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What to see in Tokyo

Tokyo Attractions

Sightseeing in Tokyo can bring about sensory overload if you're not careful. Animated billboards, the buzz of a densely packed and highly energetic population, and glittering gleaming architecture all compete for your attention. One thing is certain: you'll never be bored.

The transport system is excellent, good value, and easy to figure out, even for Westerners. However, the best way to view the city remains the oldest way: on foot, walking the streets, taking in the multitude of sights and sounds on your way. You'll be sure to find plenty of unexpected treasures, from little temples on side streets, to the warm smiling welcome of a local shop keeper.

Tokyo really does have something for everyone. Honeymooners come to cultivate romance amid the cherry blossoms; shoppers will find exactly what they're looking for and plenty on top of that; and backpackers can find ways to take in the culture without breaking the bank.

The temples and museums listed below are well worth your time, or you can lose yourself in the neon lights of Shibuya, check out the hip Harajuku girls in Takeshita Street, and take the elevated train from Shimbashi station to the bayside district of Odaiba, and ride on the giant Ferris wheel.

If you're curious, you can also take a class in any number of traditional Japanese art forms, including calligraphy, tea ceremonies, martial arts, massage, flower arranging, and meditation. Tokyo has a number of neon-lit pachinko parlours with men, women, and children trying their hand at the popular game. Japanese sports such as baseball and sumo wrestling are also fun ways to get a taste of Tokyo culture.


In a small area west of Akihabara Station lies a bright cluster of electronics shops, manga and anime stores, and video game outlets. The suburb has been specialising in electrical…

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Edo-Tokyo Museum

This museum is dedicated to detailing Tokyo's history, culture and architecture. Edo was the old name for Tokyo when the country came under the rule of the warlord, Tokugawa Ieyasu.…

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Meiji Jingu

Built in homage to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, the Empress Shoken, the Meiji Jingu monument is located in a 175 acre (70ha) evergreen forest and consists of two main areas.…

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Senso-ji Temple

The Asakusa neighbourhood in Tokyo draws visitors to admire the city's oldest temple, Senso-ji, founded in 628. The story goes that two brothers fishing in the nearby river netted…

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Tokyo Imperial Palace

Japan's Imperial Palace is regarded as the heart and soul of Tokyo, standing on a huge site that still bears the remains of Edo Castle, stronghold of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The…

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Tokyo National Museum

Close to Ueno Station and enclosed in the beautiful, spacious park of the same name, the National Museum is host to the largest collection of Japanese art in the world. Exhibits range from antique…

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Tokyo Tower

Modelled after the Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Tower is more colourful and serves a technological purpose. Functioning chiefly as a television and radio antenna, it's also one of the…

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Yasukuni Shrine

To the north of the Imperial Palace lies the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, built long ago in 1869 to commemorate those two and a half million Japanese who died in war. Soldiers…

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Our Travel Expert

Anne loves travelling the world and says her memories are her most prized possessions. She has lived in Tokyo for many years and works for Arigato Japan, a company offering food tours and cooking classes.

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