Tokyo, Japan boasts an impressive reputation as being one of the biggest, brightest, and busiest cities in the world. Who could blame them, with 24.3 million unique visitors in 2016 alone, Japan’s rich culture and exquisite sights attract travelers from far and wide to experience its extraordinary traditions and ideals. For those of you planning an exciting trip to Tokyo this year, here are three things you absolutely cannot miss out on.
Take Your Tastebuds For a Ride
You can’t visit Tokyo and not try the sushi. Offering some of the freshest sushi in the world, it’s the best place to experience unique dishes first hand. Visit Tsukiji Market for a chance to witness the biggest fish and seafood sale in the world, but be sure to set your alarm. Opening as early as 3.00 a.m. on most days of the year, handlers unload trucks of fresh seafood which then head to an auction to be valued and distributed. The market also offers many restaurants where you can grab a bite after watching the action, then head to Harajuku for some shopping.
Appreciate the Architecture
Japan is full of stunning gardens and temples, impressive towers, and sacred shrines. Missing out on some of these amazing structures is something you shouldn’t take lightly when you plan your trip. Take a walk down to the Imperial Palace, where Edo Castle, a seat of the Tokugawa shogun used to be. Check out the iconic Nijubashi, two beautiful arches that form a bridge in front of the palace. But don’t expect to go inside – the interior is only opened on two separate occasions a year.
If you have time, visit the oldest temple in Tokyo, Sensoji Temple. A Buddhist temple in Asakusa dedicated to the goddess Kannon, Sensoji welcomes visitors year round, especially in May when it hosts the Sanja Matsuri, a festival celebrating the Asakusa Shrine.
With over 10,000 different festivals a year, Japan seems like it’s the place to be when it comes to celebrations. If you can plan your Tokyo itinerary in the Summer (matsuri), you’ll be there for the high season of festivals, particularly firework displays and firework display competitions. The Sumindagawa festival is the world’s oldest fireworks festival, attracting 1 million people a year. Beginning in 1732, it still attracts enormous crowds of admirers. If that’s not enough, Tokyo Bay, Jingu Gaien, and Setagaya-Ku Tamagawa Hanabi firework festivals are also must-sees that will awe viewers as they light up the night sky with unbelievable displays of color.
The Asakusa Samba Carnival is another festival that should not be missed! Get the chance to join 500,000 other spectators and see a celebration reminiscent of Rio’s annual festival. Visit this historic area best known for it’s Geisha houses and you’ll have the chance to listen to some amazing music, see incredible dance, and check out magnificently ornate costumes.
As amazing as these seem, they’re just a few of the incredibly festive celebrations Japan has to offer throughout the year. If you have an opportunity to attend, take advantage of it because you certainly won’t regret it!
Tokyo is home to some of the most interesting and decorated sights in the world. It’s food, festivals, and temples make it one of the world’s most incredible cities. It should certainly top the list of your travel destinations in 2017!