Top 5 things to do in Tokyo
Tokyo is placed on the Honshu Island, which is the largest of all the island that make up Japan’s mainland. It is Japan’s capital city, and as such offers a vast array of events and places worth visiting. No matter what you look for you can discover it in Tokyo – from museum, cultural events, to sporting events, such as sumo wrestling. Below you can find top 5 most popular sites to visit in Tokyo.
1. The Imperial Palace
You can find Tokyo’s Imperial Palace in city’s center. You can get to it by walking from the Tokyo Station, and it will take you about 10 minutes. It was built on the same site where Lord Ota Dokan built the first fortress. The city of Tokyo, or Edo as it was know in the past, started to grow around the fortress and slowly expanded to become one of the biggest cities in the world. The Imperial Palace still houses Japan’s Imperial family. The most iconic parts of the Palace are its thick walls, and its breathtaking Nijubashi Bridge. The Nijubashi Bridge leads to the interior parts of the palace, and its name translates as the ”double bridge”. It got that name because you can clearly see its reflection in the lake below it, which makes it look like there are two bridges there. You can book a free tour of the Palace. You can also freely walk around the outer parts of the Palace.
2. Senso-ji Temple in the Asakusa district
Senso-ji is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Kannon – Buddhist goddess of compassion. It was established in 625 AD and since then it experienced a lot of rebuilds, but still managed to retain its original look. The most impressive feature – among many you can find at the Senso-ji – are the Kaminari-mon Gate and the Incense Vat. The Kaminari-mon Gate features a more than 3 meter (9 feet) high red lantern, which carries the inscription, that translates to ”Thunder Gate”. The Vat is revered for the belief that it will exorcise your ailments with its healing smoke. Of course, there is a lot more to this area which spans on over 50 acres, and it is all there waiting to get discovered. You can reach Asakusa using the Ginza and Asakusa Subway Lines, Tsukuba Express, the Tobu Railways, and the Tokyo Water Bus.
3. Ueno Park
Ueno Park is Tokyo’s largest green oasis. Ueno was first part of the Kaneiji Temple, which was the wealthiest temple in all of Tokyo at one point in time. The Ueno Park has more than 1000 of cherry blossom trees, located along the main pathways. The Park houses a lot of museums, as well as Japan’s first Zoo. The easiest way to get there is to use the Subway, and to exit the train at the JR Ueno Station. Once there, you should take the Park Exit, which will lead you straight into Ueno Park. Admissions for museums range from 300 Yen (around $3) to 600 Yen (around $6). Admission for the Zoo will cost you 600 Yen.
4. The Tokyo Skytree
The Skytree is Tokyo’s and Japan’s highest structure standing at 634 meters (2080 feet) tall. As such it is also the highest freestanding tower in the whole world. Thanks to the breathtaking panoramic views it has quickly become a popular tourist sites in all of Tokyo. The Skytree features a glass spiral walkway which will take you up to the higher viewpoint, from where you can see larger parts of Tokyo. The trip to the first level observatory will cost you 2060 Yen (around $18.5) for a regular ticket, or 2820 Yen (around $25) for a fast ticket. The trip to the second level observatory will cost you additional 1030 Yen (around $9.2). There are various ways to reach the Skytree. If you are using the Subway, you can get off at both the Tokyo Skytree Station and the Oshiage Station. You can also reach it by direct bus lines from the Haneda Airport, Tokyo Disney Resort, Ueno and Tokyo Stations.
5. Ginza District
Ginza is to Tokyo what Times Square is to New York. It is Tokyo’s commercial center for centuries. Countless shops, restaurants, tea and coffee shops are located here. It is the ideal location to relax and to just roam around in search of anything your heart desires. It is the quintessential shoppers paradise in a way. The easiest way to get there is to use the Subway and then to go off the train at Ginza Station, or at Yurakucho Station.