What are the best attractions in Tokyo?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Sandra Barron

Tokyo Skytree is the world's tallest broadcasting tower, and has stunning panoramic views of the city and far beyond  - not to mention a vertiginous view straight down through a glass-floored deck. The surrounding area, Solamachi (Japanese for "sky town") is full of shopping and dining. A short walk away, Sensoji temple and its imposing Kaminarimon entrance gate bedecked with a huge red lantern offer a taste of ancient Edo right in the heart of modern Tokyo. Delicious traditional treats like red-bean-paste filled sweets called ningyo-yaki are cooked in cast iron molds right before your eyes, then served piping hot from a paper bag or neatly boxed up to enjoy later.
Water buses dock nearby and run to many popular attractions along the Sumida River. Several different lines run; the fully enclosed Himiko looks like it's straight out of a futuristic comic book. On these boats, it's easy to get to the many shopping and entertainment options on Odaiba, the relaxing gardens of Hamarikyu, or the grand Sumo hall in Ryogoku when there's a tournament on. After all this walking, a seat at the newly refurbished Kabuki-za for a Kabuki performance could be in order. For a quieter sit-down, you could obseve some of the world's best bartenders shake up a perfect cocktail or two in one of Ginza's top-class bars. Kampai!

Nicholas Coldicott

The Nezu Museum must be one of the city’s most overlooked attractions. It sits quietly behind the flashy dining and shopping streets of Aoyama, and though it’s been there for more than 60 years, it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves.

The museum houses the pre-modern Asian art collected by rail magnate Kaichirou Nezu, including a National Treasure in the form of Ogata Korin’s Irises. Just as notable is the garden, a meandering trail around ponds and tea houses.

The museum closed from 2006 to 2009 while star architect Kengo Kuma gave it a makeover. His modern Japanese design is yet another reason to put this on your itinerary.

From there, you could walk to Meiji Jingu, a shrine dedicated to the late Emperor Meiji. Walk under the towering wooden torii gate and down the tree-lined path and you’ll have so much space and quiet that you’ll scarcely believe you’re in Tokyo.

Then jump back into city life by walking to Shibuya and parking yourself in one of the local izakayas.

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