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Your Guide To Tokyo's Best Tourist Attractions

We've helped simplify your search by highlighting Tokyo's best places to visit for you. Enjoy the beauty of traditional Japan, some modern Japan destinations, and a few adventure-packed experiences.
Your Guide To Tokyo's Best Tourist Attractions

Tokyo has been a must-see travel destination for years. This capital and highly populous prefecture of Japan is often displayed on postcards, with its picture-perfect attractions. Some of its most unforgettable attractions include cherry blossom walkways, amusement parks, firework displays, museums, look-out points, and spectacular boat rides. That being said, here are a few sights you should definitely add to your must-see list when visiting Tokyo. 

Old Japan

Old Japan

Old Japan refers to traditional, historical, or ancient Japan. Eras in Old Japan were the Kofun, Asuka, Nara, Heian, Kamukara, and Meiji Restoration Periods. All these eras occurred before the turn of the 20th Century. Walk through history at these historic destinations.

Imperial Palace 

Imperial Palace is located in the center of busy Tokyo and forms part of Old Japan. These royal grounds are also the former home of Edo Castle and the current residence of the country’s Imperial family. This ancient Japanese-style palace was built in 1457 and consists of white-washed infrastructure with slanted roofing. 

Imperial Palace Japan sports a plaza, namely Kokyo Gaien, near its entrance. You can also view the Nijubashi or bridges that lead to the entrance of the inner place. This Japanese palace set in imperial Japan is lit at night. 

The best time to visit Tokyo Imperial Palace is during spring, from late March to early April. The palace has a moat, namely the Chidorigafuchi moat, located northwest of Imperial Palace. You can hire a rowing boat to explore the moat. The grounds surrounding the palace are illuminated at night. You can therefore see the reflection of picturesque cherry blossoms in the water at nightfall.  

The grounds also comprise a walking path called the Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo. If you plan on visiting this magnificent palace of Japan walkway in summer, try avoiding the mid-day sun, as this involves lots of walking. During springtime, the moat and walkway are lined with thousands of cherry blossom trees, most of which are Yoshino cherry trees. 

Note that the inner palace is closed to the general public. It’s, therefore, best to book a guided tour so that you can gain access to the inner palace on the few days visitors are allowed. Guided tours to the areas surrounding the palace are allowed throughout the year, though. 

Once you’ve reached Tokyo International Airport, Haneda, use local transportation to get to the palace. Take a train directly from Tokyo International Airport, Haneda, to JR Tokyo Station. Use the Marunouchi Central Exit once you get to the station. Walk in a westward direction for about 10 minutes until you see the palace. 

Senso-ji Temple

Senso-ji Temple

This Senso-ji temple forms part of traditional Japan and is located in central Japan in the historic district of Asakusa. It's deemed one of Tokyo’s most ancient temples, as it was built in 645 AD. It was first linked to Tendai, a Buddhism sect. This Asakusa Tokyo temple also lies next to the Asakusa Shrine. If you have limited time in Tokyo, be sure to put this temple on your must-see list.

You’ll find tons of pilgrims visiting the Senso-ji Temple. There are multitudes of tiny stores around the temple too. You’ll be in awe at the sight of the Buddhist structure “Thunder Gate” at the entrance of this temple. The structure depicts a giant lantern in black and red, representing a thunderstorm.

The temple also has a main hall and a five-story pagoda. These areas pay homage to Kannon. In Buddhist mythology, Kannon is the Japanese goddess of harmony. The area surrounding the temple supports traditional ware business, as the shops here are mainly traditional. The eateries are also traditional, as they sell mainly traditional Japanese food. Prepare to sink your teeth into some sushi, noodles, and tempura here. 

You can also buy souvenirs in Nakamise-Dori, a road near to the temple. Take home some delicious Japanese delicacies, kimonos, kid’s toys, t-shirts, or accessories for your mobile phone or tablet.

Once in Tokyo, take the train to JR Tokyo Station. You can then travel to Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza subway line. Walk through exit one, and then straight until you reach this Asakusa temple.

Modern Japan

Experience contemporary Japan and its iconic culture at these unforgettable destinations.

Small Worlds, Tokyo

Small Worlds, Tokyo

This miniature theme park located in Odaiba is another modern Japanese artistic initiative. It was opened in June 2020 and comprises four floors. Unlike its name, the space is quite extensive, spanning over 8,000 square meters. The actual exhibitions are held on the third floor.

The tiny replicas of Japan’s modern infrastructure, city life, and ancient architectural gems, and mythic creatures are a mesmerizing sight to behold. 

You can explore the mysterious miniature space center and a fantastical village area. This is clearly a melding of different Japanese eras. In the space station area, you can view the launch of a Saturn V rocket that actually took place in the 1970s.  

You can also marvel at the tiny replica of Kansai International Airport. The miniatures also feature planes departing and arriving at the airport and flying over Osaka Bay. You’ll even see miniature passengers waiting at the carousels for their luggage. To make things even more realistic, this Small Worlds airport boasts a lounge for traveler’s coffee breaks too. 

There is also an area for popular anime characters. If you love seeing Evangelion robots in action, even though they are tiny versions of the real heroes, then this park is just for you. There are also beautiful replicas in honor of Sailor Moon. 

To get to this amusement park in Tokyo Bay, you need to travel from JR Tokyo Station to Ariake-Tennis-no-Mori Station via the Yurikamome railway line. Then walk for a few minutes from the station until you reach the Small Worlds, Tokyo theme park. 

Experience Japan

There's more to see and do in Tokyo than can fit in a single trip. Here are several more experiences and destinations that you should add to your itinerary if you have the time.

Asakusa - Sumida River 

Asakusa - Sumida River 

The Sumida River is located in a Tokyo district called Taito, Asakusa. Asakusa is also the capital of Shitamachi.  The river is renowned for the following.  

Lighting up the Shitamachi night sky 

The Sumida River hosts the Sumida River Fireworks Festival, an event that sees a 22,000 fireworks display. Of this, 200 fireworks are used in a fireworks contest. The festival is held annually in July. 

Dinner cruises

Travel along the water here throughout the year via a Sumida River boat ride.  You can book a dinner cruise with Yakatabune Cruises and relish authentic Japanese cuisine, including sake. The boat-type used here is known as a Yakatabune Amitatsu. These boats were founded a century ago. They have an observation deck so that you can engage in some sightseeing after dinner too. 

The Tokyo Skytree

The Tokyo Skytree lies along the Sumida River too. It was designed in 2012 by 100 experts. It serves as both an observation Tokyo tower and a broadcasting center. The interior of Skytree Japan was derived from the same design used in ancient pagodas. The tower is earthquake-proof.  

This Japan tower is Japan’s tallest building, standing at a lofty 634 meters. It boasts Japan’s highest observation decks. The ample lower deck stands at 350 meters. If you choose this deck, you can also explore a range of shops, a café, and a restaurant. You can observe panoramic views from the higher deck at 450 meters high. This deck has a steel and glass ramp, and you can enjoy panoramic views of Kanto from here. 

The river area can be reached by traveling via train to Asakusa Station from JR Tokyo Station. You’ll then need to walk for approximately 15 minutes until you reach the Tokyo Sky Tree. You can also travel from JR Station to Tokyo Skytree Station via the Tobu Skytree Line. Or reach the area by traveling from JR Tokyo Station to Oshiage Station via the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line. You could also travel directly from Tokyo International Airport, Haneda via the Skytree Shuttle, which takes about an hour to get to Tokyo SkyTree. 

Tokyo - a destination that caters to everyone 

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

Tokyo Disneyland is an amusement park at the Tokyo Disney Resort. It lies in the Chiba Prefecture next to Tokyo, Japan. The park spans over 115 acres. It was also one of the first Disney's to open outside of the United States. Attractions are enjoyed by both adults and children here. 

Some of the main attractions include a plaza tour on an old-fashioned double-decker bus. You can also enjoy some arcade games at the penny arcade, climb onto a steam train, go on a Pirates of the Caribbean ride, take a cruise through a makeshift jungle, or enjoy a Mark Twain riverboat adventure. 

Tokyo DisneySea is located at the Tokyo Disney Resort, too, and is exclusive to Japan. Experience adventures like a ride on a Venetian gondola, a little trip on the DisneySea electric railway, or relax on a leisurely steamer line. You can also engage the kids with a Toy Story adventure. Or travel in a classic pick-up truck around an American waterfront. Children can also enjoy the Nemo and Friends SeaRider adventure. 

You'll find the Disneyland Japan and DisneySea main entrance next to Tokyo Disneyland Station and Maihama Station. When arriving at Narita Airport, take the high-speed train or Skyliner to Nippori Station. When there, switch to the JR Yamanote Line to get to Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station, switch to the JR Keiyo Line. You could also switch to the JR Musashino Line to get to Maihama Station.

Tokyo - a destination that caters to everyone 

Tokyo is renowned for its picture-perfect settings. Yet, that's not all, as you can enjoy a myriad of fun-filled adventures here too. Visiting this city is ideal for both the young and old. It's also great for those seeking traditional and modern destinations. From amusement parks to digital museums to spectacular riverside firework displays, Tokyo has it all. It is also ideal for the traveler who appreciates panoramic views from the tallest buildings in Japan. 

Start making your travel arrangements if you want to explore the best sights Tokyo has to offer. 

Getting There