From Shibuya's insanity to zen pockets in the middle of the metropolis, these are the places you should hit.
- Shibuya Crossing - You’ve seen pics of it. It’s that insane intersection of people that makes Times Square seem like a one-horse town.
- Takeshita Dori in Harajuku - Smash your way through this crowded corridor on your way to shopping at LaForet or when you are going to check out Meiji Shrine. There are rows of crazy shops and teenagers dressed in cos-play. OBVIOUSLY stop at a purikura booth and send me a pic.
- 💯 Meiji Shrine - This is awesome and super accessible given that it's in the center of everything near Harajuku and Meijijungumae stop.
- Yoyogi Park - Massive and pretty--especially during sakura season. Also an ideal place to run.
- The Imperial Palace - If it's clear out and you are bundled up, rent a bike and ride around the palace.
- Rent the bike from Muji Yurakucho for cheap (REMEMBER YOUR PASSPORT)
- Sensoji Temple- Oldest temple in Tokyo = one of the biggest tourist attractions. Convenient place to get souvenirs.
- Mori Art Tower in Roppongi Hills - Contemporary museum with well curated exhibitions.
- At the top of the tower, you can also get a 360 view of Tokyo from indoors or on the skydeck. (Skip the Tokyo Sky Tree.)
- Ueno Park - Underrated and historial park with all sorts of cool shrines. If you’re nearby, stop at Nezu Shrine
- Tsukiji Fish Market - Go there after a long night out. Make sure you get an early start. You'll miss out on the best auction action if you’re not there by 5 AM, and tours end at 6.
- Golden Gai (in Kabukicho, the red light district in Tokyo) - Cheap booze in mini quarters with drunk business people. Can’t get more J than that.
Tier 2 options if you have enough time:
Edo Museum - Time warp to 1603.
Nezu Museum - Central, small, and zen.
- Shinjuku Park - Nice respite in the center of Shinjuku
- 💯 Shimokitazawa - Semi-bohemian little college neighborhood further west past Shibuya, with countless hipstery vintage stores, bars, and restaurants.
- Inokashira Park - Pretty ponds an d lots of college kids. Ghibli Museum (Miyazaki's Totoro homage) and many restaurants are nearby.
- 💯 Sumo Wrestling - GO if you are there in-season. It’s mind blowing. If you’re not there in season, sometimes you can see them practice outside. Ryogoku, the sumo stadium, is next door to the Edo Museum.
- Baseball Game - Hella fun and there are women who run around with backpacks selling snacks and hard liquor, so you don’t even have to leave your seat to get sauced.
- Video Game Arcades - Fascinating (and mildly disturbing). Arcades are full all day, everyday. Absolutely stop by a Taito and if you’re in Akihabara, hit Super Potato, a little retro arcade.
- Pachinko - Depressing, seizure-inducing boxes of smoke and shame. Perpetually open and full.