Tokyo offers many iconic attractions, but there are also lesser-known sites of interest that travelers might overlook. Recently, travelers particularly appreciated exploring Imperial Palace grounds which often boast less visitors than Tokyo SkyTree (plan ahead and book tours!).
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) provides fascinating insight into Japan’s innovative culture. For something different, teamLab Borderless offers interactive exhibits where visitors can engage with digital art directly. Jakarta to Tokyo Cathay Pacific flights are available for those interested.
Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa is one of Asakusa’s top tourist spots, both among Japanese visitors and foreigners alike. The main hall at Senso-ji is dedicated to Kannon, an embodiment of compassion that represents Bodhisattva (an entity who has reached the state of enlightenment but remains on earth to help others attain it) who represents Kannon or Guanyin in Japanese culture.
Kaminarimon (or Thunder Gate) is the massive entrance gate of this shrine and weighs an incredible 700 kilograms. Featuring three red paper lanterns on each side and covered in inscriptions, this majestic gate marks its way into the complex where people flock to pay respect to Kannon alongside numerous statues and traditional structures.
Asakusa is home to more than just its namesake temple; its surrounding area provides an incredible window into Japanese culture. Nakamise, a shopping street packed with souvenir shops and traditional snacks serving visitors for centuries, remains popular with both locals and curious travelers looking for authentic Tokyo experiences.
Asakusa Kannon Museum is another must-visit attraction, offering an illuminating overview of the temple’s history and development. Along with detailed information about various aspects of its structure, an exhibition showcasing various colors and designs used over time in decorating its hall is also on display here.
Asakusa is always lively, but during spring and summer it truly comes alive with festivals and events – especially Sanja Matsuri, held to commemorate three men who founded Senso-ji Temple. If you’re lucky, you might even catch it!
If walking is not your forte, why not take an exciting rickshaw ride around the area with an expert guide for an hour or two? Not only can this provide a more intimate perspective of its sights but it will surely leave you smiling!
Skytree was built as the tallest structure in Tokyo in 2012 and is a top tourist attraction. It offers two observation decks at 350 and 450 meters respectively – you can purchase tickets either ahead of your visit online or at the entrance on your visit day.
Tokyo Sky Tree Town, an urban development surrounding the tower, features aquariums and planetariums as well as restaurants and cafes such as Sky Restaurant Musashi on its 345th floor where French-Japanese fusion cuisine can be enjoyed; fans of Pokemon franchise can even find an official Pokemon Center here!
Builders attempted to make the Skytree as eco-friendly as possible during its construction, using recycled metals and plastics, reclaimed timber, sustainable materials such as recycled paper products and reduced air resistance to reduce energy use. Furthermore, its exterior is painted “sky white.”
Once you’ve passed through the ticket counter on the fourth floor, elevators provide easy access to two observation decks: Tembo Deck has tall windows offering stunning views of Tokyo and its environs; upper deck boasts a 360-degree observation platform featuring glass floors.
At Skytree, the primary attraction is its breathtaking two observation decks; however, it’s worth visiting its sister complex below too, Tokyo Skytree Town complex which houses Sumida Aquarium, planetarium and various shops and restaurants. Plus it’s not too far away from Asakusa where you can experience old Japan via Nakamise Dori or local snacks such as monaka which are thin wafers filled with sweet red bean paste!
Odaiba, located in the western section of Tokyo Bay, is an artificial island featuring an inviting waterfront beach, eye-catching futuristic buildings, and cutting-edge shopping malls. This modern entertainment district is a favorite weekend escape among both Japanese and international visitors; here you will find museums, a Legoland Discovery Center, an indoor theme park, robot museums, and other fun attractions!
One of the most striking sights in Odaiba is Rainbow Bridge, an elegant structure which glows beautifully at night and makes an excellent backdrop for taking stunning pictures. Spanning over water between Odaiba and central Tokyo, connecting traffic roads with Yurikamome Line driverless transit systems; additionally, home to an exquisite replica of Statue of Liberty which has become one of Tokyo’s top tourist spots!
Take the Rainbow Bridge Ferris wheel tour for an incredible panorama of Odaiba waterfront and city skyline, as well as famous landmarks such as Tokyo Skytree. You will see its shimmering Rainbow Bridge as well as many others!
Odaiba offers many memorable landmarks, with Kenzo Tange’s Fuji TV Building standing out. Plauded for its bold statements of creative modernity, it boasts an eye-catching “Hachitama” sphere in its lobby that makes an amazing photo opportunity. For something different to do during your visit to Odaiba, visit Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation where visitors can interact directly with some of today’s cutting edge robots and androids!
Odaiba malls feature an assortment of restaurants and stores for visitors to enjoy, including Venus Fort – themed to eighteenth-century Europe or Toyota Mega Web expo – where patrons can learn more about cars throughout history.
Are you passionate about Legos? Check out the LEGOLAND Discovery Center where you can build your own masterpieces or even take classes! Or visit Madame Tussaud’s Tokyo to take some great photographs with lifelike wax figures of your favorite celebrities!
Odaiba offers many other fun things to do, including visiting the Trick Art Museum and enjoying all-you-can-eat ramen at Tokyo Ramen Kokugikan Mai where six of Japan’s top ramen chains can be sampled at once!
Meiji Shrine should be on any visitor’s Tokyo bucket list. Dedicating itself to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken – who helped modernize Japan – this Shinto shrine can be found right in the heart of Tokyo and offers peace amid bustling urban streets.
The main sanctuary is surrounded by tall trees that serve to block out city noise and give an impression of being in an idyllic forest, providing an escape from Tokyo’s hectic pace and giving an opportunity for rejuvenation while discovering Japan’s true spirit. It offers beautiful peace and serenity that will help you recharge while experiencing its essence first-hand.
This shrine hosts numerous rituals and festivals throughout the year. On New Years Day alone, more than 3 million visitors make an annual pilgrimage for Hatsumode (prayers for good luck in the new year). Furthermore, Yoyogi Park serves as a popular venue for traditional Shinto weddings taking place here as well as other wedding ceremonies taking place here.
Meiji Shrine offers many other areas worth seeing besides its main sanctuary. One such location is Inner Garden, which requires an entry fee but becomes popular during late June when 150 species of iris flowers blooming is on full display. Another favorite attraction at Meiji Shrine is Kiyomasa’s Well; believed by many people to possess magical properties and named for the military commander who dug it 400 years ago, many take pictures and set it as their phone wallpaper in hope that this well will bring good luck!
Meiji Jingu Temple is an excellent destination to find unique souvenirs. This temple sells short poems written by the Emperor and Empress of Japan called waka as well as wooden tablets with written wishes called ema, making this shrine highly attractive to tourists from all over the world who seek unique clothing shops that specialize in cuteness! Nearby Harajuku is also popularly visited due to its trendy fashion culture scene and lively clothing stores offering cute clothes.
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