Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo Metropolis, the capital of Japan, is a dazzling city brimming with traditional culture and never-ending endeavour for constant rejuvenation. The city prides itself to have everything you can ever dream of in a city, from superfluous dining spaces and old-fashioned wooden cottage bars to the newest pop culture and the ever expanding cityscapes. You are sure to be awestruck with the endless surprises Tokyo has in store for visitors and locals alike.

Tokyo Location

Tokyo is situated in the Southeastern part of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, resting in the North Pacific Ocean. Tokyo lies in the Kanto region of Honshu that contains the Greater Tokyo Area and seven prefectures Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa.

From Tokyo, there are many day trips options to choose from. One can explore the renown Mount Fuji, take a short cruise on the charming Lake Ashi or visit Kamakura for the Great Buddha statue. You can also connect easily to many other popular cities like Osaka and Kyoto.

Map of Tokyo in Japan

Map of Tokyo in Japan

Why Visit Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan’s largest metropolitan city, is the heart of Japan’s business, education, modern culture and government. That is why Tokyo is on our list of Top 10 Must Visit Places in Japan.

There is something interesting for every visitor that visits Tokyo. Every district of Tokyo seems to have its own personality, making exploration of this vast jungle of a city interesting. One can get lost in the electronic racket of Akihabara or indulge in the Imperial gardens and shrines of Chiyoda. The energetic youth culture of Shibuya or the pottery shops and temples of Asakusa will entertain you.

Tokyo tower city view during sunset, Japan

Tokyo tower city view during sunset. Photo by Hayato.D

Best Time of the Year to Explore Tokyo

Tourists flock to Tokyo in spring which is between March and May as this is when the famous cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

The time between September and November, which is Autumn is also ideal to visit Tokyo. This is when the city will be cloaked with beautiful red hues of the autumn.

Moreover, spring and autumn offer comfortable daytime temperature for traveling. These are good times of the year to enjoy the beautiful parks in Tokyo as the humidity and heat will be on a decline.

Visit Tokyo during Sakura season in Japan

Visit Tokyo during Sakura season in Japan. Photo by DnlRxn

Tokyo Sights You Don’t Want To Miss

Tokyo Tower – Get an aerial view of the city from the tower’s main observatory which is at 150 meters from ground level.

Sensō-ji Temple – Tokyo’s most visited temple with the golden image of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Imperial Palace – Witness the home of Japan’s emperor up close and experience the serenity of Imperial Palace East Garden.

Tsukiji Market – Tokyo’s biggest fresh fish market that auctions its products freshly out of the sea.

Sensoji Temple Tokyo Japan

Sensoji Temple Tokyo. Photo by chee.hong

Things to Do In Tokyo

Shinjuku and Kabukicho – Experience the city’s nightlife and shopping avenue filled with neon lights, popular for its bold nightlife.

Harajuku – Get a glimpse of this fashion district known for youth culture and impeccable street fashion.

Tokyo National Museum – Holds the largest collection of Japanese art and culture.

Shibuya Crossing – Experience the busiest intersection in the world used by over 1000 people at a time.

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo Japan

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. Photo by Karl Baron

Places to Stay in Tokyo

Tokyo’s hotel prices are quite stable and expensive throughout the year. Look for a place in Airbnb while in Tokyo to experience a true Japanese lifestyle. The next best accommodation choices would be the business hotels that are always strategically located. If you are on a backpacker’s budget, the many Tokyo hostels are great for short stays.

What to eat

There are so many delicious Japanese foods to eat, it would be almost impossible to make a list here. But my personal favourite food to try in Tokyo would be ramen noodles, yakitori, sushi (in Tsujikiji market), soba noodle, takoyaki, shabu-shabu, teppanyaki and udon noodles!

Budget restaurants in Tokyo that have saved my wallet many times are Sukiya, Coco curry house and Yoshinoya, and of course the many convenience stores.

Sushi at Tsujiki Market, TokyoJapan

Sushi at Tsujiki Market, Tokyo. Photo by Daryan Shamkhali

Getting into Tokyo

Flights – Tokyo has two large airports – Narita airport for international flights and Haneda airport mostly caters to domestic or budget flights. Narita International Airport is the major airport in the whole of Japan and most international visitors will come to Japan via it.

Train – Tokyo is served by various railways companies including the high-speed Shinkansen services. Like all parts of Japan, it is well connected with the train lines.

Road transports – Cities and surrounding prefectures are linked to Tokyo via the highway bus services. The JR Bus Group and other private bus companies ply cheap bus services to and from Tokyo.

Tokyo view from Skytree, Japan

Tokyo view from the Skytree. Photo by Louis Kang

Getting Around in Tokyo

The city can be navigated easily via the most popular train and subway systems. The other modes of transport within the city include taxi, car, bus, ferry, bicycle and even walking is a pleasant experience in this exceptionally safe city.

Tips to Tour Tokyo like A Pro

Tokyo is vast in terms of landmass and the place is best viewed as a cluster of cities and not as a single city. It will be a tiring experience if you explore Tokyo by ticking off the list of Tokyo tourist attractions. The best Tokyo experiences are by wandering at random places, visiting outlets selling queer stuff, sampling Japanese cuisine and finding respites in a nearby Shinto shrine.

Related article:
Osaka Travel Guide
Kyoto Travel Guide
Top 10 Must Visit Places in Japan