Marunouchi (Tokyo Station)
The financial epicentre of Tokyo, visiting this district can actually be a relaxing experience, especially when you pick the right times to visit. Luckily, this area of Tokyo particularly adheres to the standard business hours. Which means there are times during the day where everyone is in their office working which is perfect for a chaos-free stroll.
The Imperial Palace is nearby, but unfortunately, (for me), visitors can’t get up close to the palace itself for safety and security reasons of course. But the gardens are fully open for everyone to wander.
Don’t miss the Tokyo International Forum. What goes on at this building isn’t really that interesting for visitors – it’s a convention centre, but the building itself is spectacular! Don’t forget to climb to the top and cross one of the glass bridges.
Akihabara district is also nearby. For all those gamers and electronic fanatics, this is the place you’ll want to be. Even in Tokyo, you’ll notice an increase in electronics and flashing lights in the district.
Arcades are a big deal in Japan and the games are limitless. Many of the games actually require a membership card (for a small fee) to play. This card will save your data, so you can continue from where you left off. It’s a neat idea, but this also requires a bit of planning, as personal cards are not universally accepted at all arcades. They can vary from games or arcade chains.
Ginza is where you can find all the luxury designer brands, both domestic and international. This is also where the famous Tsukiji Market is, where you can see locals bid and buy fresh seafood in the mornings.
While neither of these activities really appealed to me, this area was still lovely to walk around, especially with so many interesting and beautiful buildings and structures.
This is a popular tourist area, with the main attraction being the Sensoji Temple. Surrounding the temple are shopping arcades and stalls. If you’re looking for stereotypical Japanese souvenirs, this is the place to go. I personally found the goods sold here tacky and expensive, but see for yourself!
Don’t skip the Tourist Centre. It’s a neat building that’ll make a great Instagram snap!
Ueno is home to the majority of Tokyo’s museums and galleries. It’s also a lovely area to enjoy an afternoon, where tall trees line peaceful walkways. Think Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris vibes.
When I was in Tokyo, I wasn’t really in the mood to visit any museums, probably because I couldn’t turn my attention away from all the flashing and sparkling lights on the streets, but if you do decide to visit a couple, it might be worth purchasing the Grutto Pass . For 2000 yen, you’ll get a passbook that’ll allow free or highly discounted admissions to 79 museums, zoos, aquariums, galleries, etc in the city.