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see + do

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Tokyo see + do

Tokyo is so sprawling, so huge in its dimensions, so confusing in its maze of subway lines that it's difficult to pinpoint exactly where the city begins and ends, let alone where to begin a day's exploration. Most visitors tend to spend the bulk of their time in the central commercial neighborhoods, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Aoyama-Omotesando, and Roppongi. The real pleasure in Tokyo, though, is not so much in the specific sights (among them the Tokyo Sky Tree, due to be the tallest tower in the world when it officially opens in 2012), but in wandering the urban landscape itself, with its clash of the traditional and modern—discovering hidden enclaves that seem forgotten by time, eating at tiny noodle shops and drinking in cubbyhole bars, shopping for one-offs at quirky boutiques, and paying tribute to Tokyo's ancient cultural roots at its many museums and Buddhist temples. Don't hesitate to take a subway or commuter train out to the residential neighborhoods and explore. A one- or two-stop ride away from Shinjuku or Shibuya stations (both commuter-rail terminals) on any line is worth the trip. Many expatriates live on the charming, hilly streets of Yoyogi near the park of the same name. In Shimokitazawa, the narrow lanes near the station are jammed with funky shops and eateries and crowds of young people. The free weekly magazine Metropolis is a good English-language resource for art, music, cinema, and nightlife listings.

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Yanaka Neighborhood, Yanaka

Yanaka and its neighbors, Sendagi and Nezu, still retain something of the flavor of prewar Tokyo and make up the core of shitamachi, Tokyo's old downtown. Walk...more

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Ueno Neighborhood, Ueno

Ueno is the old-fashioned part of town that's popular with visitors who come for its cultural attractions. Several museums (including the Tokyo National Museum)...more

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Tsukiji Fish Market, Tsukiji

The best time to visit the world's largest fish market is at dawn, when most of the action takes place. (On your first day in Tokyo, your walloping jet lag will...more

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Tokyo National Museum, Ueno

The national museum of Japan has a spectacular collection of Japanese art, but the displays can be on the old-fashioned side. One exception is the Horyuji...more

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Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi

Does Tokyo's latest shopping, working, living, dining, and entertainment complex, which includes this earthquake-prone city's tallest building, the Midtown...more

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Sumo at Ryogoku Kokugikan Stadium, Ryogoku

Sumo wrestling is one of the quintessential Japanese sports, and there are three tournaments a year in Tokyo, all held at the sumo stadium in Ryogoku. Matches...more

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Short Trips Outside Tokyo

As any resident will tell you, Tokyo is nothing like the rest of Japan, and since you're on the island, you really should take a train journey into the verdant...more

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Shinjuku Neighborhood, Shinjuku

Shinjuku is a metropolis within a megalopolis, an elevated neighborhood on top of the world's busiest station and Tokyo's western hub. This is modern Tokyo at...more

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Shimokitazawa, Setagaya

Those looking to escape the neon lights and towering buildings of Shibuya will find a bohemian respite just five minutes away in Shimokitazawa. The...more

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Shibuya Neighborhood, Shibuya

The crossing in front of Shibuya station, one of the busiest intersections in the world, is a sight in itself, with thousands of pedestrians and huge video...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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