Tokyo Travel Guide — Where to go in Tokyo
Tokyo is always on people’s list as a top travel destination. Tourists from Asia to Europe come visit Tokyo to get their fill of culture, fashion, tech, and food. In fact, you might even find it difficult to narrow down your list of things to do. Here’s our list of places to see on your trip, as well as some recommendations for where to stay.
Tokyo: an Overview
The Tokyo prefecture is located right at the center of Japan. The Greater Tokyo area consists of six major cities. But out of all of them, Live Japan reports that Tokyo was ranked as last year’s metropolitan city with the highest population density in the world. At present, there are over 38 million people living across the area.
Tokyo is the country’s capital city, with a population of a little over 13 million. The city has also become one of the cultural capitals of the world, offering some of the best in entertainment and dining that you can find in Asia (and even the world).
Traveling to Tokyo
Most, if not all, major airlines offer flights to Tokyo. There are two airports in Tokyo: most international flights land at Narita International Airport, while domestic flights usually land at Haneda International Airport. While Haneda is closer to Tokyo, there are trains, buses, and taxis that shuttle people to and from both airports with ease.
Tokyo Travel Guide – Where to Go and What to See
A trip to Tokyo isn’t complete without passing by the Shibuya Crossing. This crossing is the busiest intersection of the world, with the Culture Trip estimating about 2,500 people crossing it on the daily. Lots of Hollywood movies have featured the Shibuya Crossing, but what it’s most known for is perhaps its association with the legendary dog, Hachiko. It’s in the nearby Shibuya station where Hachiko dutifully waited for his owner to come back, where a statue of the beloved canine now sits.
The Meiji-Jingu shrine was erected in 1920 and has built up a reputation as Japan’s most visited shrine. You won’t feel like you’re in the middle of bustling Harajuku when you visit this shrine, as it’s surrounded by a forest of over 100,000 trees. The grounds feature wide paths and a tranquil setting, making it the perfect location for those who need a breather. Visitors are also encouraged to respectfully engage in prayer alongside locals. Just make sure to cleanse your hands and mouth beforehand.
Yayoi Kusama Museum
This is one of the few museums you’d need to book advance tickets for, but the effort is worth it. As the name suggests, this museum is home to Yayoi Kusama’s works and includes her famous mirrored “Infinity Room”. Located near Kusama’s Shinjuku studio, the museum accepts a maximum of only 200 visitors a day. Entrance grants you a 90-minute guided tour of the space, with permanent works featured alongside special exhibitions that rotate twice a year.
Boasting a height of 634 meters, the Tokyo Skytree takes center stage as the tallest tower in the world. This may come off as a surprise to some, as it’s typically New York City that’s associated with skyscrapers aplenty. In fact, Yoreevo claims that 13,500 buildings over six stories high were built in NYC between 2010 and 2015 alone. But, despite NYC having one of the highest concentration of skyscrapers in an area, the tallest building can actually be found on the other side of the world — the Tokyo Skytree.
Japanese cuisine is diverse and delicious, with lots of dishes just waiting to be sampled. The Tsukiji Market is the largest fish market in the world, making it a no-brainer for those who love sushi. However, you should feel free to skip the crowds and go for something else. There are restaurants and stalls scattered all over the market, with offerings ranging from ramen to tempura meals. You can also find lots of street snacks like rice balls and fish cakes in case you need a snack before your next meal.
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Many regard Tokyo as the most futuristic city in the world, with technological innovations coming up almost every day. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is the best place to see all these innovations close up. Here, you’ll find interactive exhibits that explore how these innovations will affect our environment, social interactions, and more. Asimo, Honda’s ‘robotic humanoid,’ also provides daily shows every 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
Tokyo is a great family destination, and Tokyo DisneySea solidifies this reputation. While there are Disneyland parks all over the world, there’s only one DisneySea. The park’s themes are ocean-inspired, with seven “ports of call.” Disneysea doesn’t have the same nostalgic factor that Disneyland has, but it makes up for it in almost every other aspect. The rides, stores, and shows are all of the excellent quality, and some argue that even the staffers are the best out of all Disney parks.
Where to stay in Tokyo
There are lots of accommodations in Tokyo for virtually any budget. Proper planning is always the first step, so here are some suggestions for places to stay. Comparing hotel prices is a good practice to find luxury to budget-friendly hotels.
Shinjuku is a vibrant neighborhood, which makes this hotel situated at a prime location. This also makes it a great option for people who want comfortable lodgings but who won’t be staying indoors for too long.
This boutique hotel caters to those traveling for both business and pleasure. Its thoughtful decor and minimalist details make it seem like the Granbell is a luxury hotel, which makes its affordable pricing that much more unbelievable.
OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka
Hoshino Resorts offers up OMO5 for modern travelers. The interiors are reminiscent of Japanese style scaffolding, and the geometric interiors are painted in light blues and greens for a breezy and open feel.
Hotel Niwa — 3 stars
Where OMO5 is all about modernity, Niwa focuses on homey comforts. The Japanese-style architecture is striking and pleasing to the eye, there’s a mini garden inside the premises, and the rooms are all awash in natural light.
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