10 things to do in Tokyo for first timers

 

Tokyo was at the top of my bucket list for the longest mainly because I am an Anime (Japanese cartoon) head. Also, I am obsessed with Asia because Asia is a continent filled with culture and amazing sights. When I was researching travel destinations in Asia, China was the top of my list because I was under the impression that flights to China would be cheaper than everywhere else.

I use Google flights as my ticket search engine because I am able to view destinations all over the world if I put in a specific date. While researching flights to Asia, I realized that the flight to Japan cost a little over $600 RT via Cathay Pacific. I booked my flight to Japan immediately without hesitating. China could always be visited later right?

Tip: I booked my flight 8 months before departure. It is best to book flights in advance in order to get the best rate possible.

I was able to research a lot of the sights in Tokyo via Google. From the tips I got online, I made my pick of the places I wanted to see and created an itinerary. My visit to Tokyo would only last 6 days therefore, it would be impossible to view all of Tokyo’s sights in that period of time.

Tokyo has a multitude of amazing sights and attractions. Here is a list of the most interesting sights in Tokyo from my itinerary:

Tokyo Skytree

The construction of Tokyo Skytree started in 2008. Tokyo Skytree has 2 levels. The first level is 350 ft above ground while the next level is 450 ft above ground. Tourists can skip the line by paying for the fast ticket which cost approximately $40. I was told by the attendants that this was available to only tourists. I was happy that I was able to skip the long line but I had to pay double the cost. I suggest going early so that you can view as much of Tokyo as you want before it gets dark, and so you can get the value for your money.

 

Tokyo Solamachi

Right beneath Tokyo Sky Tree is Tokyo Solamachi. Tokyo Solamachi is a mall that offers more than 300 stores including clothing, food and comic stores. Some stores in Tokyo Solamachi have Sky Tree souvenirs for people who want a longer lasting memory. I did not purchase a souvenir because I felt it was a little overpriced- which is to be expected in such a popular tourist location.

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace, which is located in what used to be the Edo Castle, is surrounded by moats and stone walls. It is the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. The Imperial palace houses the Nijubashi Bridge that connects the entrance to the palace grounds. Visitors are able to view the Nijubashi Bridge but are not allowed in the inner grounds. The inner grounds are only open to the public on January 2nd for New Year’s greeting and December 23rd for the Emperor’s birthday.

 

Imperial Palace East Gardens

The Imperial Palace East Gardens are truly beautiful. The East Gardens are part of the palace area and is open to the public. Admission is free, but it closes at 4:30pm so you have to get their early if you want to see Imperial Palace and Imperial Palace East Gardens.

Beautiful trees at the Imperial Palace East Gardens

 

Sakura tree at the Imperial Palace East Gardens.

 

Ueno Park and Shinobazu Pond

Ueno Park is famous for having many attractions on its grounds including Tokyo National Museum, National Science Museum, Ueno Zoo, Shinobazu Pond, and it is also a very popular cherry blossom spot. My main purpose for visiting Ueno Park was because I wanted to take a ride on the famous swan boats in Shinobazu Pond.

Swan boats at Shinobazu pond

Imagine my disappointment when I got there after 4:30pm, and the swan boat rental service was closed. The rental service closes at 4:30pm.

 

Tokyo Disneyland

Entrance to Disneyland

Disneyland is indeed the happiest place on earth. Tokyo Disneyland was the highlight of my trip to Japan. Even though it got cold at night, it did not hinder my experience. I was able to make the best out of my first visit to Disneyland and I did not regret it. Not only is Disneyland cheaper abroad, it is also an experience. I dedicated a whole day to Disneyland so I was able to get on several rides and also caught the light parade at night.

Princess Cinderella’s castle

 

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower at night

Tokyo Tower’s construction started in June 1957. The design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower which is obvious from the architecture. Tokyo Tower’s main observatory is 150m above ground, and the upper deck is 250m above ground. It is not as high as skytree but just like skytree, you are able to get gorgeous views of Tokyo from the observatory. I suggest going in the evening because there are less people at the tower, and views of Tokyo at night is so beautiful.

Views from Tokyo Tower in the evening.

Tokyo Tower is cheaper than Tokyo sky tree so it is best to go to Sky Tree during the day and Tokyo Tower at Night.

 

J-World and One Piece Tower

Anime wall of fame at J-World

If you are an amine fan like I am, you will appreciate J World and One Piece Tower. J-world is more appropriate for kids but One Piece tower is appropriate for all ages. Unlike J-world which incorporates all the popular anime in Japan, One Piece tower is one piece themed. In order to satisfy your anime spirit, head on over to J-world and One Piece tower for an authentic Japanese anime experience.

Sculpture of Luffy at One Piece Tower

Note: One piece tower is in the ground floor of Tokyo Tower.

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the most popular fish markets in Tokyo. Tsukiji is also very popular among tourists who take tours to watch merchants bid on fish very early in the morning, and also purchase sushi at the inner market thereafter. There are various tours of tsukiji offered through online retailers like viator or klook, and tickets can be purchased in advance on their website.

 

Robot Restaurant

The very bright and electric evening show

Robot Restaurant is a very famous restaurant located in Shinjuku. They host electrical robot shows 3 times a day and the restaurant is very famous among tourists. I will definitely go to the restaurant again to watch the show if I am lucky enough to visit Tokyo another time. A visit to Tokyo is not complete without visiting the Robot Restaurant.

Have you visited Tokyo or are you visiting soon? Please share your experience.

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29 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Known strangerreply
March 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Tokyo easily is my favorite city in the entire world till date. I can not wait to return

TC Masonreply
March 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

wow the visuals are beautiful…. gave me food for thought to start using google flights to search for new adventures. Thanks for taking me on the journey with you…. when’s the next trip

Jay Colbyreply
March 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Tokyo seems like a great place to visit. It sounds like I will certainly have to add Tokyo on my list of places I want to visit!

Joyce Brewerreply
March 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Now you’re making me want to take our son to Disneyland Tokyo. Man, that would blow his mind!

Terrireply
March 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm

I need to follow your lead and start booking flights far in advance. I usually don’t book flights until about 1 – 2 months out.

Ashlee Adamsreply
March 16, 2017 at 9:35 pm

You look amazing and the photos are great. I would LOVE to visit Tokyo. Adding it to my bucket list now.

Victoriareply
March 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm
– In reply to: Ashlee Adams

Thank you

Michellereply
March 16, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Great post, Victoria! I hadn’t considered visiting Disneyland Tokyo. What a great idea! You took some beautiful shots too. Safe travels…

Kiwireply
March 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Girl you just made my life with this post!!! Tokyo is on my all time bucklist so I pinned this. I am definitely going to Tokyo Disney…also I am gonna make a way to stay at the Hello Kitty Room hotel!

Bhushavalireply
March 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

I haven’t been to Tokyo yet but as you say the history, heritage and culture of Asia is so fascinating that I must visit Japan in future. So when I visit, now I know which blog post to refer! The robot restaurant looks too stunning!

Kitareply
March 17, 2017 at 2:49 pm

I plan to take my first plane ride this year. Not nearly as far as Tokyo but I can see this in my future travel plans especially Disney.

Thirty30Courtneyreply
March 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm

I would LOVE to go to Tokyo before the 2020 Olympics. Japan has been one of my dream countries since I was a little girl and learning the language (I only remember numbers now). I would love to be on the towers as I love finding the best views in new cities.

John Rodgersreply
March 17, 2017 at 3:15 pm

I love the great descriptions you left and all are great places for a visit except Disney for me. I have a place in Tokyo that I have always wanted to visit which is not on your list. The cemetery containing the 47 Ronin from the Keanu Reeves movie. The two places that really tweak my interest are the Robot Resturant and the number one for me would be the J-World and One Piece Tower. I am sure I could spend days in those two alone shooting photographys.

Victoriareply
March 17, 2017 at 3:19 pm
– In reply to: John Rodgers

Oh yes the graveyard is a temple. There is SO much to be done in Tokyo and i think in order to see or do everything, at least 2 weeks is needed

Jeff & Crystal Bryantreply
March 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Wow! There is a ton of things to do there. You had me at the 300 store mall. It has certainly moved up our bucket list.

Jonnareply
March 17, 2017 at 11:32 pm

I have never visited China, and I don’t know if I ever will. The flight time alone discourages me!

Flavio @ Adventurous Travelsreply
March 18, 2017 at 1:13 am

I’d like to visit Tokyo some day – it looks very modern but with a traditional touch like gardens and palaces that I love. Great photos – Tokyo never sleeps 🙂

Mimireply
March 18, 2017 at 7:59 am

Spent a week in Tokyo because I loved it too much. Can’t believe I managed to skip few things on your list! pity!

Jojoreply
March 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm

How long did you have to wait with the fast pass for the Tokyo Skytree? Was the view up there worth it?
One of the things I really liked about Japan was the stamp collecting! That picture of the Disney passport reminded me of that. Did you do any stamp collecting?

Victoriareply
March 18, 2017 at 3:51 pm
– In reply to: Jojo

Oh there was no line at all but the regular line for the ticket had a 2 hour wait!! The views were definitely worth it

Joy Generosoreply
March 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Oh yeah, Disneyland is a must for me hehehe. I’ll make sure to visit all the things you’ve listed when I get the chance to visit Tokyo. Hopefully soon. Thanks for the list! 🙂

Tiffany H.reply
March 19, 2017 at 6:43 am

Never had Japan on my bucket list but I love Disney Land so I’m pretty sure Disney in Japan would be pretty awesome. Looks like you had a great time.

Samantha Sparrowreply
March 19, 2017 at 11:48 am

I’ve never been to Tokyo, but this guide makes me feel like I should! I’d love to see a sakura tree at the Imperial Palace East Gardens, and seeing proper cherry blossom would be amazing. Love the idea of taking a boat ride across the Shinobazu pond, those swan boats are cute!

Tatumreply
March 19, 2017 at 6:22 pm

OMG that Robot Restaurant is right up my alley! I have been hearing a lot about it recently. I neeeeeeed to visit Tokyo soon! Since I use to live in Orlando, Florida, I would love to go to the Disney World there too to see how different/similar it is.

Laveena Sengarreply
March 21, 2017 at 6:25 am

Just what I needed. I have been wanting to visit Tokyo for a while now and finally things are working out. The combination of modern world and cultural touch is what attracts me the most.

Ana Ojhareply
March 21, 2017 at 7:56 pm

What a great list of so many amazing attractions to explore in Tokyo! The Cinderella’s Castle at Disney’s land looks quite similar to Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando!

Michelle Thamesreply
March 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm

I hope to visit Tokyo one day! Thanks for these amazing things to check out.

Dealmanreply
June 11, 2017 at 11:35 pm

You’re so stylish, beautiful post!

Victoriareply
June 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm
– In reply to: Dealman

Thank you 🙂

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