For an extraordinarily well-balanced juxtaposition of ancient traditions and incredibly exciting modernities, Tokyo is the place to go. A cultural center as well as the capital of Japan, this city is so full of fantastic things to see and do that three months wouldn’t be enough – let alone three days – but we’re gonna do our best to squeeze in as much fun as possible!
Tokyo is a huge, and I mean huge, city – in fact, you might think of it as a whole bunch of cities connected by a massive public transport system, and the by far easiest way to get around is the beloved subway, along with equally great trains. Get a prepaid Pasmo or Suica card, and you’re good to go! Speaking of that, are you ready to explore Tokyo with us?!
Pro Tip: While Tokyo is an international city and very used to tourism, the Japanese do have some other customs that we don’t have in the West, so do some research to not end up making a faux pas!
Finally, the first day of this wonderfully exciting Tokyo visit! When you’re done just having a look around and taking in the atmosphere of this gorgeous city, it’s time to have some more fun!
Batto is an old Japanese style of sword fighting used by the Samurai and in Tokyo, you’ll get the chance to practise this art of swordsmanship yourself. It’s a little bit like Kill Bill but without the actual slicing and with very good manners, and even though the katanas (swords) are rather blunt, it’s a really cool (and safer!) experience, whether you’re a pacifist or not!
If you have a soft spot for dystopian sci-fi and want to try your luck (or skills) at some of the addictively fun arcade games around, then we have three words for you: Anata no Warehouse. This awesome arcade has all the classics, but what’s really cool is that with its faux-rusty and worn down interior (and exterior!) it looks just like the semi-lawless Kowloon Walled City, known for its crooks and hookers. And the attention to detail is truly amazing!
Your poor little belly must be growling by now, so pop into T’s TanTan for some really amazing, mouthwateringly fantastic ramen noodles packed with flavor and pure deliciousness. If you (and your belly) are more interested in some cheesy and scrumptiously greasy junk food, then Ain Soph Ripple is what you need to type into Google maps. Oh, and both places are vegan, too!
The Tokyo fun isn’t nearly over yet, but there are so many fantastically exciting adventures to be had just outside the city – the only downside is that you might not have the time to do them all in one day, sadly!
After a whole day spent in the city, it might be fun to see it from above, and not even an hour away from Tokyo you’ll find Mount Takao, a haven of beautiful scenery, hiking trails, amazing views over the city and even Mount Fiji on a clear day, as well as a temple, observation decks and a nature museum – here you’ll get more than enough of peace and quiet in the gorgeous surroundings.
Yes, you read that right: after not even two hours on the train, you’ll arrive in GALA Yuzawa, a fantastic wintery landscape with incredible views and slopes that range all the way from beginner to expert. There are other very nice ski resorts nearby, and at Yuzawa you’ll even find hot springs – the perfect way to warm up those cold feet!
Once more, you can find awesome outdoor adventures really close to Tokyo! This time it’s river fun that’s on the menu – rafting and riverboarding, to be more precise. The rapid streams of Tama River make it the perfect spot for water sports, and other than rafting and boarding, you can try an inflatable kayak – and even do some shower climbing (paddling upstream)!
Here’s a rather terrifying destination for you: Alcatraz ER. As the name so elegantly suggests, this restaurant didn’t settle for being just prison-themed, no, it threw some mental institution thrills into the mix as well. Here the cocktails are bloody, the graffiti is fake (but looks so real!) and to get the attention of the staff you need to bang a metal pipe against the bars of your cell. Pretty scary, but also pretty damn cool!
If your body isn’t too achy from all the sporting, adventuring and prison-dining from yesterday, a great way to start any day in Tokyo – or anywhere – is to go for a run. Yoyogi Park and Meguro River are excellent places, and you might even see some cherry blossom!
Attending a tea ceremony is a lovely, sweet spoonful of Japanese history and tradition, and other than matcha (powdered green tea), you’ll get to taste confections, a light meal or a whole kaiseki (multi-course dinner), depending on which kind of ceremony you choose. There’s an informal one, and then an formal one that can last for up to four hours – but you’ll get the best tea and lots of delicious food!
We’ve all seen it, the Japanese sport where the wrestlers try to force each other out of the ring or to touch the floor with any other part of their body than their feet – it’s not a very sexy sport, but watching it live is so entertaining! If you’re not in Tokyo while there’s a tournament going on, you can always go check out the training – either on a little tour or for free through the window!
Cafés are normally pretty awesome, with energizing, vitalizing coffee, savory snacks and sweet treats for the sweetest of teeth, but there’s one thing that can make them even better: animals. Fluffy, lovely, cuddly animals! In Tokyo, you can find a whole bunch of cafés where you can cuddle cats, have staring contests with owls and even play with a hedgehog or a fox. But beware – if you order something too sugary, you might overdose on sweetness!
Other really fun and cool things to do in the Japanese capital include staying at a capsule hotel, trying all the buttons on the toilets (it’s not as scary as it seems), or play real-life Mario Kart on the city streets! We hope you’ll have the most amazing of times in Tokyo, and please let us know if we’ve missed any gems!