Welcome to the city of Tokyo - a bustling metropolis that blends tradition with modernity. With its myriad attractions, the city promises to cater to every traveler’s desire and if you’re anything like me (obsessed with Japanese culture and the idea of forest bathing), what you’re about to read is going to prove to be a gold mine. Let’s headout on this virtual tour of Tokyo and explore the 10 must-do and see things in Tokyo, from historical landmarks and tech-inspired experiences to culinary delights and Taylor Swift’s upcoming ERAS tour! (if that didn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what will!)
The cat’s been out of the bag for over a year now! Taylor Swift’s ERAS tour is coming to Tokyo Dome City and I for one cannot keep calm. Tokyo Dome is an indoor stadium cum entertainment complex located in the heart of Tokyo. With an accommodation capacity of 55,000 people and home ground of the professional baseball team Yomiuri Giants, Tokyo Dome is gearing up for Taylor Swift this February. If you haven’t booked your tickets to the concert, you can’t now. But what you can do is book your tickets to check out Tokyo Dome!
Adjacent to Tokyo Dome is a free-to-enter, family-friendly amusement park. There are a range of attractions within the park including a ferris wheel (overlooking the Tokyo skyline) and a roller coaster (with a maximum speed of 130 km/hour). Prices for these rides must be purchased separately. However, you can buy this ticket which will give you admission to the Tokyo Dome AND ride 5 attractions. Win-win, if you ask me!
Raising majestically as Japan’s highest mountain (3,776 meters), Mt Fuji is an iconic symbol of the country, which also happens to be a mere 100 kilometers from Tokyo. While travelers travel from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this picturesque mountain, popular for hiking and camping, the locals revere Mt. Fuji for its spiritual importance and artistic inspiration.
Since climbing season is officially over, book a Mount Fuji tour which includes a guided tour of Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi & Lake Yamanaka Guided Tour from Tokyo.
Standing tall at 333 meters, Tokyo Tower is the world’s tallest, self-supported steel tower and the second tallest structure in Japan. Built as a communications and observation tower, right in the center of Tokyo, the observatory offers panoramic views of Tokyo from observatory decks at 150 meters and 250 meters. On a clear day you can see the Tokyo Skytree (12.9 km) and Mount Fuji (79.6 km) in the distance. On the first deck at 150 meters, there are “lookdown windows” which allow visitors to look directly down 150 meters. The tower even houses an e-sports entertainment complex, Red Tokyo Tower, a cafe, and a souvenir shop.
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
If there ever was a city within a city, expect Japan to be the first to build it. Roppongi Hills Tower is a building complex which features offices, apartments, shops, restaurants, art museum, and an observation deck. Mori Tower at 238 meters is one of the largest buildings in Tokyo and atop of it is the Tokyo City View, built of glass walls and a high ceiling, offering visitors views of the entire city of Tokyo.
Like the Taylor Swift concert in town, teamLab Planets is a must-visit attraction in Tokyo this February (and anytime of the year). An immersive digital experience where the boundaries between art and reality blur in the most mesmerizing way. Stroll barefoot through the art installations, immerse yourself and become one with it. There’s a “garden area”, where you can walk through 13,000 live orchids in the artwork and a “water area”, where you can walk among Koi fish. Experience digital art at teamLab Planets.
Another observatory tower has made it our list of things to do in Tokyo. Standing tall at 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower which houses a large shopping complex with an aquarium at its base. Wondering if you can catch the ERAS tour from the observation decks? You can’t, but the Tembo Deck (350 meters) and Tembo Galleria (450 meters) offer spectacular views of the whole Kanto region.
Fashion meets fun at Harajuku, the ultimate destination for fashion enthusiasts. I’d suggest a visit to Harajuku before the Taylor Swift concert so you can pick out a cute outfit! Shopping aside, you can also explore local delicacies such as ramen, sushi and soba, follow your inner zen by strolling through shrines, stock up on stationary, and explore the world of natural wine. A must-visit in Harajuku is Takeshita Street, bustling and colorful with a myriad of shops, cafes, and trendy boutiques.
What can keep you entertained all day long? If you’re thinking Tay, while that is true, I’m suggesting going to Yomiuriland. Like Tokyo is a city of blend, so are its attractions. Imagine an exhilarating blend of heart-pounding rides, interactive attractions, and captivating shows. With 43 attractions at the park, your family will be spoiled for choice, and that’s a good problem to have. Also, don’t forget to check out “Jewellumination”, a large-scale winter illumination in which every part of the amusement park is lit up by four million LED lights.
If you’re an anime fan like I am, you’d agree that movies by Ghibli Studios are some of the best and what better way to pay homage than by visiting the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo? A whimsical space, created straight-out-of-a-Ghibli movie, the museum houses original artworks by Hayao Miyazaki, which will give you, the visitor, an insight into the artist’s creative spirit. To make the most of your experience, book a guided tour of the Ghibli Museum, which will include a buffet lunch, screening of Ghibli’s original short film, and round-trip transfers from Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo.
Only because Taylor Swift is leaving Tokyo to head to the Super Bowls, there is no need to cry a river. Instead, book a Sumida River cruise and enjoy a much-deserved, laid-back end to your day. Witness the city of Tokyo go by, lit up against the dark night sky. If you’re traveling with your partner, book a romantic dinner for two. And if you’re wondering, the feast on-board is good - Japanese culinary delights including mouthwatering sushi rolls to ramen soup and a host of international cuisines too.
This is the chaotic crossing you see on almost all representations of Tokyo! And why not, after all 2 million people apparently cross the street here, every day! For context, that is about 1,000 to 2,500 people every two minutes, all day long! When here, you can also wander the streets, beyond the famous crossing. Make sure to see the Hachiko Statue (or go all the way to the University of Tokyo to see another version). Further in, the alleys of Shibuya reveal hidden gems, from love hotels with unique themes to the unexpected sight of a dance battle. I even saw a butt-smacking contest which won the hardest smack for a free dinner. Go figure! You can also go to the Shibuya Sky Observatory, for a panoramic view of the city; it is worth the visit for a different perspective of Tokyo.
Also known as "Electric Town," this is where Tokyo’s tech heart lies. Think electronics, anime, and otaku culture. This bustling district is packed with stores selling the latest gadgets, video games, manga, and anime merchandise. A haven for technology enthusiasts and fans of Japanese pop culture, Akihabara also offers themed cafes, such as maid cafes, and venues for anime and idol performances, making it a must-visit for a unique glimpse into contemporary Japanese subcultures. Bear in mind that it can be very different from your own culture, so don’t go all high and mighty. If you’re around from the early 2000s, then this is where the Japanese pop group AKB48 was named after! AKB48 has sold more records than any other female musical act in Japanese history.