Tokyo is a cleaner version of New York and with everything a big city usually has to offer, plus that little extra that makes Japan Japan. Tokyo offers everything from temples, shrines, shopping, parks and museums to more amusement parks than you can imagine!
Have you always dreamed of driving Mario Kart on open roads? Japan got you covered. There are actually some from our editorial staff in the picture!
A BIG must for anyone visiting Japan. However, it is important to remember that an International Driver’s License is required to drive the go-kart on the road. That is, they do not let you out with a regular Swedish driver’s license. You can get an international driver’s license at home before you go through different federations depending on where in the country you are and cost only a couple of euros.
The official name is Street Kart Akihabara, but is also called MariCar. Booking of driving is done through an automated messenger chat on their Facebook page or via their own website.
Akihabara is the editor’s favorite place in Tokyo and something we visit at least once at every stay in Tokyo. Here you are embraced by neon signs, high-rise buildings characterized in all sorts of different themes, good food, game houses and everything else you can think of between heaven and earth. An electronics district that really looks like you’d expect from a real Japanese electronics district from film.
Take your family to Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo and build with lego & duplo, ride attractions, race with lego cars and check out how lego is made. There’s something for the whole family and everything is indoors, making the Discovery Center the perfect excursion over the day when the weather isn’t at its best.
However, the Discovery Center must not be associated with Legoland Japan, which is significantly larger and in the city of Nagoya.
The country’s oldest Zoo and was opened in 1882. Most people visit the park for its pandas which first move in in 1972. At present, a family consisting of 3 pandas lives in the park.
The park is open 09:30 – 17:00, Tuesday – Sunday. Closed on Mondays and the day after Monday if Monday is a public holiday.
The park is home to over 3,000 animals of 400 different species. The zoo’s most popular animals to visit are pandas, Sumatran tigers and western lowland gorillas. Ueno Zoo has the most animals of any zoo in the country.
Outside the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza shopping center on Odaiba you will find a 20m high 1:1 Gundam RX-0 Unicorn statue, from the Gundam Unicorn series.
The statue comes to life and moves along with a light and sound show every day at 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 17:00. After the last show at 17:00, the statue stands in “Destroy Mode” and shines throughout the night. It is a very pleasant experience that should be visited when the sun has gone down.
While you are at DiverCity during the evening, take the opportunity to look out over the Rainbow Bridge which shines in all the colors of the rainbow. Remember that the bridge only shines in certain months. More info can be found further down the page.
Tokyo Skytree is a famous TV tower in the area of Sumida, Tokyo. The tower is the country’s tallest building, but also the second tallest building in the world. Here you will find everything from shopping to nice restaurants at the top of the tower.
The tower is best known for its glass observation surface. Take the opportunity to go up and get a 360 view of the whole city. There are three different options: Floor 350, Floor 450 and Combo ticket with floor 350 + 450.
Open 08:00 – 22:00 every day, 365 days a year. Some opening hours may vary during holidays. More info can be found on the actor’s website.
Opened in 1983, the park was the first park to open its doors outside the United States. The park is based at Disneyland California and is divided into 7 unique areas.
Tokyo Disneyland is located on the island of Urayasu and only a few minutes walk from JR Maihama Station. The park can also be reached via Tokyo Disneyland Station which runs along the Disney Resort Monorail.
Usually the park is open 08:00 – 22:00, however, note that the opening hours may differ on certain days. Check the opening hours of your visit on their website.
Next to Disneyland Tokyo on the island of Urayasu you will find Tokyo DisneySea. A unique water-themed park, full of surprises and pleasantries for the whole family.
Like Disneyland, the fantasy park is divided into 7 unique areas in different themes. The park is suitable for all visitors and ages, but is visually more aimed at an older audience. Here you have a unique opportunity to enjoy good food with a pleasant view. Unique to the park against its sister park next door is that this park serves alcohol.
You can reach the park by Disney Resort Monorail from Maihama Station to Tokyo Disney Sea Station. The journey takes 10 minutes and costs about 260 jpy. Alterantiv two is a 20 minute walk from Maihama Station.
Usually the park is open 08:00 – 22:00, however, note that the opening hours may differ on certain days. Check the opening hours of your visit on their website.
Shibuya is the area that is most popular with young Japanese, but attracts a lot of tourists and photographers daily due to its well-known crossing. The intersection is also the world’s busiest intersection with 500,000 crossing people daily. The calm of the chaos that occurs as soon as the light turns green is unparalleled and is recommended to experience if you are visiting Tokyo for the first time.
Half a day is spent in Shibuya as the area is surrounded by nightclubs, large shopping centers, shops and restaurants.
Also take the opportunity to visit the Hachikō statue – dedicated to the dog Hachikō. The legend and story of Hachikō has been made into a film and praised worldwide. The statue can be found outside Shibuya Station.
A hidden treasure just outside Tokyo. An amusement park, consisting of Guinness World of Record attractions.
The amusement park is located below Mt. Fuji and hence its name Fuji-Q Highland Park. If the weather permits, some days you can get wonderful pictures with the mountain in the background. However, keep in mind the mountain’s top to mostly being surrounded by fog and clouds.
Dododonpa: Here they shoot you off like the cannon at Liseberg, but at 180 km / h in 1.56 seconds!
Takabisha:121 degree drop – is number one on the list as the world’s steepest roller coaster.
Eejanaika: Most rotations in the world. Here you are spun up, down and sideways along the entire ride. One of the sickest things we’ve ever ridden in the editorial office! Highly recommended for those who dare.
The park has a number of other attractions to offer, such as the world’s largest and many other fun. If you decide to spend a day at this wonderful park,you will certainly not be dissatisfied!
Next to Fuji-Q Highland Park you will find their Naruto Park with its full name “NARUTO X BORUTO Fuji Hidden Leaf Village”. Try eating the ramen at Ichiraku, wandering around Konoha and solving various challenges in the park.
Hidden Leaf Village also offers a similarly themed resort for those who want to stay overnight with Naruto-themed rooms
What many people don’t know is that Tokyo has its own replica of the Statue of Liberty on Odaiba. The statue daily attracts a large amount of tourists due to all its photo opportunities.
The statue looks out over an illuminated Rainbow Bridge during the evening hours and is unofficially called the city’s best view.
Osaka and Shimoda have two replica siblings to visit, but the goddess of Tokyo is clearly the most popular because of Tokyo-Bay and the Rainbow Bridge in the background.
The palace is the main residence of the kjeserliga family, but only one of several. Most interior areas as well as gardens are closed to the public like most palaces in the world. Twice a year, however, the palace’s inner garden is open to the public where you have the opportunity to see the imperial family standing on the balcony and waving – this applies to December 23rd and January 2nd.
The palace’s eastern garden is called Higashi Gyoen and is said to be the most beautiful in the country. The park is open and free to the public 09:00 – 16:30 every day of the week. The park is open until 16:00 during November – February & to 17:00 during April – August.
The Imperial Palace is only a few minutes from Tokyo Station. The palace and its parks cover an area of 3.4 square kilometers, right in the center of Tokyo.
These cosplay-based cafés / restaurants can be found a little everywhere in Tokyo, but especially in Akihabara. The staff are mostly dressed up as French maids and treat you with respect and tenderness as a “master of the house”. These restaurants are as popular with men as they are with women and there are several who speak English. In addition to serving food and drinks, they actively hold shows and play games with their guests.
Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate) is one of the two major gates that then leads you to Sensoji Temple from the street/stop. Kaminarimon was built over a thousand years ago and still stands today. Inside its gates you will find Nakamise shopping street with Sensoji Temple as the final destination. However, Nakamise is more of a small market than a shopping street and is unfortunately full of people on weekends. However, a very cozy little footpath leading up to the temple that we recommend you visit if you are in Tokyo. The temple was completed in 645, making it Tokyo’s oldest temple.
The temple is open from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but the area is still open to the public during the evenings. The temple lights up after sunset every evening.
In 2010, GundamCafé was opened in Akihabara and has since day one been a success with its Gundam inspiring theme. For those of you who are not familiar with Gundam, Gundam is the country’s most well-known and beloved animated robot and comes from an anime series released in 1979.
Fun dishes on the menu include Char ZAKU chicken rice omelet, RX-78-2 Gundam penne gorgonzola, Dessert Zaku plate and Gundam sandwiches. Even the coffee is decorated with Gundam’s face in the foam. Next door to the café you will find a merch shop that sells everything from t-shirts to mugs and plates.
The store can be found at 1–1, Kandahanaoka-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
One of the country’s leading electronics store chains is Yodobashi Camera. In here, you can easily spend several hours because the store consists of several floors with everything from everyday products to video games.
We strongly recommend visiting Yodobashi Camera or their rival chain Bic Camera for the purchase of Nintendo Switch games that have not been released in Europe yet.
In addition to all electronic products, they also sell clothes, accessories, toys, food and cosmetics in quantities. The range may vary from store to store.
Shimokitazawa, also called Shimokita is a popular and cozy cultural area in Tokyo with many restaurants, cafes and vintage shops. Shimokitazawa has its own small café-culture with a café in almost every corner. Perfect after a full day in one of the city’s busier areas such as Shinjuku or Akihabara.
In March 2019, VR Ninja Dojo opened in Akihabara and has since attracted a lot of tourists. The experience is unique in itself and offers the latest in VR technology. The word ninja is something that most people relate to Japan and here you have the opportunity to experience real life as a ninja – in VR!
Practice ninjutsu, sword technique and other martial arts techniques in an open world. You start in a Dojo whereupon you move on to a more open world with melee combat and other war experiences. You have the opportunity to borrow a ninja costume as well as other ninja equipment on site. All instructors speak English and are very helpful, feel free to ask for help.
Tokyo Nintendo Store in the Shibuya area is something not to be missed for the game lover! In the store you can buy everything from clothes for both adults & children, bags, toys, games, keychains and other Nintendo merch. The Nintendo Store is next door to Pokemon Center Shibuya and other anime-inspired stores in the “Parco” shopping center.
After a rather busy opening day, a queuing system was introduced, where you pick up a ticket with a time when you are welcome in the store. However, the queue times have slowed drastically since launch and you rarely have to wait for more than a couple of minutes.
In Akihabara, the whole area is full of gambling houses and arcade games. The largest is the SEGA house closest to Akihabara Station, however, remember that this is one of 3 SEGA houses in the area – all on several floors. Here you can win everything from a 1:1 Pikachu to a new mobile phone. Or why not take the opportunity to play some StepMania or Sonic, let the nostalgia flow!
Gambling houses like these are of course found in more areas of the city, but Akihabara has the most on the same surface.
Tokyo Pokemon Center is, as previously mentioned, next door to the official Tokyo Nintendo Store and offers shopping in droves. Here you buy everything from cozy stuffed animals, mobile phone cases, pens, games, toys and everything pokemon-related you can imagine. There really is everything, even skateboards!
Tokyo’s official Madame Tussauds wax museum with about 60 realistic wax figures can be found on the island of Odaiba. These wax statues of your favorite actors and celebrities are on a 1:1 scale and can hardly be distinguished from the real person, so talented are they actually at Madame Tussauds. The Madame Tussauds chain has museums in London, Paris and lots of other cities and is usually a very appreciated and pleasant daily activity.
Pre-purchase of tickets is recommended as the museum is well visited during certain times of the year.
The bridge was built in 1993 and connects Odaiba with the rest of Tokyo. This two-storey bridge is a great symbol of the city and is extra beautiful during the evening.
The bridge shines from sunset until 24:00, but the colors vary from day to day.
Lighting changes depending on the time of year and for certain purposes. Every year in October, the entire bridge lights up in pink in honor of the cancer society and its fighters.
Nakamise shopping market is a shopping path/market that leads you from the main road to Sensoji temple. Here you will find everything from tourist items and food to traditional folk costumes.
Very cozy to walk around and look, but have passed about time considering the amount of people who visit the temple and the market every day.
In addition to Sensoji, there are a dozen temples and shrines in the area within a couple of minutes walk.
The nearest “Donki” (Don Quijote) store from Senso-ji is Don Quijote Asakusa and is open 24/7, 365 days a year and is one of the country’s most popular department stores. The store is a 2 minute walk from Asakusa Station. The 7th floor has both café, hot food and theater.
There are various Don Quijote shops all around the city, even in areas like Ginza and Akihabara. But the one in Asakusa is unique for its size and its opening hours.
Ueno Park (上野公園, Ueno Kōen) is a large park, open to the public at Ueno station in central Tokyo. The park once belonged to Keneiji Temple which belonged to one of the country’s richest temple families Tokugawa Clan.
Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s most popular travel destinations for those who want to see ‘Sakura trees’ (cherry blossom). The park has more than 1,000 sakura trees that bloom in late March and early April. This attracts a lot of tourists and hanami (sakura fans).
Today, the park is best known for its many museums, especially the Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum for Western Art. The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum are also two popular museums to visit in the park.
In addition to all its museums, the park also offers a Zoo for those who love pandas, read more further down the page.
This gigantic Uniqlo store spans 12 floors and offers a unique selection from different collections from all over the world. Which makes this particular store a little more unique than others – aside from the crazy amount of floors. Uniqlo is Japan’s most popular clothing brand and is in the same price range as H&M.
They even have a large selection of anime t-shirts and other merch on the top floor. In addition to this, they also offer duty-free for tourists when buying over 3,000 JPY. However, this must be paid at a special counter in the store and with a passport included.
The crossing between Harumi and Chuo is often referred to as the Ginza Crossing and is the centerpiece of Ginza. The intersection is in the evening full of neon lights and people, surrounded by large and luxurious buildings such as the Sanai Building and Wako – two iconic buildings in Tokyo.
A unique owl café that has been selected by Tripdadvisor as one of Akihabara’s best and most visited attractions for several years. Everyone is welcome to come in and visit and play with the owls. Take the opportunity to take part in a unique experience where you can actually pet, take pictures and play with tame owls. The café offers over 20 different owls for pictures and coziness. Remember that images with flash are strictly forbidden as this can stress out and harm the owls.
JR Ueno Station is one of Tokyo’s most important stations. Here you can change between several JR lines such as Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tohoku Line as well as several Shinkansen trains. Many of the station’s trains also pass through Tokyo Station but with much less people and in less space, which makes changes easier. Dont’ forget to order your Japan Rail Pass.
There are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Ginza than in the rest of the city. Although Ginza Kojyu or Sishi Yoshitake are out of your budget, there are plenty of small streets and alleys around Ginza’s main streets, full of wonderful food and other pleasantries.
Hidden and perhaps one of the country’s most underrated shrines, full of red torii gates in tunnel form like those in Kyoto – but in central Tokyo!
Built in 1705 and one of the oldest shrinen in Japan. Shrinet is surrounded by open fine spaces, lively nature and a pleasant passage. A perfect place for the tourist looking for photo-friendly and cheeky surroundings. Shrinet offers a variety of tunnels of torii gates, something you won’t find at home in cold Sweden.
You will find Nezu Shrine quickly and easily through a 5 minute walk from Nezu Station, Sendagi Station and Todaimae Station. Free admission and open 09:00 – 17:00.
We still recommend the magnificent Fushimi Inari Temple in Kyoto for those who visit Kyoto. But if you are only in Tokyo, this is a great option.
Just outside Ginza you will find Tsukiji fish market, a must for fish lovers visiting Tokyo for the first time. The market is known for its daily tuna auction and everyday chaos.
However, to take part in the real experience, it is recommended that you get up early in the morning to take part in the auction, 05:00 rather. For those of you who are not interested in the auction, you can instead take part in the food market. Food guides are available with English-speaking guides at favorable prices.
Tokyo “teamLab Planets” is expanding its opening hours along with released restrictions and is open its exhibition through the end of 2023.
Experience a visual exhibition that shocks your senses. A usually very appreciated and unique activity that is unique to Tokyo. Take the opportunity to push off some of the holiday’s cheekiest and most unique images before the exhibition closes again.
Also called Ueno Market and is a market street divided into two passages that run between Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station.
Indirectly called Tokyo’s last black market. The market offers cheap and fun products, street food galore, a food market and electronics stores. Don’t expect anything fancy, this is a typical “Asian market” and is very different from the rest of Japan which, by the way, is very clean. The atmosphere is reminiscent of Khosan Road in Thailand with its narrow aisles and its large amount of people.
Ginza is a popular area for those who are hungry for luxury and shopping. Some of the more popular shopping centers in Ginza are Tokyu Plaza and Ginza SIX. Here you will find everything from everyday luxury to super luxury. Ginza SIX offers a wonderful rooftop garden which is highly recommended. In addition to the park on the roofs, there is a unique and lavish bookstore on floor 6F. Experience “the world of Noh” at Kanze Noh Theatre on floor B3F. Also take the opportunity to enjoy a good lunch or dinner in the shopping center that delivers luxury in quantities!
Tokyo’s largest electronics district has something for everyone. Popular things to experience in Akihabara include visiting a Maid Café or driving MarioKart on the open street with MariKar Akihabara, shopping for manga and anime merch, big shopping at Don Quijote or visiting one of several large electronics stores along the main street. These are only a few experiences to make in the area.
Odaiba, also called Daiba is a large, artificial island in Tokyo Bay and belongs to the borough municipalities of Minato, Kōtō and Shinagawa. The colorful and state-of-the-art island is a large shopping & entertainment district as well as home to many major events and fairs.
The area is best known for Sensoji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattvan Kannon. The district is located in the northeastern part of central Tokyo about 3km from the area of Ueno.
Near Sensoji Temple is a small amusement park named Hanayashiki, which is claimed to be Japan’s oldest fairground. Boat trips along Sumida depart from a place a few minutes walk from the temple. In the past, Asakusa was classified as Tokyo’s “pleasure quarter” full of geisha houses thanks to rich rice department stores in Kuramae.
Ueno is a district in Tokyo’s “Taitō” area and is best known as home to Ueno Park. Ueno is also home to some of Tokyo’s finest cultural buildings. The area offers everything from markets, food in quantities, a zoo and a wonderful park with several museums.
Ginza is a neighborhood in the district municipality of Chūō and is known as a “finer” part of Tokyo with many department stores, luxury stores, restaurants and cafes. In Ginza center, 1 sqm costs just over 10,000,000 yen, equivalent to about 90,000 Euro (2020) which makes the street the most expensive address in the country.
The main street in the area is called Chuo Dori and is best visited on public holidays before 17:00 when the street is closed to car traffic during the morning.
Don’t worry, we got you covered with the most important information below.
Tokyo has two airports, Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND).
Haneda is the city’s closest airport and the one that is recommended to get to if possible. Most often, however, it is cheaper to land on Narita. However, this entails both a longer and more expensive transport if you travel without a Japan Rail Pass to the city once you get off the plane, keep this in mind. However, express trains from and to the airport are available for people with JR Pass. The pass can be activated at the airport after you land.
You don’t have to worry about holding tight to your valuables or walking around with larger sums of cash. Japanese are a very loyal and well-behaved people with very few thieves and the like. Watching younger children ride the subway by themselves home from school alone is not an uncommon sight to see in Japan. Of course, there are everywhere, but Japan has very few of them.
Order a JR pass if you plan to move to other cities. If you are only going to be in Osaka, you can do well to pay for your transport at a time. But most visitors take a week in Tokyo and then move on to Kyoto, Osaka and other popular cities. These train distances are quite expensive without JR passes, we therefeore recommend getting one before your departure to Japan. Getjrpass.com is an official ravel agent and seller of these Japan Rail Passes with no middle man.
The metro is well-functioning and cheap – a recommended means of transport. Tickets are very easily purchased by machine on site before entering or via pre-loaded Suica card. Most distances are combined with JR lines and Metro lines to reach your destination in the city.
Suica card – a fantastic IC card that can be preloaded with money to easily blip beverage machines, subway and other machines for a cashless and fast payment. Alternative to the card is Icoca Card & Pasmo Card.
Taxis are everywhere, but are quite expensive. The metro is so functional that Taxi is not needed.
The city has lots of beautiful parks. Enjoy good food and take it easy, enjoy your visit to Japan.
Japan uses Japanese Yen – JPY.
We recommend a smaller exchange before the trip at Forex or another currency exchanger to be able to pay for transport from the airport if you have decided to activate your Japan Rail Pass at a later date, for food and drink on site upon arrival and so on.
Safe ATMs for cash withdrawals can be found around the city. You don’t have to worry about walking around with larger amounts of cash as the country is very safe. Of course there are jerks in the country, but Japan has extremely few of them.
7-eleven usually has a very good exchange rate at their machines. When withdrawing larger sums such as thousands of euros, it can differ up to hundreds of euros against what you get at Forex if you exchange before the trip. We therefore recommend only bringing a smaller amount and withdrawing more cash on site.
Do not exchange at the airport. Visit a bank or 7-eleven in town.
Tips are not appreciated by the staff and can sometimes be considered disparaging.
If you want to tip, ask the staff beforehand if it is okay. Most likely, you will get a no, as tips are not part of their everyday life.
Visit out other travel guides and explore the fantastic country of Japan. We add new destinations weekly and please, feel free to suggest new destinations to the travel guide if you’ve been in Japan before. We appreciate all the suggestions!
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