Tokyo tourist guide: top 5 things to see and do


Tokyo Government Building Observatory

The view from the Tokyo Government Building Observatory (All images: Lama Habbal)

1. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observatory
Located in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo – where most of Lost in Translation was filmed – the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a perfect start to anyone’s Tokyo adventure. With two observatory platforms (one in the north building, one in the south) visitors can get great aerial views of Japan’s capital city. At 202m above the ground you get a full picture of how sprawling Tokyo really is – and on some clear days you even can see Mt Fuji.
Cost: FreeDetails:

Shibuya intersection crossing Tokyo

The Shibuya Crossing

2. People watching at the Shibuya crossing
This famous intersection is one of the world’s most busiest road crossings. I would advise every tourist to not just make the crossing with the crowds, but to also find a great vantage point and watch the 30 seconds of mayhem! Shibuya is also a fantastic area for shopping and entertainment.

A view of Tokyo Tower from Roppongi

A view of Tokyo Tower from Roppongi

3. Enjoy a few beers in Roppongi
Ok, this may be a little bit touristy and over-popular, but as one of Tokyo’s top nightspot areas it is worth heading to Roppongi for a few drinks on an evening. Many foreigners enjoy nights out here and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and night clubs to keep you entertained.

Shinjuku Gyoen park and gardens

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

4. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Rest your feet and mind with a morning or afternoon lazing around in the parks and gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen. Completed in 1906 this 114-acre area includes a beautiful French garden, an English landscape garden and traditional Japanese gardens.
Entrance cost: JPY¥200 (about US$2.60 or £1.70). Details:

Meiji Shrine Shibuya Tokyo

A torii gate on the walk to the Meiji Shrine

5. Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park
Within a short walking distance from Shibuya and Harajuku Station you will find your way to the Meiji Shrine and nearby Yoyogi Park. The shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken and is located in a beautiful forested area.
Cost: Free (but access to some of the buildings is paid)

Other recommended places to visit in Tokyo:

  • Harajuku Station: The streets around Harajuku Station is where the cool kids of Tokyo hang out. Style and fashion is the order of the day here and you will see the latest trends that Tokyo has to offer
  • Tokyo Tower: A 332.5m communications and observation tower
  • The Imperial Palace: Surrounded by moats, the Imperial Palace grounds and gardens are a must-see
  • Akihabara: Electronics, electronic and more electronics. If you love gadgets, games and gizmos you must head here
  • Rush hour at Shinjuku Station: Not really recommended but you have to see it to believe it
Buy your electronics at Akihabara

Buy your electronics at Akihabara

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