Tokyo is a pleasant city that combines luxury with traditional elements, making it one of the most visited attractions in Japan and the Asian continent.
The Japanese capital has ancient temples, gardens, palaces and an entire ancient culture that distinguishes it from other cities in the world.
Let us know in this article the 15 best tourist places in Tokyo.
1. Imperial Palace
The official residence of the Emperor and his family should be one of the first places to visit in Tokyo. It is in the district of Marunouchi and among its main attractions are the 17th century parks surrounded by moats and walls.
The Imperial Palace stands on a land where the Edo Castle or Chiyoda Castle is, the first fortress built by orders of the feudal lord, Ota Doka. From there the city began to grow.
In the beautiful complex you will see the famous Nijubashi Bridge, through which you reach the interior of the palace. The bridge is reflected in the water, which is why it is called a “double bridge”.
The wall that surrounds the palace is 2 meters thick and one of its gates leads to the Higashi-Gyoen Garden, one of the few places with public access.
Some gardens are open only two days a year: January 2 and April 29, dates when the Emperor appears for the people to see.
2. Ginza District
The Ginza District has been the most important center of trade in Tokyo for centuries. As notorious and important as Times Square is in New York.
The five ancient roads that linked the main ancient cities of the country are found in Ginza, now a place full of exclusive shops and impressive venues, where the famous Kabuki-za Theater is also located.
3. National Museum of Natural Sciences
The National Museum of Natural Sciences in Tokyo is one of the oldest in the country (1871). It is inside Ueno Park.
Inside you will see a wide range of objects and components of history and natural sciences, including interactive displays on scientific advances, space, nuclear energy and other aspects that show the development of the country.
In the Gallery of Japan, Nihonkan, you will see samples of prehistoric beings and the Japanese people, such as typical costumes, traditions and customs. While the Global Gallery, Ckikyukan, has exhibits on science, technology, robotics, and vintage cars.
4. Ueno Park, Zoo
Ueno Park is the largest green area in the city with beautiful and colorful gardens, a zoo, an aquarium, museums and temples. All this makes it one of the tourist places in Tokyo.
You can ride in small boats on the Shinobazu Pond and visit the Toshogu Shrine with its 256 bronze and stone lamps, built during the 17th century.
The zoo was founded in 1882, being the oldest in Japan. Among many other animals, it has pandas from China and its aquarium is one of the best and largest on the continent.
5. Asakusa and Senso-Ji Temple
Tokyo’s most popular shrine dedicated to the Buddhist goddess of compassion: Kannon. It was built in the year 645 and despite its renovations, it still retains its original appearance.
Of the temple, located in the Asakusa district, the Kaminarimon gate with its 3.3 meters high stands out; a red paper lantern with the calligraphy “thunder gate”; the famous Vat incense, which is said to relieve ailments or discomfort; and the pigeons, messengers sent from the goddess Kannon.
6. Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum houses just over 100,000 works of art from Japan, China and India, with 100 of them considered national treasures. Among its pieces are some Buddhist sculptures from the 6th century, to the present day.
You’ll also see collections of antique fabrics and historical Japanese clothing, vintage weapons and military equipment, ceramics, and pottery.
The museum, opened in 1938, has Japanese paintings and Chinese artworks several hundred years old.
7. National Museum of Western Art
One of Tokyo’s tourist spots is in Ueno Park, just a 3-minute walk from Ueno Station. It is the Museum of Western Art, Kokuritsu SEIYO Bijutsukan, built in 1959 by the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier.
The exhibits on display are mostly works by French artists owned by art collector Matsukata and Japanese businessman Kojiro.
In the courtyard of the museum you will see sculptures by Rodin, while inside there are works by Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Eduardo Manet and Edgar Degas.
The Museum of Western Art also has an excellent restaurant with wonderful views of the courtyard.
8. Meiji Shrine
Beautiful shrine built in honor of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Its construction began in 1915 and ended in 1926. Since then it has been one of the tourist places in Tokyo.
The structure was rebuilt in 1958, recovering its original beauty and splendor, after being finished in World War II.
What is one of the most important religious sites in Tokyo has a forest with at least 120 thousand trees, representing the tree species of Japan.
In the sanctuary, the Naien inner precinct stands out with the museum full of royal treasures and the Gaien outer precinct, which houses a collection of photographs on the life of the emperor and empress.
9. Miraikan Museum
Museum designed and built to showcase and highlight Japan’s technological leadership. Its full name is the National Museum of Emerging Sciences and Innovation.
The also known as Miraikan is one of the newest museums in Tokyo created by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
In its modern facilities you will see interactive displays that range from earthquakes, robotics and renewable energies, to modern means of transport such as the magnetic levitation train.
10. Edo-Tokyo Museum
In the Edo-Tokyo Museum, opened in 1993, you will see a sample of the past, present and future of the entire region.
Be sure to cross the bridge that will take you to a replica of a house plan and model of the old city of Edo.
11. Tokyo Skytree
The tallest building in Japan (634 meters) is a communication tower, restaurant and observation deck, in the city of Minato, outside the Sumida district.
The structure was opened in 2012 and since then it has become one of the tourist spots in Tokyo for its impressive views.
The tower of modern design has a tripod-shaped base and different cylindrical levels for observations. There is one at 350 meters and another at 450 meters, which includes a spiral glass walkway that leads to a higher area.
12. National Art Center
The National Art Center is one of the tourist places in Tokyo and one of the best museums in the world.
Since it opened in 2007 it has gained a great reputation for its permanent collection of paintings, numbering more than 600, almost all of them made in the 20th century.
This curved glass building is in the Roppongi district.
13. Kabukiza Theater
Tokyo has many theaters, but the Kabuki-za Theater is the most prominent and therefore one of the tourist places in the city.
It is a form of theater that dates back to medieval times with burlesque touches, dance and song.
It is in the Ginza district and traditional Kabuki shows are held there, attractive to both Japanese and tourists. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak the language, you will always be able to understand the presentation.
14. Mori Art Museum
This museum is housed in the upper floors of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, where the National Art Center is also based. It has constant exhibitions of contemporary art works from all over the world.
15. Tokyo Disney Sea
Disney is present in the Asian continent with this fabulous park, one of the tourist places in Tokyo.
It includes a Disney-themed water park, two amusement parks, a resort, entertainment center and a large and fun shopping center. They also offer features of classic Disney movies.
Tokyo is a jewel of technology, entertainment and even history. It is a perfect compendium of modernism and culture, which you need to visit at least once in your life.
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