The world’s most populous metropolis with over 9.2 million people in this bustling city. This busy capital mixes modern and traditional from skyscrapers to traditional temples. Tokyo has all the best history of Japanese culture and yet allows you to enjoy modern luxuries like eating Michelin-starred food, sleeping in a 5-star hotel, or traipsing through over one thousand year old temples. Tokyo has is all and I’m sharing the best of the best for your next visit to Tokyo.
1. Visit Tokyo’s oldest temple, Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji
Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji, was completed in 645. The temple grounds are expansive and you could spend an entire day truly experiencing all Sensō-ji has to offer. There are over 30 million visitors to the temple annually so make sure to get there early (before 8 AM) in order to enjoy it without the masses of people that circulate daily. Especially if you’re looking for those perfect Instagram pics.
2. Take a gamble at the famous Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya Crossing or “Shibuya Scramble” is possibly one of the most famous and iconic intersections in the world. It is also rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world with over 3,000 people walking through the intersection each day. It is a great place to grab a coffee and people watch. There is a Starbucks at the front of the crossing where you can purchase a coffee and watch the thousands of pedestrians make the mad dash across the street.
3. Go to Tokyo DisneySea
If you have time to do both Toyko Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, go for it! We only had time for one park and since I grew up in California and had been to the original Disneyland more than 30 times over the years, we decided to spend the day at DisneySea which was so much fun! It is so different than any other Disney park I’ve been to (which includes Disney World in Florida). There are seven themed “ports of call” at DisneySea. The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbor, which opens up to six more nautically themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island. DisneySea is definitely worth a visit!
4. Walk one of Tokyo’s most interesting streets, Harajuku Street
Harajuku Street is known for it’s wacky shops selling colorful and crazy clothes and accessories. Most of this is driven by the unique teenage culture in the area. There is some fun people watching to do and food to try. be sure to taste the rainbow flavored ice cream!
5. Eat conveyor belt sushi
If you didn’t eat conveyor belt sushi when you were in Tokyo, did you even go? Eat conveyor belt sushi in Japan is an absolute MUST during your time in Tokyo. You can pick which sushi you want as the conveyor goes around and if you’re looking for something special, you can certainly order right from the sushi chef’s. I am a tuna fanatic so I ordered three different variations of tuna (from fatty to barely no fat). Our favorite spot to grab sushi this way was Himawari Sushi Shintoshin in the Zhongzheng district. It’s open daily from 10AM – 11PM and is amazing but be sure to bring cash because they are cash only and will not accept credit cards.
Himawari Sushi Shintoshin
1 Chome-15-3 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
Tokyo is also home to a number of beautiful parks that are a great way to stretch the legs and get in a nice workout. Anything you do in Japan is going to be a fun experience. One thing that didn’t make it to our top 5 but is definitely work a mention is to take the bullet train to Kyoto. It was such a fun experience to enjoy a quick 2-hour ride on such a modern and fast train.
Tokyo definitely surprised me and I would love to go back and explore more into the nature side of Japan like Mount Fuji. Tokyo is an super clean city with friendly people, amazing food and ultramodern conveniences. The metro and train system is so easy to use and a great mode of transportation throughout the country.
Tokyo is a great introduction to Japan and it’s many offerings. If you’ve been to Tokyo and have other recommendations of things to do or see, please let me know in the comments below!