After recently visiting, whenever someone mentions Japan my mind automatically starts picturing images of Tokyo. Like the hustle and bustle of Shibuya Crossing, vending machines lining the streets, bullet trains and subway stations, kimono’s and geisha. But there are a few amazing landmarks and attractions in Tokyo that you definitely need to add to your ‘Tokyo to do list’ for when you visit.
These are 7 must see attractions in Tokyo:-
7. Tokyo Tower
Originally used as a telecommunication tower, Tokyo Tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower and was constructed in 1958. Second to Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower rises an incredible 333 metres high and is a major tourist attraction in Tokyo. Definitely worth checking out and the views are pretty phenomenal, especially on a clear day.
6. Meiji Shrine
Located in Harajuku, the Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is a Shinto shrine and its grounds and gardens are somewhere you don’t want to miss whilst visiting Tokyo. We began by walking through the large Torii gate that welcomes you. We strolled through the gardens and the tree tunnel and around the pond until we found ourselves at Kiyomasa’s well. This well is said to send positive energy and thus be good luck. Continuing on we found ourselves at the Meiji Shrine where you can wash your hands and mouth before entering the main hall to say your prayer and purchase good luck tokens from nearby market stalls.
5. Imperial Palace Gardens
Imperial Palace itself is only open to the public twice a year on January 2 (New Years Greeting) and December 23 (Emperor’s birthday) as it still remains home to the Emperor and Empress of Japan. The gardens outside the palace however are open to the public and are really beautiful. Whilst you can’t see the palace from the gardens you can imagine what life would be like behind the stone walls and beyond the watch towers.
Senso-Ji is one of the most famous and the oldest Buddhist temple found in Tokyo in the city of Asakusa. The temple is free to visit with flocks of tourists and locals heading to the temple to pray and foretell their futures. After learning the traditional way to wash your hands and mouth before entering the main hall, this temple really is one of the most beautiful temples, although very, very busy.
3. Tokyo SkyTree
I had been both excited and anxious to visit this iconic Japanese landmark for the entire trip and so we left it until last for us to tick off our ‘Tokyo must do list’. The 634 meter high broadcasting tower is now the tallest tower in the world and is the tallest building in Japan. The view really is incredible from any of the observation floors, but as you get higher and higher you really do start to realise how tall this building actually is. Glass floor panels in certain areas for you to look down upon the world beneath you really gave me that gut-sinking feeling but also puts into perspective just how incredible this piece of architecture is. Definitely worth visiting either during the day or at night for an incredible Tokyo skyline view and to say you’ve stood at the top of the tallest building in Japan!
2. Tokyo Disneyland & DisneySea
It should come as no surprise to anyone who regularly reads Global Whispers that Disneyland and Disneysea rank highly on my list of must see’s, anything Disney is always a priority for me! Similar to Anaheim, Tokyo is home to 2 Disney amusement parks which are both amazing. You’ll find some of your favourite and well-known rides from its American counterpart, but you’ll find some attractions here that you won’t find back in the USA. Highlights for me included Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, Splash Mountain and the fireworks display in Disneyland. DisneySea however was definitely my favourite of the two parks with Tower Of Terror, Toy Story Mania, the Indiana Jones Adventure ride and the Fantastic! nighttime water show really standing out in my mind as favourites.
1. Mt. Fuji Day Trip
This for me was one of the highlights of the entire trip. The day after arriving in Japan we thought we would start our trip off with a bang and head to Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and on a clear day can be seen from Tokyo (especially from the Tokyo Skytree). The day we went was really cloudy and quite windy but this actually made some of our photos look incredible and the anticipation of waiting for the wind to blow the clouds out of view made catching glimpses of the top of the mountain even more special. For the best view definitely check out the stops at 5th Station and Hakone also has a great view from the top of the cable car.
So there you have it, my top 7 recommendations of what you must see and do when visiting Japan. I would love to hear my readers thoughts on Tokyo… do you agree with my must see list? Anything that tops your list not written here? Comment below and let me know!
All posts are by Global Whispers and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.