Japan is known as the Land of Rising Sun. The Chinese gave Japan the name, as they thought the sun originated in Japan. Small wonder that thousands of tourists visit the archipelago every year. Tokyo is the capital city and a place everyone should see. Here’s a guide to seven experiences unique to Tokyo.
Japan is known for fabulous cuisine including sushi. Sushi lovers must visit the popular restaurant Sushi Dai. The restaurant’s chef’s choice, which changes hourly, is a great deal. Each guest gets a generous plate with 10 pieces of freshly pressed sushi. Sushi is a healthy part of a Japanese diet plan. The sushi is made from fresh seafood seasoned to perfection. Don’t forget to sample another iconic Japanese dish, Ramen. The noodle dish is sold everywhere.
#2 The Imperial Palace
Tourists must plan ahead to visit the Imperial Palace. The royal family still lives in the palace and only so many people are allowed inside. Guests must fill out an application weeks in advance. Tourists who were allowed inside say only a small portion of the palace is displayed. They much preferred the visit to the East Gardens. The East Gardens are on the palace grounds and are free to visit.
Ginza is to Tokyo what Fifth Avenue is to New York City. Many major retailers have stores including Cartier, Dior, and Zara. It’s a shopper’s paradise, especially if you like Hello Kitty merchandise. Further, the neighborhood is a great spot to buy souvenirs. A lot of specialty shops are found selling everything from incense to kimonos.
Non-shoppers will prefer the area’s art galleries and theaters. Guests are able to take in a traditional kabuki performance.
#4 Tokyo’s National Museum
You’ll learn a lot about Japanese history at the Tokyo Museum. There are over 100,000 pieces of art and artifacts. Samurai armor, kimonos, swords, and pottery can be found here. Many artifacts are designated as national treasures. There are also exhibits from all over Asia.
#5 Traditional Sumo
Sumo wrestling is a uniquely Japanese adventure. Seeing sumo in person is one of the best cultural experiences in Tokyo. Ryogoku is the area of Tokyo where you’re most likely to see sumo in person. Visit a sumo stable and witness the wrestler’s unique training. Once shrouded in secrecy, more and more stables allow visitors. Be advised that there are lots of rules and regulations. For instance, anyone who comes in must be accompanied by a Japanese native. Guided tours are available, but they’re pricey.
#6 The World of Geisha
It’s very difficult to see a traditional Geisha performance. It’s expensive and usually reserved for the Japanese. However, there are options. The Nihonbashi Information Center offers guests to view traditional Japanese life for $50.00. A Geisha performance is held each Saturday. In addition, guests may participate in a tea ceremony and kimono dressing.
Japan is home to thousands of hot springs known as Onsen. Many are located in Tokyo. It’s tradition to get away from it all and enjoy the hot water and minerals. Guests are expected to speak in low tones and keep their bodies covered. Leave the rubber duckie at home. No foreign objects are allowed in the water.
There’s no doubt that the Land of the Midnight Sun should be on everyone’s bucket list. The city is full of cultural experiences for guests. Start the day with a sushi meal and end with a visit to an onsen.