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7 must-dos in tokyo: from neon lights to hidden temples

Tokyo is one of the most dynamic, popular, and lively cities in the world with rich and diverse attractions, including spots for sightseeing, hearing, tasting and feeling. Tokyo is the capital of Japan with the prospects of an ultra-modern city combined with the older cultural sites, the fast tempo of the large city mixed with the opportunities of visiting the gardens and temples. For first time visitors, the choice is just overwhelming as there is simply so much to see and do with each place. These seven experiences give a fantastic beginning in the city of Tokyo, from the bright neon lights to the silent temples hidden in back streets. Serve yourself for eating, shopping, strolling, and capturing the moments for the frame!

1. The latter is to spend more and have that lavish dinner of sushi.

I always recommend that people should take time to make their sushi because it is the freshest and tastiest sushi you can ever taste. Dine at one of the fine sushi restaurants in Ginza where master sushi chefs shape chunks of fish and rice into tiny sculptures to be ingested: You will pay through your nose but the fish flown in from Tsukiji and the presentation are worth it. It is recommended to go for omakase, which means the chef’s selection or kaiseki, which means the tasting menu to get a taste of many delicious dishes at once. This is a truly authentic Japanese restaurant that everyone would love to get into to taste the Japanese culinary delights.

2. Get lost in the Shinjuku Golden Gai district and explore its alleys

During the day, the Shinjuku district is all business buildings, shiny and towering structures and a packed population. The Golden Gai is another interesting place and at night you can explore a network of dim-lit narrow streets filled with miniature bars and restaurants, which can accommodate only a few guests. Just like everyone has their own favorite bar and people that hang there often, the isekai establishments have their own unique personalities and patrons: a jazz café with musicians who performed late into the night, an udon noodle shop with a grandma fireside. Cram yourself into any bar that looks as if it might be interesting, engage the owner and the patrons (some of whom speak English) and you are a genuine part of the Tokyo scene outside the well-known circuit.

3. Read on about the peculiar venues in Tokyo that were cafés

Tokyo is the only place where one can enjoy coffee at a maid café while attendants dressed in black are called ‘princesses,’ or spend time with cats or rabbits at the cat/rabbit café or appreciate the ‘human dolls’ at the dollers café. Tokyo boasts of equal parts themed and cosplay cafés that are all the more colorful and quirky than the next one, so do check a couple of them out. Most of them are more suitable to the Japanese side of the population, but tourists are received kindly nonetheless. This may sound quite unorthodox, but it does not quite matter as all you have to do is to have fun with it.

4. The temple is called Sensoji and it is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo that also carries significant spiritual value.

The large and significant Sensoji or the ‘Asakusa Kannon Temple’ is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo and was established over 1,400 years ago. Two things are immediately noticeable, the large red-painted entrance gate and the two giant lanterns on either side of it. Proceed down the commercial Nakamise-dori street with bright stalls offering yukata costumes, rice crackers and a host of other items on route to the magnificent main temple. Here, visitors can burn incense, pray and acquire information on Buddhism. Another great way to spend the time there is to stroll through the whole atmospheric compound and maybe witness the monks chanting or some rituals being conducted. Step out of the fast and chaotic world of Tokyo and connect with the rich history and energy of the temple.

5. It implies that you should take a subway, not for the sake of moving from one point to another, but because you want to look at people.

Taking a subway may not be very exciting, but having to literally squeeze into train cabins that move through the world’s most crowded rail network is an adventure that can only be undertaken in Tokyo. Go to the theatre and elbow your way into a carriage at rush hour one evening and you have Japanese daily existence. Children on their way from school making fun of each other in their school wear, businessmen in their formal suits known as sararīman, youngsters with outrageous hairdos, school girls in their Lolita outfits – between stations you can sit back and watch all the people of interest go by. Watch how everyone is polite or at least respecting others’ space and privacy then one person will just be rowdy!

6. Visit one of the tallest structures in the world with a view of Tokyo at night

Is there anything more captivating than a panoramic view of Tokyo’s sprawling megalopolis? A visit to one of the city’s observation decks or skyscrapers will do the trick. There are places that have vantage points which are free of charge like the Metropolitan Government Building – go up there especially in the evening to watch the city lights turn on as night envelops the entire city. Others include Tokyo Sky Tree and Roppongi Hills whose top has a fee for viewing and often has restaurants/cafes – this is a perfect place to have dinner/ drinks while enjoying city views. Take the city in from the comfort of a large glass window, standing high above to select districts of Tokyo illuminated with neon signs or the silhouette of Tokyo Tower among the sinister concrete jungle.

7. Go crazy at the karaoke parlor

End the night with an entertaining karaoke – the Japanese invention should not be left unnoticed while visiting the capital. Karaoke boxes are all about having fun with friends and friends and being able to shout over the top of the music. Chow on some food and drink, and then have your turn to speak into the microphone. Songs such as Queens and Beatles appear on camera in addition to J-Pop or animes which can be sung by other singers from other countries. The rooms also provide complete privacy in a way that ensures that no other people will hear your off-key humming! It makes for quintessential Japanese fun, which is, in a way that is accessible for everyone. As the singing continues, all shyness or any signs of modesty disappear. This is the kind of joy one should come out hoarse, happy at 3 AM, when you have really sung your heart out like a true J-pop star!

Conclusion

Whether it is the bright lights of the large cities or the less populated areas such as the backstreets, Tokyo has it all. Visitors are able to get to experience the thrilling city life as well as the slower pace of cultural life, making it a great guide to the bewitching capital of Japan. This list only shakes the surface of what Tokyo has to offer, so it’s now time for you to go out and create your own list of don’t-miss sights and experiences! Here are seven experiences that will pave the way to your Tokyo and make you start planning your next trip immediately.