Dieser Artikel ist auch verfügbar auf: Deutsch

Choosing the right destination for a vacation can be overwhelming. There are so many wonderful options offering different experiences. Romantic cities like Paris or Rome make great choices to vacation. Traveling to Asia can bring new insights and tastes you might have only read about.

Why you should visit Tokyo

Japan is one of the most popular travel destinations for the region. Japan maintains a strong sense of traditional and cultural history while also being a world leader in innovative technology and fashion. Tokyo, in particular, is an exciting and bustling city that boasts a wide range of activities. Here are eight reasons why you should pick Tokyo for your next vacation.

The Tokyo Tower, seen from the Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills

How to get to Tokyo

The international trip to Tokyo does not offer many options, since Japan is an island country. So the plane is usually the only option to get to the Japanese capital. Tokyo has two airports, Narita and Haneda Airport.

There are direct flights to Tokyo from all over the world as well as Europe or other Asian countries. Narita Airport serves most international flights, but Haneda also handles some of them. However, the majority of flights at Haneda Airport are domestic flights. For a good overview of times, prices and airlines, we can recommend Skyscanner.

ANA airplane at Tokyo Narita Airport

Note: There are also ferry connections, e.g. from China or South Korea to Japan, but not directly to Tokyo. There you would have to travel to Tokyo via Kyushu or Osaka. You can find more information at 12go.asia.

Other options if you are traveling to Tokyo within Japan are the bus and train. The Shinkansen express trains are the most popular, but there are also many other trains to choose from. If you are in Japan a little longer, then a Japan Rail Pass is worth it, because most routes within Japan can be covered quickly and easily by train. Absolute recommendation!

Accommodation in Tokyo – our hotel tip

The choice of hotels in Tokyo is huge and it is always a good starting point if you have a metro station close to your hotel. We chose the ICI Hotel Akasaka by Relief and can absolutely recommend it. We even stayed there a second time because we really enjoyed it overall.

The rooms in Tokyo are usually much smaller, but offer everything you need. At the ICI Hotel Akasaka they are equipped with a coffee machine, kettle, fridge, air conditioning, bathroom with a modern Japanese toilet, tablet, TV and reliable, free WiFi. There are also USB ports and sockets for non-Japanese plugs. There is nothing to be desired.

The modern room of the ICI Hotel Akasaka in Tokyo

Popular neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo include Shinjuku, Akihabara and Asakusa. More hotels in other parts of Tokyo can be found here.

1. Akihabara

For those with a strong interest in tech gear or geeky hobbies, Akihabara is the place to go. The area has many shops carrying everything from toy models to the latest digital devices. Beyond the gadget stores, there are large department stores you can visit.

Akihabara, Tokyo

Make sure you have control of your budget, as this is a higher-end district with prices to match. Shopping is a major pastime in this city. You can find the latest boutique fashions as well as tons of vintage shops and everything else in between. When you’re out, be sure to have your passport. You won’t be able to haggle at most places but there are some shop owners who might give you additional discounts.

2. Kabuki Theater

If you want to have a historical experience while in Tokyo, you can attend a Kabuki show. Kabuki is a type of drama with very elaborate makeup, involving bright white paint on actors’ faces as well as detailed masks. There is miming, music and dancing that depends largely on the actors’ skills. And despite the multitude of female characters in the plays, all the actors are men.

Kabuki Theater in Tokyo, Japan

You can buy tickets on site for a show. If you want to learn more about the tradition of Kabuki we can recommend a guided and interactive tour of the Kabuki-za Gallery.

3. Cherry Blossom (Sakura) viewing

One of the most picturesque scenes that are popular from Japan is the rows of cherry and plum blossom trees. The petals float through the air and look like snow, giving a great backdrop for photos. The only downside is that these blossoms are at their fullest during the spring and they only last about a week.

Cherry Blossom in Tokyo, Japan

4. Harajuku fashion

Outrageous fashion trends aren’t left to magazines in Tokyo. On a daily basis, you can see Japanese citizens wearing styles like Harajuku. Harajuku fashion involves bright colors, platform shoes and teased hair, sometimes also very colorful.

5. Shrines and Temples

A hallmark of Japanese scenery is the brightly painted shrines that are located around the city. The shrines are used for Buddhist or Shinto practices but are open to the public.

The oldest shrine in Tokyo is the Sensoji Shrine, which offers a quiet spot while being located in an active city. At the temples, you can even buy charms that are meant to bring you good luck, improve your love life or increase your wealth. Depending on when you go, you might even be able to see a traditional music ceremony performed by the shrine workers.

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo
The Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

There are many more temples and shrines in the Asakusa neighborhood like the Bentendo Hall, a part of Tokyo’s oldest temple, or the Shrine of the Three Gods, the Asakusa Temple. By the way: An exciting way to explore the area would be a Tokyo Asakusa rickshaw tour.

6. Odaiba

There is an otherworldly quality to the section of Tokyo known as Odaiba. Located next to the city center, Odaiba is its own floating island offering restaurants, gorgeous architecture and various entertainment. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is located there, as well as the enormous car showroom called the Toyota Mega Web.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Tokyo with kids, consider staying in Odaiba as it will surely keep your children occupied with activities.

Gundam statue in Odaiba, Tokyo
Gundam statue in Odaiba

7. The Food

When people think of Japanese food, usually their first thought is sushi. Sushi in Tokyo is a delicious option but not the only one. You’ll find restaurants offering traditional Japanese staples like Ramen but also more western influenced eateries like fast food chains.

Ramen in Tokyo, Japan

There are also dessert-only cafes and maid cafes, which offer different themed foods. Definitely try Japanese curry, as it’s very different from the Indian and Caribbean versions of this dish. A great way to explore the Japanese cuisine is to take a guided Tokyo food tour.

8. Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli is an animation house that has released several movies that have achieved worldwide popularity. The work within the museum focuses on director Miyazaki Hayao’s works, spanning the entirety of his career. This is an awesome choice for those who enjoy animated movies or have young members in their travel party.

Staying in Tokyo can be a rich cultural experience and give you a host of new memories. Having an open mind as you move through the city can lead you to interesting shops, restaurants and just sights found off the beaten path. You can enjoy a traditional cultural experience or try something innovative.

People on the famous Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo
Shibuya Crossing at sunset

There are tons of signs in English, so navigating the city can be both fun and not too difficult. Engaging with the locals is also a great way to find more memorable attractions and not just those printed in a guidebook.

Tokyo: Tours and tickets

Do you prefer to travel with a guide who knows the area very well? Then we recommend a guided tour with a local. This way you can get to know Tokyo in a completely different way. GetYourGuide offers a wide selection of exciting tours for Tokyo.

Have you ever been to Tokyo? What did you personally like most? Let us know in the comments now!

Guest post by Asiatravelbug

Photos: Photo 5 (Kabuki): AKKHARAT JARUSILAWONG/shutterstock.com – Photo 6 (Sakura): Phattana Stock/shutterstock.com – all other photos: Asiatravelbug and Home is where your Bag is


Dies ist ein Gastartikel. Falls du Fragen oder Anregungen zum Thema hast, schreibe sie einfach in die Kommentare oder kontaktiere den Gastautor direkt auf seinem Blog.