Tokyo is just awesome. Just take my word for it. Trying to narrow down everything there is to do there to just my Top 5, was hard, really hard.
In the end I have been a bit sneaky and a couple are categories, as I couldn’t choose between some of the awesome things you can do in Tokyo.
No trip to Japan is complete without a trip to one the many, and I mean MANY, Karaoke places. You can find one on literally every corner in Tokyo and you will be spoilt for choice over where to go. We went for one of the main chains, which can easily be spotted by its large blue signs.
You book a room for a set amount of time, order a drink (you have to order at least one, although it doesn’t have to be alcoholic) pick up some musical instruments (maracas and tambourines) and if you are really feeling it, you can even hire some fancy dress outfits! We booked a room for an hour, thinking that would be enough, it was not. We literally had to be dragged out when our hour was up!
The entire building is made up of floors of Karaoke rooms, which, fyi, are not sound proofed! We thought they were, but soon realised that was not the case. Sorry to our neighbours that day!
The room has disco lights, microphones, TV screen to show the music video and lyrics and a tablet to choose your next song. There were both English and Japanese songs available, Obviously we went for the English. As we drank our drinks and attempted to sing along to some classics such as “Uptown Funk” and “Under the Sea” we were literally having the time of our lives.
Karaoke is a must.
Take In The View
So, this is one where I bunched a few places together because I genuinely couldn’t decide which to include. Tokyo is huge, seriously HUGE and there are numerous vantage points that you can go to, to see different views across the city. My favourite views were from the SkyTree, the Government Building and Tokyo Tower. As all of these are based in different areas of the city, the view is completely different in each. If you do not have time to do them all, the Government Building is free, and the view is pretty epic and not quite as busy as the main tourist sites, the SkyTree (the world’s longest queue!) and Tokyo Tower.
If you fancy a view with a drink, head to the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt hotel. Expect to pay heavily for the luxury of taking in the view, but the service and atmosphere makes it worth it. Plus, this is the bar featured in Lost in Translation.
Shibuya Scamble Crossing
This is pretty much an iconic site when you think of Tokyo and it is just as amazing viewing from above as it is crossing the road amongst the hundreds of people. It’s like a mass migration of people that takes place every couple of minutes.
Almost as soon as you come out of Shibuya station, you are at the edge of the crossing. It’s worth standing here and watching everyone cross before you cross, when the green man shows the next time. Bit of advice though. don’t stand at the front of the queue to cross as you don’t get the same experience.
Once you have crossed the road, head to any of the nearby viewpoints, my favourite is the one located in the Starbucks, which if you are persistent, you can easily find a space opens up quite quickly. It is mesmerising to watch the mass of people flow back and forwards across the road. You can also get the same view from the mall opposite. There is a pedestrian bridge which you can stop on and look down on the crossing, and it’s free to stand there.
Also, if you are lucky enough to be in Tokyo when there is a celebration, there is usually something going on at Shibuya Scramble Crossing, whether it’s a Halloween party where everyone gathers on the crossing in fancy dress, or new year’s count down, the Shibuya crossing is the place to be.
Yes, you did read that right, although it is pronounced very different from what you may have originally thought. I did have a giggle at this myself.
Name aside, this is THE street to go to when you visit Harajuku. I could have spent so much time here, and often find myself wishing I was back exploring the cute shops that line this street. This is where you will find the ‘Harajuku girls’ dressed in their awesomely wacky but ridiculously cute clothes. This is also where you can buy your own bit of Harajuku fashion, but if you’re anything like me, as much as you may want to, you can’t actually pull it off!
In addition to the amazing fashion and beauty that can be found here, this is also where you can get your hands (and mouths) on the rainbow candyfloss and delicious cake filled crepes that Harajuku is also famous for.
Once you have had your fill of sweet delicious foods, your next stop in this street of wonder if PuriKura Land. One of my favourite things to do in Japan. It is a mecca for teenage girls, and girls like me who are still in denial over their age! There is also the odd boy thrown into the mix as well! It is basically a large room filled with instant photo booths that make you look like you have walked out of an anime. No matter how rough you look going into the booth, the picture that comes out will have perfected every inch of you, and also made you look rather, erm, strange, but good strange.
Here’s a couple of examples:
Last but by no means least, is the shrines. Tokyo is an awesome city but to fully appreciate it, you need to delve into the history as well. There are numerous shrines dotted all over the city, some grander than others. My favourite was the shrine at Asakusa. The street leading to it was a chaotic mass of tourists, but once you got the shrine, I found it surprisingly peaceful and really beautiful. You can also get your fortune here. Unfortunately, I got bad fortune so tied it to the stand and left it behind (that’s the tradition, I wasn’t littering!).
Another famous shrine is the Meiji Shrine near Yoyogi Park. Unfortunately, it was undergoing restoration when I visited so I didn’t get to full appreciate it, but from those I know who have visited, this was their favourite.
There are so many shrines, each with different themes, there’s even one which is shrine to cats and you can leave a lucky cat at the shrine when you make your wish. It’s essentially a shrine filled with lucky cats, awesome.
Wow, I actually (sort of) managed to narrow it down to my Top 5 Things to do in Tokyo. Check me out. What are your top 5 things to do in Tokyo? If you enjoyed this post, why not pin it?