Broadway shopping street, there are many shops sell manga/anime items (my dreamworld). they say its a 5 minute walk from JR Nakano Station.

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  24. never been there but i love to go to tokyo tower, maybe you can visit other tower there:)

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  25. If you wanna drink the night away, you may go to Shimbashi and check out the outdoor yakitori stands. The place has a lot of tiny restaurants jammed under the Yamanote line train tracks.

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  26. never been there but maybe somedays ...

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  27. If you are a nature lover, Try the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, famous for its beautiful trees and landscape. There are also cherry blossom trees.

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  28. Sumiyoshi Taisha on osaki, It is said to be the most historic in Japan. That bears a unique style of architecture that has made it a national treasure.

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  29. The Blade Runner Alley
    It is a place that nobody’s walking around, and you can hear just the noise of the train passing on the railroad. It’s a hidden place, and entering in this narrow alley is like entering another dimension..

    just saw it from the net, I think it is a must to go here to getaway from the noise of the busy tokyo. To take a video or to capture moments

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  30. Visiting Japan's most famous gardens, Happo-en and Chinzanso. I read that it has nice tea ceremony..

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  31. Meiji Shrine and Asakusa Shrine i read that both are beautiful and popular also Roppongi Hills, a massive skyscraper!

    i've heard of the Tokyo Sky View 360 view of the city and the Mori Art Museum And Shibuya.

    The most famous tour company in Tokyo is Hato-Bus.

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  32. I suggest you go to shrines - Meiji Shrine is located in a green forest. You can hardly believe you’re in the busy center of the city. Its an active Shinto temple so traditional Shinto weddings are an everyday scene.

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  33. In Japan, people with tattoos aren't allowed to enter water parks, public bath, some restaurants and stores. They think that if a person has a tattoo, he's some kind of a gangster or a bad guy. They have this ideology that a tattooed person is as bad as those criminals and gangsters with tattooed bodies in their country.

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  34. Ueno - has a fantastic street market selling everything from food, to shoes, golfclubs and retro gear!!! You do see the poor around the lake there... but it is another side of tokyo to check out.

    source: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298184-i861-k335738-Top_10_best_places_to_go_in_tokyo_in_4_days-Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

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  35. Try riding in Tempozan Ferris Wheel, of course during night time, you can see and enjoy the view of Osaka Bay arena and beautiful bright lights! :)

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  36. For me, the bestest places to go there is the places wherein TV programs got to shoot their lineup. Even with Animes. That is my dream :)


    But for the popular places to visit, Their Markets, Ameyoko and Tsukiji are good ones.

    For siteseeing Roppongi is the best according to some source, and if you wanna amaze yourselve from odern architecture, Marunouchi is the place to be.

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  37. Uhm, Bessho Onsen.. Small hot spring town with beautiful temples... :))

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  38. I'd like to experience riding the earthquake simulator in Bosaikan and know about surviving the city's seismic whims! Yay! I wanna feel the earth move! :)

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  39. id like to visit in The Imperial Palace but sad to say it was not open for the public ..i'd like to visit Hakone the national park in japan

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  40. my ever reliable niece whose staying there for a long time said that she strongly suggest KYOTO! as per advice....there are a lot of old temples and you can see old Japanese cultures...:)

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  41. I haven't been in Tokyo, Japan but if given the chance I would love to visit the famous museum there like the Tokyo National Museum, Mori Art museum, and the other temples such as Sensoji Temple.

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  42. I would definitly try Ueno it has a fantastic street market selling everything from food, to shoes, golfclubs and retro gear

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  43. Last time I was in Japan was 15 years ago. There are a lot of new attractions today but Hiroshima and Kyoto will still be worth seeing.

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  44. Sumo Museum according to my HS friend. The place is very big and has many good finds as well. :)

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  45. I've never been to Japan but I really love to go there, as in. The first on my list actually, but the VISA is such a tedious task according to my friends. Of course the popular Cherry blossom in April is something that everyone wants to see including me. I also love to go to their amusement and theme parks especially their hardcore rides at Fuji Q Highland. But based on my research, the things that are interesting to do and visit in Japan are the ones that really speaks of their culture and I recommend the Sumo, catch some real action at Ryogoku Kokugikan Tokyo's National Sumo Hall and of course the Tsukiji Fish Market, we all know how big of a deal fishes are in Japan. :)

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  46. Never been to Japan..You have it all covered.I will then bookmark this post because Japan is on my list.

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  47. Have not been to Japan but seen some feature in the TV that some of Japan railway (underground have some shopping mall which is also connected to other building

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  48. Have not been to Japan but if I have a chance I will like to try their bullet train if it's really that fast

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  49. Okay. This is number one on my Must GO travels list. I would start off in Asia, since it is very near and definitely worth Visiting. Almost all of the other countries are too mainstream that you want to visit there, but all I find is Culture and Atmosphere of a certain country. Try to go to Ebisu Garden Place ( Hana yori dango fans out there) Really nice view there. ♥ A plus on the streets of Tokyo, where you find exotic foods and bunch of ramen houses.

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  50. I would love to try walking with the crowd in Japan and have my picture taken by a friend from a high pov just for the heck of it. . I heard that Japan is one of the most populated cities in the world. So playing " Wheres Waldo" in the middle of Japan would be lovely too. Haha!

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  51. Never been in Japan but if time allows (in God's will and plan) I'll visit the places you've visited and (i search some) these places, too.
    1. Sensoji Temple
    Sensoji is Tokyo's oldest (and most visited) temple. It's also the site of Tokyo's biggest festival: the Sanja Matsuri.
    2. Odaiba
    Take the Yurikamome Monorail to Odaiba to check out some great views of Tokyo Bay. Odaiba is a large artificial island that features entertainment, restaurants and shopping complexes. Attractions include Fuji Television Building (one of Japan's most popular TV stations), a huge Gundam and a smallish replica of the statue of liberty. It is a popular spot for young Tokyo couples to go on a date. ( I love anime and Gundam hahah)
    3. Electronics Shopping in Akihabara
    Akihabara is otaku paradise. It's the best place in Tokyo to find electronics, anime and manga. It's possible to find obscure items in Akihabara such as robot parts. ( wanna buy a miniature/robot of Samurai X. The only anime that caught my aloof heart hahaha)

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  52. If you are a Hello Kitty fan like me:) I think, you must also visit Sanrio Puroland. It is located 40 minutes from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo on the Keio Line. The theme park is a short walk from Tama Center Station. :)

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  53. A friend of mine suggested Tokyo Sea Life Park would be a nice place to visit in Tokyo. Another would be The Ghibli Museum which is the animation and art museum of Miyazaki Hayao's Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios.

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Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)