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Get to know Tokyo

Mt Fuji and Tokyo City in twilight
Ueno Toshogu Shrine Tokyo

Get to know Tokyo

story by: House of Travel

Tokyo is an incredibly dazzling and diverse city. There's everything from a thriving nightlife to an array of cultural and historically important sites. 

Check out what's available to do in this thriving metropolitan destination. You're bound to ​want to extend your stay.

1. Cherry blossoms
Visitors to Japan love to see its bright and vivacious cherry blossom trees during the spring months. There are many vantage points around Tokyo that have particularly stunning displays, and gardens form an integral and important part of history. Japanese gardens feature unique designs and often use plants such as the bonsai tree. 

Where to see them
Check out the Mejiro Garden, which features a large pond, beautifully manicured displays and lush cherry blossom trees during the spring. The Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens are also worth a visit, with a history dating back to the 1600s. It boasts man-made hills and ponds with paths that wind through the landscape, with beautiful plants, trees and bridges dotted across the area.

Our top pick
Ueno Park is boasts more than 1000 cheery trees throughout its grounds. Head to the large fountain and the Shinobazu Pond, which offers fantastic opportunities to see the trees reflected upon the water's surface. 

2. ​Architectural wonders
Japan is known for its wonderful blend of state of the art modern structures and traditional architecture. You'll see this evident everywhere you go around Tokyo.

Panoramic views
Head up the Tokyo Tower in the Shibu District for a panoramic view of the city. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of Mt Fuji. This structure bears a resemblance to the Eiffel Tower and stretches to a height of 333 metres, with observation platforms at 150 and 250 metres high.

Modern Tokyo
Tokyo's World Trade Center ​features a touring garden on the 40th floor, here you get amazing views of the entire city. What's more, from the World Trade Center's vantage point, you'll get a great view of the Tokyo Skytree, which is the world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower at 634 metres high. If you want, you can head up this tower too, and look out from its viewing platform at 350 metres high. 

Traditional Tokyo
Take in traditional examples of architecture with buildings such as the Senso-ji Temple, which impresses with its red, black and gold colouring and elegant design. 

You can also visit the Zojoji Temple, a Buddhist monument. Wander the picturesque grounds, taking in the various significant features such as the front gate, bell and mausoleum. 

3. ​Hot springs

Did you know Tokyo is home to natural hot springs? They're a wonderful way to feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a day exploring the city. There are some indoor baths, while others are located in gorgeous natural environments.

The world-famous onsen
Ooedo-Onsen-Monogatari is one natural hot spring, or onsen, which features 14 different baths with natural hot spring water sourced from 1,400 metres underground. The water is high in compounds such as calcium and magnesium, said to have a soft and soothing effect on the skin. For something a bit different, test the pure white waters of its Kinu-no-Yu bath, which has tiny bubbles and is said to stimulate the skin's surface with a massaging effect. 

There's even a 50 metre long foot bath you can wade along with its specially designed floor that relieves the feet. 

4. Shopping districts and neon lights
No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to the Shinjuku neighbourhood, where all the buildings are lit up by colourful and glowing neon lights.

There are plenty of businesses, shops and bars, but if you're looking for designer brands and upmarket shops, head to the Ginza district. When it comes to great bargains on electronics and the latest high-tech items, you can't go past a visit to Akihabara. 

Harajuku is the ultimate fashion and shopping district. Head to Takeshita Dori in particular, a narrow, pedestrian-only street packed with Tokyo's young fashionistas. Peruse the boutiques and cafes at your leisure and enjoy some fantastic people-watching. On Sunday's visit Harajuku Bridge, when the city's youth parade around in Disney style costumes - it's an incredibly unique sight!

With so many different things to see and do in Tokyo, it's no surprise it enchants visitors time and time again. Experience the magic for yourself and you'll be planning a return trip in no time.


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