The Top 7 Neighborhoods In Tokyo To Explore
Tokyo is a massive city made up of smaller ones. 23 wards or municipalities make up the whole of Tokyo and each have their own local government while still being part of the larger metropolis.
Within each ward their are several neighborhoods, many of which offer unique offerings appealing to locals and toursits alike. Several neighborhoods specialize in a type of business or cater to a specific audience. The result is a city with a lot of unique look or feel, making Tokyo a city of many different looks, which is wonderful for travelers. It is difficult to single out only seven, but here are the top 7 neighborhoods you have to see in Tokyo.
Also known to many as electric town, Akihabara is lined with electronic stores. All of them are looking to sell you the latest gadgets. Electronic stores are all over the city, but this is where they became popular and still the best place to buy your needs for anything that needs plugging in.
Akihabara is much more than electronic stores however. This is the place to look for an buy manga as well. Multi story buildings are dedicated nothing but manga featuring thousands of titles to choose from. A popular habit is for locals to stop by on their lunch break or after work for a quick read.
You won’t miss the many maid cafe’s that are located throughout the neighborhood. Young ladies dressed in French Maid or other costumes hand out flyers to passer by’s. Maid cafe’s have variations on the same theme. Meals are served by young women dressed in costumes, usually french maid outfits. Everything from the girls, the decor, to even your meal is designed to look kawaii or cute. It is truly an only in Japan experience.
This is where the alternative youth culture of Tokyo hangs out. The famous Takeshita Dori is lined with shopping opportunities for those looking to stand out in a crowd. It is also one of the places to be seen as young people dress up, often in cosplay and head down to hang out with friends and mingle. A popular treat for locals and tourists are crepes.
If this isn’t your speed there is also high end shopping in nearby Omotesando. Harajuku is also where you can visit the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi park. Yoyogi National Stadium was built for the 1964 Olymypic Games and will also host events for the upcoming 2020 games.
Shinjuku is possibly the most important ward in Tokyo. It is the financial heart of Japan and home to the majority of the tallest buildings in the city. It even is called the skyscraper district. With the Metropolitan Government building it is also the Tokyo local government home as well. Shinjuku Station is the busiest railway station in the world.
Shinjuku is also one of the top fun zones of Tokyo as well. The red light district has many places to see and do including the famous Robot Restaurant. The Golden Gai is an alley way lined with small bars and restaurants.
Known as the Times Square of Tokyo, Shibuya is full of trendy shopping and restaurants. Many of the top department stores in Japan have their flagship location in Shibuya.
Organized chaos can be found at the famous Shibuya crossing. When the light turns green, thousands of people cross the street in what is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world.
For the best example of traditional Tokyo take a walk through Asakusa. Preserved streets and temples carry on the traditions of days gone by. You can snack on some tasty snacks or shop along Nakamise street or take a ride in a rickshaw.
The top site in Asakusa is Sensoji Temple. It stands as the oldest temple in Tokyo and features many impressive sights including the Kaminari Gate. Tokyo is a modern city, but no visit is complete without taking a look at its past in Asakusa.
Roppongi is known for its nighlife and thriving expat community. If you want to a place that will feel a little more like home Roppongi is your best chance to get it. It is also where many of Tokyo’s newest large scale development is located. Expect to see shiny new complexes filled with business, shopping, dining, and housing.
Recently several cultural centers have made Roppongi home. The National Art Museum which is Japan’s largest dedicated to art and the Mori Art Center are located in Roppongi. The Suntory Museum of Art can also be found here.
The area of Ueno is anchored by Ueno park. This is a must visit if you ar visiting during Cherry Blossom season. Even if you are not around for the cherry blossoms, the picturesque park is home to several small temples and shrines to wander in and out of.
There are many museums in Ueno park including the oldest and largest museum in Japan, the Tokyo National Museum. You can also find the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and the National Museum of Western Art. Ueno Zoo is one of the only places in the world you can see a Giant Panda.