This is part II of my Tokyo travel guide. If you missed the first part, click here to read! It contains information on where to stay, transportation and what to do.
Read this post for the top 10 tips for your first time to Japan.
Visit All The Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Japan during cherry blossom season, read my post here on how to plan your trip! If you’re in town for this magical display, visit all the stunning cherry blossom spots in Tokyo. You can find the top 5 spots that we visited here. Even if you’re not here for this season, these spots are still beautiful parks for a relaxing stroll!
Visit Ameya-Yokocho Market
Hours: Vary depending on the store. Most stores are open from 10am – 8pm.
Address: 4-chōme-9-１４ Ueno, Taito City, Tōkyō-to 110-0005, Japan
Ameyoko is a bustling-open air market located near Okachimachi and Ueno Station. You’ll pass by this “candy store alley” on your way to the famous Sensoji temple. It’s a colourful market that sells clothing, spices, fresh fish, bags, and gifts.
Asakusa Nakamise Shopping Street
Hours: 10am – 5pm
Address: 1 Chome-20 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Asasuka is one of Tokyo’s most-visited attractions. It’s known for being a historically significant site within the old downtown vibes. Additionally, Nakamise is a 200 metre shopping street which leads from the Sensoji main gate to the second gate (Hozomon). You’ll find authentic Japanese souvenirs and snacks sold along Nakamise, which dates back several centuries.
Hours: 6am – 5pm
*Shops at Nakamisedori open 9:30am – 7pm
*The Shrine is illuminated from sunset – 11pm
Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest and most significant ancient Buddhist temple. It dates all the way back to 645 AD. You’ll experience traditional Japanese culture as soon you step foot into the main gate. Furthermore, it’s also a beautiful spot to see the cherry blossoms.
MORI Building: TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum
TeamLab Borderless is an interactive, digital art museum where artworks and installations move throughout the rooms, making each exhibition different every tine you return. The cutting-edge, immersive digital art allows the artwork to be dependent on visitor participation through smart learning’. Read my blog post here on how to visit this amazing museum!
Enjoy Tokyo City On Your Way To The Imperial Palace
Hours: Closed Monday & Friday
Open Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday 9am – 5pm
The Imperial Palace is home to Japan’s Emperor and Imperial Family. It’s surrounded by gardens and parks. This offers a little quiet from the city bustle. In particular, there are cherry blossoms spots, historical ruins, art galleries and beautiful gardens. Click here for more information on the free guided tours. Additionally, you can find out how to see the Emperor himself!
I would recommend visiting the parks I mentioned in this cherry blossoms blog post if you don’t have time for a Palace visit!
Seimon Bridge (Nijubashi)
Seimon Bridge, meaning “Double Bridge,” is the Imperial Palace’s formal entrance. It’s arguably Tokyo’s most famous bridge and is used for special State occasions. The bridge is located about a 15-minute walk from the Imperial Palace gardens.
Toyosu Fish Market (New) Vs. Tsijuki Fish Market (Old)
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 5am – 5pm
Toyosu Market is the new fish market which replaced the older Tsukji Fish Market. It opened on October 11, 2018. There are 3 main buildings that make up Toyosu Market: 2 buildings for seafood and 1 for fruits/vegetables. This new market allows tourists to walk on dedicated paths, while looking from observation windows.
These buildings are pretty clean and set up in a museum-like fashion. However, I was pretty disappointed. There’s really not much to do here. You can watch the tuna auction that takes place daily between 5:30am to 6:30am. Despite this, you can only observe from the observation windows. The windows block off the market sounds, so you can’t really participate in the action.
There is an open-air observation platform on the lower floor, which is exposed to the auction noise. However, you must make an advanced reservation for access. Additionally, you’re only able to view from this particular area for 10 minutes. Click here for more information.
You can visit the fruit and vegetable building, but you must also observe from the window. You can’t see anything other than the locals packaging up produce. There’s a small food hall where you can do a bit of shopping, but I don’t feel like there’s much to offer.
I’d say to give this one a skip and stick to the old Tsukiji Outer Market for a more authentic shopping and dining experience. There, you can find the kind of typical fish market you’d expect. Many shops and restaurants still remain in business. If you happen to visit Toyosu and don’t want to wait in the long queues, there’s a small food truck area near the buildings.
What to Eat
Use the Vending Machines!
Japan is famous for their abundance of vending machines! They sell everything from soft drinks, tea, coffee, hot food, cigarettes to sake and beer!
Try the 7-Eleven Food & Drinks
You’ll find 7-Eleven on every corner in Japan. They offer the most amazing selection of desserts, sandwiches, snacks and drinks! Additionally, they also have a large selection of on-the-go hot foods. You can also buy alcohol, beauty items and clothes!
Eat Melon Pan
This delicious sweet bun originated in Japan. It resembles a melon with a sweet, crispy outer layer and soft bread in the centre. You can get various flavours such as strawberry, vanilla, matcha, chocolate chip, and etc. You can also buy one with a vanilla or matcha ice cream filling!