A visit to Tokyo is a feast for all the senses—thanks to everything from the sight of neon lights plastered onto soaring skyscrapers and sounds of festivals to the scent of tiny noodle stalls crammed into back alleys. See below for our top picks and experiences you can't miss in the Japanese capital.
The snow-capped peak of cone-shaped Mount Fuji can be seen from Tokyo on a clear day. Regardless of the weather, it can be reached by bullet train or coach bus in a matter of hours. Day trips to Mt. Fuji allow visitors to explore one of Japan's newest UNESCO World Heritage designated sites and the incredible surrounding attractions while leaving time to explore other parts of the country.
Situated in Hakone and surrounded by Mount Hakone, a volcano, the scenic crater lake Ashi provides unparalleled views of Mt. Fuji. Pleasure boats and ferries traverse its famously blue waters. See both Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi on a bullet train day trip from Tokyo, complete with lunch on the iconic mountain and panoramic views of Hakone National Park. If you prefer the waterways to the railways, opt to see Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi on a sightseeing cruise from Tokyo.
If you plan to visit Japan in winter, visiting an onsen, or natural hot springs bath, should not be missed.
Day 1: Get Oriented
Tokyo is an enormous city, and with so much to do, it’s best to get yourself oriented (heh). A great option for those with a limited stay in Tokyo is the Tokyo Tower, Tea Ceremony, and River Cruise, which. provides stunning views.Day 2: Sights, Sounds, Smells
Now that you’ve got some idea of what Tokyo is like, it’s time to immerse yourself in all that the city has to offer. Consider a morning tour to visit local shrines and the world-famous Ginza shopping district, or sushi lovers can head to breakfast at the hub of worldwide sushi fish commerce, the Tsukiji Fish Market
Day 3: Tokyo and Beyond
For a spiritual outing, a visit to the Great Buddha at Kamakura is a serene retreat, complete with views of the Pacific Ocean. Of course, no trip to Japan is complete without a visit to its snow-capped icon, Mt FujMt Fuji. Want to squeeze in one more city? Take a day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo.
Trend-defining safety, pressurized cabin comfort, record-setting punctuality, Shinkansen are the easiest and most exciting option to see the Japanese countryside.
If your time in Japan is limited and you don't want to miss the sights of Kyoto, zoom there and back on a comprehensive one-day rail tour from Tokyo, where you’ll have stunning views of Mt. Fuji before embarking on a guided afternoon tour of old-town Kyoto.
If you feel like escaping the city and would prefer to see the countryside, why not visit Lake Ashi and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mt. Fuji in one of Tokyo’s most popular day tours? Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, the icy caps of Mt. Fuji and the crystalline waters of Lake Ashi are sure to be the perfect antidote to the hectic city life.
Want to sojourn out into Japan a little longer? Why not combine the two? Multiple day trips link Mt. Fuji to Kyoto, Nara, and Hakone, and any option between the two.
Once imperial capital of Japan, Kyoto can be reached by the world-famous super fast “Bullet” (“Shinkansen”) trains in two and quarter hours.
When at Kyoto you can visit the exquisite Japanese gardens and see the city’s numerous temples, including Kiyomizu, a wooden building dating back to the 9th century which was constructed entirely without nails.
Another wooden structure, Sanjusangendo Hall houses 1,001 devotional statues of the goddess of mercy greets visitors. Meanwhile the moat and monumental square towers of Nijo Castle art collections and famous gardens can now be appreciated by all.
If time allows, why not visit the nearby city of Nara and see the fire-engine red Kasuga shrine with its thousands of metallic lanterns as well as the city’s main park where deer roam freely.
As Japan's national sport, sumo wrestling is a major part of the country's culture. The vast majority of Japan’s sumo wrestlers live in Tokyo's Ryogoku district, which has served the sport's hub for the past two centuries. With its heavyweight athletes, traditional mawashi stiff belt uniforms and long history, the sport remains a fascinating experience for spectators.
Sumo dates back to ancient times and still involves hints of the religious Shinto rituals it originally involved. Before a tournament begins, the ring is sprinkled with salt and the wrestlers stomp their feet in order to purify the ring and rid it of any evil. Once that's done, the two male competitors face off in an attempt to knock the other over. The first wrestler to leave the ring or touch the ground with any body part other than their feet loses.
Tokyo, Japan’s capital city of some 9 million people, dazzles with its ultramodern cityscape and hidden pockets of traditional culture. No two experiences here are ever the same, and these unique activities help you dig beneath the surface to explore Tokyo’s hidden spots and quirky atmosphere.