Bucket List Experiences in Tokyo
Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to
destination
Roppongi Hills
The observation platform of this tower, which is one of Tokyo's tellest towers, easily has the best views of the entire city and is definitely worth the price of the entry ticket. You will easily spot Tokyo Tower, Sky Tree, Shinjuku, Rainbow Bridge, as well as many more famous sites and even Mount Fuji. On days with good weather and no wind there is even a Sky Deck located above the observation level, which can be visited at a small surcharge.
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Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to
restaurants
35 steps bistro
An Izakaya is a local Japanese pub/bar, which locals frequently go to after work for food and drinks and has a vibrant atmosphere. The menu items include mostly tradtional Japanese favourites, such as as Edamame, Sashimi, lots of vegetables and fried meat, noodles, etc. My favourite area for Izakayas is at Omoide Yokocho, which is a small street north of Shinjuku Station.
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Shibuya, Tokyo
destination
Harajuku
This area is considered the main hub for youth culture in Japan and is an asbolute sensory overload in the best possible way. It's a lot of fun to check out the shops at Takeshita Dori shopping street for local fashions, toys, and toher gimmicks as well as at Omotesando, where you can find more high-end shopping.
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Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to
lodging
Shibuya, Walk to Shibuya crossing
Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest intersections worldwide and is world-renowned for how many people cross it at a time - and you should join them at least once. It's definitely worth checking out to get a feel of just how populated Tokyo is. The best views to watch the hustle and bustle are from a viewing platform on the 8th floor of the store MAGNET by SHIBUYA109.
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Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to
destination • experience
Sensō-ji
Senso-Ji Temple, aka Asakusa Kannon Temple, is a colourful and beautiful temple complex in Asakusa. It is also one of the busiest temples in all of Japan, with lots of visitors as well as local Japanese people, who stop by for a prayer. The best time to visit is between 6:30am and 7:30am, but it's also worth visiting at a later time to stroll though the markets of Asakusa.
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Taitō, Tokyo
destination
Akihabara
The Akihabara district, also called Electric Town, is the epicentre of manga culture where one can visit themed restaurants, so-called maid cafes, massive aracades and an almost endless amount of electronics stores, which amazing tech gadgets! This area is a lot of fun and represents the modern Japan as I always imagined it.
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Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to
destination • experience
Tsukiji Market
Although the wholeslae market, i.e. the inner market with its famous tuna auction, of Tsukiji Fish Market has, it is still well worth visiting the outer market with its high-quality shops and restaurants, including a number of Michelin starred resturants. If you are curious about the famous tuna auction you should head to the new Toyosu Market at 5am on any morning.
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Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to
destination • experience
Meiji Jingu
You don't need to travel all the way to Kyoto to experience a beautiful Shinto shrine. Meiji Shrine is located a near Harajuku station and can easily combined with a stroll in the nearby Yoyogi Park, which is perfect to escape the city vibe for a bit. Vsiting this shrine is especially fun on national festival days/holidays as well as on Sundays, as you will be likely to watch a parade or a wedding procession.
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Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to
destination • experience
Arashio-beya Sumo Stable
This national sport of Japan orginated hundreds of years ago and is a unique part of Japanese culture and heritage. It's possible to watch the morning pratice of Sumo wrestlers at a number of Sumo stables, which open to the public. It's pricey, but worth the money, as you will likely not be able to have this experince anywhere else in the world.
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Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to
experience • lodging
Odaiba Ōedo-onsen-monogatari
Visiting an Onsen, meaning a hot springs bath, is a very traditional and popular way for Japanese people to relax and pass their time. Although there are a number of baths that once can visit in Tokyo, I recommend taking a train to the nearby mountain towns, such as Hakone and Kusatsu, to get the full experience. It's worth noting that there is a strict etiquette to follow at an onsen though.
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