At first Tokyo might seem overwhelming, but rule #1 is don’t panic. Tokyo has 23 city wards, which when broken down into individual neighbourhoods and districts makes the metropolis much easier to navigate. Combined with the city’s incredibly efficient rail system, finding where you want to go is a breeze.
1. Tsukiji Market
Visiting a fish market might seem an odd thing to do on a holiday, but Tsukiji is so much more. It’s the largest fish market on the planet and the bustling heart of Japanese cuisine. Rise super early for the 5 am live tuna auctions. *Note: The market will be relocated at the end of 2016.
2. Asakusa and Senso-ji Temple
For a taste of old Tokyo, the Asakusa district was once a temple town serving the Senso-ji Temple, built in the 7th century. Stroll along Nakamise Street, which leads to the temple, and browse the stalls which have sold traditional snacks and gifts for centuries.
The pulsing heart of the city, Shinjuku is the epitome of modern Tokyo: bright neon lights, soaring skyscrapers, department stores, crowds, bustling streets, tiny bars and energy galore. It’s also home to the world's busiest train station, used by more than three million passengers daily.
It would be a shame to come to Tokyo and not take a walk across the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station, known as the “Shibuya Scramble”. Join the frenzy as thousands of pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides when the lights turn red.
5. See sumo wrestling
If you’re lucky enough to be in Tokyo in January, May or September, don’t miss seeing Japan’s national sport at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's National Sumo Hall. Outside tournament season, several sumo stables offer the chance to see the big men grapple at a training session.
6. Quirky cafes
For an ‘only in Tokyo’ experience, try out one of the city’s quirky themed restaurants. From cat café’s, where you’ll be surrounded by playful kitties; to robot restaurants, featuring mind-blowing light shows, these whacky eateries with entertainment offer a rare insight into modern Japanese culture.
7. Put yourself in the picture
Tokyo is so photogenic that you don’t want to waste your memory space on bad selfies. TravelShoot will hook you up with a local professional photographer and frame you perfectly against of some of Tokyo’s famous icons and districts, with brag-worthy images to take home.
8. Views from above
See the sprawling city from the tallest tower in the world, the Tokyo Skytree. Glass floor viewing platforms give the impression that you’re walking in mid-air. The 54th floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building also offers sweeping views of the Tokyo skyline.
9. Walking tours
It’s not hard to find most of the highlights in Tokyo on your own. However, an orientation tour with Tokyo Walking Tours will reveal secret gems and off the beaten track places that only locals know, and that you would most likely never find alone.
10. Mount Fuji
Japan’s most iconic symbol, Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san as it’s fondly called, is the country’s tallest peak. Around 100 kilometres and easily reached from Tokyo, the perfect cone-shaped volcano has been a pilgrimage site for centuries, and revered as one of Japan’s three sacred mountains.