ITINERARIES Tokyo—Traditional and Contemporary From historic temples to ultra-modern skyscrapers, experience the mix of old and new in Japan's capital
Experience the stark contrasts of Tokyo, where longstanding traditions and structures are preserved among pop culture and high-tech advances.
- Savoring freshly caught seafood amid the bustling market stalls
- Sweeping panoramic views from the top of SkyTree
- Shopping for that perfect Japanese souvenir in Akihabara
How to Get There
Although the famous Tsukiji Fish Market officially moved to Toyosu on October 11, 2018, Tsukiji's outer market remains a lively business district and is home to some of Tokyo's best restaurants. Browse the alleyways which house shops selling food and kitchen equipment, and sample some of the freshest seafood around. Try street snacks such as omelets and rice balls, or join a sushi-making workshop with a professional chef as your guide.
After a meal at the market, head to this spacious museum, which explores daily life in Edo, now called Tokyo. Here, you can see a vast array of recreations and dioramas showcasing what the city looked like and how its people lived 200 years ago. It feels like stepping back in time.
Just next door to the Edo Tokyo Museum is Ryogoku Kokugikan, the venue for the famous Grand Sumo Tournament. Tournaments take place at the Kokugikan in Tokyo in January, May and September each year, but the Sumo Museum on the 1st floor is open year-round.
Said to be built in 628 and with over 30 million annual visitors, Sensoji is one of Tokyo's most famous sights. Start at the Kaminari Gate just outside the station, and stroll the old shopping street leading up to the temple grounds. Once at the temple, light some incense, make an offering, and get your fortune or a protection charm.
Looking across the river from Sensoji, it's hard to miss the gleaming metal tower that is Skytree. From its observation deck, 450 meters off the ground, you can gaze out over the entire city, sometimes all the way to Mt. Fuji.
At the base of the tower is a shopping mall complex where you can buy goods for famous Japanese characters. There's also a planetarium and aquarium here.
Once home to the city's radio and electronics hobbyists, Akihabara has transformed into a center for anime, video games, J-pop, and plenty of other Japanese pop culture phenomena. Visit a multi-story arcade, shop for the newest high-end electronics and computers, or just geek out over your favorite games and shows.
There are themed cafes for cartoon series Gundam, as well as pop idol group AKB48. Stop by eclectic shopping mall Don Quixote for weird snacks and souvenirs, or Super Potato for retro video games.
Right outside the station, you'll be faced with one of Tokyo's most iconic sights: the pedestrian scramble. Busy any time of the day, the scenery is best when all the signs and screens are lit up. Famous for its shopping and fashion during the day, Shibuya is also home to Tokyo's liveliest evening spots.
Here you'll find hundreds of dining options, plenty of bars, and multi-level nightclubs to dance the night away in. Finish your busy day off with some classic karaoke in a private room.