Tokyo is both the capital of Japan and one of the 47 prefectures of this country. It is the most populous city in the world and is the seat of both the government and the Emperor of Japan. This diverse and exciting city is a huge attraction to tourists and many people also visit Tokyo on business. If you are planning your first visit to the city, it is best to plan your itinerary in advance as there are so many things to see and do that you may struggle to fit them all into your stay. Here are ten of the best things to try and include in your first-time visit to Tokyo.
1. Stay in a Top Hotel
Your choice of accommodation is a significant aspect of your stay in this wonderful city and there are many hotels from which you can choose. To make your stay special, you should opt for one of the top restaurants and the best of these is the five-star Hoshinoya Tokyo. This is a hot spring hotel with sophisticated rooms and a restaurant that serves both Japanese and French cuisines.
2. Eat the Japanese Cuisine
The cuisine of Japan is unique and the focus is very much on the use of fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients. Many of the dishes are rice or noodle-based and fish is the highlight on many menus.
3. Climb the Towers
Panoramic city views of Tokyo’s skyline are truly unique and the best way to view these is by climbing one of the city’s towers to enjoy spectacular views across the city. One such tower is the Tokyo Skytree. This is the tallest free-standing broadcasting tower in the world and has an observation deck. Another is Tokyo Tower, which is a smaller replica of the Eiffel Tower and has an observation tower along with several tourist attractions within the tower.
4. Visit the Temples
During any visit to Tokyo, you should try to learn more about the Japanese culture and religion is an important element of this. The temples are beautiful and very interesting to visit. The oldest temple in Tokyo is Sensō-Ji, so this should be your first port of call. Another to try to visit is the Buddhist temple Zōjō-Ji.
5. Go to the Museums
Despite the majority of Tokyo being urbanized and very modern in appearance, this city has a long and interesting history. The best places to learn about the history, the culture, and the daily lives of the Japanese is in the city’s many museums. Each of these features a different aspect of Japanese history, art, or natures. Some of the top museums are Ghibli Museum, Edo Castle, Tokyo National Museum, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Mori Art Museum, and National Museum of Nature and Science.
6. Have Fun at Tokyo Disneyland
One of the top attractions in Tokyo is Tokyo Disneyland. This is a vast attraction with an assortment of parks and attractions on a large plot. If possible, set aside two days as it is impossible to fit everything into a one-day visit at this humongous attraction. It is famous for its costumed characters, its themed areas, its thrilling rides, and its live shows.
7. Spend the Day at Ueno Zoo
Ueno Zoo is a great place to visit, especially if you are with children. It is the oldest zoo in Japan and has over 2,600 animals from more than 400 species, including pandas. This 19th-century attraction also has a petting area and a five-story pagoda.
8. Shop Until You Drop
Tokyo offers diverse shopping experiences in various locations throughout the city. There are high-end boutiques and large malls with discounted brand products. There are also quirky markets where you can purchase handcrafted goods and foo markets, including the famous fish markets which feature exciting auctions.
9. Enjoy the Nightlife
While most of the attractions are things to enjoy during the day, Tokyo comes alive at night and you can have plenty of fun. After enjoying an evening meal in one of the city’s many outstanding restaurants, you can enjoy the bars, taverns, and nightclubs. There are also many venues that feature live entertainment for you to enjoy.
10. Go to Odaiba
During the 1850s, the Japanese built a large artificial island called Odaiba which was intended for defensive purposes. It is reached by Rainbow Bridge, which is also a famous landmark. The island now features an interesting science museum and a large amusement park.