Tokyo is no doubt an amazing destination to visit. There is a lot to see from one of the world’s best public transportations to the weirdest museums and nature friendly Japanese lifestyles. You will get a chance to explore the beauty of other cultures in Japan.
Why should anyone visit the city?
There are a lot of reasons to visit Tokyo. The best things to amaze you are the museums. Tokyo has some of the weirdest museums of the world like kite museum, parasitological museum (parasites), famous Ghibli museum, love doll museum and many more. You can buy different unique and weird souvenirs.
How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)?
There are a lot of ways to reach Tokyo:
- There are direct flights to Tokyo from many major cities of the world. The flights reach Narita airport or Haneda airport.
- Train is also available from different cities to Tokyo.
- If you want to enjoy more to reach the city, then there are ferries also available. You can plan different tours to reach Tokyo.
- Express bus service offers low cost and comfortable travel across Japan.
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
Tokyo is a big city and the general travel precautions should be followed. It is safe for tourists and female solo travelers. It is important to take care of your belongings in crowded places.
What’s the weather like?
Winter starts decreasing from March to May and the temperature starts getting mild. This is the best time to see the cherry blossom until end of April. Summer starts from June and stays until August. April to August is the busiest time of the year so do not forget checking the prices of accommodation. Wet season starts from September and remains until October. From the start of November, winter season appears. The weather remains pleasant, dry and mild but never reaches the freezing point.
What languages are spoken in the area? Is English spoken?
The official language of Tokyo is Japanese and different versions are spoken in various areas. Many young people, vendors and business people speak English. Locals learn English very quickly because of the tourism. It is an English friendly city.
What’s the local currency?
Is US Dollar widely accepted?
The official currency of Japan is Yen (JPY). US Dollar is accepted in major places and for the trading purposes. The local shops and small eateries work on Japanese currency so you need to exchange the currency.
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
- Shinjuku is the most suitable district for tourists. There are a lot of attractions to explore along with many eateries, shopping places and many more. There is a lot from business scrappers to the public parks and affordable stores.
- Ginza is the main shopping area of Japan. There is a lot to shop from top luxury brands to the low priced shops. You will find many bargain places to get the best deals. It is second best area to stay for tourists.
- Shibuya is the most vibrant and lively area to stay for the young adults. There are a lot of places to visit, sight-seeing, shopping and eateries. Airport transfers are also very convenient. You can find a lot of teenager activities.
What’re your top 3 hotels (budget, moderate, luxury) and why?
- Hostel Bedgasm is a budget hostel with bar, shared bathroom, shared kitchen and lounge for guests. There are many attractions near it. You can see city views from the terrace.
- Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is a very popular hotel and the rooms get booked quickly. You can get a spacious twin bed room in very reasonable rates. The room should be booked in advance.
- The Ritz Carlton Hotel is a moderate luxury hotel that offers the amazing views of Mount Fuji and Tokyo Bay. Hotel rooms have mini bar, coffee and tea makers, 24/7 room service and many more.
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?
Tokyo is the major city of Japan and there are many ways of transportation to get around.
- Trains and Subways
- Public buses (not a very good way for tourists due to crowds)
- Taxis (they are expensive)
- Airport Transport
Can you highlight the Top 5 MUST see sightseeing?
The Imperial Palace
This is the main residence of the emperor of Japan that belongs to the 17th century. It is a worth visiting place that is constructed on the 14th century site. There are beautiful parks, fortress and bridge. You can book tours of the palace and see the entire place with guide.
The Senso-ji Temple
It is a very famous shrine of Tokyo. The long street that leads to the shrine has many stalls selling carvings, masks, kimonos, wood crafts, Chinese handicrafts, paper goods and many more. It belongs to 645 AD, dedicated to the Buddhist goddess and maintained properly.
National Museum of Nature and Science
The museum was opened in eighteenth century. It is one of the oldest places of Tokyo which was renovated and maintained since then. There is a huge collection of natural wonders and interactive displays of science and technology. You can see the ancient materials, prehistoric creatures, vintage vehicles, robotics and many more.
Ueno Park and Zoo
It is one of the most famous attractions of the city and largest green space of Tokyo. There are a lot of things to enjoy in this lovely garden like temples, museums, shrine and wildlife. You can have a wonderful boat trip in Shinobazu pond. The zoo aquarium is one of the largest aquariums of Asia.
The Tokyo Skytree
It is the tallest freestanding tower of the world. This is a communication and observation tower that rises to around 634 meter tall. It is one of the most amazing tourist attractions with observation deck for panoramic views of the city. The higher point is beautifully constructed with glass floors.
What’s the best place to take a photo?
There are a lot of places to click photos in the city. However, The National Art Center is a world class museum of the city with stunning curved glass building. It has a huge permanent art collection of almost 600 art pieces. There are many important pieces of contemporary and modern art. You can click superb photos of the glass structure and art.
What about the top 3 restaurants?
- Kobe Beef Teppanyaki Hakushu is a family owned restaurant that is very popular. It is considered as one of the best eateries of Tokyo. You can try delicious Kobe beef served by very friendly people.
- Sukiyabashi Jiro is the best place to try sushi made by the Sushi Master Jiro Ono. This is an expensive place but it remains filled with people all the time. You have to book in advance to try the best sushi in Tokyo. The quality and flavor of Sushi worth the money.
- Gyuan offers the delicious steak made in typical Japanese style. The menu has a lot of delicious food that you can choose. It is located in Ginza, an expensive area of the city. You can have food in very affordable rates.
What about the top 3 breakfast places?
- Eggcellent is a fabulous breakfast place that focuses on providing the best food. They focus on their egg dishes the most. You will not find the delicious egg tarts anywhere else which are available here.
- Shunsai is a very luxurious and high quality place for breakfast. There are many traditional Japanese dishes in the menu. It is located on the 25th floor and offers amazing panoramic views. It also offers rooms for rent to stay.
- Le Pain Quotidien is a beautiful place located in the middle of the park. Most of the dishes available in the menu are organic. There is a huge variety of breads which are made with organic ingredients. You can combine many things with the bread for the delicious breakfast.
What’s the one thing you MUST eat in the city?
There are a lot of dishes in Japan and one of the most famous dishes of Tokyo is Sushi. Everyone should try some of the best types of sushi made by the most expert sushi masters of the world.
Insider Tip: It is considered rude to leave the food in your plate. Try out a small portion first so you will not force yourself to eat or leave the plate.
What about food markets?
- Tsukiji Market is a wonderful attraction that offers delicious food. You will find many locals among the tourist crowds. Market has a variety of eateries offering many dishes, seafood, fruits and vegetables. You can buy a huge variety of fresh seafood.
- Nakamise Market can be recognized by the red lantern entrance. It is a popular attraction due to the vibrant market and Sensoji Temple. Many shops have red lantern on the entrance. It is considered bad habit to eat while walking. You can try some delicious foods in the shopping breaks.
- Tokyu Foodshow is located near the Shibuya station. You will find many food vendors, restaurants, cafes and food stalls. This market has branches of many large food chains. Some eateries are expensive but some has some great deals.
Where should one go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?
- Shinjuku is the most tourist attracting nightlife district. It can be found with excellent reviews in the top tourist websites. There are a lot of amazing bars, clubs and restaurants to enjoy the night. it has three different areas Omoide Yokocho for Japanese pubs, Kubukicho is the red light area and Golden Gai filled with many bars.
- Shibuya offers amazing nightlife and vibrant clubs in Tokyo. You will find a variety of trendy cafes, bars and international food chains. This is the perfect place for young and modern people. There are a lot of places where you can get the traditional Sake.
- Nonbei Yokocho is a very famous area among the locals and tourists. There is a huge variety of old fashioned bars and traditional places. This area has a drinking spot named as Niku Yokocho that is a building serving multiple kinds of drinks to the crowds.
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
Tokyo has a lot of rooftop places:
It is a wonderful place that offers the fabulous views of the skytree and five storey pagoda. Bar six is located on the roof top of the Amuse museum. You can enjoy some delicious drinks in this beautiful ambiance with food and snacks.
Two other recommended places are A-Bridge and Jinnanken.
Can you recommend the best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
You will find a lot of superb shops near every attraction whereas:
- Ginza is the best district for shopping in Tokyo. It remains filled with locals and tourists finding best deals.
- Harajuku is the place to find the best high fashion trends, designer and youth fashion. Many shops are filled with youngsters.
- Ikebukuro is the place for the technology lovers. This district has a lot of departmental stores and huge malls selling electronics.
Do you recommend any tours outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
Some of the tours that you can plan outside the city are:
- Tour of Hakone and Mount Fuji
- Historical neighborhood of Kamakura and Enoshima
- Garden culture tour and food tour of Yokohama
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables? If so, what’s the best Casino in town?
Casinos are illegal in Japan whereas a game pachinko is commonly played at different areas. There are many pachinko parlors and it is not considered illegal.
Any last advice for people visiting the city?
- It is not common to roam around in yoga pants but business casual is common. Japanese do not dress up a lot.
- Wear the shoes which are easy to take off because many traditional places have the rule to take the shoes off on entrance.
- You will find seating area almost everywhere because eating while walking is not considered good.
- Do not eat in the train.
- Answer the phone after getting off the train or if it is urgent then do not speak loudly.