Tokyo Sights

From the crush of the morning commute to the evening crowds flowing into shops, restaurants, and bars, Tokyo’s image is that of a city that never stops and rarely slows down. It is all too often portrayed as a strange carousel of lights, sounds, and people set on fast-forward, but these days there is a greater focus on cultural development and quality of life.

For a time it seemed that Tokyo

was becoming the city of the future—compact urban life, surrounded by high-tech skyscrapers, the world’s densest rail system, and a 3-D network of highways overlapping and twisting above the city. Twenty years of gradual economic stagnation have cooled that vision, but if Tokyo no longer sees itself as the city of the future, it seems to have settled comfortably into being a city of the present.

While parts of the city such as Shibuya or Shinjuku’s Kabuki-cho continue to overwhelm with a 24-hour cacophony of light, sound, and energy, other neighborhoods are surprisingly relaxed. In Ometesando and Aoyama, people are more likely to be sipping wine or coffee with friends at an outdoor café than downing beer and sake with coworkers in an izakaya (a bar that serves food). The people are as varied as their city. Residents of Aoyama may wear European fashion and drive fancy imports, but those residing in Asakusa prefer to be decidedly less flashy.

Even the landscape is varied. The city hosts some of the most unsightly sprawls of concrete housing—extending for miles in all directions—in the world, but offsetting all the concrete and glass is a wealth of green space in the form of parks, temple grounds, and traditional gardens.

Whether you're gazing at the glow of Tokyo's evening lights or the green expanse of its parks, this is a city of astonishing and intriguing beauty. If you're a foodie, artist, design lover, or cultural adventurer, then Tokyo, a city of inspiration and ideas, is for you.

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Ueno 18

Greater Tokyo 13

Imperial Palace District 11

Asakusa 10

Roppongi 8

Odaiba 7

Akihabara 7

Shinjuku 6

Tsukiji 4

Nihombashi 4

Harajuku 4

Yanaka 3

Shibuya 3

Marunouchi 3

Aoyama 3

Shiodome 2

Ginza 1

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 6

Arts/ Performance Venue 5

Bath/ Hot Spring 1

Beach–Sight 1

Bridge/ Tunnel 1

Building/ Architectural Site 7

Cemetery 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 1

Film Studio 1

Garden/ Arboretum 5

Government Building 2

Historic District/ Site 1

Market/ Bazaar 5

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 1

Military Site 1

Museum/ Gallery 32

Nautical Site/ Lighthouse 1

Neighborhood/ Street 2

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 3

Park/ Playground 2

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 1

Public Art (Mural/ Sculpture/ Statue) 3

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 20

Scenic Drive/ Tour 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 8

Tour–Sight 1

Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 5

Zoo/ Aquarium 5

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Family 19

Tokyo Sights

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Two-Tiered Bridge

  • Building/Architectural Site

Making a graceful arch across the moat, this bridge is surely the most photogenic spot on the grounds of the former Edo Castle. Mere...

Ueno Royal Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Although the museum has no permanent collection of its own, it hosts an interesting selection of temporary exhibits. The museum often...

Ueno Zoo

  • Zoo/Aquarium

The two main gardens of Japan's first zoo, built in 1882, host an exotic mix of more than 900 species of animals. The giant panda is...

Ukio-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art

  • Museum/Gallery

The gift of former Toho Mutual Life Insurance chairman Seizo Ota, this is probably the city's finest private collection of ukiyo-e ,...

Yamatane Museum of Art

  • Museum/Gallery

The museum specializes in Nihon-ga (traditional Japanese painting) from the Meiji period and has a private collection of masterpieces...

Yanaka Ginza

  • Market/Bazaar

It used to be that every neighborhood in Tokyo had its own small shopping street, but with the rise of supermarkets and convenience stores...

Yasukuni Jinja

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Founded in 1869, this shrine is dedicated to approximately 2.5 million Japanese, Taiwanese, and Koreans who have died since then in war...

Yoyogi Park

  • Park/Playground

This park is the perfect spot to have a picnic on a sunny day. On Sunday, people come to play music, practice martial arts, and ride...

Yushima Seido

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The origins of this shrine date to a hall, founded in 1632, for the study of the Chinese Confucian classics. Its headmaster was Hayashi...

Zenpuku-ji Temple

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This temple, just south of the Ichinohashi Crossing, dates back to the 800s. In the 1200s, the temple was converted to the Shinran school...