There are a few places more alive and exciting than Tokyo. Although one day is not enough to explore the city, you can make it work by not trying to squeeze in too much. Leave your luggage in an airport counter because Tokyo can be pretty crowded no matter the time of the year. You don’t want to be carrying your luggage up and down the crowded train stations, right?
Japan is most famous for its food. Nobody does it the way the Japanese do. They’re so good that many people in business are bringing a Japanese restaurant franchise to different parts of the world. You can find famous Japanese restaurants in Manila, Singapore, Las Vegas, London, and in many corners of the world.
If you want to get a taste of what Japan is all about, have one authentic Japanese meal. Sure, chef Jiro Ono may not be available to serve you, but there are plenty of excellent restaurants in and around Tokyo that offer the best Japanese food you’ll ever taste. Don’t leave Tokyo without trying out sushi, sashimi, ramen, and gyoza from street stalls.
Asakusa is home to Senso-Ji Temple, the oldest temple in Japan. It is one of the most significant temples in the country as it became independent after the Second World War. Leading up to the temple are lines of souvenir shops selling everything, such as lucky charms, mahjong sets, refrigerator magnets, keychains, and food.
There’s also a large well in front of the temple. The sign says that people shouldn’t drink the water, but plenty of them do it anyway. The point is to wash your hands or part of your body with the water and make a wish.
Thirty minutes from Asakusa is one of the most famous street crossings in the world. It is in Shibuya where you’re going to find the statue of Hachiko, the dog who waited for years for his dead master to return. His loyalty was rewarded with a statue in front of the train station. An exit is also named after him.
The best place to see the famous Shibuya crossing is from the second floor of the building standing next to it. From there, you can get a bird’s eye view of the way people converge in the middle of the street once the traffic light hits red. Get your camera ready because you’ll only get a few minutes before the light turns green again.
Harajuku is a street where the exotic, creative, and fun converge. Of course, there’s Daiso, too, for some shopping. Not only are you going to find the Japanese dressed in quirky costumes, but you’ll also spend all your money shopping in this street. There are food, clothes, shoes, souvenirs, and many other items you’ll want to take back home.
The Meiji Shrine is a long walk, but it’s nothing short of magical. When you enter the shrine’s arch, it almost feels like you’re transported back in time. The hustle and bustle of Tokyo die, and along the way, you’ll see traces of history. The shrine itself is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. It does not contain their graves, but it is ethereal and shouldn’t be missed.
These are the places you can visit in Tokyo. Remember that in Tokyo, you shouldn’t miss these things: food, temples, and people. Spend some time people-watching at Yoyogi Park. You’ll realize why most Japanese are too zen. There’s a sense of calm and peace in Japan, even in the busy streets of Tokyo.