There are so many! I definitely consider most of Tokyo’s neighborhoods must see sights, even though some of them have very little actual attractions. Each neighborhood has such unique personality. I think that’s my favorite thing about big cities, these individual districts merging together to make a city whole.
There’s so much to see in Tokyo, it’s difficult to narrow down the list. Blaine and I love to spend hours walking around Tokyo, mostly drifting, and finding new neighborhoods, parks, cafes, and restaurants.
This is one of my top choices, especially because the market will be relocated in 2016 and I’m not sure if the tuna auction will still be open to the public. If you want to see the tuna auction, get to the market (via taxi) by 4am. If you’re just interested in seeing the market and perhaps a sushi breakfast the sushi restaurants are open about 6am-noon and the market is open 9am-11am.
Location // 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
I have to admit, I was disappointed that you need reservations to visit the Imperial Palace, but the old castle walls and the palace gardens are open to the public and especially beautiful in spring and summer. This is definitely one of Blaine’s favorite Tokyo spots.
Location // 1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan
While the temple itself is remarkable, I enjoy visiting Senso-ji more for the old world feel of the neighborhood and the little shops along Nakamise Dori. I also love the yatai (food stalls) near the temple that sell traditional Japanese foods like tako yaki (fried octopus dough balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes with various ingredients).
Location // 11-0032 Tokyo, Taitō, Asakusa, 2−3− 1
We aren’t huge anime + manga fans (we have seen Sword Art Online), but Akiba has such a unique vibe I definitely consider it a must visit. The giant anime billboards and noisy colorful arcades will make you feel 12 again and are great photo ops.
Rikugien is on the north side of central Tokyo and is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden with tea houses, ponds, and quiet hidden corners. I love that this garden can make you forget you’re in a mega city of 13 million people.
Location // 113-0021 Tokyo, Bunkyo
This is my favorite Tokyo neighborhood (so far). It’s just a bit off the beaten path, about a twenty minute walk south of Shibuya Station. It feels a world away from the loud intersection and bright neon lights of Shibuya crossing. Daikanyama is a hilly neighborhood packed with small exquisitely designed boutiques and cafes where you can easily pass hours people watching and relaxing.
What do you like most about big cities?