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.
New York-born Ivan Orkin's 12-counter-seat ramen house opened in 2007, originally drawing customers curious about a gaijin "noodle man," and later because of the flavor of his dishes.
Tachinomi, casual, inexpensive bars without seating, is a trend with a formula: low-key atmosphere, countertops and no chairs, bumping music. It works, keeping customers (many of them young) coming in for a few drinks and small plates.
Established in 1560, Aritsugu is famous the world over for its high-quality knives. This Tsukiji Market shop is a branch of the original 16th-century shop that is still located in the Nishiki Market in Kyoto.
Perhaps the natural next step for the extension of the brand, Gucci's first cafe is located on the fourth floor of its Ginza store, giving shoppers a chance to experience more of the Gucci lifestyle, while dining or sipping coffee surrouned by Gucci-inspired decor, such as streamlined upholstered
Housed in a modern Japanese building designed by architect Kengo Kuma, the Suntory Musuem of Art is a striking white structure with vertical louvers that run the length of the exterior.
If you are lucky enough to be in Tokyo for a sumo match, get a ticket at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo’s main sumo arena. The pomp and circumstance of the prefighting rituals alone is worth the price of the ticket.
Located on the former site of the 15th-century Edo Castle, the Imperial Palace is the official residence of Japan's royal family. First constructed in 1888, the palace was rebuilt several times, most recently in 1968.
On the day of your purchase, please take the receipt for the goods purchased at Daimaru Tokyo store on the same day and your passport to the Tax Exemption Counter on the 9th floor.
The concept behind Harajuku's Toyko Hipster's Club is that cutting-edge is a lifestyle, manifested across a range of products from clothes to books to art.
Hidden away in the basement of an office bulding on the fringes of Harajuku, Dog is a literally an underground fashion spot, a hodge-podge of low-cost and designer vintage pieces (some imported from the US) and original designs by store owner Kai Satake, who takes cast-off clothing and reworks it
One floor above Gyoza Stadium in Namjatown, Ice Cream City is full of gelato stands and Turkish men selling orchid-root-thickened ice cream. Cup Ice Museum, a theme park within a theme park, has around 300 flavors including Christmas Island salt, soy chicken, and preserved cherry blossom.
Sprinkled throughout the city are “antenna shops,” which stock hard-to-find jizake (regional sake), regional food and crafts, and literature on travel to the region (the shops, each representing different prefectures of Japan, also act as PR offices).