Tired from escaping the crowds at Senso-ji temple? The nearby street food stalls might not be less frequented but provide some much-needed fuel for a sightseeing day. Fried stuff, pancakes, the ever-so-popular seafood, there is something for everyone. Of course, each district will have plenty of takeaway food to satisfy you.
Home to several national museums and major temples, there is no shortage of culture in Ueno (上野). Shinobazu pond is also one of the few flecks of water inside the city (not counting the ocean), home to beautiful Bentendo temple (see header). Ueno park is also not to be missed, the colors on a sunny day are simply stunning.
Although Tsujiki Fish Market (築地市場) relocated to Toyosu in 2018 and the sacred place closed its doors forever, the street stalls and restaurants surrounding the market are still in business. Tourists still come here for some of the freshest seafood and the atmosphere. The contrast of seafood cooking away on outdoor stoves and collection of closed-down stores makes for a great street photography session, fresh seafood included.
This seems to be the inofficial motto of Ginza (銀座), home to Western shopping, mega department stores like Ginza six and upscale boutiques. New year’s shopping starts on January 2nd and is just crazy – people line up in the cold to get to those deals. Also, lucky bags are a huge deal in Japan: a bag full of goodies that can be purchased to bring good luck.
Odaiba (お台場) is an artificial island connected to the city via Rainbow bridge – a bridge that is lit up at night in the colors of a rainbow (duh). Its offers are centered around entertainment: Gundam statue, ferris wheel, museums, parks and gaming centers are all located here.
Shinjuku (新宿区) is one of the major hubs of Tokyo – people come here for work, shopping and lots of food. For a bit more of a familial feeling, head to golden gai – six narrow alleys forming a network of bars – to cramp down in one of the tiny shops to enjoy drinks and snacks.
Famous for wild nightlife, Roppongi is still worth a trip during the day. Roppongi Hills is a multi-use complex complete with gardens and an open-air space for events. It is also home to the Mori museum which is definitely worth a visit for any art lover. The observation deck is right next to the museum and a much better value-for-money option for a view of Tokyo and Mount Fuji compared to the Tokyo Sky Tree.
Harajuku (原宿) is just a short walk away from central Shibuya, it features shopping streets (just like almost every other district in Tokyo) but also the heart of Japanese subculture and street fashion. To escape the crowds, enter Tokyu Plaza and enjoy the beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking lively Harajuku.
Shibuya (渋谷区) is probably most known for the Shibuya crossing where you can watch a cluster of people heading this way and that way. Hachiko’s statue is overlooking the buzzing street. Center-gai, the main shopping street in Shibuya, can be easily accessed from here.
As the old capital, Kyoto (京都) has tons of cultural gems to offer – palaces, mansions, former geisha districts and tons of cute little alleyways.