Today I’m going to introduce for you my ten favorite things to do in Tokyo. I tried to pick up different activities, some free some not and even put them to order from 10th to 1st. If you have more recommendations, feel free to share them in the comments.
10. The National Art Center
Tokyo has countless amount of different museums. It was hard decision to pick out just one of them. National Art Center was for me the most charming museum. Different exhibitions. Interesting artistes form Japan, Asia and around the world.
The modern art exhibition I visited was one of the best I have been. There was videos, sculptures, interactive art and inspiring works of art. One work even let the visitors take a piece with them. There was also a big house made of homeless people’s cardboard boxes.
9. Go to concert
Japan has music to offer for everyone’s tastes. Maybe go to small bar and listen rock or to big stadium see pop star. The Japanese music scene has many interesting artists and genres. In my opinion you can find concert experience that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. If you are lucky, there may be free concerts or events on the street.
Visit Tower Records store and ask if they sell tickets (if they don’t ask in which of their stores they do). The staffs are nice and at least for me they were able to suggest concerts foreigner should see as part of their Tokyo experience.
Some may say this place is for kids but I enjoyed it as twenty years old solo traveler. Japan is the country of inventions and in RiSuPia you can experience just that. Go to buy your ticket and while waiting for your turn check out all the new inventions from first floor or play newest Nintendo and Wii games in the second floor.
You get this remote thing and with it do different tasks in RiSuPia. Problem solving, funny experiments and teaching games. It really made the mathematics, psychics and chemistry lot more clear and easy. This should be the way to teach things to children! But the point is I had fun and the staff were amazing and kind. I recommend visit in RiSuPia for everyone.
7. Ueno Park
I would write a long post about Ueno Park and why it is one of my favorite places in Tokyo. I lived near it and spend countless of hours exploring around. Ueno park is home of zoo, museums, shrines and temples. Take pretty picture with torii gates or people watch locals having free time around the beautiful fountain.
The park is right next to Ueno station so many people are hurrying through it towards schools, works and homes. At evenings different dance groups are practicing and having fun. (I stalked this one group dancing with light sticks in too many nights…)
Ueno zoo is worth of seeing if you have time. The pandas are their biggest attraction but I totally fell in love with the zoo area itself. Next to zoo you can find small alley made of torii gates, the spot many tourists (and me) took pretty picture of themselves. The locals are happy to help you and take the picture (even if you don’t ask!).
6. Harajuku (Takeshita Street)
As district Harajuku is place you should just get lost and find interesting shops, crazy looking people and small museums. However I know some people are short of time and for you I recommend walking Takeshita Dori/Street. They even have maps made of that one street and it’s countless shops selling different kind of fashion. Be aware of the mass trying to run over you if the touristy you decides to be too slow at walking!
One part of Tokyo known for Hachiko dog statue and rumored to be world’s busiest pedestrian crossing (Shibuya crossing). May sound crazy but I recommend visiting here when it is raining. The way Japanese walk with their umbrellas without bumping to other people is art!
When visiting Japan you should go to see at least one temple or shrine. I recommend Senso-ji because of the area around it and it is photogenic place. Walking from metro station to the temple is an experience on its own. There is small shops everywhere selling sweets, souvenirs and fortunes. If you walk to one of the side alleys getting lost is sure but so are amazing adventures.
3. Cherry Blossom Viewing
Japan is known for its pinkish blossoming trees and the beautiful pictures taken from them. Unfortunately you only can see cherry blossoms at specific time at year. For example I didn’t see them when going Japan in autumn (well I have reason to return…) The best time to go and get charmed by the pink brilliance is in spring but you should google more accurate timing.
2. Character Street
Character street gets the second place because it’s something different, cute and full of life. (Oh and free to go if you don’t get too desirous to buy something!) The shops are lined closely next to each other and people are everywhere. There is a lot of tourists but also locals. You will find Character Street on the basement of Tokyo Station.
1. See Mt. Fuji (from far away)
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building offers two free observation decks. I visited there three times while in Tokyo and there was no line at all (an most of the times I was even alone in the elevator…) Maybe this is for me at first place because I am from small city and never seen skyscrapers before but definitely must place to visit for everyone.
The views are breathtaking and if you are lucky and the mother nature is in good mood (read the weather is clear) you will be able to see Mt. Fuji. You should start from here and check out the city from above. Good place to go either in sunlight (to see everything clearly/the Mt. Fuji) or after dark (beautiful city lights).
To see more free things to do in Tokyo go HERE.
With love (and endless homesickness to Japan),