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 12

Asakusa 10

Roppongi 8

Odaiba 7

Akihabara 7

Shinjuku 6

Nihombashi 5

Tsukiji 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 33

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 6

Zoo/ Aquarium 5

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Family 19

Tokyo Sights

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Cospa Gee Store

  • Store/Shop/Mall

Fans of anime will enjoy this zany Japanese costume-shop experience. It's like no other in the world and a good place to pick up an original...

Decks Tokyo Beach

  • Store/Shop/Mall

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

Dembo-in

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Believed to have been made in the 17th century by Kobori Enshu, the genius of Zen landscape design, the garden of Dembo-in is part of...

Edo-Tokyo Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

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

Fuji Television Building

  • Film Studio

Architecture buffs should make time for Odaiba if only to contemplate this futuristic building, designed by Kenzo Tange and completed...

Fujifilm Square

  • Museum/Gallery

The Fujifilm Photo Salon hosts rotating photography exhibits with a strong focus on landscapes, while the Photo History Museum is a showcase...

Hama Rikyu Tei-en

  • Garden/Arboretum

A tiny sanctuary of Japanese tradition and nature that's surrounded by towering glass buildings is a great place to relax or walk off...

Hanayashiki

  • Amusement Park/Water Park

Dubbing itself "the old park with a smile," Tokyo's premier retro amusement park was established in 1853. Think Coney Island: a haunted...

Hanazono Jinja

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Constructed in the early Edo period, Hanazono is not among Tokyo's most imposing shrines, but it does have one of the longest histories.

Hanzo-mon

  • Building/Architectural Site

The house of Hattori Hanzo (1541–96) once sat at the foot of this small wooden gate. Hanzo was a legendary leader of Ieyasu Tokugawa's...

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