Boasting some of the world’s best luxury shopping, Ginza is a trendy hotspot and cultural downtown area, with shops that have existed for over a hundred years.
It’s a long-established tradition to shop and stroll when the road is closed to traffic on weekend afternoons, and an impressive collection of glitzy clubs make this area perfect if you’re looking for a fun night out.
- Best for: The culture seeker
- How to get there: Ginza is one stop away from Tokyo Station, where you can catch buses or trains all around Tokyo and Japan.
- Top 5 things to see/do: Tsukiji Market, Tokyo Central Railway Station, Imperial Palace, Bank of Japan Currency Museum, Kabukiza Theatre.
- How long do I need? Full day.
Shibuya attracts a younger crowd where you’re more likely to see school uniforms and bizarre outfits.
By day you can explore Shibuya’s trendy boutiques and cool izakayas, a casual Japanese-style pub. By night the sidewalks swell with excited youth and the sounds of DJs playing in glass booths suspended over the streets.
A visit wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Harajuku Takeshita-dori, a popular street known for wacky shops selling colourful clothes and accessories, and for its fluffy, sweet crepes.
- Best for: Young travellers or families with teenagers.
- How to get there: Shibuya Station is a major transportation hub so it is easy to connect to airports or anywhere within Tokyo.
- Top 5 things to see/do: Shibuya Scramble Crossing, Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Omotesando.
- How long do I need? Half day.
Shinjuku is the embodiment of everything Tokyo is known for. Expect neon lights, bustling streets, skyscraping entertainment centres, beautiful parks, vending-machine restaurants and mammoth shopping malls.
At night, Shinjuku pulses with the sounds of club music and clinking drinks as restaurants and shops close very late at night. There really is something for everyone with wacky robot cabaret shows, red-light districts and hidden restaurants just waiting to be found.
- Best for: The thrillseeker.
- How to get there: Shinjuku is located on top of Tokyo’s busiest train station so all roads lead to here.
- Top 5 things to see/do: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Free Observatory, Samurai Museum, Shinjuku Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho.