Tokyo is simply a mash-up of cutesy anime mascots, sleek high-tech gadgets, old-fashioned decorum and modern living. One of the world’s most vibrant cities, this eclectic Japanese metropolis is bursting with glee, amusements and thrills that promise to give you an extraordinary travel experience.
Still not convinced? Allow me to introduce you to some of the reasons why thousands of people from all corners of the world flock to this vast and wealthy Japanese city. Hopefully, our tips and suggestions will convince you that Tokyo is a blissful destination that you should visit at least once in your life. And, after reading this piece, I hope will you start crafting a travel plan to this incredible Oriental city.
I’ve always admired Kit Kat for its supremely sweet chocolate taste, but never in my wildest imaginations did I dream of nibbling on a wasabi-flavored version of this luscious treat. Yes, you’ve heard it right. The Japanese, with their imagination and ingenuity, were able to add a unique twist to this toothsome chocolate delight by creating a variety of tasty and out-of-the-ordinary Kit Kat flavors, including:
• Read Bean Sandwich
• Hojicha Roasted Tea
• Matcha-Green Tea
• Blueberry Cheesecake
• Cinnamon Cookier
• Hot Japanese Chili
• Edamame Soybean
• Many more
From shark-fin ice-creams and soft ice-creams with fried oysters to beer-flavored varieties, you will find a plethora of weird ice cream flavors in Tokyo, Japan.
Not only are they incredibly cheap, but they can provide a quirky one-of-a-kind cultural experience as well.
The city of Tokyo has a galore of colorful and fascinating festivals to offer to its visitors, such as Setsubu, Hatsumode, Fukagawa Matsuri, Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, Sanja Matsuri, Temo Matsuri, Kanda Matsuri, and Fuki Matsuri.
Tokyo, amidst its rapid development and urbanization, still has a load of green and serene areas where you can unwind and get away from all the commotion and hustle in your city life. Often viewed as a gorgeous green city, Tokyo is teeming with lovely nature parks and Japanese gardens, such as Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, Hama Rikyu Garden, Imperial Palace East Gardens, Kyosumi Teine, Yoyogi Koen, and a whole lot more.
Tokyo is extremely safe, when compared to other capitals and top tourist destinations like London, Paris andNew York. Crimes that are related to firearms and shooting are pretty rare in this city since only policemen are allowed to carry guns. What’s more, ceremonial swords and katanas are regulated by its local government. Do you think I’m bluffing? Check out the statistics shared in thislinkregarding Tokyo’s crime rates. Trust me, my fellow travelers, numbers don’t lie.
Tokyo, even though it is a highly urbanized Oriental apple, has an abundance of shrines and temples that would give you a glimpse of the gripping history and heritage of Japan. As a matter of fact, Tokyo is home to some of the best and most magnificent shrines and temples in the country. There are literally hundreds of shrines and temples that spread through the massive cityscape of Tokyo. Here are, in my book, the can’t-miss temples and shrines in Tokyo:
• Atago Shrine
• Kaneiji Temple
• Asakusa Shine
• Sensoji Temple
• Meiji Shrine
Mount Takao, with a height of 599 meters, may not be much of a challenge for seasoned hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Yet, it manages to lure hordes of travelers every day, thanks to its beautiful scenery, fresh air, and awe-inspiring views of the iconic Mount Fuji.
Avid baseball fans won’t be disappointed with a trip to Japan’s celebrated capital. To me, it is a city obsessed with this sport. As far as I know, Tokyo is one of the three cities (Seoul and Chicago) on the face of the earth, with a couple of big league baseball stadiums in its downtown area.
Watching grown bulky men, who are barely dressed, slapping each other’s chest, may not be a pleasing sight for most people. But in Tokyo, Japan, sumo wrestling is considered a fierce, high drama, manly competition that attracts and entertains hordes of people.
There are a lot of skyscrapers in Tokyo that offer magnificent panoramic views of the city and the distant Mount Fuji, on a good clear day. The Tokyo Skytree, for one, which is the tallest building in the city, has a couple of observation decks where sightseers can enjoy spectacular panoramas of Tokyo. For those who want to enjoy Tokyo’s lovely sunset and panoramas with a drink, I suggest that you make your way to Andaz Hotel’ Rooftop Bar.
From lively parades and seasonal decorations to mind-blowing rides and animated live shows, Tokyo Disneyland has a world of fun and thrills to offer to anyone who visits it. By the way, the Tokyo Disneyland is located in Urayasu, which is just an hour away from Tokyo.
Am I joking? Nope! Seriously, a visit to Tokyo is a window of opportunity to fulfill your childhood dream of becoming a ninja. WithNinja School: Ninja for a day, you get a private workshop that lets you learn some of the techniques, moves and secrets of feudal Japan’s assassins and spies. Isn’t that cool?
Tokyo has a host of Black belt karate masters who will teach you teach you the art as well as hone your skills in karate. Not only is it a great way to learn self-defense, but learning karate in Tokyo will also give a sneak peek of the martial arts culture in Japan.
Tokyo certainly has no shortage of places to catch amazing live music. Jazz lovers should make their way to Aoyama’s Blue Note, which features top Japanese and international jazz acts. But if world, indie or rock music is your cup of tea, make sure to swing by Shibuya, and look for Club Quattro.
The city’s architectural landscape is, without a shadow of a doubt, a boon for urban explorers, photographers and architecture buffs. Of course, this landscape has a rather futuristic feel that would remind you ofcyberpunkRPG games like Shadowrun and Cyberpunk 2020.
Drop by the Imperial Palace on January 2 or December 23, and get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see something unforgettable and impressive. During these dates, His Imperial Majesty and the rest of the royal family will be making a rare public appearance at the grounds of the Inner Palace. If you are a tall person, you might catch sight of one of Asia’s most illustrious and important people, in the midst of a sea of flag-wavers.
Dining won’t be a boring endeavor in the city of Tokyo, thanks to its crazily fun and strange themed restaurants, such as:
• The Lockup –A prison-themed restaurant chain where you can experience dining in a locked cell while being haunted my masked maniacs.
• Vampire Café – It is a dramatic red-themed restaurant full of skulls broken mirrors, candelabras and a big centerpiece coffin.
• Alice in Wonderland – A restaurant that recreates the events of Alice in Wonderland.
• Ninja- Set in a ninja-like hideout, this restaurant is full of surprises and of course, good food.
• Alcatraz ER- A prison cell style restaurant with a twist.
• Robot Restaurant – A colorful, loud and scintillating cabaret show that will surely stretch your senses to their limits.
With tons of omnipresent bento boxes, sushi trains and ramen restaurants available, you can dine like an Asian emperor in this city, even when you are on a tight budget. For an affordable traditional Japanese meal in Tokyo, follow the beautiful red lanterns to Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku, in which there are hole-in-the-wall bars selling grilled meat skewers and draught beer.
You can learn the art of making delicious and healthy sushi from a professional chef, who will share to you all the basic cooking techniques in Japan, so you can create your own tasty sushi. Who knows? This learning experience could lead to a booming food business in the future, like a sushi bar or sushi train.
Feel the earth tremble under your feet with the earthquake stimulator of Ikebuluro Earthquake Hall.
With its brilliant high-tech technology, it is easy to see why gadget freaks deem Tokyo as their utopia. As far as the prices are concerned, the gadgets sold in Tokyo are a bit steeper, when compared to the ones offered on other parts of Asia. Nevertheless, buying a gadget here is a sure-fire bet that you are getting the latest and coolest in the market.
Pay a visit to an electronic showroom in Akihabara, and step into an electrifying wonderland full of monstrous screens and bright lights. Better yet, head off to Yodobashi Akiba, and be wowed by its massive floors of game consoles, appliances, stereos and televisions.
With over a hundred surface routes and a dozen subway lines operated by Japan Railways and private companies, the railway system in Tokyo seems like it was specifically designed to win a lot of world records. Handling more than six million commuters every day, Tokyo’s metro is by far one of the busiest subway systems in the world today. But, do not let the throngs of people discourage and overwhelm you. As chaotic as Tokyo’s stations are, its transit line layout is quite easy to navigate, as well as very efficient.
The Tsukiji Market, the world’s biggest seafood and wholesale fish market, lets you participate in a frenzied auction of fresh and delectable seafood delights.
Channel your inner pop superstar or rock god by singing your heart out at a karaoke bar in Tokyo. Since Japan is the cradle of karaoke, it is fitting for travelers to try this activity in its capital.
As you make your way around the neighborhoods of Akihabara and Harajuku, you’ll get to feast your eyes on zesty cosplayers and fashionistas parade their best get-ups on the city’s energetic streets.
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