Tokyo is a city that almost seems surreal. The rich history & tradition set against a backdrop of advanced innovation & modernity is enough to put the Japanese city at the top of many travellers' to-do list. A sprawling city with over 13 million people, it can be difficult to choose just what to see and do when you get there. Granted, there is so much much to see and do all around the city (as well as other parts of Japan!) that it would be impossible to fit it all in. So, while this isn't an exhaustive list, it's a great place to start. Take a look at some of our suggestions for the top 7 things to do in Tokyo.
Cherry Blossom FestivalsThe transition from winter to spring is typically marked by the blooming of Japan's national flower, the cherry blossom. Watching these pink-tinged flowers bloom in parks across the country is not uncommon, and there are several parks in Tokyo to enjoy the view. Ueno Onshi Park, Asukayama Park, the Meguro River, and Chidorigafuchi are just a few places within the city that make for the perfect place to sit down and smell the cherry blossoms; which have a light, fresh scent with fruit-filled undertones.
In a city as bustling as Tokyo, a quiet getaway close by is always a good thing, and the Meji shrine is just that. Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken, the shrine is the perfect combination of nature and traditional Japanese architecture. It's not uncommon to stumble across a traditional wedding happening there thanks to the beautiful, serene surroundings.Head to Harajuku Station or Meiji-Jingu-Mae to get there.
National Sumo HallAnyone interested in the ancient art of Sumo should head here to see not only matches but parades of ceremonial clothing and demonstrations from former champions if you want to get up close and personal . Get off at Ryogoku Station to make your way there.
Tokyo DomeWith room for 55,00, this baseball and basketball stadium is also home to a whole host of other live events like concerts, wresting matches and monster truck races. In addition to popular acts from Japan and all over Asia that you should check out, artists like Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Mick Jagger & more have all performed there, so check the dome's schedule to find out what's going on when you're in town. Theres also an amusement park, shopping and a hotel & spa within the dome complex.
Have Authentic SushiHave it literally anywhere in Tokyo. Going to the place any food originated is always a a safe bet in terms of quality, as the Japanese are serious about the fresh fish used in their dishes. Keep in mind tht much of the sushi in other parts of the world are modified to regional tastes and access to ingredients, so prepare yourself for a potentially new but truly authentic experience.
One of the busiest and most dynamic places in the whole city, the Shibuya district of Tokyo is a fashion hub known for it's shopping, nightlife and extremely fast pace. Once exiting Shibuya station, you end up at a corner of what may just be the busiest crossing in the world, with lights guiding the foot traffic coming from all directions. The fact that people rarely, if ever, bump into each other is a true testament to a city that values space and comfort while still being so densely populated.
This broadcasting & communication tower is the tallest in the world, with observation decks that provide the best and clearest view of Tokyo in all its glory. Completed in 2012, it has taken over the main digital broadcasting duties from the much older Tokyo Tower, but also houses a restaurant in addition to the observation deck. If you're not afraid of heights, the views are phenomenal.Whatever you choose to do in Tokyo, be sure to be well-prepared and well packed in one of your Rise Gear bags! Happy Travels & enjoy Japan!