Tokyo is a city like no other. It’s crowded and fast-paced, yet there are moments of tranquility amid all the hustle and bustle that make it worth discovering. If you’ve never been to Tokyo before, then this guide has everything you need to know for your first time in Japan’s capital.
Is Tokyo Worth Visiting?
Tokyo is one of the world’s great cities, and for good reason. It has something to offer everyone from culture vultures to foodies, nature lovers to shopaholics. But with so much on offer, it can be hard to decide if a trip there is worth your time or not – which leads us back to the question: Is Tokyo worth visiting?
The answer in my opinion – is absolutely! Here are some reasons why you should take up this incredible opportunity:
- Cultural experiences: Japan offers an array of traditional experiences, from kabuki theatre to tea ceremonies. As a visitor, you can get an insight into the culture and history of this fascinating country.
- Food: Japanese cuisine is world-renowned for its quality and variety, with something for everyone’s tastes – ranging from sushi to ramen noodles. Tokyo has some incredible restaurants where you can sample their delicious fare.
- Shopping: Shopping in Japan is an experience like no other; there are countless stores offering everything from electronics to designer clothing at prices that will make your jaw drop. You can even get your hands on the latest gadgets and gizmos.
- Nature: You may be surprised, but Tokyo is surrounded by beautiful scenery, within a day’s trip that’s perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping or simply taking in some fresh air. There are also plenty of parks to explore if you need a break from all the hustle and bustle.
- Nightlife: Let’s not forget about Japan’s one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. There are many lively bars, clubs, and karaoke joints where you can party until dawn and whether it’s dancing till late or just sipping cocktails with friends.
So yes, Tokyo is definitely worth visiting – it has so much to offer that you won’t be bored during your stay. So if you’re considering a trip to Tokyo, I promise you won’t regret it.
First things first: getting around Tokyo can be confusing if you don’t have much experience with public transportation systems in large cities. But luckily, the highly efficient subway system makes navigating easy — even for newcomers!
When purchasing tickets from stations or vending machines, be sure to choose the right type of ticket for your destination (or better yet, grab a Suica card). Tokyo also has an extensive bus network and a few taxi companies available if you’re looking for another way to get around.
Tips for getting around Tokyo:
- Google Maps usually (though not always) work well for navigating the best route
- With a Suica Card, you can easily swipe on and off the subway or JR line without having to stop and look up what your exact fare will be.
- Get an Unlimited Pass that gives unlimited travel on the subway for 1,2 or 3 days.
- Taxis can be good for short trips but get expensive quickly
- JR Rail Passes are great value when traveling across but it’s almost always not worth it just for Tokyo
- Travel off-peak: Try to avoid the trains, particularly during the morning rush hour (7-9am)
Where To Stay In Tokyo?
When it comes to finding the best places to stay in Tokyo, there’s no shortage of options. With so many unique areas offering up their own unique cultural experiences and attractions, choosing where you would like to spend your time can be difficult. Here are my picks for the 5 Best Areas In Tokyo To Stay:
Shibuya has long been known for its bustling nightlife scene, with neon signs lighting up nightclubs and karaoke bars in every corner. But during the day it’s still an interesting place to visit too! Located within walking distance from several major train stations makes getting around easy; plus there are tons of trendy café’s, restaurants and shops to explore.
Shinjuku is one of the most popular areas in Tokyo for visitors due to its collection of small bars, nightclubs, and shopping malls which can be found all over town. From luxury department stores such as Isetan or Marui Main Store to budget-friendly bargain outlets like Don Quijote; you’ll never have a dull moment during your stay here! Plus there are plenty of places nearby where you can enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine too!
If you are looking for a traditional experience in Tokyo, then Asakusa is the place to be! This neighborhood can offer up some of Japan’s oldest and most beautiful temples such as Senso-ji. Here you will find markets packed with souvenirs or snacks like melon bread and taiyaki; which make great gifts too. Plus there are plenty of accommodation options ranging from basic hostels all the way up to luxurious ryokans that give off an old-world feel right here in modern-day Tokyo.
Ueno home to some of Tokyo’s most important cultural attractions, such as the National Museum or public park. This area also has great shopping with many popular department stores and small local retailers offering up something different from what you can find in other parts of town! And if that isn’t enough; Ueno is conveniently connected by train lines making it easy to explore multiple areas without too much fuss.
Ginza is one of Japan’s premier shopping districts and offers a wide range of shops from luxury brands such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton, all the way down to affordable Japanese fashion stores. This area has something for everyone, and you can easily find a range of accommodations to suit your budget. Ginza is also home to some popular sightseeing spots such as the Kabuki-za Theatre or Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens.
All of the areas mentioned above offer up something different and can easily appeal to all types of travelers. Whether you are looking for luxury, culture or just want a local feel; Tokyo has it all! So if you find yourself heading in this direction at any point soon then consider exploring one (or more!) Of these fascinating neighborhoods during your stay here.
When it comes to accommodation in Tokyo, there are plenty of options — from hostels to luxury hotels! Depending on what kind of experience you’re looking for, there’s something that fits everyone’s budget and needs. For those seeking affordable housing without sacrificing comfort or convenience; capsule or dormitory-style hotels may be ideal as well as international hotels offering discount rates for travelers.
Here are five of the most popular accommodation types in Tokyo:
Premium Hotels in Tokyo
If you’re looking to treat yourself during your stay in Tokyo, premium hotels offer the highest level of comfort and amenities. A number of 5-star hotels can be found near popular attractions such as Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Station or Shinjuku.
The cost of 5 start hotels in Tokyo is often less than you would pay in other parts of the world.
Business hotels provide a great and convenient option for travelers who are on the go! Located near major train stations such as Tokyo Station, these no-frills accommodations offer single or double-room units with simple yet modern amenities.
These low-cost options will set you back between $50 to $100 a night and, although small, come equipped with all you need to enjoy your stay in comfort including free wifi and bathroom amenities.
If you’re looking for an unpretentious place to stay without breaking the bank then guesthouses are a good option! Most guesthouses provide a unique atmosphere, perfect for single travelers on any budget who are looking for an authentic Tokyo experience.
Perhaps one of the most iconic types of accommodations in Japan – Capsules hotels – offer guests a space-saving solution when traveling throughout Tokyo! These tiny little hotel rooms come equipped with bedding and air conditioning units that make up individualized spaces no bigger than 2m2 each located near popular sights like Akihabara or Shinjuku Station…a perfect choice if you just need a place to crash for the night!
Experience a piece of Japan’s cultural heritage by staying at one of Tokyo’s traditional ryokans (Japanese inns). These Japanese-styled accommodations provide cozy and comfortable settings, with tatami mats, and futons laid out on the floor in spacious living rooms. Appreciate the distinctly Japanese rooms whilst enjoying traditional Japanese cuisine prepared by a friendly staff.
No matter what type of accommodation you’re looking for, Tokyo has something to offer travelers that fits their needs and budget. Whether it be a luxurious hotel with all the bells and whistles or just a place to crash after exploring Japan’s capital city – there is an array of options available.
Food & Drinks
If you’re a foodie, then Tokyo is the place to be! With its vast array of dining options, from street-food stalls serving up delicious ramen bowls to fine-dining establishments dishing out exquisite kaiseki meals; there’s no shortage of culinary delights waiting to be discovered in this city.
And if you’re looking for some variety beyond Japanese cuisine — don’t worry — Tokyo has plenty of international restaurants as well.
Experience the Culture & Sightseeing
What makes Tokyo truly unique are its many cultural experiences that visitors have a chance to explore during their time here. Visit one of Japan’s famous shrines or temples — such as Senso-ji and Meiji Shrine—or take part in traditional festivals like Hanami (the annual cherry blossom viewing). Check out some of the city’s museums and galleries showcasing everything from ancient artifacts to modern art. And if you’re looking for something a bit more unconventional, take the time to explore Tokyo’s vibrant street culture or indulge in some of its eccentric shopping districts — from Harajuku to Akihabara!
If you’re interested in taking trips outside of Tokyo during your stay then there are plenty of options. From historical sites like Nikko and Kamakura—to stunning natural attractions such as Mount Fuji and hot springs located around Hakone; the possibilities are endless when it comes to exploring Japan beyond the city limits. Alternatively, nearby cities such as Yokohama and Kawasaki offer a great day trip option, as they’re easily accessible via train from Tokyo.
Hopefully this guide has given you an idea of what to expect when visiting Tokyo for the first time! From exploring its distinctive culture and tasting delicious dishes — to taking in some of Japan’s most iconic sights—there are plenty of things that await your discovery in this incredible city. Have fun planning your journey, and safe travels!