Updated: Jun 17
With more than 13 million residents to entertain, Tokyo has a lot going on. Start your morning off with breakfast sushi at the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market then let yourself get lost in Japan's vast and interesting history at the Tokyo National Museum or the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Take an hour or two and unwind in the verdant gardens (preferably with a picnic) of the Imperial Palace or the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. When you're ready to take on Tokyo's mammoth shopping scene, head to Ginza, the waterfront Odaiba or the anime-friendly Akihabara for all things tech. At the end of the day, take a lift into the sky at either the Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for a bird's-eye view of the glittering city. And no trip here would be complete without visiting some of the city's more traditional sites, including the Sensoji Temple and the spiritual Meiji Shrine.
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One of the best introductory things to do in Tokyo is to visit Sensō-ji, one of the most significant Buddhist temples in Japan. Especially busy during Sanja Matsuri in late spring, Sensō-ji attracts countless visitors throughout the year, all keen to get an introduction to Japan’s spiritual life. Sensō-ji offers free admission at all times and it’s always open. Click to check out the best tips for visiting Sensō-ji.
Located in the heart of Yoyogi Park, this incredible Shinto Shrine offers visitors the opportunity to dive deep into its rich history and learn about its uniqueness. During Sundays, you may be able to witness a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. Just take a step back and have your camera ready.
Many come to Harajuku to experience the famed Takeshita Street, a pedestrian shopping street dotted with malls and independent fashion boutiques featuring super colourful outfits. For the complete kawaii novice, Harajuku is also a great introduction to the Japanese latest cute crazes.
This communication and observation tower allows tourists to enjoy epic views over Japan at either 150 or 250 metres above ground. Standing at 333 metres, it is 13 metres taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower. Seeing Tokyo from above is, in my opinion, one of the best things to do in Tokyo.
Arguably, Shinjuku is Tokyo’s most colourful ward. Home to Asia’s largest red district, countless street food vendors and a huge vibrant market, Shinjuku is a major commercial and administrative centre. Usually associated with jampo adverts and crazy awesome neon lights, Shinjuku is Tokyo’s most vibrant district.
Kawasaki Daishi is a prominent temple in Kawasaki City. It was founded in 1128 toward the end of the Heian Period and is the headquarters of the Chizan School of Shingon Buddhism.
The temple's original structures were destroyed during the war, and its current buildings are modern reconstructions of Heian Period architecture. The main hall (Dai-Hondo), constructed of steel and concrete, was built in 1958 and houses a statue of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Japanese Shingon Buddhism. Several of the temple's other large structures, such as the main Dai-Sanmon Gate and an octagonal, five story pagoda, were built in the 1970s and 80s to commemorate various anniversaries.
A lively temple approach connects the gates of the temple to Kawasaki Daishi Station and is lined with restaurants and shops selling all kinds of souvenirs and colorful daruma dolls.