The electric and eccentric neon jungle of Tokyo is at the top of everyone’s Japan bucket list, and with good reason.
A world away from the West, a visit to Tokyo is akin to a trip into the future, complete with towering skyscrapers and technologically-advanced toilets.
With 14 diverse districts like mini-cities in themselves and a puzzling Rubik’s cube of 278 subway stations over 13 lines, Tokyo is best explored with a local guide.
All our Japan itineraries include a private tour of Tokyo, so you won’t miss out on what the city has to offer.
You’ll use your Manaca Travel Card (provided) to hop on and off public transport and explore Japan’s lively capital. Each district has a distinct personality, and you may be surprised by what lies underneath the surface of this populous metropolis.
Asakusa is the heart of old Tokyo, where you can find the city’s oldest and most popular Buddhist temple, Senso-ji. Meanwhile, the Imperial Palace area is home to the Japanese royal family as well as the peaceful Emperor’s Gardens – a big contrast to the modern cityscape.
For authentic Japanese cuisine, the best place to go is the city's fish market (currently moving to more modern premises). Arrive early for a sushi breakfast and to peruse the market, or even earlier if you’d like to see the tuna auctions at dawn.
Shibuya is a busy shopping district famed for the multi-directional Shibuya Crossing, which sees up to 2,500 pedestrians crossing at once, as well as the moving The Myth of Tomorrow mural by Taro Okamoto, depicting the bombs dropped on Japan during WWII.
If you’re looking to experience the kooky side of Tokyo, head for the trendy district of Harajuku for an explosion of bizarre fashions, off-the-wall boutiques and popular fast food restaurants, which cater to the area’s style-conscious teenagers.
Alternatively, try Akihabara: Tokyo’s geeky pop culture paradise, filled with overwhelming noise and flashing lights from arcades, anime collector stores and ubiquitous maid cafes. Keep your eyes peeled for real-life Mario Kart go-karting on Tokyo’s roads!
A trip to Tokyo is an experience you’ll never forget, though you may feel like you need a quiet sit-down after your time here. Japan’s capital is unapologetically outrageous, offbeat and intense – but that’s exactly why you’ll fall in love with the place.