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At number 9 in our top cities for bleisure travel in 2019 is Tokyo
A vibrant and colourful city, Tokyo is Japan’s major business hub and capital of the world’s third largest economy. Major industries include manufacturing, information and communications, transport, wholesale, retail, finance, insurance, and tourism. With many famous sites and historical landmarks there is sure to be something to suit everyone in the city where tradition meets innovation. So if you’re travelling to Tokyo on business in 2019, and have some time on the side for a bit of leisure, let Selective Travel Management guide you on the world's largest metropolitan...
Top 10 Things to See and Do
1. Tokyo Skytree
One of the most recognisable landmarks in the city, the Tokyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world at 634m. Visitors can observe panoramic views over the city from its 2 observation decks, the lowest of which features glass panels looking all the way down to the base of the tower. The higher deck, dubbed ‘the world’s highest skywalk’, consists of a steel and glass tube that allows visitors to look out at dizzying heights over the city. A sloping spiral ramp takes visitors up to Sorakara Point, the highest point of the tower at 451.2m… not for the faint hearted!
2. Views over the city
Another of Tokyo’s famous landmarks, the Tokyo Tower was once the tallest tower in the world and is now the 2nd tallest structure in Japan with a height of 332.9m. The structure was built based on the Eiffel Tower and is a symbol of Japan to this day. Other observation decks to check out include the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1 and the Tokyo City View Observation Deck. Make sure to look out for Mount Fuji in the distance from all observation points!
3. Visit one of the Districts
Just like any major city, Tokyo has a number of diverse and multicultural districts to explore. If shopping is what you are interested in, then Ginza might just be the area for you. Known as Tokyo’s high-end shopping district, there are also various department stores, cafes and restaurants at affordable prices. Don Quijote is a favourite shop amongst tourists looking for souvenirs and it's tax free!
Odaiba is one of the various entertainment districts in the city and is located on a man-made island with restaurants, theme parks and even a replica of the Statue of Liberty! For those fashion conscience people, Harajuku is a ‘must’ with its colourful street art, vintage clothing stores and quirky Kawaii style. Similarly Shibuya is a centre for youth fashion and culture whilst Shinjuku is known as ‘the district that never sleeps’. Akihabara is one of the most popular areas to visit in Tokyo and is best known for its electronic shops and gaming.
4. Shibuya Crossing
Often cited as the busiest intersection in the world, Shibuya crossing is the point at which 7 crossroads meet and where at peak times, more than 3,000 people cross at the same time. This is a ‘must see’ for those wanting to experience the hustle and bustle of Tokyo city.
5. Try the Local Transport
Shibuya is also home to 2 of the busiest railway stations in the world – Shinjuku Station and Shibuya Station. With over 1 million daily commuters through both stations, this is ideal for those wanting an authentic experience of life in Tokyo. Make sure to visit Tokyo Central Station, the heart of the railway system in the city. It is the busiest station in Japan in terms of number of trains per day and also houses a number of shops and restaurants below the station.
6. Tsukiji Market
A top tourist attraction in the city, the Tsukiji outer fish market is perfect for those with a love of sea food and has everything from crab and sushi to giant tuna. There are a number of fish restaurants and shops in the area.
7. Visit a Museum
There are numerous museums to choose from but some of the best include the Samurai Museum, the Edo-Tokyo Museum, which tells the tale of Tokyo’s history, and the Tokyo National Museum, which houses over 100,000 artifacts. The newest and best exhibit to visit is teamLab Borderless at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum which showcases 3D artwork that extends across rooms and is very ‘Instagrammable’.
8. Taste the Local Cuisine
Known as one of the world’s most exciting food destinations, Tokyo has a wide range of local and regional cuisine to get your teeth into. Recommended dishes to try include ramen, sushi, tempura and wagyu with a glass of saké to wash it all down. For a sweet treat, why not try a matcha dessert, which comes in a variety of forms from pancakes and ice-cream to fondue. Special themed eateries to try include the Robot Restaurant, Kawaii Monster Café and Animal cafés, where you can cosy up to everything from dogs and cats to owls and hedgehogs.
9. Explore one of the Gardens
If you would like to experience some tranquility away from the city, Tokyo has a number of gardens to roam and explore. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is the most popular and blends 3 distinct styles – Formal Garden, Landscape Garden and Japanese Traditional Garden. The Ueno Park is a favourite amonst local residents and houses many of the city’s main attractions including the Tokyo National Museum, Ueno zoo and the National Museum of Western Art. The Hama Rikyu Gardens are located in Tokyo Bay and contain one of the most beautiful gardens in the city. Finally, Chidorigafuchi is the perfect spot to capture a picturesque photo of the cherry blossom tree when in full bloom.
10. Visit a Temple
With over 4,000 temples and shrines to choose from, deciding on which to visit can be a bit overwhelming. The most popular is the Meiji Jingu Shrine, a Shinto Shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken. The Senso-ji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple and is located in the Asakusa area.