10 Things to Do in Tokyo

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10 Things to Do in Tokyo

Japan was probably the country that surprised me the most because I simply didn’t expect to like it that much. Big cities, busy streets and others, Tokyo above all has everything I would usually want to stay away from. Very quickly, I was won over by the Japanese culture and people’s kindness and these aspects became enjoyable and fun to experience.

This post is also available in: French

We spent a whole week in Tokyo and despite the heavy rain forcing us to spend some time indoors, we were able to tour the city and see some of its famous landmarks.

 

10 Things to do in Tokyo | A Journey Away travel blog

 

Akihabara

Located in central Tokyo, Akihabara is a busy, well-animated area with music and bright colours at every corner. This neighbourhood is packed with electronics and video game shops. A lot of them are actually secondhand and offer great deals. Simon even found a Nintendo DS Lite that worked perfectly for only $15 there. In a hunt for games, head to Super Potato. This shop gathers a huge collection of consoles and games as well as themed souvenirs on several floors. You can also plan a stop at Yodobashi Akiba, a massive, 9-floor electronic shop.

Akihabara, Tokyo

Akihabara, Tokyo

Address: Chuo Dori (main street)

Kanda Myojin shrine

This pretty shrine has suffered from earthquakes and the ravages of the war over the years but stands today as an important landmark. Despite the cold wind of the day that we went, this place allowed us to take a break from the nearby and sometimes overwhelming streets of Akihabara. We were even lucky enough to witness what appeared to be a wedding there and were able to appreciate the authenticity of the event.

Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo

Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo

Address: 2 Chome-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0021, Japan

Entrance fee: free

Zojoji temple

We started our exploration of the Tower of Tokyo area with a visit to Zojoji Buddhist temple. When walking towards the grounds of the temple, you will already be able to spot a giant gate in the street announcing its nearby entrance. Once you reach the main gate, you can enjoy beautiful views on the famous Tower of Tokyo in the background.

Zojoji temple in Tokyo

Address: 4-7-35 Shiba-koen Minato-ku Tōkyō-to 105-0011

Entrance fee: free

Tower of Tokyo

The Tokyo tower, used for communications and observation, is a beautiful bright red structure that stands out in the Japanese capital’s cityscape. You will find that its design resembles the Eiffel Tower a lot. It actually happens from time to time that I mistake it for its French counterpart, especially on night pictures. Although we thought the World Trade Center (read below) was a better place to do so, you can go almost all the way up to enjoy views of the city.

Tokyo tower from the World Trade Center

The tower of Tokyo by night from the World Trade Center

Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011

Entrance fee: 900 yen

Shiba Park

Located right next to the tower of Tokyo, Shiba park is very popular and a perfect picnic spot. We enjoyed a stroll there and could only imagine how beautiful it must be during cherry blossom season.

Shiba Park in Tokyo

Address: Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011

Entrance fee: free

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

You will find this lovely, traditional Japanese garden a few minutes of walk away from the Tower of Tokyo. I really enjoyed spending time there although I didn’t think it was so zen given that it is surrounded by tall buildings. In that way, it reminded me a bit of Hong Kong even if Tokyo was somehow less overwhelming to me.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, Tokyo

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, Tokyo

Tall buildings are never far in Tokyo

Address: 1-4-1 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0022

Entrance fee: 150 yen

World Trade Center

The World Trade Center is another skyscraper of Tokyo and appears among the tallest buildings in Japan. The observation deck offers a 360 degree view over the city including the Tokyo Tower and other landmarks. We stayed long enough to enjoy a sunset there and views of the city at night.

View from the World Trade Center

View from the World Trade Center

Address: 2-4-1 Hamamatsu-cho Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-6140

Entrance fee: 620 yen

Miraikan center

The Miraikan Center is actually the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. It offers a large number of demonstrations and is interactive. There is a lot to see like, among others, a presentation of the most advanced robot Asimo, an introduction to quantum computers and extra realistic humanoids that made me feel totally uncomfortable. We were also lucky to see a temporary exhibition about video games where Simon was able to try a virtual reality game for the first time.

Asimo at Miraikan center, Tokyo

Asimo at Miraikan center

Humanoid at Miraikan center, Tokyo

Human or robot?

Address: 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064

Entrance fee: 620 yen

Shibuya diagonal crossroads

Shibuya must be the world’s most famous intersection, to the point that watching people crossing it has become a thing. The area already looks impressive by itself with its bright colours and advertising screens, but wait until the lights turn red for vehicles and people start crossing the road. To make the most of the scene, we went to Starbucks that has a floor overlooking the intersection. It is far from being a secret though so be on the lookout for a seat by the window!

Shibuya crossing, Tokyo

It’s not so bad yet but it is getting busy at the Shibuya crossroads

Address: Starbucks at Shibuya Crossing, 21-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo

Harajuku

About 20 min walk away from Shibuya crossing, busy Harajuku offers a lot of shopping and dining opportunities. Crepes are particularly popular in the area so, of course, as a proud French, I had to try one (never as good as ours, but enjoyable). We then came across the weirdest fresh potato chips shop with options like chocolate sauce. The neighbourhood also counts a giant Daiso, the famous 100 yen shop (120 actually), where we would always spend quite some time.

Having a crepe in Harajuku, Tokyo

yum!

Address: Takeshita Dori (main street)

Tokyo definitely has a great deal to offer and to experience and we would happily visit it again. Although if we do go to Japan again, we might want a change and go explore a smaller town!

 

Laure Chancerelle

Laure Chancerelle