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Best of Tokyo

1. Tokyo Station – Ramen Street/Character Street [Food & Drink] [Shopping]



Tokyo Station is the entrance way to Tokyo for a lot of tourists, and in its underground shopping center you can enjoy modern Japanese culture. In Tokyo Ramen Street, there are 8 popular ramen restaurants that always have a long line of people in the queue from morning till night. Also, on Tokyo Character Street, there are character shops selling everything from Pokemon to Precure to Tamagotchi. You can also find limited edition goods here.

Japanese homepage: http://www.tokyoeki-1bangai.co.jp

Also check: How to spend a whole day in Tokyo Station

2. Ginza Uniqlo [Shopping]


The 12 story building in Ginza is the world’s largest Uniqlo store and is a landmark full of rotating mannequins wearing multicolored items. While of course there are men’s and women’s sections, there are also a wide variety of baby and kids’ items, so you can often see families shopping here together. Also, the store faces Ginza Chuo-dori, a street that becomes a vehicle-free pedestrian promenade on Sundays.

3. Yurakucho’s yakitori stands [Food & Drink]


Since there are a lot of business companies in Yurakucho, there are also a lot of drinking bars in the area. Underneath the JR overpass, there are a great number of drinking bars with many repeating customers. The aroma of the food drifts in the air from the open-air stalls, creating an atmosphere that will make you want to go and drink from shop after shop. There are many places that will let you order yakitori from one stick and alcohol prices are generally cheap. This would be a good place to go if you want to take a casual dinner.

4. Tsukiji Market – Kaisendon (seafood rice bowl) and tuna auctions [Food & Drink] [Activity]



Tsukiji Shijo is the world’s largest wholesale market. Japan’s famous traditional restaurants’ and Michelin starred restaurants’ chefs gather here to buy their ingredients for the day. The products sold here are certain to have high quality. The intense tuna auctions starting from 5 am every morning is a sight to see. Most of the shops aimed towards professionals close in the morning. However, many stores and restaurants around Tsukiji are open until the afternoon, and there often is a long queue of people waiting to eat kaisendon (bowl of rice topped with different fish and shellfish) for lunch.

English homepage: http://www.shijou.metro.tokyo.jp/english/market/tsukiji.html

5. Yakatabune Cruisers [Activity]


The yakatabune cruisers that calmly float down the Sumida River, while taking in the sight of Tokyo’s downtown has been a refined way of pleasure since the Heian era (794-1185). It is popular as an excursion tour because you can see many famous sightseeing spots as you ride. There are many boarding areas, including Tsukishima, Hamamatsucho, and Asakusa, so you can pick which tour you’d like to go and from where you’d like to start. There are also boats with meal plans where you can eat a sashimi assort served in a boat-shaped dish.

English PDF: http://www.yakatabune-kumiai.jp/pdf/eng_pamphlet.pdf

6. Odaiba – Fuji Television [Sightseeing]


The Odaiba area is extremely easy to access from the airport. It’s a popular spot because you can see a panorama of Tokyo Bay and the skyline. The landmark of Odaiba is the main building of Fuji Television, known as “Hachitama”. You can take photographs with the sets of popular TV shows, and if you’re lucky, participate in live events. You can enjoy Japanese entertainment at Fuji Television.

English homepage: http://www.fujitv.co.jp/en/visit_fujitv.html

7. Oedo Onsen Monogatari [Activity]


Oedo Onsen Monogatari is a popular relaxation spot in the Odaiba area. It is a hot spring theme park that is made to look like a street from the Edo period (1603-1868). There are private rooms with open-air baths, and you can enjoy traditional Japanese food as though you were staying at a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. There are many other attractions, apart from baths, so that you can fully enjoy Japanese culture.

English homepage: http://www.ooedoonsen.jp/en/

8. Imperial Palace and the surrounding cherry blossoms [Sightseeing]


The Imperial Palace, the emperor’s resident, is one of the symbols of Japan as a country which is 2,000,000 square meters large in area. This peaceful space suddenly appears in the modern, busy area of Marunouchi near Tokyo Station. While going inside the Imperial Palace requires a prior application, you can fully enjoy the beautiful scenery of the outer moat freely. In the spring, the cherry blossoms bloom in profusion, and many photographers gather to take pictures of the sight.

English homepage: http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html

9. Shin-Okubo Korea Town [Food & Drink]

Photo by  nathan0525 on Flickr

If you walk just a minute to the right from Shin-Okubo Station, you’ll find an area with many Korean restaurants and shops full of Korean products. In recent years, thanks to the Korean pop culture boom in Japan, this area has gained a large number of frequent visitors. It’s also full of popular restaurants offering delicious meals such as samgyeopsal barbecue and soon-tofu soup. A genuine Korea town in Japan is rare, so it’s popular for people visiting Tokyo.

Japanese homepage: http://www.wowsokb.jp/

10. Akihabara [Shopping]


The region around Akihabara Station is known as Denkigai, or Electric Town. The Electric Town is receiving a lot of attention for being the center of Japanese otaku culture. Many tourists enjoy taking pictures at maid cafes, cosplay bars, underground idol theaters, and other similar places. It’s also interesting to see the otaku fashion in the Electric Town.

Japanese homepage: http://www.akiba.town/

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