10 Must-Visit Places in Tokyo

Here's your ultimate cheat sheet for an epic Tokyo trip!

IMAGE Myra Mortega


So you finally got your visa, booked your ticket, and filed that week-long vacation leave for Tokyo. All that's left for you to do is to create the perfect itinerary for your Instagram-worthy Tokyo trip. But with so many options and so many things to do around the city, crafting the perfect travel strategy might be a wee bit stressful. But don't fret-we've especially curated 10 spots that you should visit in Tokyo. Take a look at them below:


Shinjuku 


IMAGE Myra Mortega


Before anything else, prepare yourself for one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo. Shinjuku is pretty much like a snapshot of the bustling metropolis, as it's filled to the brim with offices and department stores. After a day's worth of shopping, take a breather at Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku Park). It's a sprawling complex that is composed of the Japanese, French, and English gardens, as well as a greenhouse. This park is a must-see for visitors, especially during spring, with its breathtaking cherry trees. 


Shibuya


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Those videos of throngs of people crossing a four-way intersection in Tokyo? They're most likely taken from this lively tourist spot. But there's more to Shibuya than its famous pedestrian crossing-one can very well say that it's the city's pulse. Head over to its narrow streets for cool restaurant and shopping finds. Get fashion inspo from the many trendy passersby and youth subcultures that hang out at the area. Check out the towering department stores and unique shops that brightly dot the area. Take a purikura or two with your friends. And don't forget to say hi to the legendary loyal dog Hachiko, whose statue is just right by the station.


Shin-Okubo


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Need a really quick k-pop fix? Shin-Okubo might just be the place for you. Tokyo's Koreatown has everything from idol merchandise, Korean makeup and fashion accessories, and, of course, Korean food. And if you're really lucky, you might spot your current and future biases there, as up and coming K-pop and J-pop acts play gigs in some of the live houses in the area.


Shimokitazawa 


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In our book, this neighborhood is Tokyo's best-kept secret. Laidback but hip, Shimokitazawa is the place to be if you're into the artsy Bohemian vibe. It's an absolute heaven for thrift shoppers, as it has lots of funky stores that sell secondhand items for cheap. Here, you can score vintage garb and vinyl records, and, with the cool indie character of shops in the area, most likely everything in between. With its hodgepodge of cool storefronts, hole-in-the wall restaurants, and interesting music acts, "Shimokita" (as the cool kids call it) has become a place to chill out and people-watch, minus the insane crowd of Shibuya.

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Nakameguro


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Flanking the famous Meguro River, Nakameguro has evolved into a relatively posh neighborhood coveted for its enviable views of the river all throughout the year. It comes to life during spring, with its limited "light-up" events: lanterns illuminate the river and the pink cherry trees, as the streets are lined with various shops selling traditional and even foreign food. It doesn't come as a surprise that people flock here not just to gaze at the picturesque river but also to celebrate spring with their loved ones.


Daikanyama


IMAGE Myra Mortega


Up for an architecture walk? Get lost in the chill streets of Daikanyama, as it features interesting structures that will surely catch your eye. We'll let you in on a little secret: Daikanyama is home to Kyu Asakura House, a traditional Japanese home built in the 1900s. This cultural landmark has been perfectly preserved down to its manicured gardens, which offers a breather from the busy streets of Tokyo. Can't get enough of the city's parks? Pay Saigoyama Park a visit. Situated on top of a hill, it offers fantastic views of the city below-and on very clear days, even the famous Mt. Fuji makes an appearance.


Ueno


IMAGE Myra Mortega


Wanna spot cute and cuddly pandas? Ueno Zoo is the place to go. Built in 1882, it's the oldest zoo in Japan and has roughly 3,000 animals living under its roof. Ueno is also home to the sprawling Ueno Park, which has six museums that feature Japanese and Western works. Planning to spend an entire day appreciating art and nature? Better include Ueno in your itinerary.


Harajuku


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Japan's famed youth central, this lively neighborhood hosts trendy shops and equally trendy consumers. Take a stroll down Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street), which is lined with various boutiques. Take a break at one of the street's many crepe stalls, and commemorate your visit by snapping purikura keepsakes. Don't forget to pass by the  nearby Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine), which provides a quick respite from the crowds. Dedicated to the late Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, most locals come here to pay their respects to the monarchs. Meiji Shrine is composed of several shrine complexes as well as a garden, where you can bask in quiet tranquility for an entire afternoon.


Asakusa


IMAGE Myra Mortega


A far cry from the busy streets of Shibuya or Harajuku, Asakusa offers a different take on the urban and modern view most tourists have of Tokyo. Travel back in time and imagine what the city must have been like prior to its bustling streets and modern skyscrapers. Here, you can find jinriksha (rickshaws) and a bevy of shrines and temples, most notably Sensoji, a Buddhist temple built in the 7th century. It's flanked by various alleys, selling various wares and trinkets that would make for perfect pasalubong (or omiyage, as the Japanese would call it).

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Akihabara


IMAGE Myra Mortega


Near the traditional streets of Asakusa is tech central Akihabara. Gadgets and other gizmos can be found here, as it is home to scores of techie shops. It is also a mecca for anime fans, as it has loads of stores dedicated to all sorts of character merchandise and hard-to-find collectibles


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