Tokyo, a world-renowned city that continues to attract travellers from all over the globe – a city of historic yet humble tradition and futuristic-findings. But, is that all this city has to offer?
Of course not, wouldn’t be much point writing a blog about it if it didn’t.
Tokyo has beautiful and cultural architecture, mouth-watering meals and traditional dishes. There’s weird and wonderful found around every corner as well as literal robots and incredible technology that make you question if you’re actually still on Earth.
In this blog, we’ll be transporting you through these experiences, clueing you in on all the hot spots for good food and most importantly, the quality stays to utilise as your hub for exploring the culture of this truly unique destination.
First Up. Pop-Culture
A large part of the Japanese experience is their cultural adaptation and emphasis on popular culture. A form of culture that every country does differently – a new-age tradition if you like. Tokyo is where it all began. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons many visit Tokyo!
In a study by Trip, food and popular culture comes to mind for the majority of travellers; as a result, this demand has been thoroughly supplied by the copious amounts of popular culture experience tours and attractions, for example; Doraemon Museum, Ghibli Museum or even the Pokemon or Nekorobi Cat Cafe. There are so many, we wish we could name them all.
The weird and wonderful capital Tokyo can pleasantly surprise you through the cities dedication to games, Japanese cartoons (anime), as well as the fashion trends in Harajuku. A strange and unique experience that many travellers love and get involved with.
Interesting. So what else can I do in Tokyo?
We’re glad you asked. There is so much you can do in Tokyo, one week isn’t enough for the exuberant amount of activities you can experience! In fact, we recommend at least two weeks to truly capture the unique culture and beautiful attractions of Tokyo.
To start off, here’s a quick overview of the places we highly recommend…
Anata No Warehouse
If you love dark and different then I can assure you, this is exactly what you need.
Anata No Warehouse is a dystopian city within a city – designed to look and feel like the former walled city Kowloon in Hong Kong. Despite its unique architecture, the atmosphere when you enter the 3rd and 4th floor is anything but post-apocalyptic.
This architectural masterpiece is unlike anything you’ve seen before, not only is it free to enter but with 5 floors of gaming and adventure, It’s more than likely you’ll spend most of your day here! So make sure to set aside some time to get the most out of this unique experience.
Not really into gaming? Is shopping more your forte? Boy, oh boy have we got a surprise for you.
Takeshita Street (a must see for all fashion lovers) is literally a fashion utopia. The aesthetics of Japanese fashion and the phenomenon that is popular culture all condensed into one street – can you hear our inner fashionista screaming in excitement?
The street is lined with clothing stores, pet care centres, animal cafes, mini-markets, sweet and savoury food stores as well as traditional clothing stores. If you can dream it, this place has it. This is definitely a must-see for fashion lovers – you’ll get to experience a great artistic part of Tokyo in the form of clothing, revitalise your love for the high street and maybe even gain some inspiration for your next fashion muse!
Ever watched Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli? Yes, we loved it too! Step into the world of spiritual wonder as you take a stroll through the Kaminarimon; a clear path that takes you to the famous Sensoji Temple.
For culture lovers, like ourslevs, the Sensoji Temple will fill your cup of matcha tea and take you back to an era long before you were even born. It’s historical cultural significance and picture-perfect scenery is, dare I say, Insta worthy. A perfect place to find your zen after overloading on vibrant pop-culture.
Another amazing fact about Asakusa is that this traditional part of Tokyo is home to many Geishas; another stunning part of Japanese culture that is a must see.
Wow, I’m hungry, what can I eat?
Japan is known for its unique combinations and well-balanced meals, in fact, the country is ranked top in restaurants; it is an integral part of the culture and many
In Tokyo, you can enjoy a variety of different cuisines, from the colourful yet contemporary array of Mochi down to the elegant, traditional and mouth-watering sushi, and even the practical yet heavenly Onigiri. If you’re craving a spot of Ramen, where else to go than Tokyo (rhyme intended), where you can get the original Naruto Ramen! There are so many places you can go for good food in Tokyo,
OK Yokocho Akabane
This street lined with restaurants and Izakayas (Japanese pubs), secluded from tourism was made for locals, as you know, the Japanese are hard-working and work long, long hours, often until midnight. Restaurants and pubs like those in OK Yokocho are open till the early hours of the morning, ready to accommodate the hard working and early risers – and my God, they’re doing an amazing job. Anything from Ramen to Takoyaki, authentic Japanese Sake to beer – you name it, it’s there.
Considering this is a local hot spot, you’ll not only be able to check out the local surroundings but get a taste of the real deal! Tourist hot spots often like to provide fast food options around every corner and watered down “authentic” meals, lacking in that special kick for a higher price, but if you find yourself a local gem, you’d not only be saving your money, but you’ll be giving to the Japanese economy whilst enjoying quality meals!
Here is just one example of the many restaurants in OK Yokocho.
This humble restaurant in Akabane, often filled to the brim with locals, is the perfect place to get an authentic Japanese meal. You know what they say about good food, if the locals go there it must be good! If you ever pass by this restaurant and want to check it out, we wholeheartedly recommend the Chicken Tenderloin Cutlet Bowl!
The atmosphere at Matsunoya is buzzing during the late hours of the night, so be sure to get there in good time for a seat!
I’m full and tired – Where on earth do I stay?
Dedicated to luxury and providing a beautiful overview of the city surrounding it, Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel gives you easy access to shopping centres and good food in Shibuya! The modern architecture of this hotel blends flawlessly with Shibuya’s famous commercial and business atmosphere.
This particular hotel prides itself on the essence of Japanese hospitality – attentive and humble. The hustle and bustle of Shibuya will all be forgotten the minute you step into the tranquillity of Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel.
Imagine this; you’ve walked hours upon hours, travelled long distances from your hotel in Shibuya to Kawasaki. All you want is a nice bed and some good food. Now, imagine having this and more, the second you step into Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel. You may feel your shoulders relax and your mind unwind from all the chaos. A perfect hub for you to unwind after a busy day in the city.
Want to get more from your experience in Japan? Then look no further than MIMARU Tokyo Ueno Inaricho. With Japanese style accommodation in a touristic district, you won’t be missing anything out. Located in a popular touristic district, MIMARU Tokyo Ueno Inaricho has more than just comfort and necessities. This luxury apartment hotel offers Japanese style accommodation to make your stay even more authentic without taking away the luxury.
With so much to do and eat in the area, it’s clear this accommodation is located in one of the best places. Not only this, but the convenience of having a kitchen and other amenities normally found in a house only adds to your special experience. Imagine cooking your own authentic Japanese meals, with authentic Japanese ingredients in your Japanese style accommodation… It would be as though you lived there…
The epitome of luxury; this hotel located in Chiyoda, a location famous for the imperial palace, which in turn is extremely popular for its cherry blossoms! So if you’re looking to be at the centre of culture and surrounded by luxury along the way, then this is the hotel for you!
The Peninsula, known as the living legend, holds hands with luxurious comfort and impeccable service. This compelling landmark is home to modern and contemporary design, tastefully complemented with subtle Japanese features.
This particular hotel is seen as a landmark in the prestigious Marunouchi business district. Complimenting the hotel’s sophisticated aesthetics are a selection of world class facilities, that will surely help you unwind after a busy day of exploring.
So that was the Gomingo ‘Go-To’ recommendations! From shopping on the famous Takeshita Street to staying at luxurious hotels; but remember the most important part of your journey – have fun and explore!
If you have any suggestions you want to share, let us know in the comments below!