Things to Do in Tokyo - page 2
Golden Gai is a very popular collection of tiny bars that are crowded into a network of narrow alleyways in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. More than 200 small bars—many no bigger than a closet and most only large enough for a handful of customers—are clustered in the district, and each one has a distinct character all its own.
Made in the 13th century, the imposing Great Buddha of Kamakura can be found inside the Kotoku-in temple complex in the seaside city of Kamakura. It’s the second-largest Buddha in Japan and a popular tourist attraction.
With Mount Fuji as its dramatic backdrop and the stunning Lake Ashi below, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is magnificent from all angles. A popular detour for travelers visiting Tokyo, the park has ample opportunities for trekking and boat cruises.
You'll want to grab an (english language) map upon entering this large park that stretches across Shinjuku and Shibuya. There is a lot of ground to cover here.
The park is split into gardens of three distinct styles: French formal, English landscape and Japanese traditional. Not surprising the Japanese section is the most interesting and beautiful with waterlily ponds, artfully trimmed bushes and statues. The nearby Taiwan pavilion is an elegant spot for photos.
The original gardens date back to 1906, but were destroyed and rebuilt after the war. The diverse and well manicured gardens are great for wandering, taking photos or having an afternoon picnic. The garden has over 1500 cherry trees trees that burst into vivid blooms in late March or early April. It's a favorite spot for blossom viewing and can be very crowded during those times.
In Tokyo’s Asakusa district, Nakamise Street is a pedestrian area lined with shops and stalls offering souvenirs, street food, and more. The street is part of the ancient Sens?-ji Temple complex and is a very popular visitor attraction.
A decade ago, going to Roppongi meant you were either visiting an embassy or out to party with the expat community. While Roppongi remains one of Tokyo’s best nightlife districts, it has successfully broadened its appeal with a wider variety of cultural and entertainment options.
Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting the Shibaura Wharf and the Odaiba district in Tokyo Bay. It’s white during the day, but after dark it lights up with colorful solar-powered lights. Cross the bridge on the Yurikamome line train, by car, or by walking along a pedestrian footpath.
More Things to Do in Tokyo
Omotesando is an attractive, well-groomed, tree-lined street between Shibuya and Minato in Tokyo. Designed as an entranceway to Meiji Shrine, the street pays homage to the deified spirits of Emperor Maiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.
In modern years, Omotesando has earned a reputation as one of the most fashion-forward neighborhoods in the world, with high-end shops all within close range of one another. Some of the brands featured in this area include Louis Vuitton, Prada and Dior. Due to its chic style, Omotesando is also a prime location for people-watching. Many of Tokyo's elite can be found shopping and dining here.
The Hakone Open-Air Museum is a 200-acre park dotted with fascinating sculptures. When it opened in 1969, it was Japan’s first open-air museum; now its collection includes more than 1,000 sculptures, with about 120 on permanent display. Artists whose sculptures are exhibited include Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, and Constantin Brâncuși.
Located in the lively Shinjuku district, Tokyo’s Memory Lane (Omoide Yochoko in Japanese) is packed with one-room eateries selling yakitori, ramen, and other Japanese dishes. A visit here is an atmospheric—and delicious—way to experience authentic Tokyo.
Flowing from Arakawa River and running for eight miles (27 kilometers) through the capital before emptying out into Tokyo Bay, the Sumida River (Sumida Gawa) is Tokyo’s lifeblood. Passing under 26 bridges and feeding a network of scenic canals and waterways, Sumida River offers magnificent views of Tokyo.
The second theme park to open at the Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo DisneySea is one of the Japanese capital’s most popular attractions, for adults as well as children. Explore the nautically themed park and visit all seven ports of call, each of which is filled with rides and attractions.
Sumo is Japan’s most popular sport, and there’s nothing quite like joining 10,000 sumo fans for a match to learn about this ancient form of wrestling. The best place to experience sumo is at the Kokugikan Sumo Stadium (Ryōgoku Kokugikan), Tokyo’s largest indoor arena, where three of the six official national tournaments are hosted each year. Discover sumo’s place in Japanese culture at the attached Sumo Museum (Nihon Sumo Kyokai).
Tokyo Dome City is a massive entertainment complex in the Bunkyo district of Tokyo. The complex is home to a baseball stadium, an amusement park, an arena for boxing and martial arts, a 43-storey hotel, a bowling alley, hundreds of shops and restaurants, and a spa complex.
The Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) are a group of lakes situated at the northern base of the majestic Mount Fuji, around 100 kilometers west of Tokyo. These lakes are Lake Motosu, Lake Shoji, Lake Sai, Lake Kawaguchi, and Lake Yamanaka. Along with its incredible scenery, the area offers ample opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing. It also features hot springs, museums, and even one of Japan's largest and most popular amusement parks, Fuji-Q Highland.
Lake Kawaguchi is easily accessed and offers a wealth of things for visitors to see and do. It’s also a great starting point for climbing Mount Fuji for those inclined to do so, and also popular with Tokyo locals escaping the heat and pace of the city, particularly during the summer. The largest lake is Yamanaka, while perhaps the most picturesque is the horseshoe-shaped Shōji. Elsewhere, Sai and Motosu are great spots to set up camp and enjoy water-based activities such as boating and fishing.
Take a stroll down Kappabashi Street in downtown Tokyo and you’ll quickly understand why the area has been nicknamed Kitchen Town. In a city with more Michelin stars than Paris and London combined, chefs come to this place to shop for everything from sashimi knives and kitchen equipment to fake sample food. Stretching over half a mile, it’s Japan’s largest shopping street devoted solely to the culinary arts.
While the typical visitor likely isn’t in the market for kitchenware, the street is still worth a visit for its cultural significance, as well as for the opportunity to pick up some rather unique souvenirs, like plastic sushi or rice crackers shaped like super heroes.
The Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s oldest and largest museum, houses the largest collection of Japanese art and artifacts anywhere on earth. The collection encompasses more than 100,000 objects with exhibit space for only a fraction of that number, so visitors will almost certainly see new things on each visit.
The museum’s five buildings each contain a separate themed gallery. If you only have time to visit one, make it the Japanese Gallery (Honkan) where you’ll find a collection representing Japanese art history from the Jomon period through the Edo period with pieces dating back to 450 BC.
The Asian Gallery (Toyokan) covers art and artifacts from the rest of Asia, while the Horyuji Treasures (Horyuji Homotsukan) collection features Buddhist artifacts from the Horyuji Temple in Nara Prefecture. The Heiseikan Gallery covers Japanese archeological history and houses many of the museums special exhibits, and the Hyokeikan Gallery highlights works from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Ameyoko can be translated as “candy store alley,” but you’ll find much more than candy at this business hub these days. This is the place to go for fresh and dried seafood as well as clothes, accessories, and cosmetics. One of Tokyo’s most popular and vibrant shopping streets, Ameyoko is also great for bargain hunting.
Fans of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, which produced the filmsSpirited Away,Princess Mononoke, andHowl’s Moving Castle, can see the filmmaker’s animated fantasylands brought to life and uncover the secrets behind the movies at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.
Rikugien Garden dates back to 1695, and was once the residence of Japan’s feudal leaders. It follows a traditional design, so it’s a delightful place to appreciate Japanese aesthetics while relaxing or strolling in nature. This garden is especially popular during the autumn leaf-viewing season, but is a beautiful destination year-round.
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