Welcome to Tokyo, a city that seamlessly blends ancient traditions with modern innovation. Tokyo is a city that’s always bustling with energy and has something for everyone. From exploring iconic landmarks to immersing yourself in the local culture, Tokyo has something to offer that will leave you wanting more.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through the top things to do in Tokyo in 2023. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this guide will provide you with all the essential information to make the most of your time in Tokyo.
- Discover the must-visit landmarks in Tokyo.
- Immerse yourself in Tokyo’s rich cultural heritage.
- Explore Tokyo’s modern side.
- Relax in Tokyo’s beautiful parks and gardens.
- Indulge in Tokyo’s world-famous food scene.
- Experience Tokyo’s vibrant festivals and events.
- Shop until you drop in Tokyo’s popular districts.
- Explore Tokyo’s diverse neighborhoods for unique local experiences.
- Enjoy Tokyo’s nightlife scene.
Exploring Tokyo’s Iconic Landmarks
When visiting Tokyo, there are certain landmarks that simply cannot be missed. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, these iconic sites are sure to impress and inspire.
The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest freestanding broadcasting tower in the world, standing at a height of 634 meters. Visitors can take the elevator up to the observation deck for stunning views of the cityscape. At the base of the tower, you’ll find the Tokyo Solamachi shopping complex, which offers a wide range of dining and shopping options.
Senso-ji Temple, located in the Asakusa neighborhood, is Tokyo’s oldest temple and one of its most popular tourist attractions. As you approach the temple, you’ll pass through the bustling Nakamise shopping street, which is lined with traditional Japanese souvenirs and snacks. The temple itself dates back to the 7th century and is dedicated to the goddess of mercy, Kannon.
Shibuya Crossing is one of Tokyo’s most famous intersections, known for its crowds of pedestrians crossing in all directions at once. The best views of the crossing can be seen from the Starbucks located on the second floor of the Tsutaya building. Shibuya is also a popular shopping and entertainment district, offering a variety of shops, restaurants, and clubs.
Immerse Yourself in Tokyo’s Cultural Heritage
While Tokyo is a modern metropolis, it’s also steeped in rich cultural heritage that you can experience firsthand.
One must-do activity is attending a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The serene atmosphere and graceful movements of the tea master are sure to leave a lasting impression. For a more immersive experience, you can even take a tea ceremony class and learn the art of tea-making yourself!
Another way to immerse yourself in Tokyo’s cultural heritage is by exploring traditional neighborhoods like Asakusa. Walk through the Nakamise Shopping Street leading up to the iconic Senso-ji Temple, and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this historic area. You can also visit museums and art galleries to learn more about Japan’s rich culture and history.
If you’re interested in traditional Japanese crafts, visit shops and studios that specialize in pottery, calligraphy, or kimono-making. You can even try your hand at these crafts yourself and take home a unique souvenir.
Discover Tokyo’s Modern Side
While Tokyo is a city steeped in tradition, it also boasts a spectacular modern side that’s not to be missed. Here are some incredible modern attractions that you should definitely check out:
The Futuristic District of Odaiba
Odaiba is a man-made island that’s home to some of Tokyo’s most spectacular modern architecture. Here, you’ll find futuristic buildings such as the Fuji TV Building and the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center. It’s also a great spot to take in spectacular views of Tokyo Bay.
teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum
If you’re a fan of digital art, then the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum is a must-visit attraction. This museum features cutting-edge interactive exhibits that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.
The Vibrant Shopping Areas of Ginza and Omotesando
No trip to Tokyo would be complete without a shopping spree, and Ginza and Omotesando are two of the city’s premier shopping districts. Here, you’ll find everything from luxury boutiques to trendy streetwear stores, as well as some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes.
Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, or just want to get a taste of Tokyo’s vibrant modern side, these attractions are sure to impress.
Explore Tokyo’s Natural Beauty
While Tokyo may be known for its bustling city and modern attractions, it also has beautiful parks and natural spots to enjoy. Take a break from the city and explore Tokyo’s green spaces and tranquility.
Ueno Park is the largest park in Tokyo and offers a variety of attractions, including the Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Zoo, and several temples and shrines. Take a stroll through the park to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the spring or the autumn leaves in the fall.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
If you’re looking for a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city, visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. With its beautiful gardens, ponds, and walking paths, this park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.
|Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens||Yoyogi Park|
|Explore the grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Palace and its beautiful gardens. The East Gardens are open to the public and offer a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.||Yoyogi Park is popular for its spacious lawns and walking paths. It also features a flea market on weekends and is a popular spot for picnics and music festivals.|
Don’t forget to take a break from the city and enjoy Tokyo’s natural beauty.
Indulge in Tokyo’s Food Scene
Tokyo is a food-lover’s paradise, with a plethora of options ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to street food stalls. Be prepared to indulge your taste buds in one of the world’s most exciting food scenes.
Popular Tokyo Dishes
One of the must-try dishes in Tokyo is sushi, which is typically made with fresh fish and served at high-end restaurants or sushi counters. Ramen is another local favorite, with rich broth and perfectly cooked noodles. Don’t forget to try tempura, a popular dish made with deep-fried seafood and vegetables.
Where to Eat in Tokyo
Tokyo’s food scene is not limited to high-end restaurants. There are plenty of local izakayas (Japanese-style pubs) where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks in a casual atmosphere. Street food stalls are also a popular option, especially in areas like Tsukiji Market and Yurakucho. For a fine-dining experience, book a table at one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants.
Food Tours and Workshops
For a more immersive experience, consider taking a food tour or workshop to learn about Japanese cuisine and cooking techniques. Many tours offer visits to local markets, sake breweries, and cooking classes to help you discover new flavors and techniques.
Etiquette and Tips
When dining in Tokyo, it’s important to observe proper etiquette, such as saying “Itadakimasu” before the meal and “Gochisousama deshita” after finishing. Tipping is not necessary in Japan, and it’s considered rude to leave a tip at a restaurant. Also, be mindful of the designated smoking areas in restaurants and public spaces.
With its rich food culture, Tokyo is a dream destination for foodies. Don’t miss the chance to savor the best dishes the city has to offer.
Experience Tokyo’s Festivals and Events
Visiting Tokyo in 2023 allows you to experience the vibrant festival and event scene in the city. Tokyo hosts a wide range of festivals and events throughout the year, representing the rich cultural heritage of this metropolis.
Cherry Blossom Festivals
One of the most popular events in Tokyo is the cherry blossom festival which takes place in late March and early April. During this time, many parks and gardens around the city are covered in beautiful pink cherry blossoms, creating a stunning backdrop for picnics and strolls.
|Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival||Late March-Early April||Ueno Park|
|Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival||Early April||Nakameguro Canal|
|Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossom Festival||Late March-Early April||Chidorigafuchi Park|
Sumida River Fireworks Festival
Another major event in Tokyo is the Sumida River Fireworks Festival, which takes place in July. This event features a spectacular fireworks display over the Sumida River, accompanied by food stalls and festival games.
Tokyo also hosts cultural events throughout the year, such as the Sanno Festival in June, which celebrates the rich history and traditions of the city. The festival features parades, music performances, and traditional dances.
Other events like the Kanda Festival in May and the Sanja Festival in May also showcase the cultural heritage of Tokyo, with traditional costumes and performances.
Make sure to check the event calendar when planning your trip to Tokyo, as there is always something exciting happening in this dynamic city.
Shop Till You Drop in Tokyo
When it comes to shopping, Tokyo is a paradise for fashion lovers and trendsetters alike. The city is home to some of the world’s most famous shopping districts, where visitors can find everything from high-end luxury brands to quirky streetwear and vintage finds. Here are some of the best shopping destinations in Tokyo:
|Shopping District||What to Expect|
|Harajuku||A hub for independent boutiques, vintage shops, and trendy fashion outlets. Visitors can find unique streetwear and accessories, as well as the latest Japanese fashion trends.|
|Akihabara||Known as Tokyo’s “Electric Town,” Akihabara is a haven for tech enthusiasts and anime fans. Visitors can find a wide range of electronics, manga and anime merchandise, and gaming consoles.|
|Shinjuku||This bustling district is home to some of Tokyo’s largest department stores, including Takashimaya and Isetan. Visitors can find high-end fashion, cosmetics, and gourmet food products.|
|Ginza||Considered Tokyo’s most upscale shopping district, Ginza is where visitors can find high-end luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. It’s also home to some of Tokyo’s finest dining and entertainment venues.|
|Omotesando||Located near Harajuku, Omotesando is a tree-lined avenue dotted with luxury brands and high-end fashion boutiques. Visitors can find contemporary fashion, accessories, and design products.|
Aside from the popular shopping districts, visitors can also explore local markets and street food stalls for unique finds and delicious bites. Don’t forget to try some of Tokyo’s classic souvenirs like Japanese sweets, stationary, and beauty products.
Explore Tokyo’s Neighborhoods
One of the best ways to experience Tokyo is to explore its unique neighborhoods. Each area has its own distinct atmosphere and culture, offering a variety of activities and experiences. Here are some of the must-visit neighborhoods in Tokyo:
Located a few stops away from Shibuya, Shimokitazawa is a trendy neighborhood known for its vintage shops, record stores, and live music venues. It’s a great place to explore during the day and hang out at night.
If you’re looking for a taste of old Tokyo, head to Yanaka. This historic neighborhood has narrow streets lined with traditional wooden houses, temples, and shrines. You can also find small boutiques and cafes to explore.
Roppongi is a popular area for nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants. During the day, you can visit art galleries and museums, including the famous Mori Art Museum.
Ebisu is an upscale neighborhood known for its high-end restaurants and shops. It’s also home to the Yebisu Beer Museum, where you can learn about the history of beer in Japan and sample different varieties.
No matter which neighborhood you choose to explore, Tokyo’s diverse and vibrant local culture will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Enjoy Tokyo’s Nightlife
When the sun sets in Tokyo, the city transforms into a vibrant hub of entertainment. From buzzing nightclubs to cozy bars, Tokyo has something for every nightlife lover.
Top Nightlife Districts
|Shinjuku||Home to Tokyo’s red-light district, Kabukicho, and numerous bars and nightclubs, including the iconic Robot Restaurant.|
|Roppongi||A popular district for expats and foreigners, with a mix of upscale bars and clubs and more affordable options.|
|Ginza||A high-end district with sophisticated bars and lounges, perfect for a fancy night out.|
Best Bars in Tokyo
- Bar High Five – A famed cocktail bar with a sophisticated atmosphere and talented bartenders.
- Golden Gai – A collection of tiny bars in Shinjuku, each with its own unique vibe and character.
- Piss Alley – A narrow alleyway near Shinjuku Station with a variety of tiny bars and eateries.
Whether you prefer to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink, Tokyo’s nightlife scene has it all. Just be sure to pace yourself, as the trains stop running around midnight!
Congratulations! You have reached the end of our ultimate guide to the top things to do in Tokyo in 2023. We hope this article has inspired you to plan your trip to this amazing city and provided you with valuable tips to make the most of your visit.
Whether you are interested in Tokyo’s iconic landmarks, rich cultural heritage, modern attractions, natural beauty, delicious food, vibrant festivals, unique shopping districts, diverse neighborhoods, or exciting nightlife scene, Tokyo has something for everyone.
Remember to plan ahead, book your accommodations and transportation in advance, and wear comfortable shoes to explore all the amazing things Tokyo has to offer.
Thank you for reading and we wish you a wonderful trip to Tokyo in 2023!
Q: What are the top things to do in Tokyo in 2023?
A: The top things to do in Tokyo in 2023 include exploring iconic landmarks, immersing yourself in the city’s cultural heritage, discovering its modern side, exploring its natural beauty, indulging in its food scene, experiencing its festivals and events, and shopping till you drop. Additionally, you can explore Tokyo’s neighborhoods and enjoy its vibrant nightlife.
Q: What are some iconic landmarks to visit in Tokyo?
A: Tokyo is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Tokyo Skytree, Senso-ji Temple, and Shibuya Crossing. These landmarks offer unique experiences and are must-visit attractions when in Tokyo.
Q: What cultural experiences can I have in Tokyo?
A: In Tokyo, you can immerse yourself in the city’s cultural heritage by attending a traditional tea ceremony, exploring traditional neighborhoods like Asakusa, and visiting museums and art galleries that showcase the rich cultural history of the city.
Q: What are some modern attractions in Tokyo?
A: Tokyo offers a range of modern attractions, such as the futuristic district of Odaiba, the teamLab Borderless digital art museum, and the vibrant shopping areas of Ginza and Omotesando. These attractions showcase Tokyo’s contemporary side.
Q: Are there any parks or natural spots to explore in Tokyo?
A: Yes, Tokyo has beautiful parks and natural spots, including Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and the Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens. These green spaces offer a peaceful escape from the bustling city.
Q: What is the food scene like in Tokyo?
A: Tokyo’s food scene is diverse and renowned. You can indulge in popular dishes like sushi, ramen, and tempura. There are plenty of options available, from street food stalls to local izakayas and high-end restaurants.
Q: Are there any festivals and events in Tokyo?
A: Tokyo hosts vibrant festivals and events throughout the year. The cherry blossom festivals, Sumida River Fireworks Festival, and cultural events like the Sanno Festival are some of the highlights. Check the best times to visit to experience these events.
Q: Where can I go shopping in Tokyo?
A: Tokyo offers a range of shopping opportunities. You can explore popular shopping districts like Harajuku, Akihabara, and Shinjuku. These areas provide unique retail experiences, and you can find souvenirs and fashion items.
Q: What are some must-visit neighborhoods in Tokyo?
A: Tokyo has diverse neighborhoods to explore, such as the trendy Shimokitazawa, the traditional Yanaka, and the upscale Roppongi. Each neighborhood has a unique atmosphere and offers different activities and experiences.
Q: What is Tokyo’s nightlife like?
A: Tokyo’s nightlife is vibrant and offers a range of experiences. Popular nightlife districts like Shinjuku and Roppongi are known for their bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. You can enjoy the energetic nightlife scene in Tokyo.
Q: What is the main takeaway from this article?
A: The main takeaway is that Tokyo in 2023 offers an array of exciting things to do and explore. From iconic landmarks to cultural experiences, modern attractions, natural beauty, delicious food, festivals, shopping, neighborhoods, and nightlife, Tokyo has something for everyone. Plan your trip and make the most of your time in this incredible city.