Unique Things to Do in Tokyo

Unique Things to do in Tokyo
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If you’re planning to visit Tokyo and want to make your experience truly unforgettable, you’ve come to the right place! This bustling metropolis is so much more than its iconic skyline and mouthwatering Japanese food. In this guide, we’ll take you off the beaten path, showcasing a side of Tokyo that’s often overlooked but never forgotten. Prepare to explore one of the most unique, possibly even one of the weirdest things, Tokyo has to offer!

A trip to Tokyo is a sensory adventure filled with bright neon lights, the intoxicating aroma of street food, and the ceaseless hum of life. Each place in Tokyo has its own charm and character, but the real magic lies in the unique Tokyo experiences that defy expectations and challenge conventions. Have you ever considered spending a day at DisneySea Tokyo, the world’s only theme park of its kind? Or perhaps you’re intrigued by the vibrant subcultures that flourish in the city’s backstreets?

We’re here to guide you through the unexpected, the unusual, and the utterly unforgettable. Let’s embark on an extraordinary journey through Tokyo like no other!

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1. Climb the Iconic Tokyo Tower for a Stunning View

Climbing the iconic Tokyo Tower allows visitors to marvel at a breathtaking panoramic view of the cityscape, igniting a sense of awe and wonder. Located in the heart of Tokyo, this towering landmark stands at an impressive height of 333 meters and offers unparalleled views of the sprawling metropolis below.

As visitors ascend to the observation deck, they are greeted with an expansive vista that showcases Tokyo’s unique blend of modernity and tradition. The stunning view encompasses famous landmarks such as Mount Fuji, Tokyo Bay, and the bustling Shibuya district.

Whether it is during the day or night, witnessing the city lights twinkling like stars from atop this architectural marvel is an unforgettable experience. For those seeking unique best things to do in Tokyo, climbing the Tokyo Tower provides a captivating perspective on this vibrant city’s beauty and grandeur.

2. Experience magic at Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland

Located just outside of Tokyo, visitors can immerse themselves in a world of enchantment and wonder at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. These theme parks offer a unique experience that should not be missed during a visit to Tokyo.

Tokyo DisneySea, in particular, stands out as one of the most distinctive theme parks in the world. It takes inspiration from various ports of call and offers attractions that cannot be found anywhere else. From exploring the mysterious depths of the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride to watching breathtaking performances at The Legend of Mythica show, there is something for everyone at this magical park.

Both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea provide an array of entertainment options, making them must-visit attractions in Tokyo for those seeking freedom and memorable experiences.

3. Ascend Tokyo Skytree, one of the World’s Tallest Towers

Tokyo-Skytree

Reaching heights of up to 634 meters, Tokyo Skytree stands as an impressive architectural marvel that offers visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of the cityscape.

As one of the world’s tallest towers, ascending Tokyo Skytree is a must-do experience in Tokyo.

The observation deck provides an unparalleled vantage point from which to take in the vastness and beauty of the city.

From this height, visitors can see iconic landmarks such as Tokyo Tower, Mount Fuji on clear days, and even glimpse neighboring prefectures.

The observation deck also offers interactive displays and telescopes that allow for a closer look at specific areas of interest.

For those seeking cool places to see during their visit to Tokyo, ascending Tokyo Skytree is an absolute must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable experience.

4. Dine at Tokyo’s Renowned Michelin-starred Restaurants

Tokyo Michelin Starred Restaurant

Indulging in the culinary delights of Tokyo’s renowned Michelin-starred restaurants offers a gastronomic journey through the city’s exquisite flavors and impeccable craftsmanship. With its rich history and dedication to perfection, Tokyo is home to some of the world’s finest dining establishments. From traditional Japanese sushi to innovative fusion creations, these Michelin-starred restaurants showcase the best of Japanese cuisine.

Each dish is meticulously prepared with precision and artistry, reflecting centuries-old traditions combined with modern techniques. The attention to detail extends beyond the food itself, as these restaurants often boast elegant and luxurious interiors that complement the dining experience.

Exploring these unique activities allows visitors to immerse themselves in Japan’s culinary culture while indulging in unforgettable flavors that have earned Tokyo its reputation as a food lover’s paradise.

5. Discover the Bustling District of Shinjuku

Kabuki cho Shinjuku

“Teeming with a vibrant energy and an array of bustling streets, Shinjuku district in Tokyo is a kaleidoscope of neon lights and towering skyscrapers that form a mesmerizing urban landscape. As one of the busiest districts in the city, Shinjuku offers a wealth of unique experiences, truly being one of the Shinjuku travel highlights for visitors to discover.

From exploring the expansive shopping areas like Kabukicho and Takashimaya Times Square to wandering through the serene Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, there is something for everyone in this bustling neighborhood.

For those seeking entertainment, Shinjuku’s Golden Gai area is filled with tiny bars and clubs where you can experience Tokyo’s nightlife scene at its finest.

Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to ride the elevator up to the observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for unparalleled panoramic cityscape views.

The bustling district of Shinjuku truly encapsulates the essence of Tokyo’s uniqueness and offers many activities for all travelers to enjoy.

6. Stroll Along Tokyo’s Unique Streets

Tokyo's Unique Streets

One can explore the diverse architecture and cultural influences by strolling along the labyrinthine streets of Tokyo. Tokyo’s unique streets offer a glimpse into the city’s eclectic charm and showcase some of the most unique things to do in Tokyo.

From the bustling shopping districts to the quiet back alleys, these streets are filled with weird and wonderful sights waiting to be discovered. As you wander through neighborhoods like Shibuya or Yanaka, you’ll encounter cool things like quirky shops, traditional temples nestled amidst modern buildings, and vibrant street art that adds splashes of color to the urban landscape.

Whether you’re exploring hidden gems or navigating the neon-lit avenues of Shinjuku, taking a stroll along Tokyo’s unique streets is a fun way to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere and embrace its one-of-a-kind character.

7. Go-kart through Tokyo’s lively Streets

mario kart akihabara

For visitors seeking a truly unique and exhilarating experience in Tokyo, one option that should not be missed is the opportunity to go-kart through the city’s lively streets.

This activity allows tourists to explore Tokyo in an entirely different way, immersing themselves in the city’s bustling atmosphere and vibrant energy.

Riding in a go-kart gives travelers a sense of freedom as they navigate through Tokyo’s iconic streets, passing by famous landmarks such as Shibuya Crossing or the neon-lit streets of Shinjuku.

This unconventional adventure provides an unforgettable thrill and a chance to see Tokyo from a new perspective.

Whether it is part of a visit to Tokyo or a specific trip dedicated to exploring unique things to do in Japan, go-karting through Tokyo’s lively streets promises an exhilarating and memorable experience.

8. Try a Maid Cafe Experience in Akihabara

Maid Cafe

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and eccentric atmosphere of Akihabara by experiencing a maid cafe, where you can enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience served by charmingly dressed maids. Akihabara, also known as Electric Town, is a district in Tokyo that has become famous for its otaku culture and cutting-edge technology. It is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore unique things to do in Tokyo.

Maid cafes are an integral part of Akihabara’s identity, allowing visitors to be transported into a fantasy world. As you step inside these whimsical cafes, you will be greeted by friendly maids who will cater to your every need with utmost care and attention. The maids are dressed in adorable French-inspired outfits and exude warmth and hospitality.

In addition to enjoying delicious food and drinks, maid cafes offer various activities like games, karaoke, and photo opportunities with the maids themselves. This interactive element allows visitors to immerse themselves in the experience while creating lasting memories fully.

A visit to Tokyo would not be complete without experiencing the unique maid cafe experience in Akihabara. It is an extraordinary way to embrace Japan’s pop culture phenomenon and indulge in the charm of this one-of-a-kind district.

So if you’re seeking something truly different during your visit to Tokyo, make sure to add this unforgettable experience in Akihabara to your itinerary.

9. Dress up in Akihabara, the Heart of Otaku Culture

Otaku AKihabara

To fully embrace the vibrant otaku culture in Akihabara, visitors can participate in the unique experience of dressing up in elaborate costumes that reflect their favorite anime, manga, or video game characters. Akihabara is renowned as the heart of otaku culture in Tokyo, where enthusiasts gather to indulge in their passions for all things related to Japanese animation and pop culture.

Dressing up, also known as cosplay, allows individuals to immerse themselves in this world by embodying the characters they admire. In Akihabara, there are numerous cosplay shops and cafes that offer a wide variety of costumes and accessories for rent or purchase. From iconic superhero outfits to intricate maid uniforms, visitors have the freedom to express their love for otaku culture through fashion.

The streets of Akihabara come alive with vibrant colors and eye-catching ensembles as cosplayers roam around, creating an atmosphere brimming with excitement and creativity. By participating in this activity, tourists can truly embrace the spirit of Akihabara’s otaku culture and become a part of this thriving community.

10. Visit the Historical Imperial Palace and Gardens

imperial palace tokyo

Moving on from the vibrant and eccentric world of Akihabara, tourists seeking a taste of Japanese culture can visit the Historical Imperial Palace and Gardens in Tokyo.

This iconic landmark offers visitors a chance to step back in time and immerse themselves in Japan’s rich history.

The palace served as the residence for the Emperor until 1868, when the capital moved to Tokyo from Kyoto.

Surrounded by moats and stone walls, this grand structure showcases traditional Japanese architecture and design.

The serene gardens surrounding the palace provide a peaceful retreat from the bustling cityscape, with meticulously manicured landscapes, tranquil ponds, and picturesque bridges.

Visitors can take leisurely strolls through these expansive grounds while admiring seasonal flowers and enjoying breathtaking views.

Exploring this historical treasure is undoubtedly one of the unique things to do in Tokyo that captures both its cultural heritage and natural beauty.

11. Admire the Architecture of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tokyo-Metropolitan-Government-Building

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building showcases impressive architecture, with its sleek and modern design featuring twin towers that reach into the sky, creating a striking visual presence in the cityscape.

As one of the unique things to do in Tokyo, admiring this architectural masterpiece should not be missed when visiting Japan’s capital. Located in Shinjuku, the government building offers visitors panoramic views of the city from its observation decks on the 45th floor. The views are particularly breathtaking at night when Tokyo lights up like a vibrant metropolis.

The building also serves as an important symbol of Tokyo’s culture and government, making it a must-see spot for those interested in understanding the city’s history and development.

Exploring such iconic structures is just one of many activities that make Tokyo a fascinating destination for travelers seeking both cultural immersion and modern experiences.

12. Visit the Historical Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine

Moving on from admiring the modern architecture of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, another unique experience awaits visitors in Tokyo – a visit to the historical Yasukuni Shrine.

Located in Chiyoda ward, this shrine holds great significance as it serves as a memorial for soldiers who died fighting for Japan during various wars. The solemn atmosphere and traditional design of the shrine create a sense of reverence and respect.

As you explore the grounds, you will encounter beautifully manicured gardens, peaceful ponds, and towering torii gates that lead to the main hall. Inside, you can learn about Japan’s history through exhibitions showcasing military artifacts and historical documents.

While controversial due to its association with war criminals, visiting Yasukuni Shrine provides a unique opportunity to gain insight into Japan’s past and pay respects to fallen soldiers.

13. Take a Cruise on Tokyo Bay for Skyline Views

Tokyo Bay cruise

One captivating experience in Tokyo involves embarking on a cruise along Tokyo Bay, offering panoramic views of the city’s skyline. Tokyo is a city known for its modernity and technological advancements, but taking a cruise on Tokyo Bay allows visitors to appreciate the stunning natural beauty that surrounds this bustling metropolis.

As the boat glides through the calm waters, passengers are treated to breathtaking vistas of towering skyscrapers, iconic landmarks such as Rainbow Bridge, and even glimpses of Mount Fuji in the distance on clear days. This unique perspective provides an opportunity to see Tokyo from a different angle and gain a deeper understanding of its urban landscape.

The cruise also offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, providing a tranquil setting where visitors can relax and unwind while enjoying the picturesque scenery. Whether you’re staying in Tokyo or traveling around Japan, this is one of many unique things you can’t find anywhere else.

14. Hike Mount Takao, Just Outside Tokyo

mt. takao

Hiking Mount Takao, located just outside of Tokyo, offers a serene escape from the city’s bustling streets and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquil beauty of nature.

With its diverse range of hiking trails, Mount Takao is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The mountain boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including lush forests and vibrant foliage during autumn. Hikers can choose from various routes that cater to different fitness levels, ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Along the way, there are also several shrines and temples to explore, adding a cultural element to the hike.

Being close to Tokyo, Mount Takao is one of the best places to visit for those seeking unique experiences beyond the city limits.

15. Try Catching a Crowded Tokyo Subway During Peak Hour

Tokyo Subway

Navigating the bustling Tokyo subway during peak hour provides an opportunity to witness firsthand the efficiency and precision of Japan’s transportation system and experience the daily routine of millions of commuters.

The heart of Tokyo is known for its extensive subway network, making it one of the best places to explore this mode of transportation. Unlike anything you would find anywhere else, catching a crowded Tokyo subway during peak hours is truly unique.

Visitors to Tokyo can immerse themselves in the hustle and bustle, getting a taste of what daily life is like for residents. The subway system is also a great way to get around Tokyo and explore its many unique things to see. Whether it’s visiting iconic landmarks like Edo-Tokyo Museum or finding hidden gems like a discount store in Japan, taking the subway allows visitors to experience all that Tokyo has to offer fully.

For those interested in Japanese culture, riding the subway is also an opportunity to observe various aspects of daily life, such as school uniforms worn by students commuting to school in Tokyo.

Overall, catching a crowded Tokyo subway during peak hours not only offers efficient transportation but also provides an authentic glimpse into the way of life in Japan’s capital city. It’s best to plan ahead and book your trip accordingly to make the most out of your visit and fully embrace this unique part of the Tokyo experience.

16. Explore Art at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Moving on from the chaotic experience of a crowded Tokyo subway during peak hour, one can find solace and appreciation for art at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

Situated in Ueno Park, this renowned cultural institution offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of creativity and imagination.

With its vast collection spanning various periods and styles, the museum showcases works by both Japanese and international artists.

From traditional Japanese paintings to contemporary installations, there are endless possibilities for exploration.

Engaging exhibitions featuring avant-garde sculptures, intricate ceramics, and thought-provoking photography provide a unique glimpse into the artistic expressions that transcend boundaries.

Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply seeking inspiration, a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum promises an enriching experience where you can witness things you can’t encounter elsewhere in Tokyo.

17. Tour Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s largest art museum

Situated in Ueno Park, the Tokyo National Museum stands as a majestic testament to Japan’s rich cultural heritage, captivating visitors with its impressive collection of art and artifacts. As Japan’s largest art museum, it offers a comprehensive exploration of the country’s artistic traditions.

The museum boasts over 110,000 pieces from various periods, including ancient sculptures, samurai armor, ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and exquisite ceramics. Stepping into the museum feels like embarking on a journey through time and space. Each exhibit is meticulously curated to showcase the depth and diversity of Japanese art history.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of delicate calligraphy scrolls or marvel at intricate Buddhist statues. With its grand architecture and serene surroundings, Tokyo National Museum provides an enriching experience that appeals to both art enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.

18. Enjoy Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms in Spring

Cherry Blossoms in Spring

In the springtime, tourists can revel in the breathtaking beauty of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, as the city becomes adorned with delicate pink petals, creating a magical and ethereal atmosphere.

Known as sakura in Japanese culture, cherry blossoms hold significant importance and are celebrated through various customs and festivals.

One of the best places to witness this spectacle is at Ueno Park, where more than 1,000 cherry trees bloom simultaneously.

Another popular spot is Chidorigafuchi Moat, where visitors can enjoy a boat ride under an enchanting tunnel of cherry trees.

The ephemeral nature of these flowers adds to their allure, symbolizing the transience of life itself.

With locals flocking to parks for hanami (flower viewing) parties, spring in Tokyo offers an opportunity for both locals and tourists to immerse themselves in this captivating natural phenomenon.

19. Explore Tokyo Station for Shopping and Dining

Located in the heart of Tokyo, Tokyo Station offers a plethora of shopping and dining options, providing visitors with a vibrant and bustling atmosphere to explore.

With its rich history dating back to 1914, this iconic railway station seamlessly blends modernity with tradition. The station itself is an architectural marvel, boasting intricate facades and grand entrances that showcase Japan’s craftsmanship.

Inside, travelers can find an array of shops ranging from luxury brands to local boutiques, offering everything from fashion and electronics to souvenirs and gourmet food products.

For those seeking culinary delights, Tokyo Station houses numerous restaurants serving both traditional Japanese cuisine and international dishes.

Whether it’s indulging in retail therapy or savoring exquisite flavors, exploring Tokyo Station promises an unforgettable experience for freedom-seeking individuals who wish to immerse themselves in Japan’s dynamic culture.

20. Visit the enchanting Ghibli Museum Dedicated to Studio Ghibli

Ghibli Museum

Nestled within the vibrant city of Tokyo, the Ghibli Museum stands as a whimsical haven that transports visitors into the enchanting world of Studio Ghibli. This unique museum, dedicated to the renowned Japanese animation studio, offers a captivating experience for both fans and those unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli’s work.

The museum showcases various exhibits that provide insight into the creative process behind these beloved films. Visitors can explore intricately designed rooms with detailed displays of original artwork, props, and animation techniques. The museum also features a charming rooftop garden adorned with sculptures inspired by Studio Ghibli characters.

Additionally, there is a theater where exclusive short films created by Studio Ghibli are screened. With its magical atmosphere and attention to detail, the Ghibli Museum promises an unforgettable journey into the imaginative realm of Studio Ghibli’s creations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Unique Things to Do in Tokyo

Tokyo, the vibrant capital of Japan, is internationally renowned for several attractions. One, it’s famous for its unique blend of traditional and modern, epitomized by the historic temples nestled among towering skyscrapers. Two, Tokyo is synonymous with innovative technology and electronics, as can be observed in the buzzing district of Akihabara. The city is celebrated for its world-class gastronomy, boasting the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants globally.

Tokyo is unique for its exceptional melding of old and new. The city is a microcosm where the past, present, and future coexist harmoniously. This distinctive quality is evident in its architectural landscape, with ancient shrines standing alongside ultra-modern buildings. Tokyo’s unique culture is also characterized by its eclectic pop culture, globally influential anime and manga industry, and traditional arts such as tea ceremony and Ikebana.

When it comes to Tokyo activities, one of the most recommended things to try is exploring the Tsukiji Fish Market. It’s one of the best experiences for food lovers, where visitors can witness the bustling seafood trade, enjoy fresh sushi, and try various local delicacies. A visit to Tokyo would not be complete without this immersive experience that offers a unique insight into the city’s vibrant culinary scene. You could also check out our best free things to do in Tokyo.

The most iconic street in Tokyo is undoubtedly Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Known for its outlandish fashion trends and a plethora of quirky shops, it’s a hub for youth culture and one of the fun things to visit in Tokyo. The street is brimming with unique boutiques, trendy cafés, and cosplay shops, making it an exciting destination for fashionistas and pop culture enthusiasts alike.

The most trendy area in Tokyo is Shibuya. Famed for its busy pedestrian crossing, Shibuya is a vibrant district known for its fashion stores, nightlife, and food establishments. It’s a hub for youth culture, teeming with cutting-edge fashion, music, and entertainment trends. Its energy and diversity make Shibuya an exciting destination for both locals and tourists, reinforcing why it’s one of the best places to visit in Tokyo.