What to See in Tokyo for the First Time Visit
Once you come to Tokyo all the way, you want to make the most of it. However, Tokyo is one of the biggest city in the world, and the attractions are located in the different parts of the city.
Today, I picked a 10 place in Tokyo if you come here for the first time, and even if you don’t have much time in Tokyo. If you visit these places, you can tell everybody that you know Tokyo very well.
1. Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
The scenery of Asakusa is, hands down, the most vivid and close to the image of Tokyo that you have. The visit to Asakusa will definitely make you feel welcomed to Tokyo and good to start of your journey wherever you go in Japan after this. I recommend the night scene after all tourists are gone. Since you don’t have to worry about safety in Tokyo, you have freedom to walk around the temples and little streets.
Google Rate: 4.5/5.0
Attractions around Sensoji: Sensoji Temple, Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo Cruise
See other temples in Tokyo: Zojoji Temple, Gokokuji Temple
2. Ueno Park
Google Rate: 4.3/5.0
Ueno Park is a park right in front of Ueno station, and it’s home for many museums such as Tokyo National Museum, and also old temples such as Ueno Toshogu. You can walk around the park without the noise of the car, it’s nice to stroll around and also less stressful for family with kids. The Park is also famous for cherry blossom trees and zoo. Ueno also has diversified neighborhood. The south of the park has busy street called Ameyoko which you can find many shops and restaurants, while the north side of the park is a quiet Yanaka area where you can see Tokyo’s local streets with small shops.
Attractions around Ueno Park : Ueno Park, Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Zoo, Ameyoko, Yanaka
Ueno Area Guide
3. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Google Rate: 4.5/5.0
Shinjuku Gyoen is a large garden laying right next to the busy city of Shinjuku. The garden has Japanese garden and some different themed area. You can see different flowers of the seasons, and relax on the grass as seeing the skyline of Tokyo. It is a must visit place if you are visiting during cherry blossom season. Make sure you bring a light leisure sheet to enjoy more. You can get them at any 100 Yen shop.
For the tips to enter the garden avoiding long line, please check my other article on Shinjuku Gyoen National garden.
Attractions: Shinjuku Gyoen
Shinjuku Area Guide
Other Japanese gardens in Tokyo: Imperial Palace East Garden, Kiyosumi Garden, Korakuen,
4. Shibuya Station
Google Rate: 4.1/5.0 Scramble Crossing
Once the sun is down, you can head to Shibuya and see the billboards and people that reflects the modern side of Japanese lifestyle. It has many foreign brand shops and the it might not be what you expect in Japan, but the chaotic crossing is one of the major scene that representative modern Japan.
Attractions around Shibuya Stations: Shibuya Crossing, Shibuya Sky, Miyashita Park, Harajuku, Omotesando
Shibuya Area Guide
5. Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine located right next to Harajuku station. Even though it’s right next to the station, the shrine is located in the middle of large forest and you feel serene air as soon as you step into the shrine. If you like to experience the serendipity of the shrine, I recommend you to visit in the early morning before many tourists go. Just one thing to note is you cannot do jogging in the shrine unlike parks.
Google Rate: 4.6/5.0
6. Tokyo Sky Tree
Tokyo Sky Tree is 634 meters tower that is rise in the east bank of Sumida River across from Asakusa area. The tower has two observation decks at 350 meters and 450 meters height, and the price is different depends on how high you go. It’s a little pricy, but 450 is recommended if you go to Sky Tree.
Google Rate: 4.4/5.0
Asakusa Area Guide
Similar Attractions: Shibuya Sky, Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View, Tokyo Tower
7. Imperial Palace East Garden
Japan is one of the few country that still has emperor and their house is the Imperial Palace, that lays in the central Tokyo near Tokyo Station. Even though you cannot enter the Palace itself, the East Garden of the palace is open to public. The east garden has the castle site of Edo Castle, which was there in Edo Period.
Google Rate: 4.4/5.0
8. Odaiba by Yurikamome
Google Rate: 4.3/5.0 (Odaiba Kaihin Koen)
Odaiba was a little island with batteries that protected Tokyo in Edo Period. But now the island is connected to the land and you can access there by walking. Also the area is developed as an entertainment city by the little beach overlooking Tokyo city center.
For some visitors, Akihabara might be the most important destination of Tokyo trip. Once Akihabara used to be where you can get any electrics stuff and PC parts, now it’s a center for various hobbies such as anime, figures, games, trains, and military collectors.
Google Rate: 4.3 /5.0
10. Tokyo Tower
Even though the height is 333 meters and that is almost half of Tokyo Sky Tree, the Tokyo Tower is still a symbol of Tokyo located in the center of the city. For Tokyo Tower, you don’t have to go up to the top if you don’t have time or on a budget. It’s beautiful enough to walk around the Tokyo Tower at night.
Google Rate: 4.4/5.0
Similar Attractions: Shibuya Sky, Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View, Tokyo Sky Tree
Plan ahead but take it easy
Tokyo’s tourist attraction is spread all over the city, so sometimes it takes time to look everything. Sometimes it doesn’t go as you wanted and you might miss some places you wanted to see, but I hope you don’t get over stressed to stick to your schedule because you visit Tokyo to have a good time for you or with someone important for you.
If you like the garden you visit, you can stay there and just looking at people instead of trying complete the mission of the day. Everyone has different experience depends on the time of visiting and by chance, and it doesn’t have to be a perfect one.
If it’s your first time to visit Tokyo, I also suggest my another article – Complete Tokyo Travel Guide.
I hope you enjoy the trip and please let me know if you have anything want me to make a blog or video. Thank you for reading until the end.