15 amazing things you'll want to try in Tokyo, Japan
Here at Local Adventurer, we want to build more of a community of people who are passionate about exploring both near and far. Our friend, Pete, recently went on his second trip to Tokyo and got to experience a lot of exciting things that we hope to do on our next trip! Today, he’s sharing his guide to Tokyo.
Written by Peter Kitch
I have had the good fortune of traveling to Tokyo on two separate occasions these past couple years and while I have ventured to some of the more bizarre corners of Tokyo, I feel as if I have only begun to scratch the surface of what this amazing city has to offer. Here is a list of the highlights that I have compiled during my visits. I am confident that this list can start you off in the right direction for what is sure to be nothing short of your own, personal, epic adventure.
1. Ride Go-Karts in Akiba
Race through the streets of Tokyo dressed as your favorite Mario Kart character and learn how to drive on the left-hand side of the road while dodging real-life traffic. No guides, no helmets… probably one of the coolest things you can do in life (GPS not included).
2. Shinjuku Robot Restaurant
Witness Taiko Drumming and laser beams on acid, flashing lights, freaking laser beams and giant, radio-controlled, robots battling to the death. Basically, everything you would come to expect from a trip to Tokyo.
3. Snack on a crêpe in Harajuku
While walking down the bustling, pedestrian-friendly, roads of Harajuku make sure to peek your head into one of the many crêpe stands along the way. An instant-energy-pick-me-up. And sugar. There are also some interesting shops scattered along the walkway.
4. Write a prayer
While visiting Harajuku in the Shibuya District, save enough time to write a prayer at the Meiji-Jingu Shrine. The tranquil setting, towering greenery. and wide-open gravel walking paths are a short-distance escape from the meticulously controlled chaos urban landscape that surrounds it.
Discover more Meiji Jingu Shrine at here.
5. Go to Tokyo’s SkyTree
The second tallest building in the world is open to the public. The elevator ride is a trip, too. Go at least twice (once during the day and once during the night).
Discover mor Tokyo Skytree at here.
6. Grab Starbucks at Shibuya Crossing for an unforgettable view
While I would prefer to plug a local coffee shop or a small eatery, the second floor of the Starbucks at Shibuya crossing offers an unparalleled viewing experience as you witness one of the most heavily pedestrian trafficked areas in the world (if not THE most heavily pedestrian trafficked area).
7. Check out a Maid Café in Akihabara
Looking to induce a quick culture shock fever? Try a Maid Café. Originally created to service the male otaku fetishes, it quickly expanded to attract a wide array of different customers. Just let one of the many girls on the street soliciting their services guide you down a seedy alleyway to an elevator that takes you up to one of the many different themed cafés. Sounds as weird as it is. Totally worth it.
8. Experience a Taito Game Station
They are scattered all over Tokyo and they all offer a really good time. Win an anime figurine in a claw game or wow your friends with your dancing skills. Just be warned that the locals are better than you. Like, a lot better.
9. Enjoy an Onsen
Looking for a day in Tokyo where you can just unwind and do nothing? Go to a traditional Onsen to enjoy natural volcanic hot spring water pumped from deep underground.
10. Karaoke in Shinjuku
Walk into something that looks like a fancy bank and you’ll have the opportunity to rent out a room with you and your buddies to sing the night away. Nice music selection. Alcohol not included. Sing until you lose your voice… even if it is 3 AM.
11. Walk along the beach at night in Odaiba
With a view of Rainbow Bridge and no open container laws, you can play in the sand along the waterfront for an epic date night. If that’s the sorta thing you’re looking for.
Some of the best views and service in Tokyo. Closes pretty early (relative to some Karaoke Bars at least!). Remember not to tip! It’s considered rude.
13. Rely on vending machines and cafés for snacks
Tired of shopping in Shibuya or recovering from a late night out in Roppongi? Grab a Pocari Sweat from a vending machine and then hit up a café for some fancy drip coffee and a slice of heaven.
14. Use the smart toilet
It will change your life. And your butt will thank you. And then you will miss it when you come back to The States.
15. Check out the Pokémon Mega Center and the Aquarium in Ikebukuro
Remember to bring your Nintendo DS because everyone is maxing out their Street Pass. The aquarium (complete with sharks) is located on the roof of the Sunshine City mall.
Bonus: Get lost
One of the smartest things you can do in Tokyo and always guaranteed to provide a memorable experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Kitch is an active entrepreneur and artist currently living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about health, travel, music, and photography and seeks to promote a happy, healthy, adventurous lifestyle through example. Follow him on his adventures via instagram