Tokyo is one of the biggest cities in the world and an extremely popular destination for international travelers. It's one of the top places to see in Japan. There's so much to see and do in Tokyo that it's important to give yourself at least a few days in the city, more than that if possible. Here are 15 things we think everyone should do when they visit Tokyo.
1. Scramble Crossing
Can you believe up to 3,000 people cross at one time? It's true! You can catch some amazing free views of the crossing from the second floor Starbucks or at the Magnet rooftop.
2. Center Gai
This is one of the busiest streets in Shibuya with plenty of shops, stores, and restaurants to check out.
3. Try Japanese Pancakes
You've probably seen these pancakes on Pinterest and Instagram before, so be sure to see them in person and get your filling when you visit Tokyo. They're delicious, fluffy, and very photogenic.
4. Visit an Arcade
Arcades aren't just for kids in Tokyo. The city is full of fun arcades with flashing lights and plenty of games, and if you're into sports, you need to stop by a Sport-cha to play a little tennis, bowling, and other sports and games all in one place.
This is where you can immerse yourself in Japanese drinking culture. Nikuyokocho literally translates to "meat alleyway".
6. Try Uni
Uni, or sea urchin, is one of the foods you must taste when you visit Tokyo. It's fresh, delicious, and unlike anything you've tried before.
7. See Meiji Jingu
Meiji Jingu is a Shinto Shrine in Tokyo that's definitely worth a visit. It's dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
8. Stroll through Shinjuku
Shinjuku is the world's busiest station, and it feels like it. The area is known for its red-light district, dining options, and shopping.
9. Bar hop in Omoide Yokocho
Home to roughly 80 bars that line the alleyway, Omoide Yokocho is the perfect place to get your drink on. Simple food and bites can also be found here, but it's beer and sake first here.
10. Eat as much Ramen as possible
It's arguably the best thing you'll eat on your trip. The Japan Times recommends these five shops:
- Kamo to Negi
- Ginza Kagari Honten
- Tai Shio Soba Toka
Get a bowl from any of these five places and you won't leave Tokyo disappointed! Oh, and be sure to slurp very loudly when you eat your ramen.
11. Visit Hie Shrine
This is one of the most iconic views in Tokyo, so bring your camera. It's extremely photogenic.
The area is full of tourists, so consider coming on a Tuesday when some shops are closed. Sensoji is Tokyo's oldest temple, and it's located in the center of Asakusa. Be sure to visit Hoppy Street, the best place to bar hop in the area and try Hoppy, a mix of soju and beer-flavored soda.
13. Take in a Sumo Match
It's fairly easy to get tickets if you're visiting. Sumo matches are held in January, May, and September.
14. Tsukiji Fish Market
If you show up very early, you'll be able to take in the tuna auction where fish are bid on and sold for high prices. There's tons to see and eat throughout the day.
15. Do a Sake Tasting
This is an especially good thing to do for those of you who aren't too familiar with sake. It's a great introduction to Japan's national drink. There are so many different types, so it's great to find out what you enjoy the most in a relaxed setting.