City Guide


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Sightseeing in Tokyo can bring about sensory overload if you're not careful. Animated billboards, the buzz of a densely packed and highly energetic population, and glittering gleaming architecture all compete for your attention. One thing is certain: you'll never be bored.

The transport system is excellent, good value, and easy to figure out, even for Westerners. However, the best way to view the city remains the oldest way: on foot, walking the streets, taking in the multitude of sights and sounds on your way. You'll be sure to find plenty of unexpected treasures, from little temples on side streets, to the warm smiling welcome of a local shop keeper.

Tokyo really does have something for everyone. Honeymooners come to cultivate romance amid the cherry blossoms; shoppers will find exactly what they're looking for and plenty on top of that; and backpackers can find ways to take in the culture without breaking the bank.

The temples and museums listed below are well worth your time, or you can lose yourself in the neon lights of Shibuya, check out the hip Harajuku girls in Takeshita Street, and take the elevated train from Shimbashi station to the bayside district of Odaiba, and ride on the giant Ferris wheel.

If you're curious, you can also take a class in any number of traditional Japanese art forms, including calligraphy, tea ceremonies, martial arts, massage, flower arranging, and meditation. Tokyo has a number of neon-lit pachinko parlours with men, women, and children trying their hand at the popular game. Japanese sports such as baseball and sumo wrestling are also fun ways to get a taste of Tokyo culture.

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Japan's Imperial Palace is regarded as the heart and soul of Tokyo, standing on a huge site that still bears the remains of Edo Castle, stronghold of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The present palace was completed in 1888 and is still home to the...  see full details

Torii gate, Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine

To the north of the Imperial Palace lies the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, built long ago to commemorate those Japanese who died in war and now regarded as home to the souls of about two and a half million who perished in conflict, mostly...  see full details

The Edo-Tokyo Museum

Edo-Tokyo Museum

Tokyo's museum dedicated to detailing the city's history, art, culture, and architecture through the medium of visual displays is an impressive attraction not to be missed. Edo was the old name for Tokyo when the country came under the rule of the warlord,...  see full details

Akihabara by night


Tokyo's electronic wonderland has become world-renowned. In a small area west of Akihabara Station lies a bright cluster of electronics shops, manga and anime stores, and video game outlets. The suburb has been specialising in electrical equipment since the 1930s and is now regarded...  see full details

Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple

The Asakusa neighbourhood of Tokyo draws visitors to admire the city's oldest temple, Senso-ji, founded in 628 AD with a quaint legend attached to it. The story goes that two young brothers fishing in the nearby river netted a golden image of Kannon,...  see full details

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

Close to Ueno Station and enclosed in the beautiful, spacious park of the same name, the National Museum is host to the largest collection of Japanese art in the world. Exhibits range from antique kimonos and delicate pottery to woodblock prints and archaeological finds....  see full details

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

The Tokyo Tower is modelled in the vein of the Eiffel Tower in France, only in true Japanese style, it is more colourful and serves a technological purpose. Tokyo Tower functions chiefly as a television and radio antenna but it is also Tokyo's...  see full details

Meiji Jingu

Meiji Jingu

Close to the Harajuku Station, the Meiji Jingu is an easily accessible shrine and worthwhile stop for tourists in Tokyo. Built in homage to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, the Empress Shoken, this monument is located in a 175 acre (70ha) evergreen...  see full details