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6 Things To Do In Tokyo

©istockphoto/EscoLux

©istockphoto/EscoLux

Fish markets, sumo wrestling matches, hole in the wall restaurants you’d have otherwise missed… Tokyo is a treasure trove of amazing things to do but it’s hard to know where to start. From must-see tourist spots to tucked away gems, we’ve got the whole spectrum covered with this guide to unmissable experiences to be had in Tokyo.

Sumo at Ryogoku Kokugikan
Should you find yourself in Tokyo in the months of January, May, or September, you’re in luck. That’s when the city’s best sumo events take place. Tickets can be tricky to come by but insiders advise that daytime matches are typically less popular which increase your odds for getting in at the last minute. That said, you can absolutely get tickets to evening and weekend contests, you just need to book ahead. Expect spectacular ceremony, heated matches, and an experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Cat Cafe Nekorobi
File this one under “only in Tokyo”. Should you find yourself missing your cuddly companion or just wanting to get your feline fix, head to the Cat Cafe where, for an hourly fee, you can hang out in a cozy coffee shop, peruse books and magazines, play video games, surf the Internet and, oh, snuggle with some of the resident cats who are more than happy to keep you company. The cafe stocks cat toys to keep their main attractions entertained, you get to make some furry new friends… what more could you possibly ask for?

Tsukiji Market
Fish fiends will get their fill (and then some) at the Tsukiji Market, Tokyo’s bustling fresh fish emporium that sees all sorts of aquatic creatures pass through on a daily basis. Brave the early morning crowds to take in the spectacle of it all- knife-wielding pros slicing and dicing, live eels and octopus thrashing about, and the insanely frantic pace that will leave you energized (and slightly terrified but in the best way possible). Taking in all of the action works up an appetite so be sure to take the time to stop for the best sushi you will ever have. Trust us, once you try it, you’ll never see sushi the same way again. It’s that good.

©istockphoto/TommL

©istockphoto/TommL

Harajuku
Harajuku is an impossibly trendy part of the city that caters to youth culture but don’t let that dissuade you even if you consider yourself having aged out of that particular demographic. The streets and alleys are jammed with shops and stalls hawking all sorts of brightly colored bits and bobs that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Stop at a sushi restaurant for some seriously creative combinations, peruse the racks at one of the many cheap and cheerful accessory shops, or just sit back with a fresh pressed juice and people watch. It’s easy to spend an entire day taking in all that Harajuku has to offer and we promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
Holding the title of tallest building in Tokyo until the Midtown Tower was completed in 2007, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is the place to take in some of the most breathtaking views of the city imaginable. On a clear day, just about all of the principle landmarks can be spotted from the free observation decks, making it the ideal destination for time-pressed travelers who want to be able to see Mount Fuji, Meiji Shrine, and the Tokyo Dome in the same day. Stop by the tourist information area and then catch an elevator to the 52nd floor where the view of a lifetime awaits you.

Shinjuku Gyoen
Tucked into the heart of the city, Shinjuku Gyoen is an urban oasis featuring sprawling lawns, impeccably manicured trees and gardens, stunningly beautiful flowers, and plenty of bridges and islands that are perfect for a midday pause or meditation session. From mid-March to late April, the park is one of the prime cherry blossom viewing destinations and come autumn, the changing leaves alone make a trip to Shinjuku worthwhile. Think of this incredible spot as the park that all other parks aspire to be like.

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