15 Things to Do in Tokyo

How can you not want to get mixed up in the unique chaos of Tokyo?

The bizarre yet satisfying combination of the super modern mixed with unquestioned, dug in tradition offers delicious, neon-lit paradoxes not found anywhere else on the globe.

The city of 35 million that’s impossibly clean and safe for its size is the perfect destination for culture, food, and fashion.

Here are 15 things to do in Tokyo.

Eat and Drink in Shimbasi

This area near the business district is home to a ton of traditional Japanese pubs or Izakayas: an appropriate end of work venue for salary workers to vent frustrations to workers who are often just an arm’s length away. It’s the perfect place to try delicacies that aren’t catered to western tastes.

businessmen drink at an izakaya in shimbasi tokyo

@bumintsuan via Instagram

 

See the Spectacle that Is Harajuku

This daring district full of boutique shops and cafes is the heart of Japanese youth culture and fashion. The people watching here as a result of the cartoon-like dress just might be the best in the world.

two girls dressed up in harajuku tokyo

@princessmio0616 via Instagram

Sleep in a Capsule

These extremely basic sleeping pods originally popular with businessmen on nights out have recently caught on with tourists for their uniqueness and low prices.

a capsule hotel in shinjuku tokyo

@canadiantaxgirl via Instagram

Bet the Farm on Pachinko

This Japanese arcade game involves firing balls that drop through a maze of metal pins. Once you catch them you can exchange them for money, which gives Japan’s over  12,000 pachinko parlours a convenient loophole around the nation’s strict gambling laws.

pachinko machines in tokyo

@dhruvgroove via Instagram

Eat Michelin Star Ramen

The world’s most comforting noodle soup dish not only shows well in ancestral home, but it gets taken to a whole new level. The Michelin starred bowls found at Tsuta give you a world class dining experience for slightly more than the cost of a fast food meal.

a bowl of michelin star ramen at tsuta tokyo

@veronicaphua via Instagram

Climb the Sky Tree

This unmistakable broadcast tower and observation deck rises to 634 metres and is the second tallest structure in the world. Naturally, the views are spectacular.

an illuminated sky tree in tokyo

@jack8866 via Instagram

Eat at the Robot Restaurant

This $100 million restaurant isn’t grandma’s old crooner supper show. Here we’re talking about an all too Japanese combination of ritualistic dancing, fembots, tanks, segways, and an all too comical animal vs. robot war.

a colourful girl leads the crowd at the robot restaurant tokyo

@tanbernard via Instagram

Cross Shibuya Crossing

If you’ve watched any film based in Tokyo you’ve probably seen the world’s biggest pedestrian crossing. As many as 2500 people cross the street at any time, so get lost in the fray yourself or watch the chaos unfold with a hot latte from the nearby Starbucks.

an overhead view of shibuya crossing japan

@lphonzy via Instagram

Hit Up Tsukiji Market

The biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world is home to some of the best eating in all of Tokyo, specifically regarding sushi. Early risers attending the market’s tuna auction are in for the show of a lifetime.

workers inspect tuna at the tuna auction at tsukiji market tokyo

@rokkatone via Instagram

Buy Anything from a Vending Machine

From the practical to the completely useless you’ll find virtually anything on sale at Tokyo’s vending machines from dog food to ramen noodle to bananas.

a tourist selects a drink from a vending machine tokyo

@mikeintime via Instagram

Watch Wrestlers Practice at a Sumo Stable

There’s no better way to understand the intensity of this often misunderstood sport than by watching the training of some of the country’s best sumo wrestlers. Book a visit at Hakkaku Sumo Stable for some of the best hands-on experiences, where you can even meet and take photos with the wrestlers.

sumo wrestlers train at hakkaku sumo stable tokyo japan

@brysonbrysonbryson via Instagram

Relax at a Cat Cafe

Yes, it sounds strange but who says holidays need to be short on pets? The therapeutic effects of being in a cafe full of these adorable fuzzy creatures provides great contrast to the chaos of the city. True cat lovers should check out the exotic breeds at Neko JaLaLa.

a tourist pets a cat at nekojalala cat cafe in tokyo

@japanthing via Instagram

Walk Through Akihabara 

This neighbourhood famous for its never ending sea of electronic shops, comic books, and anime and manga spots is a must for lovers of these staples of Japanese culture.

a view of the anime shops in akihabara tokyo

@beckyhill via Instagram

Take In Senso-ji Temple

Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple is stunning from the second you arrive at its ‘Thunder Gate‘, an imposing Buddhist lantern. The five story pagoda is another highlight but many tourists stay for the many hand-made noodle shops in the area.

the massive paper lantern entrance at sensoji temple tokyo

@razzzbaig via Instagram

Belt Out Some Karaoke

It wouldn’t be a night out in Tokyo without a stop at one of the many multiple-story karaoke rooms. Get singing with a bunch of friends in your own private booth and opt for the all-you-can drink service for maximum craziness.

a man sings karaoke in tokyo japan

@postcardenvy via Instagram

That’s the stuff! Let’s head for the Land of the Rising Sun.

Take me to Tokyo!