The Tokyo metropolitan area is home to nearly 38 million people, more than the entire population of Canada and more than half that of the UK, making it the most populace conurbation in the world.
It is Japan’s political, cultural, and economic powerhouse and when you arrive in the city centre for the first time, you can feel the energy, sense the power; and you know right away you are somewhere out of the ordinary.
Aside from the shops, the restaurants, the amazing architecture, there are the very modern distractions of Disneyland, Disney Sea, and Akihabara, the centre of otaku culture. The city is also home to historical and cultural sites like the Imperial Palace and the Meiji Shrine. Tsukiji fish market, where you can dine on the freshest sashimi and sushi just as it comes off the boats, provides an essentially Japanese experience.
The fascination doesn’t stop at the city limits: it is a short train ride to the calmer pleasures of the old city of Kamakura with its giant statue of Buddha, and, Mt Fuji, the emblem of Japan.
Exploring Tokyo and checking out everything it has to offer would take a few lifetimes but Dragonfly tours will help you discover the essentials of this giant city.
We have a number of Japan Tours that include Tokyo as part of the itinerary. Our Japan Heartland Tour takes in Tokyo before visiting Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka and other places. In fact with the exception of the Kyushu Gateway Tour all of our tours take in Tokyo for between 1-4 days. If you are looking for a spring tour that includes a few days in Tokyo, the Cherry Blossom Tour is the perfect choice. For those wanting to enjoy Tokyo in the Autumn our Crimson Leaf Tour is the ideal option.
For many people, Shinjuku is the actual heart of Tokyo. It’s the commercial and municipal centre but knows a bit about nightlife too. Dramatic skyscrapers, neon lights, buzzing crowds, bars, restaurants, shops, and lots of distraction.
Omoide Yokocho (or Memory Lane or Nostalgia Street or Piss Alley) is a backstreet of smoky grills and boozy bars that deliberately preserves the vibe of 19th century Tokyo. Traditionally a place of hedonism (and unsavoury habits), it’s now a busy enclave of good eats and good times at good prices.
Asakusa has something of the vibe of old Tokyo right in the modern city. Historically a place of entertainment and hedonism, it still has working geisha, but is also the home of Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest temple
At 634m, the second tallest structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa. More than a broadcast tower, Skytree soars over a well-developed area of shops and restaurants. Oh, and did we mention the spectacular view from the top?
The eccentric heart of Japan’s otaku culture. Manga stores, gaming shops, and maid cafes compete with places selling every kind of electronic device and nerdy game known to humanity.
Ye olde Tokyo: evocative shopping streets bring the charm of yesteryear to the heart of the 21st century city.
Move over Paris, Milan, and New York — this is Tokyo’s glitziest shopping and dining area, with more swanky shops and restaurants than you can shake a platinum credit card at.
Representing an art that hasn’t changed in generations, it is ironic that the theatre at the heart of the Kabuki culture has been rebuilt umpteen times. It remains, though, the centre of Kabuki’s heritage, and a defining Ginza landmark.
Tsukiji Fish Market
If Japan means sushi, then sushi means Tsukiji Market. For generations this is where Tokyo’s residents and businesses have come for their delicacy — and you should too.
Is Shibuya the busiest place in the world? This hub for transport, shopping and fashion is also the home of the famous ‘scramble’ pedestrian crossing, one of the defining sights of Japan.
Niju Bashi, Imperial Palace
This bridge captures the elegance and grace of classic Japanese design. Spanning the moat of the Imperial Palace, its reflection in the water has enchanted visitors for generations.