Tokyo, with its densely packed subways, high rises and crowds, can feel a little overwhelming. But with so many attractions and tourist destinations, a traveler is almost guaranteed a unique experience in a short period of time.
The biggest challenge is narrowing down your options. Let us be your Tokyo travel guide — here are five Tokyo destinations when you only have a few hours.
Coffee with Cats
Japan is well known for its love of animals but Tokyo’s tight living conditions make it hard for people to keep pets. Enter the animal café, a new trend sweeping the city. In addition to offering the standard coffee, tea and snacks, these cafes feature animals on the menu…not to eat, but to cuddle. Take your pick from cat cafes, owl cafes, rabbit cafes, reptile cafes and more. Order a coffee, cozy up to a furry, feathered or scaly friend and spend a relaxing few hours enjoying the benefits of a pet without all the responsibility.
A Fish Tale
If your taste in animals runs more to the sushi side, don’t miss the Tsukiji Market. The action at this famous fish market starts at 5:00 a.m., making it a perfect outing if you’re wide awake from jet lag. The busy market tries to limit the number of tourists but there are a limited number of first-come, first-served spots to view the famous tuna auction. And of course there’s plenty of very fresh sushi to be had.
The View from on High
The newly opened Tokyo Skytree offers some of the best views in the city from its 450-meter-high observation deck. On a clear day you may even catch a glimpse of the famed Mount Fuji, which just made it onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Skytree is in the Asakusa district, which should give you plenty to see on the ground, too.
A Dramatic Sight
The Kabukiza Theater, just reopened in April after renovation, is the only theater in the world dedicated exclusively to the art of Kabuki. Kabuki marries high theatrical drama with unique elements of dance, music, staging and costumes. No wonder it’s been drawing crowds for over 400 years! Built in 1889, the building has a theater, restaurants, shops and even a photo studio where you get your picture taken in full Kabuki costume. So even if your schedule and the performance schedule don’t meet up, you can still take home a Kabuki memento.
Also recently renovated, the architectural masterpiece of Tokyo Station dates from 1914. The station was damaged in 1945 during the war, and the renovation restores the original design while integrating modern safety features and technology. The seventh floor of the nearby Marunouchi building offers a splendid view of the dazzling restoration. Also nearby is the Imperial Palace — the street around it is a favorite with runners, if you want to get in a little exercise. Come springtime, cherry blossoms take center stage.
Acclaro is proud to include Tokyo as one of our global office locations, and we especially thank the employees who contributed ideas to this blog post! Find out more about our Japanese translation services and our Top Five Tips for Japanese Translation.