Are you visiting Japan’s capital city with no plans in mind? Know that there are a couple of activities and attractions that you simply must not miss.
Tokyo, Japan, offers a bit of everything for everyone. It has historical neighborhoods, gorgeous gardens, museums, and all the craziness you would expect to see in an urban metropolis.
Check out some of the best places to visit and activities to enjoy in Tokyo, whether you’re heading there as a solo traveler or otherwise.
#1 – Visit the Sensoji Temple
It’s located in the Asakura historic city center and is the oldest temple in the capital of Japan. Although it’s also one of the busiest locations in Tokyo, the area around the Sensoji Temple still makes for amazing photo ops.
Besides checking out the landmark building, you can have a gastronomic feast and enjoy digging into some of the best traditional Japanese menus in the entire region in one place.
#2 – Climb the Tokyo Tower
Like what the Eiffel Tower is for Paris, the Tokyo Tower is all of that for Japan’s capital. It’s the most recognizable landmark in the city for decades.
But these days, it may not get as much attention from locals since there’s a newer viewing spot in town. That said, its observation deck offers spectacular views of the city and its surroundings. It’s also an incredible sight to see at night from a distance.
#3 – Enjoy a Stroll in the Shinjuku Gyoen Garden
One of the best things to do in Tokyo is to escape the crowds and relax. Where else should you do it than the Shinjuku Gyoen garden, which became a national garden after World War II?
The 144 acres of land houses a variety of traditional Japanese gardens, but the Taiwan Pavilion is one of its most impressive landmarks. Given the sheer size of the Shinjuku Gyoen gardens, it’s not surprising that you’ll also see different thematic areas like the French Formal and English Landscape sections.
#4 – Experience the High-Tech Craziness
There are plenty of things to do in Tokyo that you can’t exactly do in other cities. And one of the most unique experiences you’ll ever have is a visit to the Robot Restaurant.
The themed venue puts on a crazy robot show and has a high-tech, futuristic décor you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. It’s also right in the district that never sleeps – Shinjuku Kabukicho. From there, you have access to hundreds of other entertainment and dining venues.
That said, the Robot Restaurant takes center stage in Tokyo’s largest red-light district.
#5 – Tour the Samurai Museum
It’s impossible to skip over the Samurai Museum when visiting Tokyo. In fact, it’s one of the top Tokyo attractions and among the most exciting experiences that visitors can have in Japan.
The museum holds in its records hundreds of years of Japanese history. Meanwhile, its exhibits include authentic armor and weapons. You can even join a guided tour if you want to know more about the famed Japanese warriors.
There are also four sword shows every day that allow you to see expert swordsmen in action.
#6 – Head to the Tokyo Skytree
If you want to do some fun activities in Tokyo, spending a few hours at the Tokyo Skytree may well fit the bill. It’s the city’s newest high-rise viewpoint and offers a breathtaking view of the city’s expansive footprint.
You can check out the city from two massive observation decks found here.
But it’s not just the view that’s interesting to see: the decks also host a variety of exhibits and cultural displays. While its exhibitions are not enough to save you a trip to the museum, it can be an excellent place to start your journey in Japan’s capital.
#7 – Experience the Busy Atmosphere at Shibuya Crossing
If you think Times Square is busy, wait till you visit Shibuya Crossing. This is one of the craziest things to do in Tokyo, but an exciting experience nonetheless.
The intersection is the busiest in the most populous city in the world, so you can imagine the hustle and bustle when people get the signal to cross. But visit at dusk and you’ll have smaller crowds and a more soothing experience.
Still, you’re likely to find the throngs of people, massive video advertisements, and endless shops even more impressive in person.
But if crowds aren’t really your thing, you can get a bird’s eye view of Shibuya Crossing by going up the Shibuya Sky rooftop observatory.
#8 – Catch a Sumo Tournament
The Ryogoku Kokugikan is Tokyo’s most famous stadium. It can seat up to 11,000 fans under its pavilion-type roof. Although you can catch various events, aim to be in town just in time for a Sumo tournament.
A single official tournament can last over two weeks. Three of the most important ones in the country always happen in Tokyo, with other small events scattered throughout the year.
Even if you can catch Sumo matches worldwide, nothing beats seeing the traditional fighters in their native environment.
#9 – Have Fun at Small Worlds Tokyo
Looking for fun things to do with kids in Tokyo? How about taking the whole family to Small Worlds Tokyo? Think Disney World, but with a Japanese-inspired theme.
Fans of anime can interact with characters from their favorite hit shows as animators in the park. The mix of reality and fiction offers an amazing experience for kids.
The park also hosts a variety of other dedicated sections, such as the Space Center that features an exhibit honoring the launch of a Saturn V shuttle. Another cool area, the Global Village, offers accurate recreations of five of the most popular cities in Europe and Asia. And in true Japanese fashion, dragons and robots tower over these otherwise realistic recreations.
#10 – Explore the Ginza Tokyo Market
Ginza is one of the largest neighborhoods in Tokyo. It’s most famous for its multitude of restaurants, stores, and high concentration of youths.
Some tourists find a trip to Ginza to be one of the best things to do in Tokyo because it’s ideal for some retail therapy. Others go for a different reason.
The foodie in you should know that Ginza houses the world’s largest seafood market. Up to 2,400 tons of food move through the market daily. The market also supplies some of the city’s best restaurants. Needless to say, it’ll be a truly unique experience for many.
More Than a Culture Trip
Some people might think that Tokyo has little to offer apart from its unique architecture, museums, and busy atmosphere. But there’s much more to this gorgeous city beneath the surface.
You’re going to see at least a couple of things you won’t find elsewhere. Isn’t that what it’s all about when traveling to someplace new?