My first visit to Tokyo was in the summer. I was flying Singapore Air from New Delhi to Los Angeles and decided to stopover in Japan for a few days. Even though I was in Tokyo for 96 hours only, with the help of a tour guide, I was able to see some of the most important sights of the city. Tokyo is an interesting mix of the old and the new, the modern and the contemporary. With neon-lit skyscrapers and luxury shopping districts to temples and shrines, there is something for everybody. Here are some of the most important sights I visited during my stay in Tokyo:
1. Bunkyo Civic Center Observation Deck
Bunkyo Civic Center is a 466 feet tall building with an observation deck located on the 25th floor, boasting a 330 degree panoramic view of Tokyo. Even though the observation deck is open to tourists and entry is free, it is very quiet and there no queues!
Read my full post on the Bunkyo Civic Center Observation Deck, Tokyo, Japan.
2. LaQua Entertainment Park, Korakuen
Also known as Tokyo Dome City Attractions, LaQua Entertainment Park is an amusement park located adjacent to the Tokyo Dome, a large baseball stadium. One of the unique attractions of the park is the 260-foot tall coaster named Thunder Dolphin from Intamin. It's a great place to visit with family and kids.
Read my full post on LaQua Entertainment Park, Korakuen, Tokyo, Japan.
3. Zozo-ji temple, Diamon & Tokyo Tower
Zozoji temple is the head Buddhist temple for the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism. Most of the temple’s buildings have been recently constructed except the main entrance gate called the Sangedatsumon, that was built in 1622 A.D. and has survived many natural calamities and wars. You can also see the monks as they come out at 5 p.m. to perform the daily rituals. It is also a great place to view the Tokyo Tower.
Read my full post on Zozo-ji temple, Diamon & Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan.
4. Adachi Fireworks Festival
The Adachi Fireworks Festival is held every year in July at Adachi in Tokyo along the Arakawa river. It kick-starts the Tokyo fireworks season and signals the arrival of summer. There are over 20 fireworks festivals held in Tokyo on almost every weekend from late July through October. I attended the 39th Adachi Fireworks Festival that launched approximately 12,000 fireworks!
Read my full post on the Adachi Fireworks Festival, Tokyo, Japan.
5. Chanko Nabe (sumo food) at Chanko Tomoegata Restaurant, Ryogoku
The Chanko Tomoegata Restaurant is a short walk from the edo Tokyo museum in Ryogoku. Enjoy a delicious Chanko Nabe meal there and if you are lucky you might even run into young sumo apprentices eating there.
Read my full post on Chanko Nabe (sumo food) at Chanko Tomoegata Restaurant, Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan.
6. Senso-ji temple and Nakamise Dori
Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and also one of the most significant. Leading to the Senso-ji temple is a shopping street called Nakamise Dori. It is one of the best places in Tokyo to buy souvenirs like Japanese chopsticks, yukata, wooden combs, folding fans and textiles. It is also well-known for Japanese street food. It is a 2 minute walk from Asakusa Station.
Read my full post on Senso-ji temple and Nakamise Dori, Tokyo, Japan.
7. Harajuku: Takeshita Dori, Omotesando, Ura-Harajuku and Cat Street
Harajuku is the area around Tokyo's Harajuku Station between Shinjuku and Shibuya. It is one of the main fashion districts of Tokyo. It comprises of Takeshita Dori, Omotesando, Ura-Harajuku and Cat Street. Takeshita Dori is famous for teen fashion and seconds stores. Omotesando is one of the most important luxury fashion districts of Tokyo. Ura-Harajuku is a network of back alleys of fashion stores, candy shops and art galleries. Cat street is known for Tokyo street fashion and funkily dressed teenagers.
Read my full post on Harajuku: Takeshita Dori, Omotesando, Ura-Harajuku and Cat Street, Tokyo, Japan.
8. Nonbei Yokocho, 'Drunkard's Alley' in Shibuya
Nonbei Yokocho also known as 'Drunkard's Alley' are two parallel alleys in Shibuya, Tokyo, filled with rows of tiny bars. Some of the bars are so small that they can fit only 4 or 5 people. It is only a stone throw's away from the famous Shibuya Crossing. In the evening the street is lit up with lanterns and reminds you of a mid 20th century Tokyo.
Check out my full post on Nonbei Yokocho, 'Drunkard's Alley' in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
9. Shibuya Crossing & Starbucks Coffee
Shibuya Crossing is perhaps one of the world's busiest and most famous intersections just outside the Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan. It is a must-do in your visit to Tokyo. The second floor of the near-by Starbucks cafe offers amazing views of the intersection.
Read my full post on Shibuya Crossing & Starbucks Coffee, Tokyo, Japan.
10. Visiting an Izakaya, skewer restaurant
Izakaya is a type of an informal Japanese gastropub. I visited one located between Shimbashi and Yurakucho. It is really the Japanese version of a bar or a pub where people gather after work for drinking. Izakayas also specialize in grilled meats, fish and vegetables, sashimi and other casual fare. Since I don't drink, I ordered myself a tomato juice and some snacks to go with it. It is a nice way of experiencing the Japanese culture.
Read my full post on Visiting an Izakaya, skewer restaurant between Shimbashi and Yurakucho, Tokyo, Japan.