Tokyo, the captivating city of Japan, is made up of a collection of special administrative divisions called special wards. These 23 distinctive wards function independently as individual municipalities within this bustling metropolis.

Each ward or tokubetsu-ku is further divided into different districts such as Harajuku and Asakusa.

However, with its massive population of over 13 million people spread across a sprawling land area, it can be hard to decide where to start exploring this expansive city.

But, fear not. Let us suggest focusing on some of the most renowned and beloved areas that you absolutely must experience during your visit.

Shibuya: Tokyo’s Vibrant Entertainment Hub

Shibuya Scramble Night

Shibuya, also known as 渋谷 in Japanese, stands out in Tokyo for its unique character. Its famous scramble crossing attracts global attention, with a staggering 2,500 people navigating the streets during peak hours.

Located at the heart of Tokyo, Shibuya thrives as an entertainment hub with plenty of dining options and cafes to suit any taste. It is also home to a diverse range of shops offering both international brands and local designers.

Due to its central location and a wide variety of entertainment choices, Shibuya remains incredibly popular among younger generations who come here not only for delicious food but also for socializing opportunities.

Must-see attractions include the Shibuya Sky Observatory, the Shibuya Scramble Crossing, the Hachiko statue along with Meiji Shrine and Harajuku.

Ryogoku: Sumo Wrestling District


National Sumo Arena Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumida Tokyo

Ryogoku, a district in Sumida City, is the heart of sumo wrestling. It’s known for its iconic Kokugikan Sumo Stadium where the prestigious grand sumo tournaments are held.

In this neighborhood, you can often come across formidable sumo wrestlers as it’s filled with sumo stables. You can even book a spot to watch one of the stable’s morning practice sessions.

Don’t miss trying chanko nabe, a calorie-rich hot pot dish that caters to the nutritional needs of these athletes. Interestingly, many eateries serving this delicious fare are actually run by former sumo wrestlers.

Asakusa: Rich Heritage and Contemporary Delights

Rikshaw Ride In Asakusa

Discover the charm of Asakusa, a delightful district located in Taito City. This picturesque neighborhood is adored by travelers from all over the world as well as local adventurers.

Learn about tokyo and Japan’s fascinating history while enjoying the modern pleasures that are also in abundance. The iconic Sensoji temple is an unmissable attraction and is open 24/7.

Asakusa is also a great place to take park in a tour or cultural learning activity (here’s our pick for the best in the area) and while you’re at it don’t forget to get dressed up in a kimono and take a cruise around the streets of the old shitamachi in a rickshaw.

Roppongi Hills: Tokyo’s Vibrant Neighborhood with Nightlife, Art, and Luxury

Roppongi Hills
Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills, also known as 六本木 in Japanese, is a lively neighborhood located on the central east side of Tokyo’s Minato City. At nightfall, this vibrant area comes to life with its intimate bars and popular nightclubs that attract locals and travelers alike.

In addition to its nightlife scene, Roppongi is renowned for its prestigious art museums, Michelin-starred restaurants, and high-end boutiques.

One of the unique features that set Roppongi apart is its undulating landscape which has earned it the nickname ‘Roppongi Hills.’ Amongst the notable landmarks in this area are The Mori Art Museum along with the impressive Mori Tower and its City View Observation Deck.

Akihabara: Anime and Electronics Haven


Akihabara, also known as 秋葉原, is a district in Taito City that has earned the nickname “Electronic Town” or otaku no machi. It’s famous for being a paradise for manga and anime enthusiasts.

In Akihabara, you’ll find numerous stores offering an extensive range of electronic devices, gaming products, and anime merchandise.

Plus there are arcades where you can fully immerse yourself in video games. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience that caters to all your senses, Akihabara is definitely the place to be.

More: Akihabara Guide: What To See, Do And Eat In Tokyo’s Electronics District

Explore Shinjuku: Busy Station, Charming Bars, and Panoramic Views

Kabuki Cho Shinjuku
Kabuki Cho Shinjuku

Shinjuku is a bustling district in Tokyo known for having the world’s busiest train station. With 260 exits and over 1.26 billion annual commuters, it can be easy to get lost in its lively corridors.

To fully immerse yourself in Shinjuku’s vibrant atmosphere, don’t miss out on exploring Golden Gai—a maze-like area filled with narrow alleyways and cozy bars that are beloved by locals.

For those interested in experiencing Japan’s drinking culture, both Golden Gai and Omoide Yokocho (also less charmingly known as Piss Alley) offer a fantastic selection of bars with a lively ambiance where you can enjoy local libations. Get into the spirit of Japanese nightlife by slipping on your metaphorical ‘drinking boots’.

During daylight hours, make sure to visit Shinjuku Gyoen—the expansive green oasis within this metropolis considered one of Tokyo’s largest parks.

And if you want breathtaking views without spending any money, head up to the awe-inspiring 44th floor of the Tokyo Government Building for panoramic vistas that will leave an indelible mark on your memory.

Odaiba: Tokyo’s Technological Wonderland

Statue Of Liberty In Odaiba Tokyo Fun Things To Do In Tokyo

The Odaiba area is a small man-made island located in the waters of Minato City in Tokyo Bay. Its purpose during the Edo era was to protect against possible sea invasions. However, Odaiba has now transformed into an exciting hub of technology and entertainment.

When you visit Odaiba, prepare for immersive experiences at TeamLab’s incredible installations that will awaken your senses like never before. And don’t forget about satisfying your shopping cravings with endless options available at sprawling malls.

You can even head to Odaiba Beach to soak up the sun.

But perhaps the most breathtaking sight awaits you at twilight when Rainbow Bridge illuminates gracefully alongside Tokyo’s magnificent skyline as its mesmerizing backdrop.

Ueno Park: Tokyo’s Blossoming Gem

Ueno Park Cherry Blossom

Ueno Park, located in the Ueno district of Taito City, is a popular destination for both travelers and locals seeking leisure activities on weekends. This historic park was one of Japan’s first public parks and holds great significance.

Originally home to Kaneiji Temples which were once Tokyo’s largest and most prosperous temples until their destruction during the Battle of Ueno in 1868, Ueno Park now offers much more than just open green spaces.

It features various art museums, shrines, temples, Boat rides, and even the renowned Tokyo Zoo.

However, what truly captivates everyone at this vibrant location is April when countless Sakura trees bloom with beautiful cherry blossoms. The sight of these mesmerizing flowers in full bloom attracts visitors from near and far.

Ikebukuro: Tokyo’s Otaku Haven

Sunshine City Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro, also known as 池袋 in Japanese, is located at the heart of Toshima City within Tokyo. It serves as a bustling hub for commuters and offers numerous opportunities for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Ikebukuro is famous for its otaku (geek) culture and attracts anime enthusiasts who consider it a haven—though not quite on par with Akihabara.

This district caters primarily to female customers through cosplay shops, anime stores, and butler cafes. Don’t miss out on Sunshine City when exploring this area—it boasts an incredible observation deck that stands as a true monument.

Nakano: A Traditional and Diverse District

Nakano, a district in Tokyo, is known for resisting modernization despite its location west of Shinjuku. One must-visit attraction here is Nakano Broadway, which appeals to manga lovers and offers collectibles for various interests. From train memorabilia to action figures, this place satisfies all collectors’ cravings.

Beyond Nakano Broadway are traditional izakaya and bars where locals are friendly and laid-back. Engaging conversations with fellow visitors await you in these welcoming establishments.

Kichijoji: Tokyo’s Enchanting Neighborhood

Ghibli Museum Mitaka

Discover the charm and vibrancy of Kichijoji, a captivating neighborhood just 15 minutes northeast of Shinjuku and Shibuya. With its expansive green spaces, lively shopping streets with arcades, delicious eateries, and whimsical boutiques filled with treasures – Kichijoji has it all.

Immerse yourself in the world-renowned Ghibli Museum located here, a must-visit for fans from around the world.

Experience jazz melodies echoing through these streets while enjoying warm hospitality at standing bars scattered throughout the city and uncover Tokyo’s unconventional side as you explore authentic yet endlessly enticing Kichijoji.

Ginza: Tokyo’s Premier Shopping District


Ginza Tokyo

Ginza, also known as 銀座 in Japanese, is the most popular shopping area in Chuo City. It has a rich history as Tokyo’s bustling commercial center and offers an array of internationally acclaimed fashion brands alongside esteemed local labels.

For art and architecture enthusiasts, Ginza is an absolute must-visit destination. The facades of its prestigious establishments are meticulously designed, while numerous galleries house valuable artistic treasures.

As you explore the streets and alleys of Ginza, don’t forget to look up. Above eye level awaits a breathtaking sight that surpasses any price tag – sheer beauty untethered by cost.


Tokyo Trip Checklist

  • To book hotels in Tokyo consistently returns the best prices. Remember to book early, especially for your weekend dates.
  • The Much loved Japan Rail Pass will Surge in Price by a massive 70% in October. You can still buy at the old prices here.
  • We recommend a 1,2 or 3-day Tokyo Unlimited Subway Pass to get around Tokyo cheaply and easily. Get one here.
  • If you plan on visiting Mt Fuji check out our list of the best Mt Fuji group or private tours from Tokyo
  • You’ll need a prepaid sim or Portable WIFI to stay connected in Japan: Japan Wireless has the best deals
  • Here’s a list of the best things to do in Tokyo this month (August)
  • To ensure you have all the important things covered see our Tokyo travel guide.
  • For more hotel booking help check out the following popular articles:
  • Where To Stay Near Tokyo Station: 10 Best Hotels Close To Tokyo Station
  • 8 Top Luxury Hotels In Tokyo
  • 11 Best Ryokans in Tokyo
  • 13 Best Hotels Near Shibuya Crossing: Where To Stay Near Shibuya Scramble

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