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Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tokyo
Population
12,059,237

Tokyo

Japan's electrifying capital

From glittering skyscrapers to rickety ramen shacks, Tokyo is a dazzling mix of the ultra modern and traditional.

Tokyo, meaning Eastern capital, grew from a small fishing village named Edo in the twelfth century to become the capital of Japan and one of the world’s most populous cities. It’s hugeness means that it has its own special definition as both a prefecture and a city, encompassing 23 special wards that are governed as mini-cities, as well as surrounding areas including the volcanic Izu islands and Ogasawara archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

Let there be light.

Photo by: Rebecca You’ll never run out of things to do in Tokyo.

Importantly, the city of Tokyo is home for more than 13 million people, each inextricably linked to the soaring skyscrapers and residential rabbit warrens, elevated highways and tree-lined hills, subterranean bars and fast-food restaurants. The city and its inhabitants live and breathe together. Exploring Tokyo you really get to feel its unique aliveness.

Tokyo is home for more than 13 million people.

The best way to get to know the city is to wander around its distinct districts.

Each of Tokyo’s 23 wards has a distinct character of its own; there’s the bright lights of central business and entertainment district Shinjuku just a couple of metro stops away from the Harajuku hub of kawaii culture and outlandish fashion. Eastern districts like Asakusa and Ueno give off a more retro vibe, preserving their historic temples, museums and tiny izakaya hidden among pre-war winding alleyways. Then, there’s the super-sleek business centre of Tokyo, which gets a dose of royal zen from the Imperial Palace nearby, or the nightlife centre of cosmopolitan Roppongi where expats like to party but which also has a thriving art scene.

The list of things to do is endless – it’s a place where the old cliche ‘there’s something for everyone’ actually rings true.

Apart from all of the sights, there’s also a jam-packed calendar of events and festivals throughout the year, across the city, so make sure to check what’s on during your stay.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park offers breathing space between Shinjuku and Harajuku.

It’s hard to imagine where Tokyo ends but make it beyond the urban border and you’ll reach the subtropical islands of Izu and Ogasawara. Overnight ferries depart from the central Takeshiba port terminal near Hamamatsucho to the Tokyo islands, the furthest of which can take up to 26 hours to reach.  This is where you’ll find the Tokyo of a post-apocalyptic future; seemingly uninhabited forested islands, pure white beaches and never-seen-before reefs that offer camping, hiking, surfing, snorkelling, whale-watching and more.

Places to visit

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa , Tokyo

Asakusa

The grand temple of Senso-ji looms large in the heart of Tokyo’s downtown.

Tokyo, Japan - June 4, 2015: Retailers busy selling and packing seafood in Tsukiji market. It is the largest fish market in Japan.

Tsukiji Fish Market

A tourist spot it ain’t but this only adds to its fishy charm.


View of Rainbow Bridge and Minato, from Odaiba in Tokyo

Minato

Tokyo's international district.

Night View of Roppongi crossing, Minato ward, Tokyo

Roppongi

A classy and cosmopolitan place to hang out, day or night.


People eating and drinking in an izakaya in Ameya-yokocho, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Taito

Discover old time Tokyo in the downtown districts of Taito ward.

The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower and the second largest structure in the world.

Tokyo Skytree

Some locals might still hold a candle for the more retro Tokyo Tower but the Skytree is a competing favorite for good reason.


Edo Tokyo Museum Diorama

Edo-Tokyo Museum

Tokyo through the centuries at this funny-looking but seriously impressive museum.

Sumo wrestlers Fujiazuma Kazuyoshi with friends during tournament season. Sumo is Japan's national sport, most professional wrestlers are foreigners

Ryogoku

You vs heavyweight traditional heritage in the sumo center of the world.


Streets of Meguro ward

Meguro

Bars, boutiques and blossoms (even in the winter), Meguro is more than just Shibuya’s ward-next-door.

National Museum of Nature and Science

Explore the natural history, science and technology of Japan in this enjoyable museum.


Mount Takao

With its perfect location, cheap transport links and wealth of things to see and do; Mount Takao is a Tokyo day-tripper’s dream come true.

Tokyo,Japan-September 27,2015: a married couple attend Traditional Wedding ceremony at Meiji-Jingu

Meiji Jingu

Escape the chaos of Harajuku and hop over the road to Meiji Jingu.


Tokyo Tower at sunset and twilight hours

Tokyo Tower

Often characterised as bringing a little of the romance of Paris to the busy streets of the nation’s capital, Tokyo Tower is a steel structure with a lot of heart.

Two ladies in front of the Imperial Palace, Tokyo

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Mi imperial casa es su casa.


National Theatre of Japan

Discover Japanese performing arts at this historic institution.

Second-hand books stacked and priced in window display of bookshop in Jimbocho, Tokyo.

Jimbocho

Tokyo’s book town.


Ameya Yokocho market in between Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station.

Ueno

Parks, museums, pandas and drinking in the daytime.

Colorful crepe stand in Harajuku.

Harajuku

Grab something sweet, wear your most outrageous outfit and dive head first into this paradise of the weird and wonderful.


People visit Sega Ikebukuro arcade game centre on May 11, 2012 in Tokyo. Sega is a profitable company with US $4.9 billion revenue in 2011.

Ikebukuro

Are you not entertained?

Giant Japanese spider crab- (Macrocheira kaempferi)

Sunshine Aquarium

An oasis in the Tokyo sky.


Manhole cover in Ghibli museum, Tokyo-Japan.

Ghibli Museum

A whimsical wonderland that is heartbreakingly charming.

Japan, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Beat the crowds and get a sky-high panorama of Tokyo all to yourself with this local’s viewpoint.


Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2015: Crowds pass below colorful signs in Akihabara. The well known electronics district specializes in the sales of video games, anime, manga, and computer goods.

Akihabara

Ah, Akihabara. Where to even begin? Electric town. Cool Japan. Anime Center. Themed cafes. The list is...

Shibuya

You know you're in Japan when...


A man reading inside a small restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Shinjuku

You better lose yourself.

8bit Cafe in Shinjuku

8bit Cafe

Back to the future at this 80s gaming cafe.


Maid cafe Akihabara

Top 3 Maid Cafes in Akihabara

Not all cafes are maid equal.

Under a Tokyo Expressway on the way to Otome Road Ikebukuro

Otome Road

The road to manga heaven.


Kappabashi Street , kitchen town, shopping street between Ueno and Asakusa which is lined with several dozens of stores selling everything about restaurant operators.

Kappabashi Street

Welcome to Kitchen Town.

Tokyo, Japan- December 26,2015: Fuji TV Building headquarters at sunset in Odaiba

Odaiba

A Giant Gundam, Rainbow Bridge, Edo-inspired onsen, not to mention the coolest museums: what doesn’t Odaiba have to offer?


Tokyo, Japan springtime at Shinjuku Gyoen Park.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku's not-so secret garden is still a stunner.

Tokyo Takarazuka Theater

Girl power at this groundbreaking theater.


Tokyo, Japan - May 20, 2004: Exterior of the main entrance to the Kabukiza Theatre in the Ginza district of Tokyo in Japan, This is the principal theatre in Tokyo for the traditional kabuki form of stage drama.

Kabukiza Theater

Curtain's up so get dressed in your finest, go out for dinner in Ginza and end this night with a performance at Kabukiza.

Ginza

Ginza

Fancy is as fancy does in Tokyo's classiest district.


Ooedo Onsen Monogatari

Ooedo Onsen Monogatari

Reclaim the lost art of bathing naked with strangers in the nation’s capital of Tokyo.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park

Out of all the parks in Tokyo, Yoyogi Park has the most character; equal parts beautiful, quirky and just plain odd.


Rainbow Bridge

The now iconic Rainbow Bridge was built to be a symbol of Tokyo, but who’d have thought it would do its job so well?

Inokashira Park

Turning 100 years old in 2017, this much-loved park is one of the city's greenest getaways.


Nakameguro

Nakameguro

Great coffee, fine food and boutique shopping at this riverside hipster haven.

Mori Art Museum

A roster of world-class exhibitions make this sky-high art museum one of Japan’s best.


Harajuku Cat Street

Despite its name, the trendiest street in Tokyo has nothing to do with cats.

Tokyo Shiki Theatres

The Lion King, Wicked, West Side Story, Cats: See the best of Broadway right here in Japan.


Jiyugaoka

Just desserts in this sweet-toothers paradise.

Daikanyama

Life in the chicest slow lane imaginable.


Yanaka Tokyo

Yanaka

For a charming glimpse of yesteryear.

Devil Craft Hamamatsucho

The best pizza in town?


Kagurazaka

Kagurazaka

Where geisha and France rendezvous over some of the city's finest cuisine.

Marion Crepes

A visit to Harajuku is not complete without a visit to this crepe stand - the first ever in Tokyo.


Kichijoji

See why Kichijoji is regularly voted the best place to live in Tokyo.

Sugamo

Find your lucky red underwear at this Yamanote Line stop - affectionately dubbed "Grandma's Harajuku."


Hamarikyu

Hama-rikyu Gardens

Get a refined taste of a traditional Edo garden without having to brave the crowds of the Imperial Palace.

Gotanda

Hidden local charm along the Meguro River


Ebisu

Tokyo's terminal of good luck, great blessings and even greater beer.

Shin-Okubo

Annyeonghaseyo. You've reached K-Town.


Takadanobaba

Students, shopping and Astro Boy in what's probably the best-named stop on the Yamanote Line.

Mejiro

Tokyo's most educated neighborhood.


Waterfall Climbing Adventure in Okutama

Experience a uniquely Japanese outdoor adventure in this stunning valley less than 30 minutes from central Tokyo.

Nippori Station

Exploring the fabric of time at a Tokyo hub station.


A One-Day Tour of Tokyo’s Suginami Ward

Go west off the beaten path to experience the quiet wonder of everyday Japan with this special itinerary.

Komagome Station

Your gateway to the Yamanote line’s garden paradise.


Samurai Museum

Experience the samurai life while out and about in modern-day Shinjuku

Kanda

Just one train stop from Tokyo station, with plenty of hole-in-the-wall shops and restaurants


Hamamatsucho

Go green at some iconic Japanese gardens right around the corner from one of the city's buzzing business areas.

Yurakucho

Yurakucho

Yurakucho (literally translating to “there is fun in this town”) is not kidding around when it comes to the namesake.


Edogawa

Even with a traditional flair, this Tokyo ward is all about relaxing and refreshing

Nishi-Nippori

Time to reflect: Discovering the quieter side of the Yamanote line stops.


Okachimachi

Okachimachi means no disrespect.

Osaki Station

Urban sprawl has never looked so elegant.


Shinagawa

A travel hub with a split personality and easy access to both Tokyo airports.

Otsuka

Ikebukuro’s quiet backstreets offer a convenient respite accented with warm sake.


Ogasawara Islands

Ogasawara Islands

Take a ship from Tokyo to swim with dolphins, snorkel and scuba

Tokyo Station

From Hokkaido to Kyushu, travelers can get pretty much anywhere from Tokyo station.


A view from the tracks. Shimbashi, Tokyo.

Shimbashi

Brilliantly bayside with access points to the best of Tokyo.

Tabata Station

Tabata

Get inked and bring home a part of Tokyo’s historically artsy neighborhood.


Tamachi Station

Tamachi

Slurp some soba in central Tokyo

ueno park cherry blossom

Uguisudani

Access to Ueno Park and a lovin' spoonful of Tokyo street performers.


Niijima Island

Habushiura Beach

Check out a surfing competition while sunbathing

Ikebukuro Anime Walking Tour

Hit all the right spots on this walking tour of Ikebukuro's emerging anime scene.


Edogawa Goldfish Festival

Where that goldfish festival game came from?

Tokyo Sea Life Park

Must-see: A 2,200-ton bluefin tuna tank.


edogawa fireworks fest

Edogawa Fireworks Festival

A display to rival the Sumida River Fireworks.

Mandarake At Nakano Broadway

Off, Off, Off Broadway: Trinket-size collectibles for a huge pop culture fix.


Kasai Rinkai Park

A day trip with serious ferris wheel action.

Kawaii Monster Cafe

Kawaii Monster Cafe

A mystifying must for tourists in the wild and crazy Harajuku.


Koenji

Hey! Ho! Let’s go explore Tokyo’s former punk hood.

Izu Islands

Everything "Izu" alright in this paradise accessible from Tokyo.


Yurakucho & Ginza Antenna Shops

Tasty tripping around Japan without leaving Tokyo.

Shibamata

The feel-good nostalgia of retro Tokyo.


Indoor Survival Games

Get ready to unleash your inner Rambo.

Hollow Point

Now, this is a shot bar!


Koenji Awa Odori Festival

Bright costumes, thousands of dance moves and bone-rattling drums will leave you in a trance.

Tokyo Metro Museum

Get to know the wonders of Tokyo’s extensive subway system up close and personal.


Sumida Aquarium

Discover the aquatic life of Tokyo’s more-than 200 Islands. Yup, you heard that right!

Sengaku-ji

Sengaku-ji Temple

Dishonor and retribution: The final resting place of the 47 Ronin (masterless samurai).

Other Destinations in Kanto

Chiba prefecture boasts a dynamic and dramatic coastline.

Chiba

There’s a lot more to Japan’s international gateway than you might expect.

Takaragawa Onsen, Gunma Prefecture

Gunma

Within toe-dipping distance of Tokyo, Gunma's onsen haven is the perfect bathing escape.

Fukuroda Falls, Ibaraki

Ibaraki

Full of interesting sights, Ibaraki prefecture should natto be underestimated.

Yokohama is Tokyo's chic and cosmopolitan neighbor.

Kanagawa

Kanagawa offers much more than just a convenient location.

Flower-viewing at Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture

Saitama

If you’re looking for a no-hassle escape from the city, Saitama is the place to run to.

Wisteria in Tochigi Prefecture

Tochigi

Heavyweight cultural heritage combined with a breathtaking natural landscape.