There’s more to Tokyo than meets the eye! Easily the world’s most populated metro and the most expensive one too; this futuristic city packs in a wonderful blend of everything Japanese. Be it the ‘zenful’ temples and grand palaces or the brilliant skyscrapers and swanky shopping malls; Tokyo stands for all things ultra-traditional and all things ultramodern. Whether it’s the hyperurban landscape, obsession with new technology, keen sense of fashion, endless opportunities for sightseeing and shopping or the sheer variety of food, this cosmopolis will astonish, amaze and delight you!
But there’s so much more to do and see here that a mere 24 hours in Tokyo might not be enough. Here’s a lowdown of top things you just cannot miss.
Ueno Park | Photo Credit: Volfgang/Wikimedia
0900 hrs to 1000 hrs -> Start your day by visiting one of the most beautiful open spaces in Tokyo, Ueno Park. A fantastic place to observe people and watch a day go by in the city, Ueno Park is a treat to visit early in the day. Ever seen those lovely cherry blossoms in photographs? Well, admire them in full bloom during the season of sakura in April-May. People in Japan enjoy a five-day long national holiday around this time, which is also known as the ‘golden period’. That is when everyone flocks to the park for picnics, eating, drinking and making merry.
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1000 hrs to 1200 hrs -> Also housed in Ueno Park is the Ueno Zoo, the oldest zoo in Japan. It is home to over 2600 animals of different species including the red panda, lions, tigers, bears, crocodiles, rhinoceros and more. Makes for a fun visit especially if you have kids in tow!
Yodobashi Akihabara | Photo Credit: 正和/Wikimedia
1230 hrs to 1500 hrs -> Next, head to Akihabara Electric Town, a heaven for gadget freaks, teeming with hundreds of electronic stores. From the very latest in computers, keitai a.k.a. mobile phones and cameras to a variety of home appliances, this district is electric and how! Do shop in one of the more famous stores here, Yodobashi, a huge nine-storey electronics paradise. Carry your passport because tourists get additional discounts. One can easily spend two hours or more at Akihabara and still not wanting to leave! We suggest you resist the temptation to stay and explore other attractions in the city; after all, you’ve only got 24 hours!
Asakusa and Sensoji Temple
Sensoji Temple | Photo Credit: Daderot/Wikimedia
1530 hrs to 1700 hrs -> One of the most fascinating aspects of Tokyo, Asakusa is home to many beautiful temples including the famous Sensoji Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple and also the oldest and the most popular in the city. The colourful temple structure is a visual delight and a fine example of Japan’s rich culture and heritage. The vibrant and lively pedestrian lane leading up to the temple, Nakamise Dori, is lined with several shops selling traditional Japanese items and souvenirs.
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Tokyo Skytree | Photo Credit: Reggaeman/Wikimedia
1730 hrs to 1830 hrs -> Get ready for a spectacular, slightly dizzying experience at Japan’s very own rendition of the Eiffel Tower. Tokyo Skytree is a communications and observation tower which has replaced the Tokyo Tower to become one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Apart from affording spectacular views, Tokyo Skytree also offers a number of other attractions like a café, restaurant and shops that add to the gripping experience.
Ginza | Photo Credit: Toshihiro Oimatsu/Wikimedia
1900 hrs to 2100 hrs -> How can a trip ever be complete without a session of shopping? Visit one of the fanciest, upmarket areas of Tokyo, Ginza, lined with fine restaurants, interesting cafes, luxury boutiques and a number of department stores. For the brand conscious, Ginza is the place to be with a variety of popular global brands to choose from, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior and many more! If shopping is not on your mind, you can always take a leisurely stroll in the area, or indulge in window shopping!
Tokyo Bay Cruise | Photo Credit: Cors/Wikimedia
2130 hrs to Late night -> Later, dance the night away, enjoy a few good drinks or dine at a fancy restaurant at the Roppongi District. Popular with tourists and locals alike, Roppongi brims with many bars, nightclubs, pubs and restaurants and it’s in Roppongi that you will realise that Tokyo is a city that never sleeps! To enjoy a romantic dinner away from the hustle and bustle, take a Tokyo bay cruise which typically starts from the Hinode Pier and lasts for about 50 minutes. Go up on the deck and enjoy wonderful sea breeze whilst taking in magnificent views of the Rainbow Bridge and Odaiba Beach.