What are the places to visit in Tokyo? Its rich cultural structure and daily lifestyle that combines the old and the new make Japan’s capital city Tokyo one of the most unique holiday destinations in the Far East.
The city, located on the area where the Sumida River meets Tokyo Bay, was the administrative center of the samurai-origin Tokugawa Shogunate, which supported the feudal regime for centuries.
In 1868, thanks to Emperor Meiji, it not only changed its name, but was at the center of the modernization movement that dragged the whole country after it.
As a result of all this mobility, Tokyo has a rightful place among the richest and most attractive cities in the world in terms of places to visit. I will share very important information throughout the guide, but pay attention to these first;
Where to stay? Shinjuku, Asakusa, Ginza, Shibuya, Roppongi and Tokyo Station (Marunouchi area) are the best places to stay in the city.
Hotel recommendations: Some of the most popular hotels in Tokyo city center: 3 ★ Tokyu Stay Shinjuku, 4 ★ Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, 5 ★ Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo.
Tokyo Travel List
The Meiji Shrine, located in a forest of 70 hectares, which is now called Yoyogi Park, was completed between 1920-1926. The religious structure is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shõken, who played a major role in Japan’s modernization.
The mighty ruler and his wife often visited the garden chosen for the construction of the temple. The first Shinto temple rebuilt after it was heavily damaged as a result of the bombardments during World War II. It was rebuilt in accordance with the original in line with the share allocated from the public budget.
The temple, which has become one of the indispensable places to visit in Tokyo due to its peaceful environment and splendor, consists of 2 regions named “Naien” and “Gaien”.
The royal treasure is preserved in Naien. Gaien, on the other hand, hosts a multi-purpose sports complex with a picture gallery where wallpapers depicting the life of the emperors are displayed.
- Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-8557
- Visiting Hours: 05.00-18.00
Sensoji Temple, located in the center of Tokyo‘s historical settlement, is the oldest religious building you can visit in the city.
According to the common belief, the construction of the temple, which you can access from the Thunder Gate (Kaminarimon), which is adopted as the symbol of both the temple and the city, was decided after the two brothers found the statue of the Buddhist goddess Kanon while fishing in the Sumida River in 628.
The main hall of the temple, whose construction was completed in 645, is accessed from the Hozomon Gate.
The temple, which is shown as the most important attraction of Northern Tokyo due to its colorful architecture and historical importance, hosts various events throughout the year.
The Asakusa Samba Carnival and Hagoita-ichi, which offer pleasant moments to travelers in August with Sanja Matsuri held every year in May, are the main cultural events hosted by the temple.
- Address: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo 111-0032
- Visiting Hours: 06.00-17.00
3.Tokyo Tower (Tokyo Skytree)
Tokyo Tower, which is the most important part of Tokyo Skytree Town, started to be built in 2008.
The 634-meter-long television tower, after its completion in 2012, took away the title of its counterpart in Shiba Park and became the highest structure in the country.
While the old tower built in 1958 attracts attention with its Eiffel-like appearance, the futuristic design stands out in the Tokyo Skytree, some of which were painted with the traditional color of Japan.
There are observation terraces at two different points of the tower. Tembo Deck, 350 meters high from these terraces, offers visitors the opportunity to both watch the city view and eat and shop on its 3-floor area.
The second observation terrace, called Tempo Gallery, whose height is 450 meters and built using glass and steel, not only offers its guests an exquisite city view, but also increases adrenaline levels with its spiral design.
- Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045
- Visiting Hours: 08.00-22.00
- Entry Fee: 2,060 Yen
4.Tokyo Imperial Palace
Tokyo Imperial Palace replaced Edo Castle, which was used as an administrative center by the feudal lords of the Tokugawa Clan who ruled the country between 1603-1897. Despite the devastation of World War II, it preserves all its glory.
The magnificent building, which covers an area of 3.41 square kilometers, including its gardens, was built between 1868-1888. Inside the palace, which consists of two different areas surrounded by water-filled ditches, there are residences and administrative offices belonging to the imperial family.
A limited number of visitors can enter the inner palace section only on January 2 (New Year celebration) and December 23 (emperor’s birthday).
The Imperial Palace East Gardens, which contains the walls remaining from the Edo Castle, is open to the locals and travelers throughout the year.
- Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111
- Visiting Hours: 09.00-17.00
If you are interested in a residential area that offers its guests rich shopping opportunities and colorful nightlife and full of high-end food and beverage opportunities, you can include the Ginza District in your list of Tokyo attractions.
The area, valued at more than 10 million Yen for 1 square meter of shops in its center, was home to a mint where silver coins were minted from 1612 to 1800. The name of the region already means “silver mint” in English.
You can visit Ginza Wako, Ginza Six or Tokyu Plaza Ginza if you want to shop in the residential area that started to gain its current appearance after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.
Tokyu Plaza Ginza, in particular, attracts travelers with its tax free shopping opportunities. If you want to get to know the local culture, you can also include the Shelliza Theater and Police Museum on your sightseeing list.
Hotel Recommendation: The 4-star Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier is one of the most beautiful and popular facilities you can stay in the region.
Another area of interest for shopping and entertainment-loving travelers in the city is Shibuya.
The region, which is the starting point of many trends that have left their mark on daily life in the fields of fashion and entertainment in Japan, is shown as the most crowded and colorful place in Tokyo.
The famous Bunkamura, nicknamed “culture village” with the statue of Hachiko, who waits for its owner in front of Shibuya Station every day during his life, is one of the most important attraction points waiting for you in this part of the city.
If shopping and entertainment play an important role in your Tokyo vacation plans, you can find plenty of opportunities in the streets within the borders of Shibuya.
Because many shops, restaurants and nightclubs are waiting for you on streets such as Center Gai, Koen Dori, Spain Slope. If strolling in the streets is not attractive to you, you can also head to Tokyu or Seibu related shopping centers.
Hotel Recommendation: : The 4-star Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu, which is directly connected to the Train Station, is one of the popular hotels in the region.
Ueno Park, which covered a part of the area where Kaneiji, which was the largest and richest temple in the city during the Edo Period, when the country was under the rule of the Tokugawa Clan, was opened to the public in 1873.
The park, where you can see the statue of General Saigo Takamori, who served in the Battle of Ueno, one of the events that brought the end of feudalism, was the first Western-style green space built in Japan.
Due to the museums within its borders, Ueno Park is considered among the most important attraction points of the travelers who enjoy cultural tours.
If you want to have an idea about the cultural and historical background of the city, you can come to the park and visit Tokyo National, National Western Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Art and National Science museums.
If you go to the green area at the end of March or the beginning of April, you can witness the breathtaking view created by the cherry blossoms blooming on over a thousand trees with your own eyes.
Yoyogi Park, which hosts the Meiji Shrine, offers attractive opportunities to travelers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and have a pleasant time with nature sports or picnics.
The park attracts those who want to photograph the spectacular scenery created by cherry blossoms, especially in the spring season. Ponds at various points contribute to the increase in the diversity of species within the park.
In the 550,000 square meter area of Yoyogi, there were previously the residences of the military personnel of the United States.
During the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, this giant area was used for the housing needs of the athlete group. Three years after the end of the Olympic games, it was opened to the public as one of Japan’s largest city parks.
9.Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum, one of the cultural facilities operating within Ueno Park, was established in 1972. The museum, which hosted its visitors at the Yushima Seido Temple at that time, moved to its building within the park a few years later.
Considered among the oldest and largest museums in Japan, the 110,000-piece collection of the cultural facility consists of historical artifacts brought from various parts of the country and art works produced by local artists.
Artifacts belonging to the huge collection of the Tokyo National Museum meet with visitors in 6 different buildings. Opened in 1938, Honkan is devoted to art works from ancient times to the 19th century.
Hyokeikan, the oldest member of the building group, hosts temporary exhibitions. While you have the opportunity to examine Asian and Egyptian art works in Toyokan, you can get information about Ancient Japanese Culture in Heiseikan.
Visitors to the museum’s newest building, Horyuji Homotsukan, have the opportunity to get to know religious objects from various periods.
The museum also operates an independent section dedicated to Kuroda Seiki, who played an important role in the spread of Western-style painting in Japan.
- Address: 13-9 Uenokoen, Taitō, Tokyo 110-8712
- Visiting Hours: 09.30-17.00
- Entry Fee: 620 Yen
10.Akihabara Electric Town
If you enjoy reading manga created with anime drawing art or are interested in electronics, you can add Akihabara Electric Town in the heart of the city to your Tokyo attractions list.
The region, which is at the center of the “otaku” culture, which especially young Japanese people are passionately attached to, has gained a very colorful atmosphere as a result of the radical change it has gone through in recent years.
For electronics shopping in the region, you can visit multi-storey stores such as Sofmap, Laox, Yamada Denki and Akky with a rich product range. For tax free shopping, you can go to Yodobashi Camera.
Make sure that the product you plan to purchase during electronic shopping is compatible with the electricity infrastructure in our country.
If you feel tired while visiting Akihabara, you can take a break in one of the “maid” or “manga” cafes.
11.Tsukiji Fish Market
If you are trying to get to know the local cuisine culture in the countries you are traveling to, I recommend you to visit the Tsukiji Fish Market during your Tokyo vacation.
The fish market, which spreads over several blocks right across from the wholesale market with the same name, gives clues to travelers about the daily life of Tokyo with its retail outlets and restaurants surrounding its narrow streets.
Restaurants in Tsukiji are famous for making Tokyo’s best sushi. These recipes prepared from fresh seafood are shown as the main reason why gastronomy enthusiasts show great interest in the market as well as locals.
The shops inside the Tsukiji Fish Market have moved to another location in Toyosu. It is said that the shops outside the marketplace will not be affected by this change.
- Address: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045
- Visiting Hours: 05.00-14.00
Located in Tokyo Bay, the man-made Odaiba Island stands out with the shopping and entertainment opportunities it offers its guests today.
In the Edo Period, there were a number of military defense structures in this place where there was an artificial piece of land. These castles were built to protect the city against attacks from the sea.
The island, where many houses with a futuristic design were built within the scope of urban transformation projects carried out in the 1980s, has been at the center of commercial life for a while. When the financial crisis broke out in the early 1990s, the artificial land was opened to tourism.
There are 4 main regions in Odaiba that can be visited. Among these regions, attractions such as Decks Tokyo Beach, Aquacity Odaiba and Rainbow Bridge within the borders of Fuji TV Area are waiting for you.
In the Telecom Center Area where museums are located, you can get an idea about marine sciences and innovative projects carried out in recent years.
When you go to Palette Town, you can get on the giant ferris wheel, take test drives with the latest models produced by the company in Toyota Mega Web, and you can shop at Venus Fort.
The last area you can visit on the island is the Panasonic Center.
13.Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building within the borders of Shinjuku attracts the attention of travelers thanks to the observation terraces with free entrance.
The metropolitan administration center, which was the tallest building in the city until 2007, when the Midtown Tower was completed, has a height of 243 meters. There are two towers on the north and south sides of the building. There is an observation terrace in both towers.
On clear days, Fuji Mountain, Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, Meiji Temple and Tokyo Dome can be seen in all details from the 202-meter-high observation terraces.
The observation terrace in the northern tower of the building is kept open to visitors after midnight. In this way, travelers can have the opportunity to witness Tokyo’s unique night view with their own eyes.
If you go to the tourism office on the second floor of the government building before climbing the towers to watch the city view, you will have the opportunity to get resources to learn interesting information about the capital of Japan.
- Address: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-8001
- Visiting Hours: 09.30-23.00
Taking the Eiffel as an example in its design, Tokyo Tower is the tallest self-supporting steel tower in the world with a height of 333 meters.
Tokyo Tower symbolizes Japan’s rise as an economic power in the period after World War II, was opened to visitors in 1958. As I mentioned while giving information about Tokyo Skytree, the tower was the tallest structure in the country until 2012.
In addition to being an important attraction point, Tokyo Tower, which allows television broadcasts to reach large audiences, has two viewing terraces.
The Main Terrace offers travelers the opportunity to enjoy a view 150 meters above the ground. The 250-meter-high Upper Terrace is preferred by travelers who want to observe the city and its surroundings in more detail.
If you have time, you can also visit the Foot Town ‘under the tower. Inside the building, there is an amusement park named One Piece Tower, along with gift shops and restaurants.
- Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011
- Visiting Hours: 09.00-23.00
- Entry Fee: 900 Yen
Kabukicho, Japan’s most famous and largest red light district, is becoming one of the indispensable places for travelers to visit Tokyo, thanks to entertainment opportunities for adults.
The area, a few blocks from Yasukuni-dori, takes its name from the traditional kabuki theater that dates back to the Edo Period.
There are many restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the entertainment district within the borders of Shinjuku District, where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is also located. When the excitement-seeking travelers come to the region, they try their luck on the slot machines in places called “pachinko”.
In Kabukicho, where love hotels are located, those who are after more different entertainments prioritize watching peep show events and extraordinary cabarets.
During your Tokyo vacation, you can visit “Nakamise”, one of Tokyo’s oldest shopping streets, to stroll through souvenir shops.
The street adjacent to the Sensoji Temple is just over 200 meters long. There are 54 shops on the eastern side of the street, the content of which has not changed much since the Edo Era. On the western side, 35 businesses are operating that offer attractive opportunities to travelers.
At the 89 shops on the street, Japanese candy sticks, masks with different meanings, trinkets that are thought to bring good luck and wooden slippers are among the products that travelers show interest in. Even if none of these products are of interest to you, you can spare time for Nakamise ‘to experience its authentic atmosphere.
Roppongi, whose name means “Six Trees” in English, is known for its foreign-friendly environment and rich entertainment facilities.
The face of the residential area, which hosts foreign representatives of many countries such as its neighbors Azabu, Hiroo and Akasaka, has changed a lot thanks to high-level urban renewal projects such as Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown.
Roppongi, a district of its own that did not attract much attention in the past, has turned into a settlement with exclusive boutiques, entertainment venues, residences and hotels after these projects.
When you list the region to the list of places to visit, you can find the opportunity to visit the National Art Center, Mori and Suntory art museums.
After visiting the cultural centers, you can go to the observation terraces at Roppongi Hills or Tokyo Midtown to watch the scenery and take lots of photos.
Hotel Recommendation: The 3-star Hotel Arca Torre Roppongi, one of the most beautiful and popular facilities in this region.
Located between Shinjuku and Shibuya, Harajuku appeals to all age groups from 7 to 70 in terms of both eating and drinking facilities and shopping options. Within the borders of the settlement area, Takeshita Street attracts the attention of young people more.
On the other hand, Omotosando, which is half the size of the popular street, reminds of the Champs-Elysées with both its appearance and content. There are shopping complexes such as Omotosando Hills, LaForet Harajuku, Daiso Harajuku – 100 Yen Shop in many parts of the region, especially on the Boulevard. If you want to buy souvenirs, you can go to the Oriental Bazaar‘ instead of these places.
Harajuku also has a rich cultural structure. In addition to the Meiji Temple and Yoyogi Park, whose details I have shared with you in the previous sections of the list I prepared, there are attractions with different contents such as Togo Temple, Nezu Museum, NHK Studio Park in this part of the city.
Speaking of “Harajuku”, it is necessary to open a separate parenthesis to Takeshita Street, which is one of the places where the young generation shows the most interest in the region.
The 400-meter-long narrow pedestrian road, called Takeshita Dori in the local language, houses many shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
As I mentioned at the beginning, all these venues manage to attract young people rather than adults, thanks to their content focused on popular culture elements. Of course, you can take advantage of this feature and make interesting observations about the rituals adopted by the local people in daily life.
Due to its popularity, the street is particularly busy on weekends. If you do not like crowded environments, you can go to Takeshita, which is the center of attraction of “Harajuku”, on weekdays or spend time in the streets with similar content parallel to the street.
Tokyo Disneyland, which has seven different theme areas, was opened to visitors in 1983. The establishment of the theme park, which is the first Disneyland to be opened outside the United States, was based on its congeners in California and Florida.
The facility manages to provide its visitors with a high-level entertainment experience with its decoration that changes every season.
Thanks to its rich content that appeals to different age groups, the theme park, which you can include in your list of places to visit in Tokyo, is located in the World Bazaar section of the theme park, where shopping and drinking-drinking places.
Visitors who want to have an idea about space and the future flock to Tomorrowland, while Toontown, full of cartoon characters, attracts children.
If you want to go on thematic rides and have pleasant moments, you can choose between Westernland or Adventureland.
- Address: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031
- Visiting Hours: 08.00-22.00
- Entry Fee: 7,400 Yen
Where to Stay in Tokyo?
Where to stay in Tokyo? Shinjuku, Asakusa, Ginza, Shibuya, Roppongi and Tokyo Station (Marunouchi area) are some of the most important areas where you can stay in the city.
The 4-star Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is one of the most beautiful and popular facilities in the city.