Ramen and Robots - 28 Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo is the bustling capital of Japan, where neon lights meet paper lanterns and skyscrapers meet historic temples. As the world's most populous metropolis, Tokyo offers so many things to do.

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If you plan to visit Tokyo, you should definitely read this list. Here are our recommendations about the most interesting places to visit and things to do in Tokyo and its surrounding. 

1. Senso-ji Temple

The ancient Buddhist Temple in Asakusa is dedicated to Kannon (Guan Yin), the goddess of mercy. At the front gate, we will be greeted by giant red lantern and an alley full of shops. Feel the past as you walk through the temple courtyard with soaring pagoda and incense smoke. 

2. Meiji Jingu Shrine

In the middle of Shibuya district lies a peaceful Shinto Shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Meiji Emperor and his wife. An eternal forest surrounds the shrine with over 200 different varieties of trees, providing fresh air for the city. If you're lucky, you may watch a Shinto wedding ceremony here.

3. Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane)

Stop by at this narrow alley not far from Shinjuku Station West Exit. Omoide Yokocho is filled with more than 50 vendors and izakaya, a type of local pub with small capacity. Enjoy the smokey atmosphere illuminated by lanterns as you eat yakitori, ramen, and drink sake.

4. Tokyo Skytree

At the height of 634 meters (2,081 feet), this broadcasting tower in Sumida is currently the tallest structure in Japan, and the second tallest in the world. After seeing 360 degree view of Tokyo from its observatory deck, you can stroll around the shopping center below with more than 300 shops.

5. Tokyo DisneySea

This fantastic theme park is located in Chiba prefecture, just outside Tokyo. Fun rides and attractions are scattered throughout its seven themed land: Mediterranean Harbor, Mysterious Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, and American Waterfront.

6. Inokashira Park

A popular picnic place especially in the spring, Inokashira Park contains a large pond surrounded by sakura trees. The park would turn pink during sakura blossoms season and many visitors would come to enjoy the view. There is also a small shrine dedicated to Benzaiten (Goddess Saraswati) in the park.

7. Ghibli Museum

If you're a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and his animations from Studio Ghibli, then you must visit this museum. Located in Mitaka, not far from Inokashira Park, Ghibli Museum display the works and decorations from Ghibli's most famous films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, and Kiki's Delivery Service. 


8. TeamLab Borderless 

Immerse yourself in the sea of glowing lights and futuristic digital art installations. TeamLab Borderless is located in Odaiba, mixing technology with art to create the most fantastic artworks. Please note that the exhibition is open until August 31, 2022.

9. Tokyo National Museum

Located in Ueno Park, Tokyo National Museum is one of the oldest museums in Japan. There are six galleries displaying valuable Japanese art since ancient times, including traditional paintings, prehistoric pottery, and samurai swords, as well as artifacts and fossils from around the world.  

10. Robot Restaurant

Not far from Shinjuku Golden Gai in the vibrant Kabuki-cho area, Robot Restaurant is not just an ordinary restaurant. It is a spectacular pop culture show combining robots, ninjas, and contemporary kabuki performers with neon lights. The bad new is, the restaurant is closed temporarily during the pandemic.


11. Shibuya Crossing

Don't miss the incredible scramble in one of the most iconic intersections in Asia. Every time the traffic light turns red and all the vehicles stop, the wave of pedestrian would flood the crossing from all sides. You can also meet the statue of Hachiko, a legendary dog known for its loyalty.    

12. Roppongi Hills

Designed as an integrated property in Minato, Roppongi Hills is a city within the city. You can find everything from shopping mall and cinema to hotel, restaurants, art museum, and observation deck. If you want an option for upscale shopping and dining experience, then this is the place. 

13. Sanrio Puroland

Meet Hello Kitty and other cute characters from Sanrio such as My Melody, Keroppi, and Gudetama in this theme park. Located in Tama New Town, Sanrio Puroland is filled with kawaii atmosphere. Watch the show, take pictures, and discover cute meals inspired by Sanrio characters at the café. 

14. Nezu Shrine

Not far from Tokyo University, Nezu Shrine lies peacefully in the middle of greenery and quiet neighborhood. It's much smaller compared to Senso-ji and Meiji Jingu, but it's adorned with a lush garden of azalea flowers and a string of red torii gates.   

15. Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)

Discover a glimpse of the future technology in this science museum. Located in Odaiba, Miraikan is equipped with display of real-time earthquake records from seismometers all over Japan. There is also a huge hanging globe showing real-time global weather, a model of maglev train, and Asimo the humanoid robot from Honda.

16. Showa Kinen Park

The Showa Memorial Park is a massive public park located some 30 minutes of train ride from downtown Tokyo. During the spring, a wide array of assorted flowers would bloom in the park. The view can also be breathtaking during autumn and winter. 

17. Yayoi Kusama Museum

This contemporary art museum in Shinjuku is solely dedicated to Yayoi Kusama, a famed avant-garde artist whose artworks have been exhibited all around the world. Some 600 works of Kusama are displayed in the gallery. There is also a souvenir shop on 1st floor.

18. Tokyo Joypolis

Do you know that SEGA has their own chain of amusement park? It's called Joypolis, and you can find one in Tokyo. The concept is indoor, so you can still enjoy the rides on rainy days. You must try Gekion Live Coaster, an indoor roller coaster combined with show of music and lights.


19. Samurai Museum

Try wearing real armor of a samurai or classic kimono in this museum. Located in Kabuki-cho, Samurai Museum displays the 800 years of samurai history in Japan. You can see the armors, helmets, and swords that were once used by samurai centuries ago when they still roamed the cities and villages of Japan.

20. Takeshita Street

This shopping street in Harajuku is the center of kawaii culture. Takeshita street is packed with fashion stores and cute café with innovative food such as rainbow cheese sandwich and colorful desserts. The crowd is mainly dominated by Tokyoite youngsters and high schoolers, but also foreign tourists.

21. Tokyu Plaza Omotesando

Since you're already in Harajuku, you better stop by at this iconic shopping center. Tokyo Plaza is famous for its futuristic entrance with huge mirrors like a spaceship. Find out flagship stores from international brands inside and relax at an open-air garden in 6th floor.

22. Mega Web Toyota City Showcase

If you're a car lover, don't miss this special exhibit by Toyota. You can see a wide range of Toyota cars and even try to drive them. Mega Web is located inside Palette Town in Odaiba, and there is 1.3 km (0.8 miles) driving course for visitors.  

23. Yanaka Ginza

This old-fashioned shopping street in Taito gives us an insight of how Tokyo looked like during the first several years after World War II. It's part of old town area (Shitamachi) where you can find small shops and restaurants owned by the locals. 

24. Mount Takao

If you're looking for a more natural scenery, then Mount Takao is a good choice. Only an hour from downtown Tokyo, it is a popular hiking spot for the locals. There is a Shingon Buddhist temple at the top with statue of Tengu, a minor god in Japanese folklore. Cable car is available if you hate walking.

25. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

This is one of the largest and most popular parks in Tokyo with huge lawns and lake. More than 20,000 trees dotted the landscape, including some 1,500 sakura trees which bloom every spring. No wonder it becomes a favorite place for hanami, the sakura blossom viewing tradition.  

26. Akihabara

If you're an otaku, you don't want to skip this mecca of anime and manga. Akihabara is town of electronics and video games with unique shops specialized in toys, action figures, and trading cards. You can also find the famed maid café with kawaii-looking waitresses.  

27. Shibuya Sky

Go to the roof of Shibuya Scramble Square building and enjoy the breathtaking views of Tokyo from 46th floor. Shibuya Sky is a new generation of observation deck with glass fences and walls for a more immersive experience. 

28. Yakatabune Boat Cruise

Yakatabune are entertainment boats with lanterns and spacious room inside for lunch or dinner parties. Sit on tatami mat and sample Japanese cuisine from sushi to yakitori as the boat moves across Sumida River and down town Tokyo area. You can also ask for a geisha performance on the boat!    


So, which one do you want to visit? Share this list with someone who you want to go with. And if you know other interesting things to do in Tokyo, don't hesitate to tell us on the comment section below. 

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Safe travels and enjoy your vacation!                  

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