Best Places to Visit in Tokyo
Tokyo is one of the worth visiting travel destinations in the World which boasts several hidden gems that you may have not seen before. Being the capital of Japan, the city attracts an influx of local as well as foreign tourists. When it comes to creative design and innovative architecture, there is hardly any place on this earth that can match the standards of Tokyo. If you want to know what makes this city such an ideal vacation destination then here is our Tokyo travel guide that covers top places to visit in Tokyo.
Tokyo is a pleasant city that combines luxury with traditional elements, which makes it one of the most visited attractions in Japan and the Asian continent.
The Japanese capital has ancient temples, gardens, palaces, and a whole thousand-year-old culture that distinguishes it from other cities in the world.
Here we have listed some of the best places to visit in Tokyo that you must add in the itinerary:
- National Museum of Nature and Science
If you want to experience the perfect blend of science and nature then come to this extraordinary museum in Tokyo. It is situated in Ueno Park and recognized as the oldest museum of the country. It has been renovated recently and features a huge collection of materials related to nuclear energy and space development that give you a glimpse of the latest advancements in the technology world. Some other highlights of the museum include vintage vehicles, robotics, modern gadgets and technology displays.
Inside you will see a wide display of objects and components from history and natural sciences, including interactive displays on scientific, spatial, nuclear energy, and other aspects of the country’s development.
In the Gallery of Japan, Nihonkan, you will see samples of prehistoric beings and the Japanese people, such as typical costumes, traditions, and customs. While the Global Gallery, Ckikyukan, has exhibits on science, technology, robotics, and vintage cars.
- The Imperial Palace:
It is one of the key tourist attractions of Tokyo featuring parks of the 17th century which are surrounded by several moats and walls. The palace is a unique masterpiece that is worth exploring even though you have less interest in art. If you are looking for an exhaustive tour of the palace then you need to do registration in advance. The key highlights covered in the tour mainly include Fujimi-yagura, Kikyo-mon Gate, Imperial Household Agency Building and Seimon-tetsubashi Bridge.
The first place to visit in Tokyo is Imperial Palace. It is in the Marunouchi district and among its greatest attractions are the 17th-century parks surrounded by moats and walls.
The Imperial Palace stands on land where the Edo Castle or Chiyoda Castle is located, the first fortress built by orders of the feudal lord, Ota Doka. From there the city began to grow.
In the beautiful complex, you will see the famous Nijubashi Bridge, through which you reach the interior of the palace. The bridge is reflected in the water, which is why it is called a “double bridge”.
The wall that surrounds the palace is 2 meters thick and one of its doors leads to the Higashi-Gyoen Garden, one of the few places with access to the public.
Some gardens are open only two days of the year: January 2 and April 29, dates when the Emperor comes out for the people to see.
Most of the tourists come to Japan for shopping purposes and there can’t be a better place than Ginza to fulfill all your shopping cravings. For a long time, it has been considered as a commercial center and it is a place where different ancient roads meet each other at a single point. During the evening time, you will find pedestrians in huge numbers exploring a diverse range of shops selling incredible products. While been here, you can also consider visiting Shinbashi Enbujō Theatre and Kabuki-za Theatre where you can enjoy live performances.
- Ueno Park:
Tokyo places to visit is not just about glamour and shopping destinations. This fantastic travel destination also boasts about several natural jewels such as Ueno Park. It features the largest green landscape of the city where people come in search of peace. Within the park, you will also find several temples and museums which are worth exploring. The park also features some other key highlights including Toshogu Shrine, Aqua-Zoo, and Shinobazu Pond.
Ueno Park is the largest green area in the city with beautiful and colorful gardens, a zoo, an aquarium, museums, and temples. All this makes it one of the tourist spots in Tokyo.
You can take small boats around the Shinobazu Pond and visit the Toshogu Shrine with its 256 bronze and stone lamps, built during the 17th century.
The zoo was founded in 1882, being the oldest in Japan. Among many other animals, he has pandas from China and his aquarium is one of the best and largest on the continent.
- The Tokyo Skytree:
It is one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo tourist attractions that is situated in the Sumida district. With a height of 634 meters, the skyscraper offers spectacular views of the city from its observatory decks. The base of the building is constructed in tripod shape featuring several cylindrical observation zones along with a spiral walkway. While been here, don’t forget to explore the very famous Tokyo Tower constructed in the year 1958 and considered the tallest structure of Tokyo.
The world’s tallest independent broadcasting tower looks somewhat baffling as it towers over one of Tokyo’s most popular historic districts. The Tokyo Skytree is located in Sumida, but this broadcast tower offers a 360 ° view of the surrounding neighborhoods, including Asakusa. The tower sits close to popular city attractions such as the Sumida Aquarium and Koume Children’s Park. That said, a trip to the top of the Tokyo Skytree alone offers enough to keep you busy all day. You can admire the tower from the huge shopping plaza on the ground floor or climb up to the 350th floor through the art galleries, cultural exhibitions, and the Thembo Deck, an observatory containing a transparent floor and also a photography station. The highest point of the tower is on the 450 floors which can be reached by taking an elevator or moving through a spiral inclined corridor from which you can observe Tokyo from all angles.
- Ginza District
The Ginza District has been the most important commercial center of Tokyo for centuries. As notorious and important as Times Square in New York is.
The five ancient roads by which the main ancient cities of the country were linked are in Ginza, now a place full of exclusive shops and impressive locals, where there is also the famous Kabuki-za Theater.
- National Museum of Western Art
It is of the popular tourist attractions in Tokyo located in Ueno Park, just 3 minutes’ walk from Ueno Station. It is the Museum of Western Art, Kokuritsu SEIYO Bijutsukan, built-in 1959 by the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier.
The exhibits on display are mostly worked by French artists owned by the art collector, Matsukata, and the Japanese businessman, Kojiro.
In the museum’s courtyard you’ll see sculptures by Rodin, while inside there are works by Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Eduardo Manet, and Edgar Degas.
The Museum of Western Art also has an excellent restaurant with wonderful views of the courtyard making it one of the best places to see in Tokyo.
- Meiji Shrine
Built-in 1920, destroyed during WWII, and rebuilt in 1958, the Meiji-Jingu Shrine honors the spirits of Emperor Meiji, the first modern emperor of Japan, and his wife, Empress Shôken. Secluded in the wooded setting of Yoyogi Park in Shibuya, the shrine is the most popular religious site during “Hatsumode”, the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year. Enter the temple complex through a 12-meter-long door made of cypress wood and then walk around the site on paved paths, in the shade of 100,000 native and imported trees. Join the locals to write your wishes on “ema” (small wooden plaques) and get talismans and amulets. On many occasions, you will also be able to attend a Shinto wedding ceremony.
- Miraikan Museum
Museum designed and built to display and highlight Japan’s technological leadership thereby becoming best places of visit in Tokyo.
Also known as Miraikan is one of the newest museums in Tokyo created by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
In its modern facilities, you will see interactive exhibits ranging from earthquakes, robotics, and renewable energy, to modern means of transport such as the magnetic levitation train.
- Edo-Tokyo Museum
At the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which opened in 1993, you will see a sample of the past, present, and future of the entire region.
Do not forget to cross the bridge that will take you to a replica of a plan and model of houses in the old city of Edo.
- National Art Center
The National Art Center is one of the best tourist places in Tokyo and one of the best museums in the world.
Since it opened in 2007, it has gained a great reputation for its permanent collection of paintings, numbering more than 600, almost all made in the 20th century.
This curved glass building is in the Roppongi district.
- Kabuki-za Theater
Tokyo has many theaters, but the Kabuki-za Theater is the most prominent, and therefore, of the city’s tourist attractions.
It is a form of theater dating back to medieval times with touches of burlesque, dance, and song.
It is in the Ginza district and there are performances of traditional Kabuki shows, attractive to both Japanese and tourists.
- Mori Art Museum
This museum is housed on the upper floors of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, where the National Art Center is also based. It has constant exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world making it one of the top places to visit in Tokyo.
- Tokyo Disney Sea
Disney is present in the Asian continent with this fabulous park, one of the best places to visit in Tokyo.
It comprises a Disney-themed water park, two amusement parks, a resort, an entertainment center, and a large and fun shopping mall. They also offer classic Disney movie shows.
Tokyo is a jewel of technology, entertainment, and even history. It is a perfect compendium of modernism and culture, which you need to visit at least once in your life.
What’s next waiting for you?
Apart from the key destinations discussed above, there is a lot to explore in the bustling city of Tokyo. All you need is a sufficient amount of time to plan your journey judiciously and make the best out of your itinerary. Check out our other travel guides to get information on other best cities you can visit in Japan. If you are searching for top things to do in Tokyo then you will come across plenty of those in the city.
About Author: Komal Jha is a proficient writer who shares her travel experience through travel blogs.