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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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Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa

Tokyo's oldest temple is said to have originated in 628 when fishermen found a small gold statue of Kannon in their nets. Senso-ji, or Asakusa Kannon, as it's...more

Editors' Pick
Roppongi Neighborhood, Roppongi

The pink portals of the Almond Coffee shop, a landmark for decades, mark the epicenter of the infamous nightlife district you either love or loathe. Sweaty bars...more

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Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Harajuku

This tatami-floored museum (you must wear slippers inside) has one of Japan's best collections of ukiyo-e woodblock prints and offers a respite from the crowds...more

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Nihon Mingei-Kan (Japanese Folk Crafts Museum), Komaba

A wonderful museum devoted to mingei or folk art, the Nihon Mingei-kan was founded by scholar Soetsu Yanagi in 1936. The mingei movement highlighted the beauty...more

Editors' Pick
Nakameguro Neighborhood, Tokyo

Nakameguro, a spillover district from fashion-centric Daikanyama, is now a destination in its own right; it's been dubbed the new hip hangout by trend-conscious...more

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Mori Art Museum, Roppongi

This contemporary art museum sits on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills. It has large, stylish spaces and an ambitious exhibition program with a...more

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Mineral Baths, Tokyo

Japan is famous for its rustic hot springs (onsen), and even Tokyo has its own mineral-rich baths. Azabu-Juban Onsen sits above a natural source whose dark...more

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Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine), Harajuku

Leave the bedlam of Harajuku behind and walk to Meiji Shrine, a peaceful, wooded haven dedicated to Emperor Meiji (1852–1912). Pass through the giant...more

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Kichijoji, Mitaka

Kichijoji is just a short, 20-minute subway ride from Shibuya, but it feels worlds apart from the bustling, neon-signed city center. The jewel in the crown of...more

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Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Shinagawa

Opened in 1979, this private contemporary art museum is set in the former home of the Hara family. The house itself is very unusual, a Bauhaus-inspired...more

Editors' Pick
Results 11-20 of 28  | previous   1 2 3 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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