Summarizing the beauties of Tokyo is almost impossible. The capital of Japan embodies the essence of the country, set in a thousand different contradictions and speeds. There are young and dynamic neighborhoods that never sleep, others that still retain temples and a pulsating past. Among the skyscrapers and shopping centers there is no shortage of green spaces and alleys, where you can taste fish delicacies or where to visit the markets and stock up on sushimi and sushi or decide to visit themed cafes.
One of the most fascinating metropolises in the world, Tokyo, is the perfect union between millenary history and modernity. Discover its most beautiful attractions and don’t miss out on Japan’s best attractions.
Tokyo Imperial Palace
The green oasis of over one square kilometer in which the imperial palace stands will make you feel projected into another dimension. However, it is only 10 minutes away from the Marunouchi business district. The structure stands where Edo Castle was previously built. The manor was the seat of the Tokugawa shoguns, royal lineage that ruled the country from 1603 until 1868. Subsequently the palace became the permanent residence of the imperial family from 1869. As happened to many buildings, the imperial palace was destroyed during the bombing of the Second World War and subsequently rebuilt according to the original version. The first project had opted for a mixture of styles for the interiors.
Tokyo also offers moments of peace and tranquility like those you will experience in the Meiji shrine, surrounded by a green area that manages to isolate itself from the hectic heart of the capital. It is a jewel of the Shinto religion which is located not far from Harajuku station. It is undoubtedly one of the most beloved symbolic places because Emperor Meiji is venerated here together with his wife, Empress Shoken. Here you can walk in the middle of the nature of the Yoyogi Park, but above all learn a very fascinating part of history. The sanctuary was completed in 1920, eight years after the emperor’s death.
The figure of Meiji is central in the history of Japan as it can be considered the first emperor of the modern era. Under him the country embarked on an extraordinary process of modernization that dismantled the old system, began an important opening towards abroad and decided to move the capital to Tokyo.
Tsukiji Fish Market
It was the largest fish market in the world and covered a very large area, which had been obtained from a landfill. In 2018 the area was moved to Toyosu, although food and other goods are still sold outside. This historical area was made up of two sections: one in which the tuna auctions took place and wholesalers operated and a second in which a whole series of commercial activities took place including the sale of portioned, minute and dried fish. At full capacity, the fish market could count on 65,000 people including sellers, workers and accredited personnel.
It is the center of the district of the same name and extends over a very large area. At the beginning of its history, the park was part of a Kaneiji temple, one of the most influential and largest in the city. Only towards the end of the 1800s, when a large part of the temple was destroyed during the civil war, did it become a public park. Today during your walk you will still be able to see several buildings: a happy marriage between culture and nature. The park will win you over with its lights and colors. Lakes, woods and hills are crisscrossed by wonderful paths surrounded by wonderful cherry trees, which in spring give the charm of pink. In autumn, however, the area becomes a mosaic of flaming and golden hues with maples flooding the paths with red leaves.
One of the most famous attractions of the park is certainly the Shinobazu pond, which is located in the south-western part and has an islet in the center on which stands the small hall of the temple dedicated to the goddess Benten. Around it is an ideal path to take pictures of the lake, now surrounded by lotus flowers, now with the skyscrapers in the background. There is also the possibility to rent pedal boats with which to make a beautiful panoramic tour.
Here we arrive at one of the symbols of Tokyo, the oldest and most important Buddhist temple in the city. During its millennial history it has undergone several renovations thanks to the royal lineage of Tokugawa shoguns. The place, built in honor of the Bodhisattva deity Kannon, is surrounded by a multitude of cherry trees. During the year the property organizes religious ceremonies. The building is located inside a perimeter wall that houses a complex made up of various structures, gardens and pagodas. Many buildings were destroyed during the bombing of the Second World War.
It is the district of young people and nightlife. Colorful, carefree and creative. A picturesque area where to shop, take a break in the extravagant and themed cafes you will encounter. It is an area packed with clubs where you can enjoy karaoke, discos and pubs. Strolling through the neon-lit alleys in the evening will be a unique experience, as will seeing the sea of people advancing or stopping at every traffic light at the busiest intersection in the world. The entertainment area develops around the station. A few steps from here you will find the statue of Hachiko, the dog who became famous thanks to Hollywood film has become a point of reference to meet.
East of Shibuya Station is a shopping complex ideal for aficionados of sweets and gastronomy. Inside there is a theater where exhibitions and cultural initiatives are organized. From the higher floors you can have a unique view of the whole neighborhood. Shibuya 109 is one of the hottest shopping spots among girls and has over 100 stores spread over 10 floors, along with restaurants and cafes.
Artificial Island of Odaiba
This neighborhood ideal for families with children is located on two artificial islands located in Tokyo Bay. You will find everything you want to have fun: shops, museums, hotels, sports centers, amusement parks and shopping centers: one of the most interesting is certainly Venus Fort which will amaze you with its past settings with colonnades, arcades and fountains. Walk through the streets to do some shopping in the unmissable shops, enjoying the spectacular view, perhaps at sunset, of the Rainbow Bridge which connects the island with the rest of Tokyo. In addition to the normal car lanes, it also hosts pedestrian paths on both sides.
For those who want to take a dip in creativity, you can visit the Borderless Team lab, which was created by some avant-garde creatives. The games of mirrors and lights will leave you speechless. The neighborhood will also give you other surprises, starting with Joypolis, an indoor amusement park. Games, animations and virtual reality experiences await you. To end the day you can pay a visit to the futuristic headquarters of Fuji TV or take a ride on the Odaiba Ferris wheel, one of the highest in the world with its 115 meters.