Witness the titanic clashes of wrestling giants at the National Sumo Stadium in Ryōgoku. Come in January, May or September for a sumo tournament.
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Home to old craft shops, traditional inns, and the bustling Sensō-ji temple. There are several bookable activities to help you immerse yourself in Asakusa culture, such as a kimono experience.
#03 National Art Center
Set aside a chunk of time to explore the enormous National Art Centre, a highlight of the so-called Roppongi Art Triangle.
© Sira Anamwong/Shutterstock
Japan’s ancient seaside capital offers great walks between temples and shrines, plus a giant bronze Buddha that you can clamber inside.
#05 Traditional performing arts
Enjoy kabuki, nō and bunraku puppetry at the National Theatre, Kabukiza Theatre or Shimbashi Embujō.
There are innumerable places in which to scoff delectable raw fish – don’t leave without giving it a try.
A quintessential Japanese-style garden designed to reflect scenes from ancient Japanese poetry.
#08 Contemporary art galleries
Discover fresh talent at Design Festa Gallery and 3331 Arts Chiyoda, as well as commercial spaces such as the Agata Takezawa building. The National Museum of Modern art has an excellent collection, too, while teamLab Borderless is a digital art gallery featuring a series of unforgettable immersive exhibits.
The dazzling Tōshō-gū shrine is the star turn of this quiet mountain town, surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in the land. Nikkō is a great day-trip destination, and you'll also find dazzling Edo Wonderland here, an Edo era-themed park.
© Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock
#10 Golden Gai
It’s amazing how many bars are squeezed into this corner of neon-soaked Kabukichō – getting to and from your seat can resemble a game of Twister.
Traditional back street bars in Shinjuku Golden Gai, Tokyo © Jorge Rodriguez Veiga/Shutterstock
#11 Hanami parties
Pack a picnic and make for the falling blossoms in Ueno Park, around the Imperial Palace moat or along the Meguro-gawa.
#12 Onsen bath
Soak in an old neighbourhood bathhouse such as the Jakotsu-yu or at the resort-like spa complex of Ōedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba.
Enjoy one of the many annual festivals or regular wedding ceremonies held at Tokyo’s most venerable Shinto shrine.
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Trawl the boutiques of Cat Street, dive into crowded Takeshita-dōri, or take tea in a treehouse café.
© Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
#15 Ghibli museum
Most visitors will have seen at least one Studio Ghibli anime – get behind the scenes at the imaginative Ghibli museum.
#16 Nezu Museum
Housed in one of Tokyo’s most impressive pieces of modern architecture, this repository of Asian arts also has a magnificent garden.
© Ming Fa/Shutterstock
#17 Water buses
Cruise down the Sumida-gawa or across Tokyo Bay on one of the city’s ferry services, including the manga-inspired Himiko sightseeing boat. In Sumida City itself, you'll find the Tokyo Skytree, which you can climb for epic views.
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