The iconic Japanese capital city of Tokyo is home to over 9 million people and attracts around 14 million tourists each year. The city blends the old and new with historic temples standing for over a thousand years as well as being at the forefront of emerging technologies.
Tokyo is the gateway to the wonders of Japan and offers a myriad of options to every type of traveler. Here we take a look at just a few of the best.
The ancient Buddhist temple of Senso-Ji has stood in some form since 645AD and is the oldest temple in Tokyo. The temple was rebuilt following a bombing during World War II but still retains its sense of spirituality and charm. It offers a fascinating initial insight into Japanese culture and beliefs, whilst its famous red lantern and cauldron present the perfect photo opportunity to the picture-happy tourist.
Toyosu Fish Market
No trip to Tokyo would be complete without sampling the delights of its sushi offerings for which it is internationally famous. Toyosu Fish Market, formerly located in Tsujiki, is the ideal place to try its varied sushi offerings and spectate its renowned daily tuna auction. Its old location of Tsujiki still contains a range of food stalls offering Japanese favorites like seared tuna and uni sandwiches in squid-ink sticky buns. Any tourist searching for a taste of true Japan need look no further than its historic food markets.
The grand Ajinomoto Stadium has packed a great deal into its relatively short history: opening in 2001. The stadium is multi-purpose and has been used to host flea markets and concerts as well as acting as one of the host stadiums for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It is also scheduled to function as a football stadium for Tokyo Olympics.
Indeed, its main function is as a football stadium and is the home stadium of FC Tokyo who regularly fill its near-50,000 capacity with its fervent support. FC Tokyo are currently 12/1 at William Hill to win the J-League this season and the city will certainly be willing them on. Sport may not be the first thing people associate with Japan but tourists may be surprised by the level of passion and Ajinomoto Stadium is a stand-out place to experience it.
Tokyo’s largest park is a tranquil place to take a relaxing walk, particularly when its famous cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The park is also home to the Tokyo National Museum and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum amongst several others; tourists can take the opportunity to view icons of Japanese history like samurai swords and time-worn kimonos. Make sure to also take some time to wander around its acres of scenic ponds, ancient shrines and stunning temples.
Tokyo is filled with nuances and niches, from anime to sumo wrestling, and it would take a lifetime to explore all its riches. For a sample of its history and its present delights, however, our list represents a strong introduction to the wonders of the city. Tokyo has something for absolutely everyone.