Destination Spotlight: Tokyo

From shopping in the bustling streets of Harajuku and the intrigue of sumo wrestling to the rich history of the Meiji Shrine and the iconic Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo has something for everyone and there is a plethora of exciting things to do and see. This charming city is the destination for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is set to attract in the region of one million visitors per day to Tokyo.

Take in the picturesque scenes of the renowned cherry blossom in full bloom in spring and pay a visit to some of the city’s quirky museums which includes the tiny kite museum.

You can’t visit Tokyo without taking a ride on Japan’s renowned bullet train which offers a thrill-a-minute experience. Talking of trains, fans of kitsch should head over to the Tama-Center station where they can find a Hello Kitty-themed train station complete with its very own stained-glass ceiling display.

Where to stay in Tokyo

Whether you favour cost-effective capsule accommodation, or you are hankering after a seriously luxury experience in Japan’s capital, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to stay.

If you are on a budget, but don’t want to compromise on the finer things in life, the capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado near Shinjuku Station ticks all the boxes and more. Its design was inspired by the restful retreats of Bali and guests can take advantage of free wifi.

Lovers of luxury can choose from the likes of the elegant Mandarin Oriental, the serene Aman Tokyo and the design-focused Shangri-La with its lavish interiors. If you are looking for an unrivalled five-star experience, Tokyo won’t disappoint.

Not all Tokyo hotel experiences need to be supersized as good things do come in small packages and this is very true when it comes to the city’s great selection of boutique hotels. Trunk, in the lively Shibuya district is effortlessly cool with its abstract art and fabric wall hangings. All materials used in the hotel are made locally too.

Where to eat in Tokyo

Can you really say that you have been to Tokyo if you haven’t tried their superb sushi?! From the Toyosu fish market to the elegance of the two Michelin-starred Taku, in Tokyo, you are never more than 500m from a great sushi joint.

The Kudan Otsuka is a must-try culinary experience for those wanting to get better acquainted with kaiseki cuisine. Expect delectable dishes from an awe-inspiring menu that uses seasonal ingredients.

Think Tokyo is all about sushi and tempura? Think again! You can find an array of fantastic restaurants that serve everything from traditional Italian dishes to seafood. One of the most popular restaurants to get your fix of fish is Ubuka in the Yotsuya-Sanchome prefecture – don’t leave without trying their crab cakes.

Where to shop in Tokyo

Tokyo shopping has it all; from quirky fashion and vintage gems to luxury brands and rare vinyl.

For label lovers, head over to Ginza – the affluent shopping district in Tokyo where you will find the effortlessly cool Dover Street Market.

Omotesando Hills near Harajuku is the place to be for hunting out local designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Jun Hashimoto. Talking of Harajuku, this playful neighbourhood is the place to visit for quirky vintage clothing shops. One of the highlights is Cat Street whose moniker comes from when said street was overrun by a large population of stray cats. These days, this is possibly the trendiest street in Tokyo and is home to some of Japan’s coolest designers.

What to do in Tokyo

For a heady fusion of culture, history and the opportunity to take some totally instagramable photos, head over to the Yayoi Kusama museum in Shinjuku. Here you will find a vast selection of pieces from the avant-garde artist.

From ultra modern to traditional - do you fancy a stroll in a beautiful Japanese garden? The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is picture perfect and is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

A trip to the fish markets of Tokyo is almost a rite of passage for visitors to the city. The Tsukiji market (now in its new location) is a feast for the senses and you can even watch the live fish sales and auctions. 

If you have children, head over to the futuristic Miraikan science museum, Joypolis indoor amusement park, and small Legoland Discovery Center, for a fun family day out.

Tokyo is home to three of the six official grand Sumo tournaments happen in Tokyo, all of which takes place at Ryoguku Kokugikan. You are guaranteed to get caught up in the lively atmosphere along with your fellow visitors. 

Tokyo like a local

For that ultimate theatrical experience, pay a visit to Suigian in the old merchants’ district of Nihonbashi. Here you can enjoy Edo-style sushiya whilst watching a mesmerising performance of traditional noh drama or nihon buyo dancing.

For those on the go, a good coffee is always an essential item and Tokyo is home to some fantastic coffee joints and is one of the world’s great coffee cities. Grab a ‘Heart’s Merge’ from Heart’s Light Coffee in Shibuya and walk across the famous Shibuya crossing.

Love to dress up? Why not zip around Tokyo in a customised go-kart dressed up as your favourite video game character? Super kawaii!

Are you ready to discover Tokyo? Get in touch with your Personal Travel Consultant today.

Mike, Lisa & Kerry
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