With its ever busy streets, bright lights, diverse subcultures, and unique character, Tokyo is brimming with hidden gems and must-see destinations. For some, especially the first-time visitors, searching for the best spots in this big eccentric metropolis can be a daunting task.
Luckily, we’ve come up with an easy guide that covers everything from activities, to attractions, to food, and of course, a little bit of karaoke!
Editorial credit: Chih Hsuan Peng / Shutterstock.com
There’s no happier place in Japan than Tokyo Disneyland. Both the young and not-so-young tourists will enjoy the rides, attractions, gift shops, parades, themes, mascots, and food stalls (different popcorn flavor in every stop!).
You can also amp up your experience by dressing as your favorite Disney character like some visitors do.
The queues for the more popular rides may be extra long but the good thing is, they’re still orderly. The whole staff is helpful and friendly so you won’t get lost or confused. Going to Tokyo Disneyland will definitely set the tone for one amazing vacation.
Maxell Aqua Park is another must-see destination in Tokyo where you can get up close and personal with around 20,000 aquatic animals from 350 species. Be wowed by breathtaking light shows and the Jellyfish Ramble.
Pass through an aquarium tunnel and watch manta rays, sharks, and other exotic marine creatures swim by and watch synchronized dolphins jump in the air and do amazing tricks! Going to Maxell Aqua Park is a complete sensory experience that you can’t miss out on.
Editorial credit: R.Bordo / Shutterstock.com
Built on a filled-in swamp during the 16th century, Ginza is now one of the most popular upscale shopping areas in the world. Even if you don’t plan on doing some shopping, walking around this district is already a treat in itself.
You’ll find well-known department stores, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment complexes lining up the busy streets which are always packed with tourists and locals. A detour into the smaller streets may also lead you to independent shops that offer interesting finds. First-timer or not, Ginza never fails to exhilarate.
Editorial credit: Jamesilencer / Shutterstock.com
If you can’t take pictures with the real celebrities, then their wax figures at Madame Tussauds would have to do! You can choose from over 60 lifelike wax figures–from Meryl Streep, to Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Audrey Hepburn, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and more.
Like any Madame Tussauds around the world, the lines can get long so it’s best to drop by early.
Editorial credit: Swedishnomad.com – Alex W / Shutterstock.com
True to its name, Robot Restaurant offers a futuristic dining experience that’s full of robots, EL dance shows, blue-haired performers in robot-like costumes, and other bizarrely fun theatrics.
Funnily enough, people come to this restaurant more for the shows than for the food, which by the way, is actually delicious! If you’re up for a crazy good time with family or friends, this is the spot for you.
You can’t go to Tokyo and not try the street food in Shibuya. As one of the busiest neighborhoods in Japan, you can easily get lost in the crowd and the streets in search for the underground market.
Luckily, you can join Shibuya’s Street Food Tour, which will take you to the best food stops as you discover offbeat paths.
Try the tastiest Kobe beef skewers, Kansai takoyaki, Hiroshima okonomiyaki, various sushi, and of course, Japanese dessert and explore the underground food market like a true local!
Editorial credit: Shawn.ccf / Shutterstock.com
With thousands of pedestrians crossing from five different directions during a two-minute cycle all day every day, Shibuya Crossing is considered the busiest crossing in the world. It’s located across the Shibuya Station where you can find the famous Hachiko statue, and it’s also used as the main meet-up point for both locals and tourists.
With its neon-lit backdrop and the countless pedestrians walking about, Shibuya Crossing is the perfect spot for that quintessential Tokyo shot.
Considered the tallest “tower” in the world, Tokyo Skytreestands at 634 meters or 2,080 feet (it comes a close second to Burj Khalifa as the tallest “structure” in the world). So if you want to see an unparalleled 360-degree view of Tokyo, this is where you should be.
You can even go on the Tembo Deck and stand on the “Glass Floor of Fear” to see Tokyo beneath your feet! Or you can simply enjoy the view and a good cup of joe or tea at the Skytree Cafe. The sky’s the limit!
Editorial credit: Oliver Foerstner / Shutterstock.com
What better way to watch sumo wrestlers in action than to watch them train! At the Sumo Stable, visitors can learn the traditions and practices of sumo wrestling. You can also watch the wrestlers do their warm-ups and routines.
They’re extremely focused and don’t put up a show for tourists due to years of practice and in respect to their sport. Most stables require reservations ahead of time and rarely accept on-the-day appointments.
Photo Credit: tokyocreative.com
If you love the movie “Lost in Translation” with Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, then you know Karaoke Kan. As the most popular karaoke bar in all of Tokyo, people come here to sing from early night to early morning.
Aside from the bar’s energetic and quirky vibe that makes you want to just have a good time, the music catalog has all the songs you can ever think of. This is the perfect spot to celebrate with friends and maybe take those “Lost in Translation” shots for your Instagram feed as well.