From poignant visits to ancient temples adjacent to modern tall skyscrapers and great technology to riding the fastest trains and eating the best bowl of ramen (which is known to be the best Japanese invention), there’s really never been a greater time to visit Tokyo. Whether you’re traveling with your family and friends or maybe traveling solo for the first time and want to get on an adventure, Tokyo is the place to go to and there are so many things you can do, people to meet, food to eat, and places to wander to. So, what are the reasons why many tourists visit this beautiful city?
1. Japanese people are keen on details and are always strictly on time. For an incredibly crowded city with too many things happening at the same time, they keep their cool and organized themselves. From walking down pedestrian lanes, waiting on jam-packed subways and restaurants, and to keep their trash in their purses or pockets, you know you can count on them. Their coy smile, which is sometimes depicted as being shy (like most people are), adds to that heartwarming and welcoming vibe they give you once you meet them. Their hospitality is one of the things that most people go back to and their beautiful stories from past to present is very much worthwhile to listen to.
2. Once you’re in the city, you can’t miss out on their sophisticated railways. Public transport in Tokyo can be chaotic sometimes, crowded with people in all aspects of life but once you’re in the train, you’ll be surprised on how it runs quick, smooth, and quietly. The insides of the trains have always been praised for being immaculately clean and proper etiquette for passengers is important so you won’t hear loud chatters or talking on the phone, crying babies or people eating their chips or sipping on their drinks. And of course, the most important thing about riding these great trains is that they’re always on time.
3. It’s no surprise how the old and new compliment well together in Tokyo. Inside the highly urbanized city of tall buildings and colorful neon lights, one can always spot a beautiful and breathtaking ancient temples and shrines. City life can be exhausting but one can slow down things (even for just a tiny bit) by visiting these timeless gems. For those who seek solidarity as well as a place for religious practice and historical context, visiting temples and shrines can be rewarding. You can always enjoy a quiet time contemplating and have meditative walks but don’t forget to pay your respects. You can place few coins in the offertory boxes and it’s been told that one shouldn’t forget to make a wish before leaving.
4. Have fun shopping in one of the biggest shopping districts in the world. You can almost find everything in here and when we say everything, you can find yourself browsing small appliances in the electronics and gadgets section to fitting the perfect shoe for the perfect dress in one the fancier boutiques in the city. There’s always a certain building dedicated solely for shopping great finds and there’s always a budget for everyone. For a more upscale shopping experience, visit the district of Ginza or Tokyo Midtown Center but if you like bargain finds and can’t get enough of those dollar stores (which you can find almost everywhere in Tokyo), try the district of Harajuku which is brimming with affordable yet trendy clothes, shoes, and whatnots. You can also find interesting shops which showcase cosplay costumes, which is highly popular in Japan. These anime themed clothes are a hit both to locals and tourists and it’s not surprising when you see a group of people wearing cosplay costumes when crossing the streets.
5. Tokyo is a pool of every delicious meal you’ll ever have in your entire life. A few walks in the other side of the street and you’ll find yourself slurping the best bowl of ramen in the city and if you’re a sucker for sweets, try ordering up decadent matcha cheesecakes and fancy crepes which surely win your heart. The number of options to choose from can be overwhelming and Tokyo is a city that serves fresh, delicious, and uniquely exquisite cuisines you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re feeling fancy or like cheap thrills, there’s always a budget for every meal. Never leave without getting your hands to the mouth-watering sushi, crispy fried tempura, steamed gyoza, juicy yakitori, and the authentic and historical Japanese sweets called wagashi. At night, you can visit izakayas where you can have your sake with deliciously grilled skewers or maybe fancy a serving or two of cocktails. There are also themed cafés you can check out, ranging from the famous maid cafés where you can spend a wonderful time drinking tea, eating cake and mingling with “maids” to playing with dogs and cats in an animal-themed café. The choices are endless and it makes you want to try them all.
6. Choosing between Totoro and Mickey Mouse is no longer a hard thing to do because Tokyo has got Tokyo Disneyland and Studio Ghibli Museum which is probably be one of the highlights of your trip. Imagine yourself dancing with the princesses and getting your photographs taken with your favorite mouse in Disneyland but if you’re a hardcore fan of anything Ghibli produced films, then the Studio Ghibli Museum is for you. They hold exhibits here and there’s a well-stocked souvenir shop where you can bring home a trinket or maybe a figurine that reminds you of that wonderful time you spend in the museum.
7. Witness the beauty of the prettiest petals during the sakura season in spring. It’s possibly one of the most picturesque views you’ll see when you visit Tokyo and other parts of Japan. Enjoy a quiet time admiring the nature that gave birth to these beautiful trees and after that, you can always spend the next few hours drinking delicious matcha green tea over sweets.
She’s cooking and baking for her family and friends. She finds grocery shopping therapeutic, always takes the longest time in the Asian section and debates with herself whether she needs that extra pack of instant ramen. A lover of sweets, she dreams of owning a patisserie and publishing her book but most of the time, she’s just really thinking of what to eat for breakfast the next day.