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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Asakusa Jinja

  • 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...

Belfry

  • 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...

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...

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.

Holy Resurrection Cathedral

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

It's curious that a Russian Orthodox cathedral was built in Tokyo's Electric Town, but it's a place to stop for a quick snapshot. Formally,...

Kaminari-mon

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The main entryway to Senso-ji's grounds towers above the ever-present throng of tourists and passing rickshaw drivers. With its huge...

Kanda Shrine

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This shrine is said to have been founded in 730 in a village called Shibasaki, where the Ote-machi financial district stands today. The...

Kaneiji

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

In 1638 the second Tokugawa shogun, Hidetada, commissioned the priest Tenkai to build a temple on the hill known as Shinobu-ga-oka in...

Kannon Hall

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This National Treasure was a part of Abbot Tenkai's attempt to build a copy of Kyoto's magnificent Kiyomizu-dera in Ueno. His attempt...

Meiji Shrine

  • 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...

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