42 Things I Love About Tokyo

1. Vibrant cherry blossoms in bloom

2. Delicious Chicken Tonkatsu for lunch

3. Riding the impossibly large and busy subway for the first time

4.Watching the sunset from the top floor of Ritz Carlton, the tallest hotel in town

5. Spying a sumo wrestler in training hurry towards his next practice

6. Ascending Mt. Fuji for the first time

7. Navigating the busy stalls at Nakamise Dori

8. Trying to decide which impossibly strange vending machine to try first

9. Being on the receiving end of truly one-of-a-kind Japanese hospitality

10. Exploring the near future at the Panasonic show room (the massage chairs are definitely in my future)

11. Using plastic food models to order dinner

12. Taking a swan boat across Lake Ashi

Swan boats Japan

13. No one does mystical panoramic views like Japan

14. Watching the faithful descend on the popular Sensoji Temple

15. Learning about the past at the Edo Tokyo Museum

16. Staring in shock and awe at a group of anime dressed teens

17. Popping your head in a cat-stroking shop

18. Enjoying world class comfort as a guest of the Ritz Carlton Tokyo

Ritz Carlton Tokyo

19. Sushi isn’t for me, but if you like it this is the place for you

20. More tonkatsu for dinner

21. Discovering the many other cuisines represented around town

22. Strolling through an endless array of shops that are best described as strange

23. The travel umami I experience there

24. Seeing a red, double decker London bus drive by and decide there’s nothing odd about that

25. Bubble tea. Try it immediately if you haven’t heard of it before.

26. Getting in touch with your inner Zen at a local Buddhist retreat

27. Admiring the endless displays of botanical perfection in small gardens around town

28. Standing back and watching the madness at Shibuya Crossing during rush hour

29. Talking to a local over some tea to learn more about them, their life and their city

30. Going on a hike outside of town for some fresh air in pristine national parks

31. Getting clean at a traditional onsen bath. No modesty allowed.

32. Trying not to stare as geishas effortlessly glide by

33. Going high end at one of the many world class restaurants in town

34. Going low end with some truly excellent street food, as long as you can identify it.

35. Visiting a fish market, namely Tsukiji Fish Market to see the Japanese obsession with seafood in full force.

36. Walking through a mall, it’s truly a cultural experience


37. NOT taking a cab, they’re expensive, slow and communicating can be an issue

38. Learning enough Japanese phrases to so you don’t expect everyone to understand you

39. Random acts of kindness, like the young lady who helped me find my way on the subway

40. Riding the Shinkansen bullet train

41. Understand that while Tokyo is impossibly large and modern, much of its attitude is rooted in a more rural, pastoral way of life

42. Saying so long, but not goodbye because it would take a lifetime to properly explore this amazing city.

What are some of your favorite things about Tokyo?

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

16 thoughts on “42 Things I Love About Tokyo”

  1. I just love Tokyo! Watching the tuna auctions at Tsukiji Fish Market is a truly unique experience that’s worth getting up at 4am. Follow this up with a sushi breakfast at 7am. Visit the Ramen Museum in nearby Yokohama and eat bowls and bowls of delicious ramen. Explore the sacred shrines of Nikko. Strolling through the Imperial Gardens. Taking in the views from the tv tower. Watching a tea ceremony. Shopping for souvenirs at the Asukasa market and temple complex. Enjoying grilled snacks and cold beers at an izakaya. Standing in the presence of the Big Buddha of Kamakura. The list goes on and on…

  2. Enjoying a delicious bowl of ramen in a tiny restaurant that barely seats six people, and wondering why Tokyo has a reputation for being such an expensive city when you could never find a bowl of ramen that good or that cheap at home.
    Really good takeout food from a conbini.
    Sake vending machines.
    The moment when you realize you’ve been bowing to people without noticing for the past few days.
    Knowing you only have a four minute window to make your connecting train… and making it, because the trains are precisely on time.
    Getting one or more of the JR train melodies stuck in your head.
    Common courtesy being actually common.
    Watching the rockabilly guys dance in Yoyogi Park, and appreciating it without trying to make sense of it.
    Staying in Asakusa and wandering the grounds of Sensoji late at night or early morning when there’s almost no one there. Especially at night when the pagoda is lit up.
    The surprising amount of fun you can have finding cheap souvenirs in a Daiso or some other 99 yen shop.
    Feeling totally overwhelmed and disoriented, while somehow simultaneously feeling completely relaxed and at home.

  3. I don’t know how you kept your list to just 42. Tokyo has got to be one of the best cities on the world. I love the way it’s still so unique. While lots of big capitals around the world are slowly morphing into each other and losing their identity, there is nowhere else in the world like Tokyo!!

  4. All so true, and reasons why I want to go back to Tokyo. Few more reasons: Going to izakaya (a Japanese pub) and having to take off your shoes when you enter; eating noodles at 5am; the bizarre experience of sleeping in a capsule hotel; walking around Harajuku and seeing people dressed in amazing costumes; hot baths … so many things

  5. Angel | CNEholidays Singapore

    Anyone who is having a hard time coming up with a nice Tokyo itinerary should see this list! It’s helpful!

  6. I didn’t know bubble tea was popular in Japan as well. I always thought they were from Taiwan! Anyway, i bet the Japanese have lots of weird and interesting flavours =)

  7. Great post. I will be there march26 and I am staying in Asakusa for exactly the reasons you cite. Excited. Restaurants you recommend? Ueno?

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