Tokyo. The city where the future co-exists with enduring traditions, where food just tastes better and the place where most people first fall in love with Japan. It’s impossible to have a bad time in Tokyo, but to get you started we put together the ultimate list of our favourite things to eat, see and do for an unforgettable (and super kawaii) visit. Let’s go!
EAT & DRINK
1. Skip the sushi lines at the Toyosu fish markets and grab some tamago – a sweet cube of omelette, often served on a stick.
2. Get into Tokyo’s craft coffee scene at Koffee Mameya, from the founder of the Omotesando Koffee.
3. Try Gyoza (Japanese dumplings) at the popular institution, Harajuku Gyoza. Tip: Stick to the classic pan-fried variety!
4. Down some beers and yakitori in the alleyways of Omoide Yokocho.
5. Feast on late-night Ramen at Afuri, famous for adding a touch of yuzu into their broth. See how Japanese Ramen is prepared.
6. Kissaten’s are old-school Japanese coffeehouses. Our favourite is Cafe de L’ambre, where you should try your coffee with egg yolk.
7. Sip on sake with locals and visitors alike in Golden Gai, a collection of narrow laneways with tiny but unforgettable bars.
8. For great cocktails, head to hip favourite Bar Trench.
9. Visit colourful Harajuku for some sweet (and Instagrammable) snacks, like Zaku Zaku and giant fairy floss!
10. Kit Kat stores are all over the city and make for the best souvenirs. Be sure to try some of the whacky flavours like Sake and azuki bean paste.
11. Soba noodles are a gift from the Gods. Our favourite spot is the small and quiet Kaoriya Soba. How Japanese Soba Noodles are prepared.
12. 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Lawsons: they’re all acceptable pit stops for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
13. Tsukiji is gone, but an early morning beckons for a visit to the new fish market at Toyosu.
14. Light some incense and get your Instagram shots at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo’s oldest temple.
15. Wander around serene Meiji Shrine and write your wish on a wooden plaque, called ema.
16. Soak up some of the most epic views of the city from the top of Tokyo Tower.
17. Walk in royals’ footsteps and explore the beautiful East Gardens, one of the publicly accessible sections of the Imperial Palace.
18. Pay a visit to Totoro and all your other favorite Studio Ghibli characters at the Studio Ghibli Museum.
19. The Tokyo One Piece Tower an indoor theme park for Manga lovers will make any One Piece fan go wild.
20. Autumn and Spring are the most picturesque times to visit Tokyo, the streets changing colours with fall leaves and cherry blossoms respectively. One of the best places to see these changes is in the Nakameguro neighbourhood.
22. Wander through Omotesando Hills, checking out the hip boutiques and cafes.
23. Dress up as your favorite Super Mario character and race through the streets of Tokyo in a real-life version of Mario Kart with MariCAR.
24. Get your game on at Tokyo’s epic must-visit multi-level video game arcades!
25. Tokyo is a hub of animal cafes, giving you the chance to spend time with bunnies, owls, goldfish, and hedgehogs!
26. Go to a Tokyo Maid Cafe for a super kawaii dining experience. The waitresses are dressed as cute maids, and you can call them to your table with a special bell.
27. Visit the Tokyo Monster Cafe in Harajuku which serves up entertainment alongside some super cute dishes, funky sauces, and colourful drinks.
28. Party it up in Roppongi, with its many pubs, bars, and restaurants.
29. Dive into the digital realm at VR World, where you can play VR Maria Kart.
30. Head out of the city to Fujigoko region for the best views of Japan’s most famous (and active) volcano, Mt Fuji.
Have an awesome time in Tokyo and be sure to tag us in any of your videos and pictures – @anydoko and #ExploreAnywhere!
Writer: Tara Juan & Dean Vowles