4 Must Visit Neighborhoods in Tokyo

July 8, 2011 by

Travel Tips

1. Ginza Shopping District

With its neon lights, towering department stores, and nightclubs, the Ginza Shopping District is a chic, cosmopolitan adventure. You can catch a live Kabuki show, check out the latest Japanese film, or tour the most prestigious and innovative restaurants in Tokyo. And of course, there’s shopping!

Featuring the most exclusive stores and brands, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel, this is window shopping at its finest. Highlights include the Sony Building and Hakuhinkan Toy Park. Another must-see attraction is the Wako Department Store, a Neo-Rennaisance-style building known for its impressive clock tower.

Many people tour the Ginza Shopping District for entertainment and the Kabuki-za Theater presents traditional Kabuki Theatre daily. On the side streets of Ginza, there are clusters of art galleries. Dig a little deeper and you’ll also find Ginza Cine Pathos, housing dozens of film theaters, small bars, and food-stalls built in a tunnel underneath Harumi-dori.

2. Harajuku Fashion

Harajuku is a section of Tokyo known for its wild fashions. This is where you can spot local teens on the weekends, dressed-up in colorful and outlandish punk, Goth, and anime costumes. But there’s more to Harajuku than just extreme fashion and youthful ebullience. Sights to see include the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, and the Ometasando and Takeshita-dori shopping streets.

Harajuku Fashion – Photo courtesy of Flyingpurplemonkeys via Flickr

The Meiji Shrine is considered Tokyo’s most popular and sacred Shinto shrine. It houses the Meiji forest, stunning gardens, and a memorial hall dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the man who many credit to modernizing Japan. Then there’s Yoyogi Park, known for its cherry blossom trees and religious festivals. And of course, there is always the shopping…

3. Shibuya Nightlife

Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood is a popular shopping district and entertainment center. Known for its busy streets, flashing lights, and neon advertisements, Shibuya’s famous street crossing outside Shibuya train station features heavily in most films and images of modern day Tokyo.

Next to the train station is the statue of Hachikō, a legendary dog that waited for his late master every day in front of the station for twelve years. The surrounding area is known as Hachikō Square, and is a popular meeting point for locals.

Nearby is the Center Gai, a little street packed with stores, boutiques, department stores, restaurants, and arcades. Close to the Center Gai are a series of strange and fun museums, including the Bunkamura-dori, Tobacco and Salt Museum, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company Electric Energy Museum. There are many clubs and performance spaces in the area as well.

4. Odaiba

The futuristic waterfront city of Odaiba is Japan’s newest district and amusements center. It sits on newly reclaimed land next to the old battery fortress islands, which were built by the Shogunate in the 19th century.

On an afternoon tour of Odaiba you can hop aboard the computerized ‘Yurikamome’ driverless train ride from Odaiba to Telecom Center, and visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation for a hands-on trial of 21st-century technologies.

You’ll get a fantastic view of Tokyo Harbor and the Rainbow Bridge from the island and enjoy a ferry boat ride between Hinode pier and Odaiba Park on this enjoyable tour.

- Viator Travel Team

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