I have been in Tokyo with my sister after visiting our uncle near Nikko (a city north of Tokyo famous for its temples & shrines). This city offers never ending crazyness and love for Anime and Manga as well as the tranquility of many parks and temples. Unfortunetly we had to leave before the cherrys where fully blossoming, so wie only saw a few early-starting ones 😉
Here is what I enjoyed most in Tokyo:
1.) Shinjuku Station
The biggest train station in the world.
If you are travelling in Tokyo, you can’t probably NOT pass through it, as its connecting subway, trains, railway and busses from all over the city. It’s huge and always buzzing with people. As a girl living in a really rual area, this was like stepping into another world, I just took a stroll and watched all those thousands of busy people around me 😉
In this area you´ll find the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as well, from which you can get an amazing view of Tokyo´s Skyline for free!
2.) Yoyogi Park
Nothing better than a sunday afternoon stroll through Yoyogi! It seems like anyone with a talent in Tokyo wants to express himself here at this time. Just enjoy watching comedians, musicians, artists, theatre groups und many more. We spent four hours there without getting bored 😉
There are many festivals held there as well, espacially during cherry blossom time.
The area around Harajuku Station is famous for little vintage and souvenir shops as well as for cosplay! In weekends you’ll find loads of Japanese dressing up like Manga Characters vor anything similair. And they love getting asked kindly to be taken a photo with!
4.) Ueno Park
This huge lovely park provides a perfect break from the loud city and has amazing picnic spots as well!
The park grounds were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city’s largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period.
There are loads of museums like the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum, all having really cheep entrance fees and really worth visiting!
5.) National Museum
After strolling Ueno park, we choose this as we wanted to find out a bit more about the history of the country we are in and can’t really manage more than one museum in a day 😉
Best thing: students & under 18’s go free!
This part of Tokyo is especially interesting for anyone familiar with the world of Manga and Anime as well as anyone looking for cheap electronical goods. There are endless shops offering merchandise of all kinds of Mangas and ridiciosly cheep I-Phones. We just got lost browsing around there 😉
If you are ready for a little crazyness, try a Maid Café, where waitresses are dressed up in ridiciolus “cute” maid-dresses, everything is pink and they call you “Master” or “Princess”.
My sister got dressed up like a maid at the Café and we found loads of Studio Ghibli & Nintendo fan stuff in Akihabara.
7.) Partying in Golden Gai
Golden Gai is just like a hidden town full of Mini-Bars near Shinjuku Station. Here, I certainly won’t recommend a specific bar like other travel guides do, as it’s simply best to just walk down the small street and have a look at the handwritten signs which one’s cheepest. That’s because they often change prizes, owners or opening times. If you are lucky you’ find one with a all-you-can-drink offer! Just don´t be surprised that the average bar has room for about 8 people 😉
As this is one of the favourite pasttimes of the Japanese you really should try it! Even if you, like me, can’t sing at all, just get crazy with everyone else 😉 Best thing about it: most of them are open 24/7 so you can go there after the bars close if you want to keep partying!
I don´t put in a picture or video of us singing Karaoke, as they all are way to embarassing 😉
9.) Tsukiji Fish Market
The biggest Fish Market in the world is simply perfect for a Sushi breakfast, as the restaurants there usually get their fish the same morning directly from the first traders. Officially opens at 9, but for a good Sushi Breakfast you should be there around 6:30.
Also, if you are motivated enough to queue up from 3:30 you can participate at the famous tuna auction for free! They only let 160 people on a first come- first serve basis though. We didn’t make it but simply enjoyed the market 😉
Great place to shop or have a coffee during the day and party during the night, as they do great pub crawls! Also, the famous Tokyo Tower (which kind of looks like a red-and-white Eiffel-Tower fake) is there as well as a Hard Rock Café.
Another thing we really wanted to do was visiting studio Ghibli, but you have to book like weeks in advance, and our trip was way to spontanous for that.
I hope my tips inspired you, if you have been to Tokyo already, let me know your fave spots in the comments below 😉