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Things to see and do in Tokyo

Tokyo is a fascinating city with so many interesting places to visit and things to do, be it sightseeing, shopping or eating out. Here are some of my favourite places.

TOKYO TOWER

Tokyo Tower is the iconic landmark of Tokyo. You can reach it by train but I usually take a cab as it is faster. From Tokyo Main Station it will take about 10 minutes and costs around ¥2,000 or about US$20 - 25. You need to pay to go up the tower and there is a fast escalator that takes you up to the observation area. Here you will get excellent views of Tokyo City, which are particularly spectacular during evening time when the sun begins to set. There are snack shops, souvenir shops and information boards at the observation area and very popular are the small sections of glass flooring called Lookdown Windows where you can look down to see the ground far below.

Afterwards, you can take the lift to either the ground level or basement level where there are lots and lots of souvenir shops, restaurants and shops selling Tokyo's famous cakes. Children can find lots of Tokyo Tower games and puzzles and there is even a model of ancient Tokyo which changes colour.

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ASAKUSA & SENSOJI TEMPLE

Asakusa is an exciting and busy area with many things to see and do. Head towards the river and you will arrive at the Sumida River with it's famous red Azuma Bridge, view of the Tokyo Skytree Tower and the Asahi Beer Building with it's famous "Flamme d'Or". From beside the bridge you can take rides on the Tokyo  Water Bus.

The Sensoji Temple is Japan's oldest temple and only about 10 - 15 minutes walk away, and you will pass lots of small stores selling Japanese handicrafts, fans, snacks, T-shirts, hats and other souvenirs in the Nakamise Shopping Street. Then explore some of the smaller streets near the temple and you can find all kinds of interesting shops and restaurants. Be warned that Sensoji Temple is very popular and will most likely be very crowded.


Kaminarimon Dori

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Asahi Beer Building

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Lamp Post on Azuma Bridge

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Matsuya Building

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Entrance to Asakusa Shopping Arcade

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Inside Asakusa Shopping Arcade

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Kaminarimon (outer temple gate)

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Nakamise Shopping Street

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Hozomon (Main Gate to temple)

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Inside the temple

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Mother and Children Statue

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Two Buddha Statues

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Old Tree in Temple Grounds

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The Sumida River

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GHIBLI MUSEUM, MITAKA

This one is for those with children or adults who are fans of the Studio Ghibli cartoons that include: "Spirited Away", "Castle in the Sky", "Ponyo on the Cliffs", "Kiki's Delivery Service", "My Neighbour Totoro" and so many more.

Tickets can be very difficult to get hold of and you may need to book several months in advance. If you are interested to visit the museum then I suggest checking out the museum's link:

Ghibli Museum Website

Please note that cameras are not allowed inside the museum. But, inside it is fantastic with several levels, a spiral staircase up to the roof, a large souvenir shop, food places, a cinema, and so much more. We really love this place as do our children.

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ODAIBA

Odaiba is a wonderful place to visit, especially in the evening time, great for shopping due to it's excellent malls, most notably Aqua City Odaiba and Diver City Tokyo Plaza, some of the best views of the Rainbow Bridge, nice for a relaxing in Daiba Park, and being able to see the world's only full size Gundam statue. There is also the famous Fuji TV Building with it's creative architecture and the Statue of Liberty overlooking Tokyo Bay. Often there are events held in Daiba Park and when we were there we saw hundreds of people dressed as Minions. We arrived in the early evening time so didn't have time to visit some of the other wonderful attractions here.

Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Bay

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Statue of Liberty

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Fuji TV Building

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The Gundam Statue

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The Gundam /Statue and Diver City Tokyo Plaza

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The Golden Needle Statue

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Grand Pacific Le Daiba Hotel

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The promenade between Diver City Tokyo Plaza and Tokyo Bay

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Statue of Liberty and Rainbow Bridge at night

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Statue of Liberty at Sunset

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Zojo-ji Temple

The Zojo-ji Temple is located right next to Tokyo Tower and just a 10 minute walk from Hamamatsucho Train Station. It is an ancient temple that was originally built in 1393 on a different site but later moved to it's present location. Most of the current structures are reconstructions with the exception of the main entrance gate called the Sangedatsumon which dates from 1622.

Within the temple grounds are rows of Jizo statues. These statues represent the souls of unborn children, those who died before birth, as well as those yet to be born. The statues are often clothed and taken care of by visitors, although some are not. Also, within the temple grounds is the Tokugawa Mausoleum where you can see the graves of six of Japan’s fifteen shoguns plus some of their wives and concubines.

The temple grounds afford some excellent views of Tokyo Tower, and in the evening you can often see photographers lined up with cameras on tripods waiting for the sun to set behind Tokyo Tower.


The main entrance gate or the Sangedatsumon

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Inside the main entrance gate

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Tokyo Tower viewed form Zojoji Temple

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Jizo Statues

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Tokyo Tower as viewed from Zojoji Temple

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Zojoji Temple as viewed from Tokyo Tower

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Nice pictures! I love this neighborhood, I would love living there or around Ueno during my working holiday ...

Ueno is really nice too. I'll upload some pics when I get some time.

U should go deeper places in Fuji area, u can see human bones and soul after 9pm. If u dare walk alone , u may enjoy this adventure !

Most of my time I spend in Fuji area. But this thread is special about Tokyo only. You can see from the title of the thread.

May I know if there's any nice place to stay in Tokyo city....? Not too expensive....well im looking at roughly between USD200-USD 300 per room. Would I be able to get a budget hotel there ?

How long will you stay in Tokyo? Is that meaning "200-300 US dollar" per night or 3-4 days? Apa business hotel is very good which is very clean, kind staffs etc but it's small room if you don't mind, sometimes will cheap 60-70 US dollar per night especially Sunday between Minday. Normally around 80-100US dollar per night.

I seem you like temple and shrine very much, so I recommend place the temple called Zojoji. It's very close to Tokyo tower, this temple is really great. It's concern for Tokugawa Shogun. There is some Tokugawa family's graves in there. Also there is a temple in Ueno which is concern for Tokugawa too. If you have interest for them as Edo period Shogun who is build up Edo castle, should go there.

Hi Ken_ken,

The last couple of times I was in Tokyo I stayed at Airbnb's. You can get a decent sized apartment, sometimes a studio and sometimes two bedrooms with kitchen and fully equipped bathrooms, TV with Netflix, etc, and in really good locations around Tokyo. I've stayed in one in Kanda which was walking distance to Zozoji Temple and one in Roppongi. We paid between US$50 - 60 per night. And because of the Olympic Games, more and more people are offering their apartments for Airbnb and the price is getting lower.

Aside from that, yes, Apa Hotels are alright and pretty cheap but the rooms are often really tiny. You can also check out Toyoko-Inn Hotels as they are also less expensive. The Daiwa Roynet Hotels are also reasonably priced.

My recommendation is that you select your area first and then search to see which hotels or Airbnb's are in the area.

In general, hotel rooms are pretty small in Japan, especially in Tokyo. I've  stayed at the Mercure Hotel in Ginza before and it was very cramped but nice location. So if you are more than one person to a room, then I would strongly adivse booking either Airbnb or if you prefer a hotel then choose a room with twin beds rather than a double bed. That is because the twin rooms are often bigger than the double rooms and you can push the beds together to make a bigger bed. A twin room usually costs ¥1000 (about US$10) more than a double room in these kinds of hotels. Please note also that if you check out late, you'll normally get charged ¥1000 per each hour.

Having said that, if your budget is as high as US$200 - 300 per night per room, then you could stay in some of the best hotels. I think it is worth looking at Agoda to check out hotel prices in the areas that you want to stay.

Regards,
Hansson

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