There are so many exciting attractions in Tokyo that it can be hard to know where to start! That is why we are sharing the best fun things to do in Tokyo, whether you’re a solo traveler or family.
The rising sun’s land undoubtedly has its charm: Located between deeply rooted tradition and the highest modernity, there is hardly any part of the world with as fascinating contrasts as in Japan – and these are particularly evident in the state capital and prefecture of Tokyo. We have taken a closer look at the most exciting attractions of the metropolis for you, are you ready to fly into Tokyo?
The Imperial Palace of Tokyo
The royal rulers and supreme protectors of the country – have ruled Japan for over 1300 years, and they have had their royal seat in what is now the Imperial Palace of Tokyo since 1888. The extraordinary building, built in a mixed Japanese-Western style, is located in the Chiyoda district and is one of the country’s best-kept places.
Most of the palace is closed to visitors most of the year; the public is only allowed to enter it on Japanese New Year’s Day (January 2nd) and the current 125th Tenno (December 23rd). However, the eastern gardens of the palace are accessible all year round and well worth seeing, so make sure you include it in your Tokyo Itinerary. You have Tuesday to Thursday and on the weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Located almost around the corner from the Imperial Palace – or at least in the same district – is the Akihabara entertainment district, mainly known for its electronics and “otaku” Shops. The electronics mile is a real paradise for everyone who loves anime, manga, video games, and nerd culture. It takes visitors into the world of the popular video game series Final Fantasy, to the exclusive stores of all well-known electronics brands.
The Meiji Shrine
From modern delights back to pure tradition: The Meiji Shrine is located in the Shibuya district and was dedicated to the Tenno of the Meiji period and his wife. The original shrine, built in the traditional Japanese Nagare-Zukuri style, was unfortunately destroyed by American bombs in 1945.
Today, what can still be seen is a lovingly implemented reconstruction that was carried out by 110,000 volunteers after the end of the war. Ceremonies take place here on several public holidays a year – the most beautiful and elaborate, including Meiji-Tenno’s birthday, November 3rd. It lasts five days and offers the millions of visitors who make a pilgrimage here during this time, among other things, traditional dances and chants, samurai performances, tea ceremonies, fireworks shows, and magnificent floral decorations.
Disney and its parks are anything but traditionally Japanese.
Yet, Disneyland Tokyo is said to be one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful of the amusement parks for Mickey, Donald, and Co. The best photo spots in Tokyo. Located just outside Tokyo in the city of Urayasu, the park is built on the model of Disneyland Anaheim in the USA. It offers a total of seven fairy-tale-themed areas.
Since 2001, the independent DisneySea park has also been part of the resort complex, which is entirely dedicated to the themes of sea and ocean and specializes, for example, in attractions revolving around the mermaid Ariel or the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Can’t choose between Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea? Do both!
The Edo Tokyo Museum
The Edo Tokyo Museum in the Yokoami district was founded in 1992 and brought interested visitors closer to the history of Japan’s capital and its residents. The city’s architecture and its importance as a commercial and cultural center of the region are particularly highlighted. You can also follow life and work during the Edo period (1603-1868) and see how the city developed into the mega-metropolis it is today. The famous museum is located in the so-called sumo district Ryogoku and will catch your eye with its distinctive building shape.
If you want to welcome some relaxation after the city’s hustle and bustle, you should go to Yoyogi Park and take a relaxing walk through the lush greenery. The park invites you to relax and serves as a meeting point for all kinds of social groups in the city, such as rock musicians, martial artists, cosplayers, and street artists. There they showcase their talents or get together with like-minded people. The park is incredibly beautiful in spring when the sakura trees shine in full splendor during the so-called “cherry blossom festival.”
Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Tokyo Tower is one of the tallest steel towers globally at 332.6 meters. If you have a head for heights and would like to experience the Japanese metropolis from above, you can do so here on two viewing platforms at 150 and 250 meters above sea level. While the lower platform also has various shops and restaurants ready, you can see from the upper platform as far as Fuji when the weather is clear.
The Tokyo National Museum
The Japanese National Museum in Tokyo is the largest and oldest in the country and was founded in 1872. Visitors will find works of art and archaeological finds from Japan and other East Asian countries – including around 87 national treasures and numerous critical cultural assets. Thanks to the idyllic location in the middle of Ueno Park, you can not only enjoy the time in the museum itself but also combine the whole thing with a relaxed walk through the beautiful green area.
The island of Odaiba
Odaiba is a small artificially created island off Tokyo and is best known as a shopping and entertainment center. The Fuji TV studios, the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, a replica of the American Statue of Liberty and the Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari, a public bath with hot springs, are lively shopping streets, arcades, museums, and available barbecue area, and numerous other entertainment deals.
Tsukiji Fish Market
Japan is known for its magnificent landscape and rich tradition and its excellent cuisine with plenty of fresh fish and seafood. At the Tsukiji fish market in the district, the largest of its kind in the world, you can find everything a gourmet’s heart desires – from all types of fish to crabs and mussels to unusual animals such as octopuses. If you don’t like fish, you should stop by here, as there are also delicious other dishes and lots of cooking utensils that are not so easy to get in Europe.