6 Top Things To Do in Tokyo

Discover six of the greatest things to do by writer, Erin Bogar.

Split the Boat from Asakusa to Odaiba

Asakusa is also now still home to Tokyo’s oldest temple, Senso-ji. It is a district.  Nakamise Dori, the road leading up to Senso-ji, is filled with stores selling brightly colored kimonos, noren (tapestries traditionally hung at shop and cafe entrances to protect from sun and dust), and all kinds of delicious traditional foods such as okonomiyaki (savory pancakes with several components ) and also tako yaki (fried octopus dough balls). Following a visit to Senso-ji, I Suggest catching the ship to Odaiba and taking a stroll across the Sumida River.

View Tokyo from Above

Eat Sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market

The fifty minute journey stalls along the Sumida River, beneath bridges, past fishing boats, and into Tokyo Bay. Odaiba is a manmade island in the bay using architecture, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, the Aqua City shopping complex, also Venus Fort, a mall built to look like a medieval town. The portion of Odaiba would be the spectacular views of Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge white by day and decorated at nighttime, Tokyo Tower, along with the mini Statue of Liberty of Tokyo by multicolored lights.

6 Top Things To Do in Tokyo

Watch a Sumo Match

In all directions such as a expanding world of steel and concrete, Tokyo climbs from a perch over the city. The Roppongi Hills Mori Tower observation deck has 360 degree views such as the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba, along with closing up views of Tokyo Tower, the town’s white and orange Eiffel Tower replica. The entrance fee for its observation deck includes a ticket to the Mori Art Museum with rotating contemporary displays such as Andy Warhol 15 Minutes Eternal along with Aida Makoto’s Monument for Nothing. Mori Art Museum is a part of ATRo, the Art Triangle of Roppongi, which includes Mori Art Museum, The National Art Center, along with Suntory Museum of Art.

6 Top Things To Do in Tokyo

Go out for drinks in Golden Gai

Tokyo’s newest and tallest tower, Tokyo Skytree (pictured below), has two viewing decks. The Tembo Galleria in 1476 feet (450m), the world’s highest sky walk, also Tembo Deck at 1148 feet (350m). Is Tokyo Solamachi, a village of restaurants, stores, and area along with the Sumida Aquarium and Planetarium Tenku.

Shop in Harajuku

The most economical view in the city is in The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which has one in each tower in the 45th floor, two free monitoring decks. From the decks the skyscrapers of Shinjuku can be seen by you and on a clear day Mount Fuji.

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If you’re hoping to be among those 120 people permitted each day to watch the predawn tuna auction, arrive in the market by 4am. Though it’s early, you need to be alert while ago on carts buzz with patience for tourists that get in the way since the group is escorted across the market.

6 Top Things To Do in Tokyo

If you’re not an early morning person, come to walk through narrow lanes and create and taste the best catches of the day in local sushi restaurants, open from around 5am-Noon.

January, May, and September Have Been Sumo time in Tokyo.

This centuries old sport is still going strong during Japan. Sumo is a part ritual, part sport and Shinto rites such as salt removal are a significant bit of this contest. Sumo wrestlers are the best opponents quickly and athletes get celebrity status in Japan. Proceed to Ryoguku Kokugikan Sumo Hall and observe two sumos with legs like tree trunks struggle are the first to push their opponent out of the ring.

Golden Gai is a small area of packed bars situated behind the Best Western in Shinjuku. This area is popular among actors, directors, writers, and artists, but not many pubs are open to tourists — look for indications in English as an indication of a friendly place. Buildings and the narrow lanes remain a bit of Tokyo’s past. Golden Gai transitioned from black market to brothels and eventually to pubs when prostitution became illegal. The area can be a reminder of what Tokyo’s roads were like and has remained mostly unchanged.

Harajuku’s backstreets are all full of funky stores selling Little Bo Peep design dresses booths offering sweet and savory crepes, and relaxed cafes. Harajuku’s Takeshita Dori is overrun with teen fashionistas sporting the most current fashion crazes including Lolita Goth and My Little Pony design of Tokyo. Beyond Takeshita Dori and deep into Harajuku’s side roads are fine pedestrian friendly thoroughfares where you are going to discover a calmer feeling with trendy surfer vibe boutiques and charming festivals such as the British Indian Café, look for the red outside and green awning and move indoors to enjoy Indian curry coupled with exquisite tea.

Erin Bogar is an independent travel writer, personal trainer, and the Tokyo Destination Page Curator for AFAR.com.  She has lived in Buenos Aires, Nagoya, and Tokyo and covers expat life, art and design, meals, and adventure traveling at BlaineandErin.com. Her husband Blaine and erin decided the world is too big and amazing to stay stuck behind desks. So they have made it their wish. Follow their experiences on Twitter and Facebook.