Home to massive skyscrapers, neon lights and an abundance of karaoke bars, Tokyo is a city that is always buzzing and changing. As the capital city of Japan, Tokyo is the biggest hub and is indisputably the easiest place to get to in Japan. Now although a direct flight from the UK to Japan usually takes around 11-12 hours, it’s well worth a long haul trip. Tokyo is truly a city of contrasts, where cutting edge technology meets ancient culture – from traditional neighbourhoods steeped in history (complete with temples and shrines of course), to the modern metropolis that showcases some of the most pioneer trends around the globe.
First up we have the Wired Hotel, a community hotel that integrates itself into the traditional neighbourhood of Asakusa. Asakusa is one of the most popular destinations among tourists coming to Tokyo for the famous Kaminarimon gate and Sensoji temple! Nearly every nook and cranny of this unique hotel has been locally crafted, from the parquet flooring to the geometric tiling. They even have dormitory style rooms for larger groups, which are still styled to the same high class standard!
Sitting on Odaiba’ s scenic waterfront, the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba is ideally placed for a walk round Tokyo Bay or exploring the Odaiba Waterfront complex. Choose one of the hotel’s deluxe rooms for an amazing view of the Tokyo Bay and the city skyline from your balcony or head to one of the hotel’s three restaurants to enjoy some fine dining at the same time! This hotel is also handy for getting around as it’s directly adjacent Daiba station!
Located in the historic old town, the Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho embodies the coming together of old and new with it’s Edo Pop aesthetic. This millennial-friendly hotel provides everything you need to relax, socialize and of course, conduct business in it’s sophisticated lounge area and library. The great thing about this hotel is it’s great location – the Moxy Tokyo Kinshico is ideally situated nearby attractions (notably the Tokyo Skytree) that can easily be explored on foot or with hotel bicycles. Also its only a five minute walk from Kinschicho station!
Ginza has no shortage of amazing sushi restaurants and Sushi Aoki, a 1-star Michelin restaurant is certainly one of them! This tiny restaurant located down a quiet lane in Ginza, is a great place to begin your sushi journey! With Tokyo being known for it’s world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, it only seems right that we feature sushi somewhere in this guide and trust us, Sushi Aoki is the place to be!
Made famous by Anthony Bourdain, the Robot Restaurant is one of the most touristy things you can do whilst in Tokyo, but seeing as you won’t find another like it anywhere else in the world, this is certainly one not to miss! Robots battle warrior princesses, there’s a light show, and it’s all set to pop music. Need we say more?
Want the best tempura in Tokyo? Then head to Ten-Ichi in Ginza. Ten Ichi is regarded by foodies as some of the best tempura in Tokyo. Now, this might have a slightly expensive menu but given that celebrities like Frank Sinatra and government officials such as Clinton and Gorbachev have dined here, the price tag might be worth it!
The Tejinaya Magic Bar combines good drinks with magic, with the bartenders doubling as magicians, treating you to some close up magic! This bar even offers an all-you-can-drink option for 4,000 yen (around £30) if you arrive before 8 PM!
8bit Cafe is a tiny café located near Shinjuku Sanchome station. It’s claim to fame is the awesome collection of vintage game consoles you can play with while you drink! It’ll take you right back to your childhood with its Dr Mario or Princess Peach cocktails! This is definitely a must-visit bar for classic gamers!
As the sun sets over the Tokyo skyline, the Peak Bar offers a magic setting to admire the Nishi-Shinjuku skyscrapers at twilight. Perched on the 41st (specific right?) floor of the Park Hyatt, The Peak Bar is the go-to spot for winding down for the night and of course to admire some of Tokyo’s structural masterpieces!
must see sights
Tokyo is loaded with attractions ranging from old town traditional to hyper-modern. Start your trip by discovering the spiritual side of Japanese culture. Explore Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple Sensoji located in the Asakusa district or The Imperial Palace surrounded by 17th century parks and moats!
To explore Tokyo’s greener side, head to Ueno Park, dating back to the 19th century. This park really comes to life in spring, as more than 1,000 cherry trees blossom, attracting crowds of springtime revellers!
No visit to Tokyo is complete without a visit to one of the many Tokyo skyscrapers! Tokyo’s most famed attractions is the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest freestanding broadcast tower! Head up to one of the observation decks to take in a bird’s eye view of Tokyo’s urban sprawl! If you catch it on a good day you might even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance.
Now, as for how to end your trip with a bang? Well, that’s for another time!