Top 10 places to go when you visit Tokyo

Whenever I visit Tokyo, these 10 places will always appear in my list. If you have never been to Japan, Tokyo is definitely the no.1 city you must go when you visit Japan. Most of these places can be accessed by metro or JR train.

The following list is based on my personal experience and organized in no particular order. All recommendations and comments are welcome!

1. Asakusa 浅草 Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple 浅草寺 is a Buddhist temple and the oldest temple in Tokyo. It is the main attraction in Asakusa. Visitors will first see the Kaminarimon gate (Thunder Gate) when they enter the temple. This gate is very popular among tourists who make a trip to Sensoji Temple. Sensoji Temple is a 5 minutes walk from Asakusa subway station (G19 / A18).

There is a shopping street, Nakamise, starts from the first gate to temple's second gate. Try the kibidango (skewed rice dumpling with soybean powder), ningyoyaki (red bean paste cake), osenbei (rice cracker).

Tokyo Skytree is just a 20 minutes walk across Sumida River from Asakusa. You can also take subway to Oshiage station (A20 / Z14) and walk to Skytree.

Time needed in this attraction: 3 - 4 hours

2. Ueno Ameyoko market

This market is my all time favourite. It's located along Ueno station (G16 / H17) and Okachimachi station (E09 / G15). Luggage, clothes, bags, accessories, traditional Japanese dried food, mentaiko all can be found here. Most shops opening hours are from 10am to 7pm, most of them close on Wednesday.

What an expensive durian!

Time needed in this attraction: 3 - 4 hours

3. Akihabara 秋葉原

This place is famous for its electronic shops, IT gadgets, maid cafes, video game shops and porn DVD shops. Yes, porn and it's legal. There are many a-few-storey DVD shops. The first floor is usually filled with regular DVDs, 2nd or 3rd floor is an entire floor filthy porn DVDs.

Porn DVD "library"

Maid cafe is one of the special experience in Tokyo. The maid girls will dressed up in maid outfit and spread across all the major streets attempting to lure customer in as some maid cafes are located in small alley. We were treated with dance and song routine by the girls. It was actually quite an awkward experience when we were asked to sing along the make-my-food-taste-better chant with the maid who served us. It was not very fun experience when we were there but definitely fun to share the experience with our friends afterward.

Food and drinks in maid cafe are expensive and overpriced. A cup of ice cream like this and a polaroid shot with the maid would cost you SGD30+ per person. It is not allowed to photograph maids in the cafe unless you

Akihabara can be accessed via Akihabara subway station (H16).

Akihabara shop list -

Time needed in this attraction: 4 - 5 hours

4. Tsukiji fish market 築地市場

It is one of the biggest and the most famous fish market in the world. Many tourists will make an effort to visit the famous tuna auction in this fish market at 5am. If you are not interested in the auction, you can visit the market outside Tsukiji fish market. You can find all kinds of seafood related cuisines and dried food here. The shops here usually open from 6am and close at noon.

If you are a sushi fan, this is the place you should visit. Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa are the most famous sushi restaurant in this market. We joined the queue in front of Sushi Daiwa, luckily it was only 40 mins. In some days, queue is easily 2 to 3 hours. We tried other sushi restaurants too in Tsukiji and honestly they are also as good as Sushi Daiwa.

Tsukiji market will be moved to Tovosu in March 2015. It is closed on Sunday, public holiday and certain Wednesday. Tsukiji market can be reached via Tsukiji subway station (H10). Check Tsukiji calendar here and read the guide here.

Time needed in this attraction: 4 - 5 hours

5. Ginza

Ginza is the most high class shopping district in Tokyo. Many departmental stores, branded shops, fine dining restaurants and night clubs can be found here. The best time to visit Ginza is weekend afternoon where Chuo Dori will be closed for car and for pedestrian access only. Take subway to Ginza station (M16 / H08 / G09) is the easiest way to access to Ginza.

Time needed in this attraction: 5 hours

Ginza map

Photo credit

6. Shibuya, Shibuya 109

Shibuya is another fabulous shopping district in Tokyo. Ginza is centre of high fashion whereas Shibuya is centre of youngster fashion. Neon light advertisement, huge video screen and the crowd make this place a worth to visit.

Shibuya can be reached by Shibuya subway station (Z01 / F16 / G01).

Time needed in this attraction: 5 - 6 hours

7. Tokyo Station, Imperial Palace

Tokyo station is the main intercity rail terminal  in Tokyo. Just like Ginza, Tokyo station itself worth a visit if you like shopping. Ramen fan, here is a good news for you. Tokyo Ramen Street features quite a few the most famous ramen restaurant in Tokyo. It's located at Yaesu underground exit in Tokyo station.

You can also visit Imperial Palace which is just a 10 minutes walk from Tokyo station.

Time needed in this attraction: 6 hours for both attractions

8. Disneyland / Disney Sea

Need not me to say more. It's Disney! Disneyland is one of the happiest place on earth. Disney Sea is only available in Japan. Personally, I would choose to visit Disney Sea if I were asked to choose only one park to visit. You can get your park ticket Shibuya Disney Store instead of getting it from the park to avoid long queue.

Try this, sea salt ice cream!

Time needed in this attraction: 1 day (8 hours) per attraction

9. Hakone 箱根/ Mt. Fuji/ Fuji Q Highland themed park 富士急ハイランド

Hakone is one of the most popular destination among local and foreign tourists when they are looking for a day trip from Tokyo. It is famous for its hot spring, natural beauty especially the spectacular Mt. Fuji view.

Click here for more information about Hakone and Hakone transportation guide, Fuji transportation guide

Fuji-Q Highland is located at the foot of Mount Fuji. It is best known for its thrilling roller coaster, Fujiyama, the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster.

Time needed in this attraction: 1 day (8 hours) per attraction

10. Nikko 日光

Nikko is a city in mountains of Tochigi. It is another popular option for those who want to do a day trip from Tokyo. It's 140 km from Tokyo. The shrines and temples in Nikko have been recognized as UNESCO Heritage Site. Click here to find out more.

Time needed in this attraction: 1 day (8 hours) per attraction

You Might Also Like