Why visit Tokyo? The city has so much to offer – culturally and architecturally. In previous years, it has been named the most satisfying city for travel, and its popularity has soared since they won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo may seem like a city of contradictions for some – old meets new, ancient meets hi-tech… But that’s what makes it so intriguing!
You can watch sumo wrestling
Though it may seem cliché, sumo wrestling is a huge part of Japanese culture. Three of the six major sumo tournaments (or honbasho) every year are held in Tokyo, so make the most of your trip to embrace an important part of Japanese culture. You can watch these tournaments at the sumo hall in Ryogoku which take place all day long throughout the months of January, May and September. The busiest days are the opening and closing weekends, so you risk facing great crowds during these times. It is also the most expensive time, so for cheaper tickets, watch the wrestling on days 3 to 6 and 10 to 12.
There are two types of seats – box seats and arena seats. Box seats are a small square of tatami mat which can fit 4 to 6 people. You therefore have to buy the 6 seats. Bring your own cushion for extra comfort! The arena seats are on the second floor of the gymnasium, so you are more than likely to get an area seat, as the box seats sell out quicker! The tournaments a must-see when you visit Tokyo!
For its diversity
Tokyo is a cosmopolitan city and is the most diverse city in Japan. There is a mix of so many different cultures in Tokyo and Yokohama, which is part of the metropolitan area. When you visit Tokyo, you will see the eclectic mix of cultures. These are represented throughout the city. You can eat all your favorite international delicacies at local restaurants or food trucks. Enjoy British pubs, Indian curries and even Japan’s version of Chinatown in Yokohama.
It is also diverse architecturally – Tokyo is a modern city full of skyscrapers, beautifully illuminated buildings and billboards. Like several cities all over the world, the city was rebuilt after destruction during the Second World War. All the buildings were rebuilt with earthquake-protecting qualities. These parts add a futuristic edge to the city’s landscape. But just round the corner, you will always see the older parts of the city’s architecture. Temples and shrines are scattered throughout the city in between the glass and metal buildings.
It’s a foodie’s haven
We may have caught your attention by mentioning the city’s amazing selection of restaurants and street food. But trust us, there is even more to get those taste buds tingling! It is the city with the most Michelin stars, which pretty much showcases the talent in Tokyo. And dining at its finest restaurants doesn’t mean breaking the bank – even the Michelin star restaurants aren’t too pricey. You can dine from so many different countries – from Italian to Chinese, there is something delicious for everyone! You can eat in some luxurious locations for reasonable prices, making it one of the many reasons you should visit Tokyo!
Needless to say, the street food in Tokyo is also appetizing. Omoide Yokocho is the go-to place to try the local street food. Once a black market after the Second World War, it is a tiny alley of 60 bars and restaurants for you to explore, as well as stalls for you to try local delicacies. Treat yourself to yakitori and nikomi, washed down with some Japanese beer. This alley is at its most atmospheric at nighttime, as you can see all the stalls and bars lit up and you can really enjoy the hustle and bustle.
For the LGBTQ scene
The LGBTQ scene is huge in Tokyo, and it is known to be a safe city for all! Crime is low in the city generally, and people are very respectful, even though Japan is a more conservative country. Everyone can enjoy the nightlife when they visit Tokyo, and the LGBTQ is very much welcomed. Its most popular district for its gay scene is Ni-Chome, which has over 300 gay bars! It is the densest gay bar district in the world! Although there LGBTQ friendly bars all over the city. Arty Farty is the most well-known gay bar in the city and is loved by foreigners and locals alike.
In the springtime, you can catch the Rainbow Pride parade to spread the message of equality for all. No matter your gender or sexual orientation, you can enjoy the parade and the performances around the city. The parade goes on for 3km around the Harajuku/Shibuya area. Dress up in your favorite costume and take part in the festivities!
For its Harajuku style
Harajuku is the hub of fashion in Tokyo and Japan generally! Known as the epicenter of kawaii fashion, it is really renowned for its eclectic yet feminine style. The district is extremely colorful and edgy, and if you really want to embrace its eccentric style, then your first stop should be Takeshita Street. In this street, you can visit the city’s trendiest boutiques as well as eat out at some great restaurants. There are so many different styles here – cyber punk, goth lolita… And there is a shop for everyone here! The shops are independent stores run by local sellers, you won’t see many big names here, to ensure that you really buy authentic and local clothing.
If you’re looking for a fancy experience, then head over to the “posh” neighborhood in Harajuku, Omotesando. If you have a bigger budget, then you’ll find higher end brands here. You can shop hard at Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada but to name a few!
It’s the world’s largest city
If the previous reasons weren’t enough, we’ve got another! You have to visit Tokyo because it’s the world’s largest city. It has over 37 million inhabitants, which is a lot of inhabitants for 335,818km². You can really see this in the city’s busiest streets, you may be overwhelmed by the crowds. To escape them, take in Tokyo’s greatest views from above. The observation deck of the Tokyo Tower.
Tokyo Tower stands 333 meters tall and is the world’s tallest, self-supported steel tower. In fact, it’s 13 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower! The observatory will give you a beautiful and fascinating view of the city, whisking you far away from the hectic streets of Tokyo. If you want to go higher up, then the high top deck will be the perfect place to look down on the city. If you want a view with a touch of luxury, Park Hyatt’s 52nd-floor New York Bar will give you some serious scenery! High above the skies, the bustling streets will soon be a distant memory!
Its transport is the most sophisticated
Tokyo is known for its very sophisticated transport system. Nowhere else in the world will you get the train with white-gloved attendants patiently waiting. It brings joy and surprise to tourists, who find the system so far-detached from their own. It is clear and easy to follow – markings will show where the doors open and the staff are friendly, and ready to help you with any of your questions. There are so many different ways to travel across the city. You can choose trains, the subway or a bus! They are always clean and impeccable, and once you’ve experienced it, your own transport systems at home seem a bit of a letdown! The other bonus? The signage appears in English, making it easier for us tourists to travel around the city!
It is the home to the Earth’s biggest fish market
Tokyo has some of the world’s best cuisine, and this may have something to do with it being the home to the planet’s biggest fish market. The Tsukiji Fish Market was known as the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, now the outer market is still available for you to purchase local produce. It has over 450 shops packed into the intersection of Shin Ohashi and Harumi avenues. The venue is also known as Tokyo’s kitchen, providing food for locals and restaurants alike.
You can also find restaurants here if you’re feeling peckish, and they are open from 5am to the beginning of the afternoon. Because of them being so close to the market, the restaurants here are some of the best in the city. If you are longing for some seafood, then Tsukiji Outer Market is the place to be! We just recommend that you start your tasting test early in the day!
Another attraction of the market is the Tsukiji Uogashi complex, which has around 60 retail shops belonging to vendors from the wholesale market. Here you can buy fresh seafood, meat and produce.