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Things to do in Tokyo

Helicopter Night Cruising gives a bird's eye view of Tokyo and the twinkling lights of Shinjuku, Ginza and Shibuya. Harajuku is a treasure chest of old Tokyo, on display at Meiji Shrine and the Ota Memorial Museum of Art. Youth culture thrives at Yoyogi Park, while Roppongi offers fine art and design spaces like the Mori Art Museum and the National Art Centre Tokyo. Most museums open from 10am to 5pm and close on Mondays.

EXAS Helicopter Cruising, Tokyo. © JNTO

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Mori Art Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. Photo by Tamsin Bradshaw

    The Mori Art Museum in Roppongi holds exhibitions ranging from architect Le Corbusier to Japanese Art showcases, as well as performance arts. Visitors get eye-popping views of the city from the Tokyo City View observatory, included in the museum admission.Show this on map

    Cost

    Varies according to exhibition

    Opening hours

    Mon & Wed-Sun 10am-10pm; Tue 10am-5pm

    Address

    53F Roppongi Hills, Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-6147

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 5777 8600

    Transport

    Roppongi metro

    Website

    Mori Art Museum Website

  2. 2. National Art Centre Tokyo - Museums and Galleries

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    National Art Centre Tokyo, Tokyo. © JNTO

    The National Art Centre Tokyo in Roppongi hosts exhibitions of everything from Vermeer and Modigliani to fashion and architecture, but has no permanent collection. The gallery's energy-saving undulating glass exterior, designed by architect Kishô Kurokawa, is a striking landmark.Show this on map

    Cost

    Varies according to exhibition

    Opening hours

    Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat & Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-8pm

    Address

    7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8858

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 5777 8600

    Transport

    Nogizaka and Roppongi metro

    Website

    National Art Centre Website

  3. 3. Edo-Tokyo Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Tourists observe a model of Nakamura-za, one of the three major kabuki theaters in Tokyo, at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan

    The Edo-Tokyo Museum in Sumida-ku looks at everyday life in Tokyo from the 17th century onwards. Through the Meiji Restoration period, when its name changed from Edo to Tokyo, and onto the post-WWII period, exhibits trace the development of this metropolis.Show this on map

    Cost

    ¥600; concessions ¥300-¥480

    Opening hours

    Tue-Fri & Sun 9.30am-5.30pm; Sat 9.30am-7.30pm; closed Tue and open Mon if Mon a public holiday

    Address

    1-4-1, Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3626 9974

    Transport

    Ryogoku JR station and Metro

    Website

    Edo-Tokyo Museum Website

  4. 4. Ota Memorial Museum of Art - Museums and Galleries

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    Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo. Courtesy of Ota Memorial Museum of Art

    Collected by tycoon Seiji Ota, the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Harajuku exhibits some of Japan's finest ukiyo-e (woodblock prints). They depict life in 17th-19th century Tokyo.Show this on map

    Cost

    Varies according to exhibition

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10.30am-5.30pm; often closed 27th to last day of each month

    Address

    1-10-10 Jingumae, Tokyo Shibuya-ku

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3403 0880

    Transport

    Harajuku JR or Meiji-jingumae metro

    Website

    Ota Memorial Museum Website

  5. 5. Beer Museum Yebisu - Museums and Galleries

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    Beer Museum Yebisu, Tokyo. Courtesy of Marubeni Europe Plc

    Located in Ebisu, the Beer Museum Yebisu takes visitors on a virtual tour through the original brewery where Yebisu Beer was first made in 1887. Visitors find out about the processes, Yebisu's history, and sample local brews.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (tastings ¥300-¥500)

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

    Address

    4-20-1, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 5423 7255

    Transport

    Ebisu JR and metro

    Website

    Yebisu Beer Museum Website

Attractions

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  1. 6. Ueno Park - Attractions

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    Ueno Park entertainers in Tokyo, Japan.

    Ueno Park opened in 1873. Set in Tokyo's Ueno district, the park is dotted with museums, temples and the zoo. Visitors head for the Tokyo National Museum and statue of Meiji samurai Takamori Saigo. The springtime cherry blossom is exquisite.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    24 hours daily

    Address

    Ikenohata 3-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 828 5644

    Transport

    Ueno JR and metro

    Website

    Tokyo Metropolitan Parks Website

  2. 7. Senso-ji Temple - Attractions

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    Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo. © JNTO/Y Shimizu

    Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa is Tokyo's oldest temple, originally completed in 645AD in honour of the goddess of Kannon. Visitors pass through the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), down Nakamise shopping street to the five-storey pagoda and shrine, rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily 6.30am-5pm

    Address

    2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0032

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3842 0181

    Transport

    Asakusa metro

    Website

    Sensoji Temple Website

  3. 8. Yoyogi Park - Attractions

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    Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. Photo by Hilary Peterson

    Yoyogi Park is a tree-filled stretch where jugglers, acrobats and bongo players gather. It was the site for the 1964 Olympic Games. On Sunday afternoons, the dancing Elvises and baby-doll goths gather on the bridge next to Harajuku station.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily 5am-8pm; mid-Oct-April daily 5am-5pm

    Address

    Yoyogi Kamisonocho, Jinnan 2-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0052

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3469 6081

    Transport

    Harajuku JR or Yoyogi-koen metro

    Website

    Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association Website

  4. 9. Yanaka Cemetery Park - Attractions

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    Yanaka Cemetery Park, Tokyo. Photo by Julie Murphy

    Yanaka Cemetery Park, in quaint Yanaka, houses the 1913 grave of shogun, or military general, Tokugawa Yoshinobu. There are also tombs of famed actors, but the cemetery is best known for Sakura dori, a path famous for its cherry blossom.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free admission

    Opening hours

    Daily 24 hours

    Address

    7-5-24 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3821 4456

    Transport

    Nippori JR and metro, or Nezu metro

  5. 10. Imperial Palace - Attractions

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    Grounds of the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Japan.

    The Imperial Palace in central Tokyo is home to Japan's Emperor, and accessed via a series of serene moats. Visitors are limited to the lush park and East Gardens. Walls remain from the original 1888 building, rebuilt in the 1960s.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    East Gardens and grounds Mar-mid Apr & Sep-Oct Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun 9am-4.30pm; mid Apr-Aug Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun 9am-5pm; Nov-Feb Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun 9am-4pm

    Address

    Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3213 1111

    Transport

    Tokyo JR station, Nijubashimae and Otemachi metro

    Website

    The Imperial Household Agency Website

  6. 11. Meiji Shrine - Attractions

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    Meiji Shrine, Tokyo. © Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau

    The serene Meiji Shrine sits amid 175 acres of wooded gardens in Yoyogi. Dedicated to the memory of the Meiji Emperor and Empress, visitors come to this 1920s Tokyo building to write prayer cards, requesting help from the deified royals.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free; inner garden & treasure museum ¥500

    Opening hours

    Sunrise to sunset; inner garden & treasure museum daily 9am-4.30pm

    Address

    1-1, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8557

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3320 5700

    Transport

    Harajuku JR station or Meiji-jingumae metro station

    Website

    Meiji Jingu Website

Special things to do

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  1. 12. EXAS Helicopter Cruising - Special things to do

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    EXAS Helicopter Cruising, Tokyo. © JNTO

    There is no better way to see the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo than from a helicopter. EXAS Helicopter Cruising departs from Chiba, zooming over the Tokyo Tower, Shinjuku, Akihabara and more. Choose between day, sunset and night flights.Show this on map

    Cost

    ¥8,500-¥18,000; children ¥4,200-¥9,000

    Opening hours

    Daily 2pm-9pm

    Address

    Urayasu Heliport, Chidori 14 Banchi, Urayasu City, Chiba Ken, Tokyo 279-0032

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 4 7380 5555

    Transport

    Maihama JR then a 10-minute taxi ride

    Website

    Excel Air Service Website

  2. 13. Centre for Arts and Wellness - Special things to do

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    Centre for Arts and Wellness, Tokyo. Courtesy of Centre for Arts and Wellness

    The Centre for Arts and Wellness in Tsurumaki offers firsthand experience of traditional Japanese arts, including calligraphy and incense ceremonies. Incense ceremonies involve breathing in scents passed around a group. The centre takes group and individual bookings.Show this on map

    Cost

    ¥4,000-¥10,000

    Opening hours

    By reservation

    Address

    301, 3-20-15 Tsurumaki, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-0016

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 5450 8522

    Transport

    Sakurashinmachi station

    Website

    Centre For Arts Wellness Website

  3. 14. KWF ShotoKan - Special things to do

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    KWF ShotoKan, Tokyo. Photo by Paul Kallender-Umezu

    KWF ShotoKan in Shoto is a high-end karate club. Members and visitors take classes with masters, such as world champion Mikio Yahara. Experience is not important, but booking at least two weeks in advance is.Show this on map

    Cost

    One class: non-members ¥3,500

    Opening hours

    Classes run Mon-Sat

    Address

    1-9-22 Shoto, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0046

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 5465 2515

    Transport

    Shibuya JR and metro

    Website

    KWF Website

  4. 15. Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Wrestling - Special things to do

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    Sumo Wrestling, Tokyo. Photo by Tamsin Bradshaw

    Sumo wrestling, still practised competitively, dates back to the 16th century. At the Grand Tournaments at Ryogoku Kokugikan, fascinating ring-entering rituals precede the wrestlers trying to push each other out of the ring to the cheering of crowds. Book in advance.Show this on map

    Cost

    From ¥2,000; children from ¥200

    Opening hours

    Tournaments run several times a year

    Address

    1-3-28 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015

    Telephone

    +81 (0) 3 3622 1100

    Transport

    Ryogoku JR station

    Website

    Nihon Sumo Koyakai Website

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