Things to do in Tokyo
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.
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.
A whole store devoted to hoisery: that's Tabio, where shoppers can find anything to adorn the legs, from tights to socks to leg warmers to furry "boot covers" and "sockettes." Tabio fills a large, well-lit retail space with shelf after shelf of products for men and women, with a bent toward the c
F.I.L (shorthand for Free International Laboratory) is the boutique of Berlin-based, Japanese fashion designer Hiroki Nakamura and his visvim clothing, a high-concept line focused on creating the opposite of disposable fashion.
The Aoyama boutique of anti-fashion establishment designer Jun Takahashi reflects its owner's ethos: there are walls with no dry wall, only exposed metal frames and electrical wiring, and hundreds of bare light bulbs clustered together (only some of them lit) on the ceiling to create a beautifull
Set in a residential downtown-Tokyo neighborhood, Toyo Ito’s design of the new Za-Koenji public theater is unabashedly theatrical. The building is mysterious and all purple-black, its tentlike roof and walls punctuated by several hundred porthole-style windows.
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
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.
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 of the many fashion subcultures of Tokyo is the Lolita look: bows, lace, crinolines, and bonnets. In other words, clothes that appear to belong on fairytale characters.
The Japanese fascination with patisseries is best expressed in the fruit tarts from Qu’il Fait Bon. These are works of art that must be admired before being cut into.