Tokyo

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
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-f
From the crush of the morning commute to the evening crowds flowing into shops, restaurants, and bars, Tokyo’s image is

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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  • 1. Decks Tokyo Beach

    Odaiba | Amusement Park/Water Park

    Overlooking the harbor, this six-story complex of shops, restaurants, and boardwalks is really two connected malls: Island Mall and Seaside...Read More

  • Edo-Tokyo Museum

    2. Edo-Tokyo Museum

    Greater Tokyo | Museum/Gallery

    A replica of the Edo-period Nihombashi Bridge takes you to a remarkable collection of dioramas, scale models, and cutaway rooms where you can...Read More

    Edo-Tokyo Museum
    View Tours and Activities
  • 3. Idemitsu Museum of Arts

    Marunouchi | Museum/Gallery

    The strength of the collection in these four spacious, well-designed rooms lies in the Tang- and Song-dynasty Chinese porcelain and in the Japanese...Read More

  • Imperial Palace East Garden

    4. Imperial Palace East Garden

    Imperial Palace | Garden/Arboretum

    Tokyo's most central yet most overlooked oasis of green and quiet is more a relaxed, spacious park than a traditional Japanese garden, making...Read More

    Imperial Palace East Garden
  • Meiji Shrine

    5. Meiji Shrine

    Harajuku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This shrine honors the spirits of Emperor Meiji, who died in 1912, and Empress Shoken. It was established by a resolution of the Imperial Diet...Read More

    Meiji Shrine
    View Tours and Activities
  • 6. Mori Art Museum

    Roppongi | Museum/Gallery

    Occupying the 52nd and 53rd floors of Mori Tower, this museum is one of the leading contemporary art showcases in Tokyo. The space is well designed...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • Nezu Museum

    7. Nezu Museum

    Aoyama | Museum/Gallery

    On view are traditional Japanese and Asian works of art owned by Meiji-period railroad magnate and politician Kaichiro Nezu. For the main building...Read More

    Nezu Museum
  • 8. Sengaku-ji

    Greater Tokyo | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In 1701, a young provincial baron named Asano Takumi-no-Kami attacked and seriously wounded a courtier named Yoshinaka Kira. Asano, for daring...Read More

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  • Senso-ji Complex

    9. Senso-ji Complex

    Asakusa | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Even for travelers with little interest in history or temples, this complex in the heart and soul of Asakusa is without a doubt one of Tokyo...Read More

    Senso-ji Complex
  • 10. teamLab Borderless

    Odaiba | Museum/Gallery

    On the second floor of Odaiba's Mori Building, by the entrance to the giant Ferris wheel, this digital art museum is one of Tokyo's hottest...Read More

  • Tokyo National Museum

    11. Tokyo National Museum

    Ueno | Museum/Gallery

    This four-building complex is one of the world's great repositories of East Asian art and archaeology. The museum has some 87,000 objects in...Read More

    Tokyo National Museum
  • 12. Tosho-gu

    Ueno | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This shrine, built in 1627, is dedicated to Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun. It miraculously survived all major disasters that destroyed most...Read More

  • Tsukiji Outer Market

    13. Tsukiji Outer Market

    Chuo-ku | Market/Bazaar

    Enjoying a sushi breakfast at this famous fish market is an integral part of any trip to Tokyo, even now that its famed inner market has been...Read More

    Tsukiji Outer Market
  • 14. 21_21 Design Sight

    Roppongi | Museum/Gallery

    This low-slung building in the garden at Tokyo Midtown hosts rotating exhibitions focused on cutting-edge art and design. Designed by architect...Read More

  • 15. Advertising Museum Tokyo

    Shiba-Shiodome | Museum/Gallery

    The Japanese gift for graphic and commercial design comes into historical perspective in these exhibits featuring everything from 18th-century...Read More

  • 16. Ameya Yokocho Market Street

    Ueno | Market/Bazaar

    The sprawling stalls are famous for the traditional prepared foods of the New Year celebrations; during the last few days of December, as many...Read More

  • 17. Asakura Museum of Sculpture

    Yanaka | Museum/Gallery

    Known as Japan's father of modern sculpture, Fumio Asakura was also an avid cat lover with an uncanny ability to capture a sense of motion in...Read More

  • 18. Asakusa Jinja

    Asakusa | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Several structures in the famous Senso-ji shrine complex survived the bombings of 1945. The largest, to the right of the Main Hall, is this...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 19. Bank of Japan Currency Museum

    Nihombashi | Museum/Gallery

    The older part of the complex is the work of Tatsuno Kingo, who also designed Tokyo Station. Completed in 1896, on the site of what had been...Read More

  • 20. Belfry

    Asakusa | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The tiny hillock Benten-yama, with its shrine to the goddess of good fortune, is the site of this 17th-century belfry. The bell here used to...Read More

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