Tokyo presents a confluence of the old and the new, the past and the future and tradition and modernity. What results, is a city that serves an interesting mix of experiences and stories, one that stays with you long after your visit is over. Here are some places in Tokyo that you shouldn’t miss, because they capture the vibrant zest of the city, and reflect its beating heart.
This is the most widely photographed district in Tokyo, which you’ll come upon when you exit Shibuya Station’s Hachiko exit. Wait for the lights to turn red for traffic – and they all turn red together – and then watch amazed as a sea of humanity spills out into the intersection, crossing in every direction. Reserve a window seat at Starbucks in the Tsutaya building to watch or photograph this seemingly mad scramble.
Of course, once you’re done, consider exploring Shibuya 109, a glamorous mall with the choicest boutiques. Shibuya is the heart of youth fashion and culture, so it’s an interesting place if you want to simply look around or shop. If you’re hungry, you could join the bustle at the Tokyo Food Show in Shibuya Station to get acquainted with gourmet selections or the local fare. Fried pork, grilled eel, octopus on a stick, rice with seafood and seaweed wraps are just the tip of the culinary extravaganza here.
Walk into Asakusa or ride in on a rickshaw, and you’ll feel the atmosphere of ages past. Begun as an obscure fishing village, and then an entertainment district, it has, in recent years, acquired a trendy image yet retaining its old world feel. You’ll find the Sensō-ji here, a popular 7th century Buddhist temple. Don’t miss the giant straw sandal nailed to the wall, dedicated to the safety of travellers.
Leading to the Sensō-ji is a long shopping street, Nakamise Dori, the best place to buy souvenirs, and sample Japanese street food. And just beyond Asakusa, rising high above the city is the Tokyo SkyTree. Go to its observation decks at 350m and 450m, for a gorgeous aerial view of Tokyo.
Centrally located in Tokyo, Akihabara spells all things electronic. It’s where you should head to if you’re interested in the latest computers, cameras, mobile phones, TVs, home appliances and other electronic gizmos and gadgets. It’s also the heart of Otaku culture, so you can’t miss the anime and manga stores.
Ginza dazzles you with Tokyo’s neon lights, its luxury shopping and glittering nightlife. Once the stores close, Ginza comes to life again as an entertainment and theatre district.
Travel beyond Ginza to Yurakucho, a more casual experience than the former, and a predominantly business district. This is charming Tokyo at its best, offering old-fashioned outdoor dining and delicious yakitori.
Tokyo is a heady mix of brilliant lights, spiritual charm and delightful alleys. Your visit is incomplete without having experienced the best of all of them.
If you are planning to visit Tokyo’s must-see districts, do not hesitate to contact your luxury travel designer Mr. Isao Numano.