Quick Overviews of all Destinations by Category

To browse all destinations ALPHABETICALLY instead of by category, click here.

SHRINES & TEMPLES

DAIBUTSU in Kamakura Day Trip

6Daibutsu

The giant Buddha in Kamakura not only makes for spectacular pix, you can go inside!

• Classic Japan photo op • Biggest bronze Buddha figure in the country • You can go inside the hollow statue and see how it was made

Tell me more!

MAP

FUKUGAWA FUDO TEMPLE

4FukugawaFudo

The place to see red-hot fire ceremonies, with taiko drumming

Fire ceremonies with drums, five times a day • Hall of 10,000 crystal figures of Fudo-san • Room with 108 glow-in-the-dark paintings of gods • Dragon fountain that grants wishes written on dissolving amulets • Giant wooden Fudo figure

Tell me more!

MAP

GOTOKUJI TEMPLE

4Gotokuji

Home of the lucky cat temple

Hundreds of figures at the lucky cat shrine on the temple grounds • Beautiful wooden pagoda • Excellent plum blossoms (Feb) and autumn leaves (mid-late Nov)

Tell me more!

MAP

HASEDERA TEMPLE in Kamakura Day Trip

Famous golden statue, thousands of Jizo figures, and an underground grotto…all set amid an amazing hydrangea garden

Spectacular thirty-foot-tall Kannon figure • Candle-lit underground grotto filled with tiny shrines • Giant prayer wheel • Buddha’s footprints • Incredible hydrangea garden (June)

Tell me more!

MAP

HOKOKU-JI BAMBOO TEMPLE in Kamakura Day Trip

4.BambooTemple

This temple has a magnificent forest of giant bamboo and extensive walking paths through the cool & shady grounds

Paths take you through bamboo forest and area of lush greenery, studded with caves • Nice teahouse where you can have a bowl of mattcha (tea ceremony-style green tea) and traditional sweets

Tell me more!

MAP

IKEGAMI HONMONJI TEMPLE

4.Ikegami

Gorgeous red pagoda, and home of the festival of 10,000 lanterns

Famous monk Nichiren’s final home before he died • Spectacular Oeshiki parade (Festival of 10,000 Lanterns) in October • Splendid five story pagoda

MAP

IMADO SHRINE

4.ImadoShrine

A lucky cat temple devoted to matchmaking

Come here to wish for the ideal mate • Shrine shop sells adorable cat merchandise

Tell me more!

MAP

KAMAKURA-GU (dish-breaking shrine) in Kamakura

Break a dish to wish evil people out of your life

Dish-breaking shrine • Buy a dragon clapper to expel bad luck and invite good luck • Healing Jizo figure banishes aches & pains

KANDA MYŌJIN SHRINE

Where anime and manga artists come to pray for success

Amazing art drawn on prayer plaques by visitors • Beautiful red and gold shrine buildings • You can buy a charm to protect your electronics • Weddings and ceremonies galore

Tell me more!

MAP

MEIJI SHRINE

4MeijiJingu

This is my favorite place to see weddings, people in gorgeous kimonos and period costume.

Most reliable place to see weddings • Festivals • People wearing kimonos • Cedar buildings built without nails • If we’re lucky, a real live tanuki sighting!

Tell me more!

MAP

NANZO-IN TEMPLE

The Temple of the Tied-up Saint has a great story behind it

Tie your own rope around the Shibarare Jizo figure • This figure is famous for helping people get out of tight situations • Great story behind the statue • Lovely grounds with appealing animal sculptures

Tell me more!

MAP

NEZU SHRINE

4nezujinja1

Beautiful red & gold shrine with a tunnel of orange torii gates you can walk through

Torii gate tunnel • Beautiful red & gold buildings • Must-see azalea festival (Apr) • Fine fall leaves (Nov) • Excellent surrounding neighborhood with traditional shops

Tell me more!

MAP

NISHIARAI-DAISHI TEMPLE

One stop shop for garden strolling and wart curing

Famous peony gardens bloom in April • Wart-curing Jizo figure

Tell me more!

MAP

RAKUGO SHRINE

The place where 53 comic stories were buried

Memorial marking where 53 stories that were too irreverent to be performed during wartime were buried • Cute red shrine • Near the always-entertaining Kappabashi Street

SASUKE INARI SHRINE in Kamakura

The fox shrine to end all fox shrines

Enter through a gorgeous tunnel of orange torii gates • Mysterious little moss-covered fox “villages” line a footpath that wends its way up a shady mountainside

Tell me more!

MAP

SENGAKU-JI TEMPLE

4Sengakuji

Truth is stranger than fiction – the actual burial place of the 47 ronin!

Graves of the 47 ronin • Their signed confession • The well where they washed Lord Kira’s severed head • Statue portaits of the 47 ronin

Tell me more!

MAP

SENSO-JI TEMPLE

4AsakusaS&T

The biggest, most famous, Buddhist temple in Tokyo

Giant Buddhist temple (Senso-ji) • Famous gate with huge lantern • Popular shopping street lined with shops selling traditional goods • Five-story pagoda • Great place to see festivals & weddings • Theatrically lit up at night

Tell me more!

MAP

TSURUGAOKA HACHIMAN-GU SHRINE in Kamakura

4.Tsurugaoka

A magnificent red & gold shrine, built by the shogun when Kamakura was the capitol of Japan

Red & white lotus ponds represent the two warring families who were united under the shogun • Excellent traditional events & festivals

Tell me more!

MAP

YASUKUNI SHRINE

Famous Imperial shrine does everything in grand style

Impressive Imperial shrine that hosts many lively festivals throughout the year • Extensive WWII museum • Japanese garden with koi pond • Sumo amphitheatre where amateur events take place • Controversial because the souls of all Japanese war dead are enshrined here

Tell me more!

MAP

YUSHIMA SHRINE

4Yushima

A gorgeous shrine, seldom visited by tourists

Jewel-like example of a cedar wood and gold shrine • Plum blossom festival in February • Musical water garden

Tell me more!

MAP

ZENI-ARAI BENTEN SHRINE in Kamakura

4Zeniarai

Wash your money in this grotto-like shrine to double it within the year

Enter through a tunnel cut through the surrounding cliffs • Shrine is set in a grotto with beautiful waterfalls • Wash your money in the stream running through the shrine’s cave, and pray for it to double within the year

Tell me more!

MAP

ZOJO-JI TEMPLE

Stately temple favored by the shoguns

Thousands of Jizo figures with colorful pinwheels • Seven Tokugawa shōguns are buried here • Holiday ceremonies with Japanese celebrities

Tell me more!

MAP

GARDENS

ARISUGAWA PARK

4Arisugawa

A delightful undiscovered park in a part of town more known for its nightlife and swanky living

A wonderful place to stroll before eating, drinking & clubbing in Roppongi, Nakameguro or Ebisu • Lovely and uncrowded in every season • Especially good in mid-late Feb (plum blossoms) & mid-late Nov (autumn leaves)

MAP

DENPO-IN SECRET GARDEN at Senso-ji Temple

4Denpoin

Open only a few times a year, this secret garden in the middle of Senso-ji temple in Asakusa is usually reserved for priestly meditation

Amazing view of the Senso-ji pagoda, reflected in two different pools • Open during cherry blossom season for viewing the two famous weeping cherry trees • Entry is through a museum featuring rare giant prayer plaques • Especially good in late-Mar to early Apr (cherry blossoms), late-Apr to early-May (wisteria) & mid-late Nov (autumn leaves)

Tell me more!

MAP

HAMA-RIKYU TEIEN GARDEN

A grand garden with something for everyone

Sweeping vistas and a large pond with several bridges make for dramatic landscapes • A favorite spot for wedding photos • Especially good in mid-late Feb (plum blossoms), late-Mar to early Apr (cherry blossoms), late-Apr to early-May (wisteria & peonies), mid-late Sep (cosmos) & mid-late Nov (autumn leaves)

Tell me more!

MAP

JINDAI BOTANICAL GARDENS

Amazing flower displays in every season

A must-see in azalea season • Spacious and not crowded • Beautiful forest stream walk with steppingstone bridges • Famous for plum blossoms (Feb), cherry blossoms (Mar-Apr), azaleas (Apr), wisteria (May), chrysanthemums (Nov)

Tell me more!

MAP

KIYOSUMI TEIEN GARDEN

My go-to garden for soul-restoring serenity

Cool, green and uncrowded in every season • Beautiful Japanese garden-style views around every turn • Stroll around gorgeous lake with awesome steppingstones • Especially good in iris season

Tell me more!

MAP

KORAKU-EN GARDEN

4korakuen

In this beautiful garden, you’ll forget you’re in the middle of the world’s largest city

Lots of bridges and ponds • Walk through many styles of gardens, each more beautiful than the last • Especially good in mid-late Feb (plum blossoms), late-Mar to early Apr (cherry blossoms), late-Apr to early-May (wisteria & peonies), late Sep (native red amaryllis), mid-late Nov (autumn leaves) & if it snows

Tell me more!

MAP

KYU-SHIBA-RIKYU GARDEN

4ShibaRikyu

This formal stroll garden is a secret surprise amid the skyscrapers of Shimbashi

Large pond reflects meticulously pruned pine trees • Late-blooming double cherries reach their peak along with the azaleas, giving late-April visitors an extra treat • This garden is so undiscovered, you will probably have the place to yourself • Especially good in early-mid Apr (cherry blossoms), mid-late Apr (azaleas), late-Apr to early-May (wisteria & peonies), late Sep (native red amaryllis), mid-late Nov (autumn leaves) & if it snows

MAP

MUKOJIMA HYAKKA-EN BOTANICAL GARDEN

4Mukojima

This is not an especially scenic garden but it’s full of fascinating Japanese specimens you won’t see anywhere else. 

Bush clover tunnel is well worth seeing in late September – early October • Plants mentioned in haiku and literature are well represented • Has some really strange plants you won’t see anywhere else

MAP

NAI-EN GARDEN at the Meiji shrine

4Naien

The Emperor and Empress Meiji’s garden, beautiful any time of year

Famous iris gardens • I saw a live tanuki (raccoon dog) here in May!

Tell me more!

MAP

NI-NO-MARU IMPERIAL GARDEN

4Ninomaru

This tiny gem is inside the Imperial Palace moat, and most people don’t realize it’s one of the most incredible places to see azaleas in all of Japan

Features blooming cherries, wisteria, and iris, but it’s the azaleas that will take your breath away • This small garden is more beautiful than the Imperial Palace East Garden, and a shorter walk from the entrance • Especially good in late-Mar to early-Apr (cherry blossoms), mid-late Apr (azaleas), late-Apr to early-May (wisteria & peonies), & mid-late Nov (autumn leaves)

MAP

NISHIARAI-DAISHI TEMPLE GARDENS

4.NishiaraiGarden

Two famous peony gardens: the tree peonies bloom from mid-late April, and the fragrant herbacious peonies bloom from late-April to mid-May • There are also several small strolling gardens with nice bridges & waterfalls

Tell me more!

MAP

OKURAYAMA PARK

4.Okurayama

Famous for plum blossoms in mid-late February • Well worth the trip!

Tell me more!

MAP

RIKUGI-EN GARDEN

17th century garden designed around 88 views from famous poems.

Large pond • Teahouse • Open at night and lit up during cherry blossom and autumn leaf seasons • Stand selling miso dango in autumn and winter • Especially good in late-Mar to early Apr (cherry blossoms), mid-late Apr (azaleas), late-Apr to early-May (wisteria & peonies), late Sep (native red amaryllis), mid-late Nov (autumn leaves) & if it snows

Tell me more!

MAP

SANKEI-EN GARDEN in Yokohama

Magnificent stroll garden with a mix of natural areas and interesting historical buildings

Meandering paths with lots of bridges • Thatch-roofed farmhouse you can go inside • Pagoda and teahouses galore • Lots of great birds, including kingfishers and herons • Special early opening hours for lotus season • In Yokohama, an hour outside Tokyo

Tell me more!

MAP

SHINJUKU GYŌ-EN NATIONAL GARDEN

A stunning garden, right in the heart of Tokyo

The best, most, and longest-blooming cherry trees in town • Killer chrysanthemum exhibits in November • Flowers blooming year-round • Beautiful in any season

Tell me more!

MAP

SHOWA-KINEN PARK

Less than forty minutes by train from Shinjuku Station, this huge park has it all, and is amazing in every season

Promenade of gingko trees with a beautiful fountain • Lovely Japanese garden • Excellent playgrounds for kids • Giant lawns for picknicking & large dedicated BBQ area • Miles of bike trails • Boats • Especially good mid-late Feb (plum blossoms), late-Mar to early Apr (cherry blossoms), mid-late Apr (azaleas), mid-Sep to mid-Oct (cosmos) & mid-late Nov (autumn leaves)

Tell me more!

MAP

SEASONAL FLOWER EXTRAVAGANZAS

Cherry blossom time isn’t the only great time to see flowers in Tokyo. To find out what’s blooming every month of the year and where, check out the seasonal wow page

Seasonal

MUSEUMS

EBISU BEER MUSEUM

BeerMuseum

Satisfy your thirst for beer knowledge, then learn how to pour a perfect beer and sample Ebisu’s wares.

Open: Six days a week, closed on Mondays, on the day after national holidays, and from December 29 – January 3. Open on other holidays.

Hours: 11:00 – 19:00 (Last entry 18:30)

Admission: Free

Tell me more!

MAP

EDO-TOKYO MUSEUM

My favorite museum in Tokyo

Totally interesting exhibits about everyday life in Japan • Half is samurai era, half is after Japan opened to the West • Insanely detailed models you could look at for hours • Life-sized rooms so you can imagine living in bygone eras

Tell me more!

MAP

EXPLORASCIENCE MUSEUM

4.Explorascience

Home of the infamous and endlessly entertaining Smile Fight, the Sony Explorascience Museum is small, but has really fun stuff to play with. Highlights include a “city” of sounds you can walk through, a 3D theatre (beautiful, although the productions are in Japanese only) and fun, interactive, light illusions.

Open: Every day except closed on 2nd and 4th Tuesday, on the day after national holidays, and from December 29 – January 3. Open on other holidays.

Hours: 11:00 – 19:00 (Last entrance 18:30)

Admission: Adult: ¥500, Children (3-15): ¥300

Tell me more!

MAP

FUKAGAWA-EDO MUSEUM

Walk around inside a beautifully recreated samurai-era village

Life-sized furnished rooms you can go inside • English-speaking volunteers can answer questions about daily life in Edo-era Japan

Tell me more!

MAP

HISTORY GARAGE at Toyota Megaweb

HistoryGarage

Crazy vintage car collection displayed in a historical town setting

Wander among this extensive collection of fast, old, rare & famous cars (both international and Japanese) • Race cars • Famous vintage cars • Movie cars (like the Back to the Future DeLorean)

Open: Every day, 11:00 – 21:00

Admission: Free

MAP

KUSAMA MUSEUM

Ogle the famous pumpkins

Rotating display of Yayoi Kusama’s works • Light-up display of the famous pumpkins • Choice selection of paintings & sculpture • Selfie opportunity with iridescent pumpkin

MIRAIKAN (National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation)

4.Miraikan

Excellent interactive special exhibitions for kids & adults

Special exhibits are always worth seeing • Interactive robots • Permanent hands-on exhibits demonstrate how the internet works, crime lab science, nanotechnology, space science and more

Check their current and future offerings here.

Open: 6 days a week, closed on Tuesdays, on the day after national holidays, and from December 29 – January 3. Open on other holidays.

Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (Last entry 16:30)

Admission: Adults: ¥620, Children: (18 & younger): ¥210, (plus there may be extra charges for special exhibits)

MAP

MORI ART MUSEUM

4.MoriArtMuseum

Showcasing modern artists and designers who have interesting (and sometimes controversial) messages

Exhibits often explore the blurred lines between art and design and fashion • Exhibition schedule here

Open: Seven days a week, (closes early on Tuesdays), on the day after national holidays, during exhibition installation, and from December 29 – January 3. Open on other holidays.

Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (Last entry 21:30), Tuesdays: 10:00 – 17:00 (Last entry 16:30)

Admission: Adults: ¥1500, High school & college students: ¥1000, Children (4 – Middle school): ¥500

MAP

NEZU MUSEUM

4.NezuMuseum

Choice exhibits of traditional Japanese art surrounded by a nice garden

Nicely curated special exhibitions of traditional Japanese art & craft • Famous painted iris screen and iris garden exhibition (May) • Garden is lovely all year round

Check their website for current and upcoming exhibit information.

Open: Six days a week, closed on Mondays, on the day after national holidays, during exhibition installation, and from December 29 – January 3. Open on other holidays.

Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (Last entry 16:30)

Admission: Adults: ¥1000, Students: ¥800 (plus extra fee for some special exhibitions)

MAP

NIHON MINKA-EN THATCH-ROOFED HOUSES

4Minka-en

This park of restored thatch-roofed houses is an outdoor historical museum, just a short train ride from central Tokyo

23 thatch-roofed houses • You can go inside • Visitor center showing how they are made • In a beautiful park

Tell me more!

MAP

SENGAKUJI TEMPLE MUSEUM

4Sengakuji

The museum at Sengakuji Temple – where the real 47 ronin are buried – not only has carved portraits of each warrior, it also has the actual signed confession and the receipt for Lord Kira’s head! Right outside the museum, you can light incense for the 47 ronin in the graveyard where they are buried, and see the well where they washed Lord Kira’s severed head.

Open: Every day

Hours: 9:00 – 16:30 (From Oct-Mar it’s open until 16:00)

Admission: ¥500

Tell me more!

MAP

SHITAMACHI MUSEUM (UENO)

Walk through a life-sized model of a Meiji-era Town

Shops and houses perfectly propped with vintage objects • Upstairs exhibits showcase memorabilia from bygone Japan and wartime life

TOBACCO & SALT MUSEUM

Surprisingly entertaining museum devoted to tobacco and salt

Life-sized salt statues & chandeliers made of salt crystals • Hilarious pipe collection • Excellent models depicting manufacturing of salt throughout Japanese history • Cigarette packages through the ages

ONLY-IN-JAPAN EXPERIENCES

BORDERLESS (TeamLab Digital Museum)

An astounding, immersive experience that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world

Animated, constantly-morphing, 360° projection-mapping world • Interactivertworks that wander from room to room • Room filled with resonating lanterns • Crystal Universe LED environment • En Tea Room

Address: Odaiba Palette Town, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Open: Every day, including holidays, closed on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays

Hours: 10:00 – 19:00; Weekends and holidays 10:00 – 21:00; Last admission is one hour before closing

Admission: Adults ¥3,200; Children (4-14) ¥1000 (under 4 are free); Disabled (with one accompanying person, must show certificate) ¥1600

Tell me more!

MAP

CALICO CAT CAFE

Excellent cat café

Do the famous coffee & kitty thing • Lots of different kinds

Tell me more!

MAP

HARRY HEDGEHOG CAFÉ

Like a cat café, only prickly

Play with the adorable hedgehog of your choice

Tell me more!

MAP

ICE CREAM STRANGE FLAVORS

Dare each other to eat something that will amaze/disgust your companions

Wasabi, curry, hot pepper, and more • They have delicious flavors as well as disgusting ones

WATCH KABUKI

Experience Japan’s most iconic traditional entertainment

How to get tickets and enjoy the performance in English

OEDO ONSEN HOT SPRINGS

An indoor hot spring theme park that’s built like a samurai-era village

Everyone wears yukata (cotton kimono) • Many different hot spring baths to try • Outdoor foot bath & hot sand bath • Game booths • Fish pedicure • Restaurants • Massage chairs

Tell me more!

MAP

NINJA RESTAURANT

Get served by iconic assassins in your own private dungeon

Surprisingly entertaining ninja-themed dining • High quality dungeon decor & staff costumes • Entertaining food presentation

ROBOT RESTAURANT

Everyone should do this just once

Fembots • Laser battles • Mecha-monsters • Drum & dance performances

TRICK ART MUSEUM

JonelleNinjaFl

45 life-sized optical illusions you can take your picture inside

Take pictures of yourself in strange situations • Only-in-Japan scenes • Animal encounter scenes • Dangerous situation scenes • Supernatural scenes

Open: Every day

Hours: 11:00 – 21:00 (Last entry 20:30)

Admission: Adults: ¥900, Children: (4-14): ¥600, Younger children: Free

Tell me more!

MAP

YOYOGI PARK

4Yoyogi1

The best free entertainment in Tokyo, every Sunday afternoon

Free entertainment of all kinds every Sunday afternoon • Rockabillies • Slackline • Costumed dogs • Famous for cherry blossom parties

Tell me more!

MAP

CULTURAL SHOPPING

AKI-OKA ARTISAN CO-OP

Artist workshops & stores where you can buy unusual stuff made with traditional craftsmanship

Unusual handmade artist goods • Many have workshops in back where goods are made • High quality, reasonable prices

Tell me more!

MAP

JAPAN TRADITIONAL CRAFT CENTER

The best place to buy handmade traditional goods from all over Japan

High quality, same price as if you went to the artist • Famous crafts from every prefecture

Tell me more!

MAP

ORIGAMI CENTER

Origami art gallery & shop where you can buy all kinds of Japanese paper

Origami exhibits • Origami demonstrations • Paper art kits • Watch it being made on the top floor • Huge selection of origami & washi paper

Tell me more!

MAP

NEIGHBORHOODS

AKIHABARA

Akiba4

 The famous electronics district

Maid cafés • Electronics superstores • Comic book & anime stores (including fan fiction) • Handcrafted wooden keyboards • Robot & character model shops • Gundam & AKB48 Cafés • Cosplay costumes, wigs & makeup

Tell me more!

MAP

AOYAMA-ITCHOME

Unexpected pleasures

Ninja restaurant • Best place to see & buy traditional goods from all over Japan • Amazing promenade of gingko trees in the fall

Tell me more!

MAP

ASAKUSA

Asakusa4

If you only have one day in Tokyo, this is where I’m going to take you.

Giant Buddhist temple (Senso-ji) • Asakusa Shrine (Shinto) • Rice crackers and taiyaki made while you wait • My favorite conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Tokyo

Tell me more!

MAP

ASAKUSABASHI

SQStairs

Beautiful sacred dolls

Handmade Girls’ Day doll sets • Carp banners & armor sets for Boys’ Day • Deluxe beading stores

Tell me more!

MAP

EBISU AREA

4Ebisu

Lively, fun part of town, with good streets for strolling and checking out the wide selection of eateries and drinkeries

Yebisu Beer MuseumThe jellyfish & shark bar • Xmas Illuminations are excellent

Tell me more!

MAP

GINZA AREA

GinzaDesserts

The famous department store shopping district

My favorite department store food hall • 9-story stationery store • Mikimoto Pearl Museum • The best cup of coffee in the world

Tell me more!

MAP

HARAJUKU AREA

4.Harajuku

Where all things young, fun & fashionable meet

Best free entertainment in Tokyo every Sunday afternoon in Yoyogi Park • The most important and elegant shrine in Tokyo • Best place to see weddings and festivals • Takeshita Street has brand boutiques for Lolita, Gothic Lolita and all kinds of cosplay  • Harajuku-style crepes

Tell me more!

MAP

IKEBUKURO AREA

Ikebukuro4

Crazy experiences galore

Dare your compadres to try some really crazy ice cream flavors: wasabi, curry and eel & more • The most famous dumplings from all over Japan • Toys from another planet at the LABI electronics superstore & the Loft store • J-World comic book & anime theme park

Tell me more!

MAP

INARICHO AREA

SQKamidana

A funeral goods district that’s anything but dreary.

Shinto household shrines • Buddhist altars • Heavenly incense • Buddhist rosaries • Hearses with elaborate shrines on the back

Tell me more!

MAP

KAMAKURA DAY TRIP

Kamakura4

Want to get out of Tokyo for the day and see the most entertaining shrines and temples in Japan?

Great photo ops • Biggest bronze Buddha in Japan • Money Washing Shrine • The Divorce Temple • Tea at the Bamboo Temple • Ten foot tall gold-leafed figure of Kannon • Catch your own noodles

Tell me more!

MAP

KAMIYACHO AREA

4Kamiyacho

Bring your camera or you’ll be sorry.

Tokyo Tower • Hundreds of stone Jizo figures at Zojo-ji Temple • Amazing tofu restaurant • My favorite Chinese restaurant in the world

Tell me more!

MAP

KAPPABASHI STREET

4Kappabashi

Don’t miss the street where they sell plastic food!

Plastic food model stores • Make your own plastic food •  The flavoring store • Ultra-sharp knives • Lacquerware • Japanese cooking equipment • Random dinosaur heads

Tell me more!

MAP

KIYOSUMI-SHIRAKAWA AREA

An undiscovered gem of a neighborhood, where you can feel what it was like to live in a slower and gentler age

Shitamachi museum with a life-sized samurai-era town you can walk around in • Serene Japanese garden with a large lake, gorgeous steppingstones, trickling water basins & exquisite views

Tell me more!

MAP

KOMAGOME AREA

4Rikugien

A 17th century garden and a neighborhood filled with shops that have been in business for generations.

Rikugi-en garden is beautiful in every season • It’s open at night and lit up during cherry blossom and fall leaf seasons • There’s a stand selling miso dango in autumn and winter • There’s a shop where you can dye your own indigo handkerchief • Old-fashioned shopping street gives you a glimpse of real Japanese life

Tell me more!

MAP

KORAKUEN AREA

4.Korakuen1

Stroll in a 17th century Japanese garden, cheer with the world’s craziest baseball fans, or ride a roller coaster that goes straight through a Tokyo skyscraper

Koraku-en garden is my favorite garden in Tokyo, in every season • Lots of photo-worthy bridges, flowers & gorgeous views • The Yomiuri Giants play at the Tokyo Dome, but the fans are almost as fun to watch as the game • Tokyo Dome City amusement park has roller coasters, dancing fountains and excellent holiday illuminations (Nov-Jan)

Tell me more!

MAP

KOSHINZUKA STREET MARKET

4Koshinzuka

Let’s go to a market where they still sell goods from a bygone era!

Handmade bamboo ear cleaners • Crispy cricket drinking snacks • Poisonous dried snake tea • Togenuki Jizo healing temple • The Honorable Duck Butt of Sugamo • Big Red Underwear Store

Tell me more!

MAP

KUDANSHITA AREA

4.Kudanshita

The most controversial Imperial shrine in Japan and a killer place to see cherry blossoms

Yasukuni Shrine has seasonal festivals with free demonstrations of traditional music and dance, an annual free amateur sumo tournament, a traditional Japanese garden & a fascinating WWII museum • Imperial Palace moat is amazing during cherry blossom season

Tell me more!

MAP

MONZEN-NAKACHO AREA

4FukugawaFudo

Red-hot fire ceremonies, with awesome taiko drums!

Fire ceremonies with drums, five times a day • Hall of 10,000 crystal figures of Fudo-san • Room with 108 glow-in-the-dark paintings of gods • Dragon fountain that grants wishes written on dissolving amulets • Giant wooden Fudo figure

Tell me more!

MAP

MT. TAKAO

4.MtTakao

Tokyo has its very own mountain, still within the city limits!

Less than an hour from Shinjuku station • Beautiful hiking • Monkey park and shrine at the top • Annual firewalking festival in march • Seasonal beer garden with views from the top from July-October

Tell me more!

MAP

NAKANO AREA

A geek heaven to rival Akihabara

Figure & model stores • Comic book shops • Rare and antique J-pop goods • Cosplay supplies • Grill-at-your-own-table restaurant

Tell me more!

MAP

NEZU AREA Change to NEZU SHRINE move other stuff to YANAKA

4.Nezu

Let’s go to my favorite Tokyo shrine, then walk around the old-fashioned neighborhood.

Incredible azalea festival during the month of April at the Nezu Shrine • Tunnel of orange torii gates you can walk through • Festivals have lots of free traditional entertainment • Chiyogami paper store • Handmade wooden buckets • Calligraphy brushes • Air-conditioned pillows • Cat map store

Tell me more!

MAP

NIHONBASHI AREA

4Mitsukoshi

Famous shopping district & home to the best summertime event ever

The mother of all department stores • Best place to see kimonos and all the trimmings • Food hall can’t be beat • In cherry blossom season the buildings are lit up in pink • In the summertime you can go to Art Aquarium

Tell me more!

MAP

ODAIBA AREA

4Odaiba1

I can’t let you leave before you do some of the most wacky things in Tokyo.

Trick Art Museum • Oedo Onsen Hot Springs • Miraikan • Sony Explorascience Museum • Smile Fight •  Toyota megaweb

Tell me more!

MAP

ROPPONGI AREA

4Roppongi

If you’re in Tokyo in November-December and don’t go see the holiday lights in Roppongi, you will regret it

Holiday light displays in November-December • Roppongi Hills & Tokyo Midtown shopping malls • Mori Art Museum and the Tokyo National Art Center put on provocative exhibitions year-round

Tell me more!

MAP

RYOGOKU AREA

4.Ryogoku

Sumo wrestlers & the Edo-Tokyo Museum – two must-see Tokyo experiences!

You can get tickets to a sumo tournament in Ryogoku every January, May & September • The Edo-Tokyo Museum is all about everyday life in samurai times vs. how it changed after Japan opened to the West • Incredible detailed models of cities and towns • Full-scale rooms showing how people lived

Tell me more!

MAP

SHIBUYA AREA

4Shibuya

Weird, wild, unforgettable

Famous 5-way intersection: 1,000 people cross every minute • Love Hotel Hill • Extreme pancake café • Butler café • Trendy fashion for men and women at 109, Men’s 109, Parco & Marui • Everything-under-the-sun at Tokyu HandsLoft and Don Kihote

Tell me more!

MAP

SHIMO-KITAZAWA AREA

4shimokita

This is my favorite neighborhood for barhopping, trying out eateries that don’t break the bank, and playing with the bunnies at the rabbit café

Quirky, inexpensive bars & restaurants, many with live music • Vinegar bar & café • Village Vanguard store for wacky only-in-Japan gifts • Ohisama Rabbit Café

Tell me more!

MAP

SHINJUKU AREA

4Shinjuku

The biggest and wildest entertainment district in Tokyo

Cat cafés • Golden Gai  theme bars • Princess Style kimonos • Host clubs, hostess bars and adult entertainment

Tell me more!

MAP

UENO AREA NEW 4.PHOTO

SQHanami

A grand public park, art and history museums, and my favorite Tokyo toy store

Large public park, famous for cherry blossoms and museums • Five-story toy store with many toys you’ll never see outside Japan

Tell me more!

MAP

YANAKA AREA

Discover entertaining shops & sights in an Old Tokyo neighborhood still undiscovered by tourists

Beautiful red & gold shrine with a tunnel of orange torii gates • Must-see azalea festival (Apr) • Edo-era chiyogami paper store • Caricature puppet shop & theater • Shopping street with traditional shops and cat-themed merchandise • Fine selection of street food • Cafe where you can paint your own lucky cat

YOKOHAMA AREA

4.Yokohama

A venerable garden that’s lovely in every season and filled with interesting historical buildings

Okurayama Park is famous for plum blossoms (Feb) • Excellent Pokemon Center • Art lights up the night at the Yokohama Smart Illuminations every year

Tell me more!

MAP

Tell me more!

MAP

While you’re in Japan, read a novel set in Tokyo!

“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.”

Raven Crime Reads

Why has someone been visiting the grave of Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura’s mother, on the day before her death anniversary? For nine years, Kenji has believed her death was an accident. Then he gets a call, and his life begins to unravel…read more