I made list of attractions in Tokyo which I m sure are must visit. This twelve attractions are the Tokyo's classic sights. They must visit because they reflect history and Tokyo's people lifestyle: from Imperial palace and temples to parks and entreatment districts. Japan success lays in brining past and present together.
Whatever you look in a city, Tokyo has it on spade, from beautiful gardens to theme parks, and fine art galleries to the biggest fish market in the world. And this is my list of must visit first of all in Tokyo:
The following Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi park and Nezu Museum are very close to each other. So you can make your own working tour!
1 Meiji Shrine
It is a memorial to the Meiji emperor and his wife Empress Dowager Shoken. During their reign Japan was transformed from medieval to a modern state. After their demise, people wished to commemorate their virtues and to venerate them forever. So they donated 100,000 trees from all over Japan and from overseas, and they worked voluntarily to create this forest. Thus, thanks to the sincere heart of the people, this shrine was established on November 1, 1920. The path is distinguished by the O-torii (entrance), the Great Torii. This 12-meter tall torii, with a top beam 16.8 meters long, is the largest torii in Japan and created from 1700 years old tree. Meiji Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000 square-meters. Its extremely relaxing, peaceful, and quiet. You might be lucky and see wedding procession in traditional costume while we visiting to add to your experience.
The Treasure Museum at the northern end of the gardens houses have clothes, photographs of the royal couple and even carriage drawn by a team of six horses that emperor used at a time of the Proclamation of the Constitution in 1889.
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Shrine open daily sunrise to sunset.
Treasure House 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Closed 3rd Friday of the months.
Here how to pay respect at Meiji Jingu:
These actions express respect and are independent of religious beliefs.
Don't forget to bow
1.Bow once when entering.
2.Bow once when leaving.
1.Rinse your left hand.
2.Rinse your right hand.
3.Pour water into your left hand.
4.Rinse your mouth.
5.Rinse your left hand again.
6.Rinse the dipper
1.You may put some coins into the offertory box.
3.Clap your hands twice.
4.You may make a wish if you like.
5.Bow once again.
Please do not take photos or videos close to the main shrine buildings.
Recommended to visit in spring, summer and autumn.
It became a park only in 1967, after having served as the Olympic Village for the athletes during the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. The park remains a popular Tokyo destination. On Sundays, it is especially busy when it is used as a gathering place for Japanese rock music fans. In spring, thousands of people visit the park to enjoy the cherry blossom during hanami. In late March / early April, come to the park with blue tarps (available at Japanese convenience stores) and lots of food and alcohol. Enjoy the Japanese tradition of O-hanami - picnics under the cherry-blossoms. Be prepared for large crowds though, as EVERYBODY does this around the same time, since the sakura only blossom for about 2 weeks. The large green open space in the middle is just perfect for playing, and you will quickly forget that you are actually in the centre of bustling Tokyo. Some of the fountains in the middle are illuminated as soon as it gets dark. There is a jogging path, a cycling course and a separate bike practice area for kids. You can rent a bicycle at the cycling centre at the western end of the park. Try a tandem if you have not done so before! If you don't feel like playing or doing any sports, just stroll around, watch out for dance groups and musicians practicing, soak up the atmosphere and relax on the grass. Street entertainment (mostly on weekends) can be found right in front of Harajuku gate, at the eastern end of the park. The most popular event is surely the Elvis Dance, when Japanese Elvis freaks, who seem to have just escaped from the musical Grease, show off their moves. This event takes place every Sunday afternoon from around 2 pm. Other street performances are more irregular, but can include juggling, martial arts or silent comedy.
Open 5 a.m to 5 p.m. in winter days. And until 8 p.m. in spring and summer. No charge.
This museum exhibits various Japanese and East Asian works of art with an emphasis on tea related art pieces and ancient Chinese bronzes. its a collrction of Kaichiro Nezu (1860-1940) - founder of the Tobu railway group. The Nezu Museum is also known for its vast, Japanese-style garden. Garden is an excellent example of the Japanese style in a small space. Through the designed path , you will be embraced by the Zen atmosphere and beautiful artifacts around you. You will feel the beauty of nature even you are standing in the one of the busiest city in the world. There are also several tea ceremony pavilions.
Open 10 am to 5 pm (entrance closes at 4:30 pm). Closed Mondays and the New Year holiday. Entry 1000 yen.
Look Nezu Museum Website on English for more information.
For most of the twentieth century, Asakusa was the major entertainment district in Tokyo. The temple ceremonies are more colourful than those elsewhere in Tokyo. The history of Senso-ji Temple goes back far into the past. Legend has it that fishermen brothers discovered an image of Kan'non (the goddess of mercy) in the Sumida-gawa River around the year 628 and were inspired to enshrine it. The temple's symbol is the Furai jin-mon (Gate of Wind God and Thunder God) adorned with a large red paper lantern that bears the inscription "Kaminari-mon" (Thunder Gate).
Numerous shops along Nakamise-dori Street, which runs along the approach way to Senso-ji Temple, carry a variety of small articles made of Japanese-style paper and other traditional goods such as folding fans. Late afternoon is a good time to come, when dozens of food stands send up tantalising aromas and circus performers amuse the crowds.
Check 11 Things To Do in Asakusa
Open: Daily 6.30am-5:00pm
Recommended length of visit: 1 hour
But I highly don't recommend you to visit it and any shrines in Japan during New Years holidays! Its over crowded!
This district is the core of Japan's government. It is comprised of the Imperial Palace, the Diet building, the Prime Minister's residence (it's hidden behind fortified walls and trees) and the Supreme Court.
The Imperial Palace was build by the order of Ieyasu Tokugawa, who chose the site for his castle in 1590. Completed in 1640 it was largest castle in the world. The Tokyo Imperial Palace is home to the head of state, and is where the Imperial Family lives. It is also the former site of the Edo Castle. Filled with gardens, ancient stone bridges, and museums, the Tokyo Imperial Palace is a beautiful, historical, and important cultural landmark in Japan.
Grounds are huge and I plan to take part in two free tours offered by The Imperial Household Agency, which managers matters of the state: Imperial Palace Ground and the East Gardens. I plan to book it during arrival through hotel. But you can also walk around and discover it by yourself.
Open Hours 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (until 4 p.m. from November to February)
East Garden are closed on Monday and Friday. Closed on New Year holidays - December 28 - January 2.
If you love sashimi and sushi, then you should not miss visiting the Tsukiji Marketis. It is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market handles more than 2,000 tons of fish and other seafood each day.
This market has been around since the 16th century, and was once responsible for providing fresh fish to Edo Castle.
The market is opened most mornings except for holidays, Sundays and some Wednesdays. Tuna fish auctions are held for the traders between 5:30 a.m and 9 a.m and by 1pm the market is closed down for the day. Due to the disturbance caused by tourists trooping through the work area among the many traders and moving vehicles, visitors are now not allowed in the inner market and can only visit the outer market after 9am.
Make sure to head over to the restaurants immediately after! You made end up waiting over two hours for a seat if you're in the second group as the capacity is only about 10-18 people - cash only. I'd also recommend shoes with good grip and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty/smelly.
Tsukiji Fish Market is closed during new Year holidays.
If you are in Tokyo you must see it from higher point!=) There are several places to enjoy the view. You better not to be afraid of heights! So far I get choice from this three awesome places:
1) Tokyo Sky Tree - full height of 634 metres, it is a second largest building in the world after Burj Khalifa.
Its a broadcasting, restaurant and observation tower. The observation desk locates at 350 and 450 meters. Should be really breathtaking place!
2) Tokyo Tower in Minato-ku. Built in 1958 to carry television transmissions, is now broadcasts all Tokyo's channels as well as FM radio stations. The tower is the world's tallest freestanding iron structure. A lot of friends say this is a must do in Tokyo, the view is mind-blowing. Advise: come there after dinner for the great way to end the night. Observation desks at 150 and 250 meters. In addition there are a lot of expensive bars, aquarium with 50000 fish and Trick Art Gallery with 3D pictures with unusual effects.
3) Metropolitan Government Offices in Shinjuku-ku - the view from the top is unrivalled! There are two towers and no difference which tower to choose. It has observatory at 202 meters. There was no charge and no waiting to go up and open until 11 p.m. But no pictures are allowed.
Winter has better views, as there are fewer clouds.
We are traveling with 12 and 2 years old kids and all of us are excited.
Its a first Disneyland opened outside of United States. Tokyo Disneyland Resort has 2 parks: Tokyo Disneyland Park and Tokyo DisneySea Park - Inspired by the myths and legends of the sea. While suitable for all ages, Tokyo DisneySea was designed to a more grown up audience.
The old reliables are still there: Peter Pan's Flight, Pinocchio, Snow White, the tea cups, Dumbo, Pirates, Star Tours, etc. and they will not disappoint and there are newer attractions like Pooh's Hunny Hunt and Roger Rabbit's cartoon spin.
We decided to book hotel for two days near Disneyland. It will be Christmas time so almost all hotels was totally booked. We got lucky and booked one of the last rooms in Tokyo Hilton Bay which are very close to Disneyland Resort. Will post my pictures from there for sure:)
is the most popular park in Japan. You might spend day or two to discover all attractions.
One of the most famous is the Ueno Zoo (closed on Friday) - Japanese first zoo which is a home for 460 Japanese species. Very clean and organised! We love it very much! Then Tokyo National Museum - oldest and largest museum in Japan. Strolling through the halls of its six buildings, you'll see samurai armour, ornate swords, delicate pottery, decorated tombs, kimonos, calligraphy, paintings, and much more. These works and relics trace the history of the Japanese people. In addition, you'll find pieces from all across the continent in the Asian Gallery.
Then National Museum of Art and Science - a dizzying array of hands on fun can be found at this attraction, maybe Tokyo’s best science museum. Almost every floor of the museum has very interesting and kids friendly exhibits that are as much about fun as learning. Closed on Monday.
And if you travel in spring, Ueno Park is one of the most beautiful spot to watch Sakura Blooming.
Thats all what I will visit this time in Ueno because its too big to make it all in one day.
But if you have more time there and want to see more check 15 Things To Do in Ueno Park
is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay. The area that opens onto the waterfront offers enjoyment for the whole family throughout the day. Walk on Odaiba Seaside park, visit The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation(closed on Tuesdays) - the exhibits target a range of ages, lots of kid friendly fun; soak in Ooedo-Onsen-Monogatari - is a natural onsen (hot spring) theme park, experience 14 varieties of baths including indoor baths using water from natural hot springs that gush up from the source 1,400 meters under ground; DiverCity Tokyo Plaza provides not just shopping opportunities but a full range of entertainment, relaxation, surprises and uniqueness. The world’s first permanent Gundam entertainment facility, Gundam Front Tokyo provides a full experience of the world of Gundam for all visitors along with the 18m-high Gundam statue; play in LEGOLAND Discovery Center Tokyo - an indoor theme park featuring more than 3 million LEGO® bricks. Yes, there are so many things to do in Odaiba! We plan to spend all day full of fun there!
is the most beautiful and most famous garden in Tokyo. There are few parts inside: English Landscape, French Formal, Japanese Traditional with teahouse and the curiously named Mother and Child Forest. In March and April is a cherry blossom season, the central lawn areas are particularly stunning. Don't forget to bring a picnic lunch with non alcoholic drinks. This place is very beautiful in spring, summer and autumn. But because its a garden there are not much flowers blooming in winter and I will visit it only if I will have some free time.
Open 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Closed December 29 up to January 3.
This place has everything for those who likes computer games, gadgets, laptops. All possible electronic devises can be found here. Its also famous by their made's cafes - waiters in such cafes dressed like french maids and treat you like are a master.
I am not a fan of video games (I have few I like for which I never can find time to play) but I have 12 years boy with us so try to visit it and post a report!