Tokyo is so big and so foreign that we (believe it or not) recommend you join a tourist bus tour around the city. Feel free to use one of the Hinomaru Limousine double decks. Then you quickly see some of the major sights while getting a little chance to get to know Tokyo.
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of Tokyo, Japan. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
Tokyo Imperial Palace
Is there a building you only have to see when you are in Tokyo then it is the Imperial Palace. However, this shinto palace, which is the Imperial Family’s residence, is open to visitors only 2 days a year, so there is probably little chance that you will be allowed to enter the palace. The Tokyo Imperial Palace is only open to the public on January 1 and December 23. But comfort yourself that there is a beautiful view outside as well. Around the Imperial Palace there are 100,000 exotic trees planted. The Imperial Palace is in the middle of Tokyo, west of Marunouchi and for that matter Ginza.
Asakus Kannon Temple
Asakus Kannon is Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple and is located in the district of Asakus. It actually dates back to the year 645. The temple is in honor of the goddess Kannon. The area near the temple has over 200 meters of shopping street (Nakamise) and several beautiful portals.
Meiji Temple is not very old. It was built in the period from 1867 to 1912. In addition, most of it was destroyed during World War II, and later rebuilt. But it is very beautiful and worth a visit. Meiji Jingu is in honor of Emperor Meiji and you will find several of the Emperor’s possessions in the temple. Meiji Temple is found in a very beautiful park in Harajuku.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo has a number of theme parks and theme parks. The largest is the Tokyo Disney Resort and it contains both a Disneyland and a DisneySea. Tokyo Disney Resort is located in Chiba and was the first Disney park outside the United States. The most convenient way to get here is (of course) by train. Take the JR Keiyo Line or Maihama six stops east of Tokyo Station. If there is an express train, the trip takes about 15 minutes.
Edo Tokyo Museum
This is a historical museum from the Edo period. In addition to a permanent exhibition, the museum has a number of audiovisual exhibitions that are fun to bring along. The museum is huge and the building is at its highest point as far as 64 meters. Opening hours are from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm every day, except Mondays where the Edo Tokyo Museum is closed.
National Museum of Tokyo
In Tokyo you will naturally find the National Museum. It holds close to 90,000 art objects. The exhibition covers everything from antiques to contemporary art. Location is at Ueno Park, and Ueno or Uguisudani Station. You will reach the Tokyo National Museum from Ginza and other metro locations. Expect a journey of about 15 minutes. Opening hours between 09.30 and 17.00. Closed Mondays and public holidays.
A great attraction to visit for an overview of Tokyo is Tokyo Tover. This tower is 333 meters high and has an excellent viewing area for spectators 150 meters above the ground and a special 250 meters above the ground. However, it does not cost small money to take the trip up the tower. But no one is going to Tokyo without money in the wallet? The cool thing is that the tower can be very reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Let us also remind you that in Tokyo Tower you will also find aquarium, illusion gallery, wax museum.
Metropolitan Government Building
This is in principle the Tokyo Town Hall and is Tokyo’s tallest building. And unlike the Tokyo Tower, getting into one of the twin towers is free. You can find the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku.
Although Tokyo is one of the world’s largest cities with over 12 million residents (over 35 million including the surrounding areas), it is a relatively young city. Tokyo was founded under the name Edo in 1603 by Shogun Tokugawa after bringing all of Japan into one kingdom. As early as the 18th century, Tokyo became a million town. Although Tokyo avoided nuclear bombs in 1945, the city was still bombed and destroyed during World War II. Tokyo emerged in a new and modern style to host the 1964 Summer Olympic Games.
Tokyo stretches for miles beyond the land northwest of Tokyo Bay, and also includes a number of islands. The distances are too great for those thinking of experiencing the city on foot. There is no concrete center, so much of Tokyo is centered around the train stations. The artificial island of Odaiba has a variety of shopping and entertainment options that draw residents and tourists into the millions. Here is also Asia’s largest Ferris wheel, a public bathing beach and some of Japan’s largest shopping centers.
Chiyoda district is also a must for visitors. This is the oldest part of Tokyo and was reserved for the Emperor and his family. The Kokyo Imperial Palace is surrounded by high walls and a moat, but is closed to the public. You can, however, apply to join a tour. The gardens around the palace, on the other hand, are open all days except Mondays and Fridays.
Even if you choose to stay centrally in Tokyo, it is not necessarily as expensive as you might expect. You do not have to pay more than NOK 3-400 per night per person in a double room for a good and central tourist class hotel, although breakfast is usually not included.