Top 10 Simple Things To Do and Enjoy In Tokyo, Japan

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Tokyo, one of the greatest cities in the world and the bustling heart of Japan. This ultra-modern yet very traditional city offers lots of things to do and there are simple ways to enjoy its spots, museums and cultural attractions. A very clean metropolis where you always feels safe even late into the night which I’ve experienced on February 2016 via the bulk carrier IVS Kingbird through the Port of Tokyo. Yet, common sense is still the key when it comes for your safety just like in any other big city on the globe.

Map showing the location of Tokyo.

Formerly known as Edo under the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603, it prospered into a sizeable city while the Imperial power was in Kyoto – the nation’s capital during that era. In a span of 260 years, the Edo Period flourished in all its glory until 1868 when the Meiji empire was restored and the Emperor moved back to Edo. That was the time when it was renamed to Tokyo (meaning eastern capital) and it became the country’s capital.

Tokyo was extensively ravaged for two times, the first one by the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 and then again during the Second World War. But after the war, it has undergone a meteoric restoration and grew to become Japan’s center of business and finance. These days, there are unlimited things to do in this megacity and let’s take a look on the simple ways to enjoy Tokyo and boost your travel experience.

Take a Mount Fuji Sightseeing Tour

Lake Kawaguchiko with Mount Fuji at the background.

For the longest time, Mount Fuji has been Japan’s iconic symbol, not only the country’s highest peak but certainly the most awesome. Climbing this majestic mountain is one of the best things to do but if you have limited days in Tokyo, there are other options that you can enjoy your sightseeing trip to the fullest. The Lake Kawaguchiko day trip which is a trouble-free access by public transportation (Kawaguchiko subway station) offers a stunning view of both the lake and Mount Fuji.

Climb Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

Well, in order to understand the complete vastness of this city, you have to view it from above. One way to see Tokyo from its topmost area is to climb Tokyo Tower which is the symbol of the city’s renaissance after World War II and a major tourist magnet with millions of visitors each year. Designed as a replica of Paris’s Eiffel Tower, there are two observation decks for tourists located at 150 meters and 250 meters with shops and restaurants at the ground floor.

Explore and Relax at Ueno Park

Autumn time at Tokyo‘s Ueno Park.

A very extensive park in Tokyo’s Ueno district (Old Tokyo), Ueno Park has numerous attractions that offer varied things to do with its facilities like the museums, historical landmarks and a zoo built around its surroundings. This park is very famous to tourists as well as to locals during the Hanami season (cherry blossom season) because it is the home to a thousand sakura trees. However there are other memorable ways to enjoy this massive park like taking a slow walk or just watching a street performance.

Visit Tokyo Imperial Palace

The Tokyo Imperial Palace (formerly Edo Castle) as viewed from the Imperial Garden.

Home to the Japanese Imperial Family, the Imperial Palace is not only one of Tokyo’s top attractions but holds a special place in the country’s history. The former site of Edo Castle, the Imperial Palace has been the place of abdication of former Emperor Akihito and the swearing-in of his son, Prince Naruhito, now the present Emperor of the Chrysanthemum Throne. Guided tours along the palace grounds are offered that take about 75 minutes daily, which is done in both English and Nippongo except Sundays and Mondays, however visitors are not permitted to enter the palace itself and to the other buildings.

Try a Ramen Food Tour at Shinjuku

Different mini bowls of ramen to try at Shinjuku District in

If you’re a big fan of ramen, for sure you will enjoy a ramen tasting tour at Tokyo’s Shinjuku area. Here, a guide will bring you to at least three award-winning restaurants where you will be given six mini-bowls of ramen to sample on. You can indulge in either tonkutso ramen, a shio ramen or Sapporo miso ramen and many more because Shinjuku is one of the few places where you can try regional (ramen) dishes from all of Japan.

Watch the Famous Shibuya Crossing

The famous Shibuya Crossing of Tokyo as viewed from above.

Acknowledged as the world’s busiest intersection and referred to as “The Sramble”, this is the most crowded pedestrian crossing outside Tokyo’s Hachiko exit of Shibuya train station. People coming from all directions cross the pedestrian at the same time with every change of the traffic lights but somehow they all manage to steer clear of the confusion without any fuss. A popular tourist attraction to enjoy, watch this famous intersection at Starbucks’ QFront building which offers a superb view of the crossing.

Window Shopping at Uniqlo Ginza

Entrance of Uniqlo Store at the Ginza district of Tokyo.

The Japanese clothing apparel company, Uniqlo has a flagship store at Tokyo’s Ginza district. Ginza is the city’s premier fashion hub and Uniqlo’s outlet in the area is the second largest in the world. This fashion brand offers a wide range of high-quality but affordable trendy clothing and its store in Ginza has launched cool features and concepts that offers you a unique (window) shopping experience. A great place to visit and pass-the-time as it comes with artistic installations in all its floors.

Cosplay Then Drive in a Rental Go-Kart

Mario Go-kart on the streets of Tokyo.

In order to fully experience Japan’s distinct culture, taking part in a unique activity is another thing to do while you’re in Tokyo. Go-kart is one of the options among tourists in this city and if you hold an international driver’s license then you can drive around while clothed in costume-play attire. What a cool way for you to see the famous landmarks of Tokyo, driving in a real-life Go-kart while dressing up like Super Mario.

Try Colorful “Instagramable” Foods at Harajuku

Insta-licious ice cream on cones at Harajuku district in

They are colorful and astonishingly prepared for pictures, eat your way through Tokyo’s “kawaii” (or cute) corner such as: a rainbow cotton candy, or an animal-designed ice cream or maybe dessert crepes and so much more. Kawaii or “let’s get Kawaii” in Japan is the culture of loving cute things and the Harajuku district is the Kawaii capital of Tokyo. Explore the area while you get a glimpse into the latest fashion fad and enjoy an instagramable food tour that promises sweet and savory goodies to flex in your Instagram account – something that you should not miss when in Tokyo.

Walk Over Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge over Tokyo Bay.

One of the iconic symbols of Tokyo, the Rainbow Bridge is a stunning suspension bridge found at the northern edge of Tokyo Bay. It connects Central Tokyo to Odaiba District, a man-made island famous to tourists with its futuristic high-tech entertainment. Built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in the 1990s, Rainbow Bridge is very well known for its superb lighting at night where it displays awesome colors that is based on the day and time. A major tourist magnet due to its colorful and fantastic illumination, there are pedestrian walkways provided for you to enjoy the view of Odaiba waterfront.

A city of contrasts, Tokyo has so many things for you to see and do. Now that Japan has opened its doors to visa-free entry, why not pack your bags and visit this magical city? There is always something going on in this side of the world, go and enjoy them to the fullest.


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About the Port of Tokyo:

It’s one of the largest Japanese seaports and in the Pacific Ocean basin handling 90 million tonnes a year. This world’s 35th largest container terminal lies at the head of Tokyo Bay on Honshu Island side of the Pacific Ocean. It spans 1,000 hectares with 204 wharves and 15 berths for handling containers, numerous storage yachts and cold storage facilities. Tokyo Port is the main distribution hub of goods in the Hokkaido region and also maintains international trade with China, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the Americas and Europe.

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