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Top 10 Tokyo Sightseeing Spots - A Beginner's Travel Guide

Top 10 Tokyo Sightseeing Spots - A Beginner's Travel Guide

Tokyo 2019.06.04 Bookmark

Tokyo has countless wonderful places to visit. If you come to Japan's major metropolis for the first time, use this beginner-friendly guide to learn the top things to do and where you can encounter Japanese culture in all aspects, from natural hot springs to shrines, to fresh sushi and the Ghibli Mu

Translated by Greg

Written by MATCHA

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Must-See Sightseeing Spots in Tokyo

Top 10 Tokyo Sightseeing Spots - A Beginner's Travel Guide

Photo by Pixta

There are countless famous sightseeing spots in Tokyo, Japan's capital and largest metropolis.

With so many destinations to choose from, you might have difficulty deciding where to go. After reading this article, however, you won't feel lost anymore, as this guide covers the top places every traveler should include in their itinerary in Tokyo.

1. Asakusa - Sensoji Temple

Kaminarimon, Sensoji Temple

Photo by Pixta
Sensoji Temple, located in Asakusa, is Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple, and welcomes more than 30 million visitors annually. This is also a must-see sightseeing attraction in Tokyo.

Sensoji Temple enshrines Kannon, the bodhisattva of mercy who is said to relieve humanity of suffering. Nearby the temple are many great photo spots, including the dignified Kaminarimon gate, and the impressive five-story pagoda.

The 250-meter long approach to the temple is called Nakamise Dori and is one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan. Both sides are dotted with souvenir shops to satisfy any needs for souvenirs and keepsakes.

Sensoji Temple
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-3-1 Google Map

Official Homepage: http://www.senso-ji.jp/ (Japanese)

2. The Outer Market at Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market, Outer Market

Photo by Pixta
Tsukiji Market, which opened in 1935, is one of the largest markets in the world for the monetary value of seafood handled.

The market is divided into the inner market (jonai), a wholesale area where businesses come to purchase supplies, and the outer market (jogai), where the general public can go shopping. In October 2018, the inner market moved from Tsukiji to Toyosu.

However, many restaurants and shops lining the outer market still remain in business, making this a must-visit spot still. Yamacho Tamagoyaki, a Japanese egg dish, other famous delicacies, and the outer market’s lively atmosphere are very enjoyable. Be sure to make a visit here.

Tsukiji Outer Market
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 4-16-2 Google Map
Official Homepage: http://www.tsukiji.or.jp/english/index.html

3. Ueno - Ameyoko

Ameyoko

Photo by Pixta

Close to both Tokyo Station and Asakusa, Ameyoko (Ameya Yokocho) is located in Ueno, an area often frequented by many international visitors.

This is a shopping street with a wide variety of shopping, from grocery stores selling marine products and fresh fruit, to clothing and cosmetics stores. Ameyoko also has a lot of drugstores selling Japanese health care products of all types.

There are also countless eating and drinking establishments, including restaurants where you can enjoy Japanese cuisine at a reasonable price. You’ll immediately feel the overwhelming energy from this lively area when you visit.

Ameya Yokocho
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno 4-9-14 Google Map
Official Homepage: http://www.ameyoko.net/ (Japanese)

4. Shibuya - Scramble Crossing

Shibuya Scramble Crossing

Photo by Pixta

Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing is an intersection right outside Shibuya Station where as many as 3,000 pedestrians cross each time. This is where you can experience the urban side of Tokyo and many visitors are surprised at the number of people.

The weekend evening atmosphere, when the area is the most crowded, is especially astounding.

As you navigate through the wave of oncoming pedestrians, please be careful not to bump into anyone and make it to the other side safely.

5. Oshiage - Tokyo Skytree

Top 10 Tokyo Sightseeing Spots - A Beginner's Travel Guide

Photo by Pixta

The iconic Tokyo Skytree, which was built as a TV broadcasting tower in 2012, and Tokyo Skytree Town, a nearby commercial complex with shopping and entertainment, are both must-visit attractions.

Standing at a height of 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree is recognized in the "Guinness World Records" as the world’s tallest tower.

There are two observation decks. One is at 350 meters, and the other is at 450 meters. On clear, sunny days you can even see Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain.

The nearby Tokyo Skytree Town has numerous shops, an aquarium, and a planetarium, making it ideal for souvenir shopping and relaxing.

Tokyo Skytree
Address: Tokyo, Sumida, Oshiage 1-1-2 Google Map

Official Homepage: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/

6. Ginza - Kabukiza Theater

Kabukiza

Photo by Pixta

At Ginza’s Kabukiza you can enjoy watching kabuki, one of Japan’s traditional performing arts. The theater was built in1889 and has since undergone four renovations. It continues to charm and fascinate all who visit.

Kobikicho Square, a shopping area with souvenirs and gifts, is located on the second basement level. All visitors can enter and shop here, even those not planning to see a performance. There’s a full range of shops with something for everyone.

Be sure to look for Kabuki Kyogen Rice Crackers when you browse the shops. Each rice cracker wrapper is decorated with a famous scene from a kabuki performance.

Kabukiza
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza 4-12-15 Google Map
Official Homepage: https://www.kabukiweb.net/theatres/kabukiza/information/index.html

7. Odaiba - Oedo Onsen Monogatari

築地市場から歌舞伎座まで。東京の観光名所10選

Photo by Pixta

Odaiba, which will serve as a venue area for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, is a seaside district with a refreshing ocean breeze.

In addition to sightseeing and shopping, visitors can have fun interacting with robots and androids at Miraikan - The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Tokyo Joypolis and the Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo are also nearby. This is a great area to spend the entire day, ideal for friends and families.

To get to Odaiba, hop on board the Yurikamome, a train that operates along the Tokyo Bay area, and enjoy the beautiful view.

Picture fromRecommended Places In Odaiba - A Trip For The Whole Family!

Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari is a theme park-like facility where you can experience multiple Japanese hot spring (onsen) in Odaiba. The park has traditional hot springs, a sauna, and massage services. This is an ideal place for rest and relaxation during a trip.

Please note that visitors with tattoos are not permitted to enter the bath. In general, many onsen in Japan do not allow entrance to visitors with tattoos, so be sure to inquire before making a visit.

Odaiba Tokyo Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Address: Tokyo, Koto, Aomi 2-6-3 Google Map
Official Homepage: https://daiba.ooedoonsen.jp/en/

8. Mitaka - Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum

Picture from The Ghibli Museum In Mitaka - Welcome To The World Of Ghibli!

Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli animated movies such as "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away" are familiar titles known to many in and outside of Japan. At the Ghibli Museum, you can immerse yourself in this magical world of animation.

This is a must-visit spot for Studio Ghibli fans. Visitors can encounter the various characters from Ghibli animations, and also enjoy watching original short films as well.

The soft and fluffy Catbus (Nekobus) featured in the movie, "My Neighbor Totoro," is also on display here.

To enjoy the museum, tickets must be purchased in advance. When you reserve the tickets, you must specify the day and time of your visit.

Please note that photography is not allowed on the premises. Instead of taking pictures, allow your heart to capture the fascinating sights of the world of Ghibli.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
Address: Tokyo, Mitaka, Shimorenjaku 1-1-83 Google Map
Official Homepage: http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/ (Japanese)

9. Roppongi - Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills

Photo by Pixta

Visitors who would like to enjoy the metropolitan atmosphere of Tokyo should head for Roppongi Hills. There are many sophisticated shops, cafes, and restaurants, and even window shopping can be a lot of fun.

Roppongi Hills Observation Tower Tokyo City

Photo by Pixta
You can view an all-encompassing panorama of Tokyo from the indoor observation deck on the 52nd floor of the Roppongi Hills Observation Deck. Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, the two symbols of the city, can also be seen. The night view is especially spectacular.

Roppongi is filled with clubs and bars where visitors can enjoy Tokyo’s nightlife. We recommend taking in the night view from the observatory and then enjoying the rest of the evening nearby.

On weekdays and national holidays, business hours for the observatory are from 10:00 to 23:00, with last entry at 22:30. On Fridays, Saturdays, and the day before a holiday, it’s open from 10:00 to 25:00, and the last entry is at 24:00.

Roppongi Hills
Address: Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi 6-11-1 Google Map
Official Homepage: https://www.roppongihills.com/en/

10. Harajuku - Meiji Shrine

Meji Jingu Shrine

Photo by Pixta

Meiji Shrine is just five minutes away from Harajuku Station, an area overflowing with young people. Here, the calm and serene atmosphere is a sharp contrast to the rest of the lively Harajuku area.

At Meiji Shrine, the 122nd Emperor of Japan, the Meiji Emperor, and his wife, Empress Shoken, are enshrined here.

The grounds of the shrine cover around 700,000 square meters and are filled with more than 100,000 trees that were donated from all over Japan.

The forest surrounding the shrine is also part of the sacred grounds of the facility. More than 2,800 species of plants and living creatures call it their home.

If you visit Harajuku, be sure to stop at Meiji Shrine and immerse yourself in the calm, tranquil atmosphere of this oasis in the heart of the metropolis.

Meiji Shrine
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Yoyogi, Kamizonocho 1-1 Google Map
Official Homepage: http://www.meijijingu.or.jp/ (Japanese)

Enjoy Your Tokyo Trip to the Fullest!

We hope that these tips will help you plan your trip to Tokyo. For recommended itineraries within Tokyo and day trips around the metropolitan area, take a look at our special page called Greater Tokyo, a website dedicated to Tokyo travel.

Main image courtesy of Pixta
This is a revised edition of an article that was originally written on August 15, 2016

Writer of original article: Erica Ohara

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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