Tokyo Travel: 10 Things Every Tourist Should Try

Tokyo Travel: 10 Things Every Tourist Should Try

Tokyo is one of the most exotic cities in the world. With so much to see and do, we've narrowed things down to a short itinerary of 10 things to try!

Tokyo is one of the cities with the most entertainment possibilities in the world. The city is a unique combination between old and new, quiet and loud, tradition and technology. There are so many captivating things to experience that you can get easily confused. Here's a list of 10 things to keep you on track when traveling in Tokyo.

1. Stroll in a Japanese garden

Peacefulness lovers will be happy to find out that they can enjoy a quiet atmosphere even in the middle of this huge metropolis. There are several Japanese style gardens in Tokyo with traditional items like stone lanterns, maple trees and koi ponds. The views are especially spectacular during spring and autumn.

Rikugien Garden

Location: 6-16-3 Hon-komagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0021
Access:
From Komagome Station (JR/Tokyo Metro Namboku Line): a 7 minute walk
From Sengoku Station (Toei Mita Line): a 7 minute walk
Admission fee: 300 yen
Phone number: 03-3941-2222


Hama Rikyu Garden

Location: 1-1, Hama Rikyu-teien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0046
Access:
From Shiodome Station (Toei-Oedo Line): a 7 minute walk
From Shimbashi Station (JR/ Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Toei Asakusa Line): a 10 minute walk
Admission fee: 300 yen
Phone number: 03-3541-0200


Koishikawa Korakuen

Location: 1-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0004
Access:
From Iidabashi Station (Toei-Oedo Line) exit: a 2 minute walk
From Iidabashi Station (JR Sobu Line) exit: a 8 minute walk
From Iidabashi Station (Tokyo Metro Tozai Line/Yuraku-cho Line/Namboku Line) exit: a 8 minute walk
Admission fee: 300 yen
Phone number: 03-3811-3015


Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

Location: 1-4-1 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0022
Access:
From Hamamatsucho Station (JR Line): a 1 minute walk
From Daimon Station (Toei Asakusa Line/Oedo Line): a 5 minute walk
Takeshiba Station (Yurikamome Line): a 10 minute walk
Admission fee: 150 yen
Phone number: 03-3434-4029

2. Visit a pet café

Pet cafes are extremely popular in Tokyo. In a city where homes are very small, not many people have the option of keeping pets of their own. Pet cafes fulfill a need, letting customers relax next to their favorite animals. There are a variety of animal themed cafes, where you can interact with cats, dogs, or even owls and penguins! Some of the best are on our list below!

Hapineko

Animal type: cats
Location: Shibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 2-28-3, Dogenzaka Kratos building 3rd floor
Access: a 6 minute walk from Shibuya Station, Hachiko exit
Fee: 1000 yen for 30 minutes
Hours: 11:00 ~ 22.00
Phone number: 03-3770-1328


Deco’s Dog Café

Animal type: dogs
Location: Ota-ku, Denenchofu 2-62-1
Access: just outside Denenchofu Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line/ Tokyu Meguro Line)
Fee: from 300 yen, depending on what you order
Hours:
From Monday to Friday: 10:30-19:30
Weekends and holidays: 10:00-20:00
Phone number: 03-3722-5033


Usagi Cafe Ohisama

Animal type: rabbits
Location: Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-18-5, second floor
Access: a 4 minute walk from Shimokitazawa Station (Odakyu Odawara Line/Keio Inokashira Line)
Fee: 1000 yen for 30 minutes
Hours: 12:00~20:00
Phone number: 03-3410-5299


Tori no Iru Café

Animal type: various types of birds, with an emphasis on owls
Location: 135-0042, Koto-ku, Kiba 2-6-7, Sebunsuta Mansyon 105
Access: a 2 minute walk from Kiba Station (Metro Tozai Line)
Fee: entering the birds room is an extra 500 yen, in addition to what you order
Hours:
Weekdays: 13:00~20:00 (closed on Wednesday)
Weekends: 11:00 ~20:00
Phone number: 03-5908-8865


Sakuragaoka Café

Animal type: goats
Location: Shibuya-ku, Sakuragaoka-cho 23-3, Shinoda building 1st floor
Access: a 5 minute walk from Shibuya Station
Fee: from 550 yen, depending on what you order
Hours:
Morning 8:30〜11:30
Dinner 17:30~23:00
Midnight 23:00~04:00
Phone number: 03-5728-3242


Penguin Bar Ikebukuro

Animal type: penguins
Location: 2-38-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, COSMY1 1st Floor
Access: a 7 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station
Fee: 800 yen
Hours: 18:00-4:00
Phone number: 03-5927-1310

3. See Tokyo from above

Seeing Tokyo from above is an experience nobody should miss. While the view is excellent even during daytime, the nights are absolutely breathtaking. Thousands of brightly lit buildings, endless streets crowded with cars, and landmarks throughout the the panoramic whole scene. Check out this list of the top observation decks in Tokyo!

Tokyo Sky Tree
Location: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida 131-0045
Access: just outside Oshiage Skytree Station (Keisei Oshiage Line/Tobu Skytree Line /Toei Asakusa Line/Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line)
Hours: 8:00 to 22:00
Fee: 2060 yen (first observatory), 3090 yen (both observatories)
Official website: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/


Tokyo Tower
Location: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakōen, Minato 105-0011
Access: a 15 minute walk from Hamamatsucho Station (JR Lines)
Hours: 9:00 to 23:00 (entry until 22:30)
Fee: 900 yen (main observatory), 1600 yen (both observatories)
Official website: http://www.tokyotower.co.jp/eng/


Bunkyo Civic Center
Location: 1-16-21 Kasuga, Bunkyo 112-8555
Access: just outside Korakuen Station (Marunouchi Line/ Tokyo Metro Namboku Line)
Hours: 9:00 to 20:30
Free entrance
Official website: http://www.city.bunkyo.lg.jp/


Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Location: 2-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku 163-8001
Access: a 11 minute walk from Shinjuku Station
Hours:
North Deck: 9:30 to 23:00
South Deck: 9:30 to 17:30
Free entrance
Official website: http://www.yokoso.metro.tokyo.jp/


Tokyo World Trade Center
Location: 2 Chome-4-1 Hamamatsuchō, Minato 105-0013
Access: just outside Hamamtsucho Station (JR Lines)
Hours: 10:00 to 20:30
Fee: 620 yen
Official website: https://www.wtcbldg.co.jp/wtcb/facility/seaside/

Here’s a personal recommendation. While you might be dying to go up the famous Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree, you might want to choose one of the other observation decks. The most beautiful sights are those that include Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower. Seeing the two lightened towers rising above the city is just unique.

4. Explore Akihabara

Akihabara is a shopping district famous for video games, anime, manga and computer goods. The streets are literally packed with otaku (computer nerd) goods. From anime character printed pillows to boob-shaped mouse pads, this a place where you can see just about anything. Even if you’re not an anime fan, Akihabara is still worth checking out. Visit one of the many maid cafes found throughout the district. In these cafes, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants and treat customers as masters or mistresses while acting as 'kawaii' as possible. Cute foods are served, such as omelet rice with heart shapes and pink colored cakes. Maid cafes were originally designed for anime obsessed males, but today the phenomenon attracts also couples, tourists, and women alike.

Another attraction in Akihabara is the Capsule Toy Hall. This big shop is packed with hundreds of capsule toys vending machines, dispensing anime character toys and keychain trinkets like adorable little cat shaped donuts. The perfect souvenirs—and cheap!

Capsule Toy Hall location: 3-15-5 Soto Kanda, MN Bldg
Access: a 7 minute walk from Akihabara Station (JR Lines/ Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
Prices: 200-300 yen per capsule toy

5. Attend a tuna auction at Tsukiji Market

Tsukiji is a well-known fish market that attracts thousands of visitors everyday. The market has almost every imaginable type of sea creatures for sale. Merchants arrive long before sunrise to secure the day’s best catch. The main highlight of the morning is the tuna auction, but you will have to get there early as only 120 visitors are allowed see the auction everyday. Applications start at 5 a.m. and are managed on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can't be made in advance. Most tourists who want to apply arrive at the market before 4 a.m. Visitors are divided up into two groups of 60 according to their order of arrival. The first group visits the tuna auction area from 5:25 to 5:50 a.m., while the second group visits the area from 5:50 to 06:15 a.m.

Location: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji , Chuo104-0045
Access: a 5 minute walk from Tsukiji Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line) or a 7 minute walk from Tsukijishijo Station (Toei Ōedo Line).\
Closed days: Sundays, national holidays and some Wednesdays ( check out this link for the calendar http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/calendar/2015.html )
Free admission

6. Relax on Odaiba beach

On oasis of solitude in the middle of a busy metropolis, this man made beach is the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon. Although swimming is forbidden, it’s a perfect place to take a nice walk. It should be added that the views after sunset are absolutely spectacular. The illuminated Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower surrounded by thousands of skyscrapers are quite a sight.

Location: 1-6-1 Daiba, Minato
Access: a 10 minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station (Rinkai Line)

7. Discover Harajuku fashion

Harajuku has become world famous as the center of street fashion in Japan. Come here to experience some of the most unconventional fashion you will ever see. Hundreds of trendy teens come to Harajuku everyday to show off their fashion sense. Besides observing all kinds of quirky costumes, you can shop at one of the many stores on Takeshita Dori, a street packed with the latest fashions.

Location: 6 Chome Jingumae ,Shibuya 150-0001
Acesss: just outside Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line)

8. Have fun at Tokyo Disneyland

Who doesn’t dream of going to Disneyland? Fun and exciting rides, interesting shops, magical atmosphere, Tokyo Disneyland offers you all this and much more. The park features seven lands:

World Bazaar – The shopping area, packed with restaurants and various shops.
Tomorrowland – Focuses on technology and outer space.
Toontown – A land dedicated to kids, with rides related to Disney characters.
Fantasyland – A part of the park that has the classic animated films by Disney.
Critter Country – Home to characters from the Disney film, "Song of the South."
Westernland - A wild west themed area.
Adventureland – A land with ”adventurous” attractions.

Location: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031
Access: just outside Maihama Station (Keio Line/Musashino Line)
Hours: Hours vary, but typically from 9:00 to 22:00
Admission fee: 6900 yen for a 1-Day Passport, but there are many other types of tickets.
English website: http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/tdl/

My personal recommendation is Space Mountain, a dark roller coaster that takes you to outer space. Travelling at high speeds through thousands of dazzling stars is one of the best experiences at the park.

9. Enjoy a meal on the water

Every evening in the summertime, Tokyo Bay is filled with many small colorful boats called “yakatabune,” which serve food and drinks. Besides delicious meals, you can enjoy the view of Tokyo Sky Tree, Asakusa, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Odaiba island and the rest of the Tokyo Skyline. Passengers sit at low Japanese tables on cushions placed over tatami floors where they are served traditional Japanese meals. The tours usually last 2 or 3 hours. Advanced booking is always necessary and a booking has to be made for at least two persons. The prices start from 5000 yen for lunch and 7000 yen for dinner. You can book seats through one of the following companies:

Yakatabune Tokyo Association
Phone number: 03-5825-5526
English website: http://www.yakatabune-kumiai.jp/en/guide/

Yakatabune Hamashin
Phone number: 045-781-7377
English website: http://www.hamashin.co.jp/english/index.html

Fukagawa Fujimi
Phone number: 03-3641-0507
English website: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g579100/lang/en/

10. Climb Mount Takao

About 50 kilometers from the center of Tokyo stands Mount Takao, a convenient location which lets visitors enjoy nature in a single day trip. On clear days, Mount Fuji is visible from the top of the mountain. You can get to the top by cable car, funicular, or on foot using one of the many hiking trails. Other attractions include a beautiful temple and a monkey park.

The mountain is also a good spot for cherry blossom viewing. The Itchodaira area, also known as Takaosan Senbonzakura (Thousand Cherry Trees of Mount Takao) is a place filled with cherry trees. Itchodaira can be reached by an additional 30-minute walk from the summit.

Location: Takaomachi, Hachioji
Access: a 5 minute walk from Takaosanguchi Station (Keiō Takao Line)
Cable car and funicular fees: One-Way : 480 Yen, Round-Trip : 930 Yen (50% off for children)

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