Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Must-Do Things in Tokyo, Japan

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5 Must-Do Things in Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is packed with attractions that can keep any visitor captivated for days or weeks on end. Renowned for its vibrant energy, diverse cuisine and stunning nightscape, the sprawling metropolis is a sprawling urban landscape that can be quite overwhelming for even the most seasoned traveller. From world-class museums and breathtaking gardens to wild themed cafes and busy districts filled with neon signs, there is an abundance of things to see and experiences to be had.

For the first-time visitor, we have rounded up five of the most essential experiences on offer, from the traditional to the ultramodern. From tasting ancient recipes in local restaurants to traversing the heights of Tokyo Skytree, no trip to the Japanese capital is complete without visiting these must-do attractions.

1. Explore Harajuku and Shibuya

One of Tokyo’s trendiest districts, Harajuku – and it’s neighbor, Shibuya – are both abuzz with life and offer visitors the chance to experience Japan’s vibrant youth culture. Stop by the famous Takeshita-dori street and be surrounded by some of the most colorful boutiques and the latest Japanese fashion trends. Young Japanese and foreign visitors alike flock to this lively district in search of the newest styles and thrifting opportunities.

Meanwhile, Shibuya is known for being home to one of the world’s busiest pedestrian crosswalks, aptly named the Scramble Crossing. From there, explore the charming local shopping alleys before checking out the Shibuya 109, a shopping mecca for fashionistas in the region.

2. Enjoy Sushi in the World’s Largest Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market is the world’s largest seafood industry and a must-visit for any foodie. Witness the lively hustle and bustle of the market, then stop by one of its world-famous sushi restaurants for a unique and memorable dining experience. Sample a variety of fresh ingredients like yellowtail, sea eel and salmon roe accompanied by warm rice, all washed down with a Japanese beer or tea.

For those who are not a fan of raw fish, worry not – the market also features many dishes made with cooked seafood. It is a great spot to grab an early breakfast or a hearty lunch packed with the freshest seafood Japan has to offer. Just be sure to get there early – the market closes around 2 PM and may be closed on Sundays and public holidays.

3. Visit Tokyo Skytree

No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to the iconic Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest free-standing tower. Standing at a staggering 634 meters tall, the Skytree offers visitors a breathtaking view of the city from its two observation decks. A restaurant and cafe on the lower floor offer a chance to take in the view while enjoying some exquisite Japanese dishes.

The complex also includes a shopping mall with over 300 stores, an aquarium and an indoor ice-skating rink. Whether you prefer to shop, observe or simply stand in awe, a visit to the Skytree will surely make for an unforgettable experience.

4. Discover Ancient Tokyo

For a taste of Tokyo’s history and culture, visit Asakusa and explore the Asakusa Kannon Temple, or Sensoji as it is known locally. This sprawling temple is Tokyo’s oldest, dating back to 628 AD, and hosts many cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The nearby Nakamise Street is lined with traditional shops and souvenir stores which make for a great spot for souvenir browsing and purchasing.

Afterward, wander around the old-fashioned streets of the area, such as Kaminarimon Street and Hanayashiki Street, which are brimming with traditional Japanese eateries and shops selling handcrafted goods and noodles.

5. Experience a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

Most travelers have a memorable experience of trying a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The Cha-no-yu ceremony is held in a tatami room and involves the preparation and serving of a bowl of matcha green tea with traditional Japanese sweets. It is also a great way to learn more about Japanese tea culture and gain insight into the ritualistic aspect of Japan and its customs.

Tea ceremonies are typically hosted at various restaurants or tea houses on the outskirts of the city, and many tours offer the opportunity to either join an existing ceremony or inquire about organizing a private session.

A visit to Tokyo is an experience like no other: the hustling and bustling of the capital city is both exciting and awe-inspiring. With these five essential experiences, visitors can be sure to tick off the must-dos in Tokyo and leave feeling satisfied, having experienced the best of the city.

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