Following on from the places to go and things to see at night, I wanted to share some of the places that I visited in Tokyo, that blew me away when I visited in the daytime. Im hoping that not only will it help anyone already on their way to the big city, but may inspire those that have dreamed about visiting Japan! So what do I have on my list?
Visit Asakusa Senso-Ji Buddhist Temple
This is such a busy tourist spot, but for a very good reason. Walking underneath the main entrance archway towards the Temple, the streets are lined with little stores selling food, trinkets and treats, so you could actually spend a long time here moving from shop to shop. At the end of this walkway you reach the Asakusa Senso-Ji Temple, and just off to its right, a Shinto shrine. The chocolate covered bananas were pretty delicious and you can find so many other Japanese street vendors in this area, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There was a little bakery right near to the sitting Buddhas, that I really wanted to buy some pastries from, if it wasn’t for the queue.
Visit the Emperor’s Imperial Palace
A truly empowering experience and one that primarily opened my eyes to this beautiful country. The scenery and buildings, set inside this tranquil park really got me thinking about the importance of time away from the cities and the beauty of nature. Perhaps I just hadn’t been out of London for too long. But this area is a large and stunning place to visit for a relaxing and cultural walk. A lot of the park is not accessible, as it is the home of the Emperor of Japan and his wife, not to mention his thousands of staff members. But there is still a good amount to see and it is truly wonderful escape from busy Tokyo.
Walk Across the Busiest Crossing in the World – Shibuya
I mentioned this spot in my places to see in Tokyo at night, yet I also wanted to draw attention to it as a daytime tourist spot. In the daytime, there are even more people travelling to and fro, and you can get such an overwhelming impression of just how busy Tokyo can be, from walking across it or standing and watching from above. And if you have ever watched Tokyo Drift, this is the crossing from the movie where the cars miraculously miss all of the crossers as they drift through the masses. It just makes for an excellent photo, and the surrounding area has a lot for you to spend your time on also.
Visit the Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine and Barrels of Sake
Another stunning and cultural spot to visit, especially if you’re interested in the Japanese religions, which I personally found so inspiring. The Meiji Jingu Shinto Shrine is found after a long walk through some beautiful surroundings, in which you will pass the picturesque barrels of sake with their wonderful colours and patterns. There was something so reminiscent of a game of Mahjong when you looked at the barrels, I almost wanted to start pairing them up in my head. My mum is the biggest Mahjong fan, so it made me think of her happily whilst I was there. But again, a fantastic photo op. But as you continue on, you reach the Shinto shrine gateways and the temple courtyard. We were also lucky enough to see a wedding procession when we were there, to which our wonderful tour guide became extremely excited. She was the cutest lady Ive ever met. In fact, I would say the Japanese are just the most wonderful people you will come across. Patient, friendly, helpful and understanding. The little wooden plaques with travellers prayers on them truly touched my heart: “I wish Mama will be nice and be happy. Abbie x” The religion and beliefs in this country were those of respect, love, peace and hope and it definitely altered my perceptions of religion when I returned back to the UK.
Visit Harajuku in Shibuya
If your’e a Gwen Stafani fan, you might remember her love of Harajuku Girls and her consistency to tell us about it in her singles. But in honesty it got me rather excited to visit the Harajuku area. It was again absolutely packed with people shopping and visiting, with so many stores to choose from, moving from teenage and Kawaii (cute) stores, through to the more high street and premium retailers. Me and Lily headed through the crowds to find food and a few stores, as I was on the hunt for comfortable shoes after 10 miles of walking around Tokyo. Im not exaggerating there. But the great thing about Harajuku is that the train station is right outside this main shopping street, so you’re right there in the action. I’m pretty sure that our tour guide also told us that 3 million people use that station every single day. This really is one busy country, but totally amazing.
I also wanted to include visiting the Robot Restaurant and Tsukiji Fish Markets in this post, but as I have previously written about them, I thought I’d direct you over to there to read a little more into those! But they’re another two cool spots to see!
And, if you want to visit Japan as I did, then have a look at the Contiki Japan Unrivalled trip right here. You won’t regret it. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who needs to tick Japan off of their Bucket List. You’ll see everything you’d hope to see!
Have you been to Tokyo? Is there anywhere else you would recommend visiting?
Some of these items may have been sent to me for review. Please see my disclaimer for more information