Tokyo Travel Guide
Tokyo is an enormous city filled with ancient temples and palaces. The Temple of Senso-ji honors Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. While the statue is not on public display, the beauty of the temple itself makes the trip worthwhile. Senso-ji, meanwhile, is right across from Nakamise-dori, a street lined with craftspeople selling their wares.
Another Tokyo icon is the grand Imperial Palace. It's in the very center of the city and was actually built to replace the original, which was destroyed during World War II. The emperor of Japan and his family still live there and so it is only open to the public on January 2nd and December 23rd (the emperor's birthday). Book ahead to tour the spectacular imperial grounds.
But one of the greatest pleasures here is simply exploring the city on foot, not only wandering into Buddhist temples but also into funky boutiques, noodle shops, and farther-flung residential neighborhoods. Fashion is a huge part of the culture here and you can find some of the more cutting-edge getups on Harajuku's Takeshita Street where people play dress up to a delightful extreme.
The bakery in the New Otani Hotel specializes in mont blanc desserts.
Operating here since 1935, the world’s largest fish market is a sight to be seen and experienced. The jonai (inner market) area for wholesale fish merchants is closed to the general public, but the jogai (outer market) is open to everyone.
With its distinctive clock tower and curved granite façade, Wako is one of the most iconic department stores in Tokyo.
Around the corner from Hermès and Chanel, Sake Shop Fukumitsuya contains an informal bar that showcases fermented rice from the Fukumitsuya brewery, which was founded in 1625. The menu lists dozens o f premium sakes and mirins, including several rare or aged vintages, served by the glass.
Often called the "Japanese Gap," Uniqlo is a fashion retailer specializing in casual, affordable clothing for men, women, and children. While the company has more than 700 stores in Japan (and others worldwide), this flagship Ginza location is its biggest and flashiest.
With everything from hardware to hobby, craft, and office supplies, even sushi-making supplies and lunch boxes, Tokyu Hands is a uniquely Japanese shopping experience and a glimpse into the country's culture.
Japanese pastry chef Sadaharu Aoki established a reputation in Paris before opening his all-white, ultra-modern Marunouchi shop, where exquisite pastries are displayed like works of art.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and a 52nd-floor location give the New York Bar some of the best views in the city. You might recognize the slick, expansive space with live jazz from the movie Lost in Translation.
Don't miss this sprawling mall known for cutting-edge Japanese labels.
A variety store in the truest sense, this member of the Tokyu Hands department-store chain sells everything from kitchen knives to camping packs.
Feel the beat of the music as omikoshi (portable shrines) mounted on palanquins are paraded through the streets of Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood the third weekend in May. The Shinto festival honors the founders of the Asakusa Shrine and Sensoji Temple.
The bold structure of undulating glass walls designed by Kisho Kurokawa is Tokyo's largest art venue.