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Tokyo Central Area: Best Places to Visit!

Karina IkedoKarina Ikedo
Published Time
Posted on 
May 15, 2024
Modified Time
Updated last 
May 16, 2024
Tokyo Tower in the Tokyo central area.

The Tokyo central area is huge, and there is much to experience here. It offers everything from temples, shrines, shopping, parks, and museums to more amusement parks than you can imagine! It features bright neon lights, fun cartoon outfits, and delicious Japanese food stalls. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before visiting the Tokyo central area!

What neighborhoods can I stay in?

Deciding where to stay in Tokyo can be challenging. It’s a sprawling metropolis with many great neighborhoods and tons of hotels to choose from. But choosing what areas you want to see in Tokyo will help you decide where to stay.

The Shinjuku area at night.
Tokyo is home to many bustling neighborhoods. Image via Shutterstock

Indeed, there is no perfect place to stay in Tokyo, but there are some neighborhoods where you can’t go wrong. Most tourists choose Shinjuku, the Tokyo Station area, Ginza, Hibiya, Shibuya, and Roppongi.

These are tourist hotspots famous for nightlife lovers and shoppers. They offer tons of restaurant options. Each area offers unique attractions and atmosphere, so the best choice depends on your preferences and itinerary.

What kind of accommodations are there?

You’re probably not surprised to hear that a city as big as Tokyo has endless accommodation choices. From high-end hotels to boutique hotels and trendy hostels, the Tokyo central area has accommodation options to suit every taste and budget.

A luxury hotel in the Tokyo central area.
There are many luxury hotels in the city to enjoy. Image via Shutterstock

Luxury hotels in Japan provide excellent 5-star service city views and will truly put you in the lap of luxury. Most of Tokyo’s luxury hotels are concentrated around the Tokyo Imperial Palace, Nihonbashi, Roppongi, and Asakusa areas.

If you hope to experience more traditional Japanese-style accommodations, Tokyo has you covered. Stay at a Japanese-style inn for a taste of traditional hospitality. A ryokan is an old-school Japanese guest house with tatami (mats), futon beds, and low tables. These traditional inns often also provide Japanese meals and sometimes even a private Japanese bathhouse.

A capsule hotel in the Tokyo central area.
Capsule hotels are convenient for late nights. Image via Shutterstock

The capsule hotel has become an iconic image of Japan in the minds of many. In a sense, a capsule hotel is a type of hostel, a basic, affordable accommodation with shared toilets and bathing areas. But the star of the show is the capsule itself, an individual bed-sized pod. Now, let’s talk about how you can enjoy Tokyo’s central area sightseeing in only four days!

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Day 1: Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Omotesando, and Roppongi

Meiji Jingu Shrine 

Meiji Jingu is located in technologically advanced Tokyo and only a few minutes from the quirky streets of Harajuku. There’s no better place than the Meiji Shrine to experience nature and human designs in harmony. Leafy forests surround the impressive structures dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. With loads to see and do around this garden-filled complex, it should be on every Tokyo visitor’s bucket list.

The torii gate to Meiji Jingu Shrine.
Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the most popular shrines in Tokyo. Image via Shutterstock

Takeshita Street 

Weird, fun, exciting, and colorful are all words to describe Takeshita Street in Harajuku. You can find exciting shops selling everything, from Japanese clothing to make-up accessories. If you prefer a calmer vibe, check out one of the cool cat cafes or enjoy some matcha treats. You are definitely in for a treat if you visit this popular neighborhood!

Omotesando 

This broad avenue is Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées, with flagship stores of iconic top global brands. Additionally, the vibe here is chic and sophisticated, with a sprinkle of artistic flair. The area’s unique restaurants and cafes make Omotesando one of Tokyo’s hot spots for trendy and hip crowds. Because of its glamorous shops and one-of-a-kind architecture, this neighborhood will surprise you at every turn. 

Roppongi Hills

Live the high life in one of Tokyo’s most exciting entertainment complexes. Head up into the Roppongi Hills complex for a glitzy combination of high-end restaurants, shopping, and panoramic city views. This iconic building also houses offices, apartments, shops, restaurants, a hotel, an art museum, an observation deck, and more.

The Roppongi Hills building.
Roppongi Hills is a major entertainment complex. Image via Shutterstock

You can lift to the rooftop and get a fantastic city view. You might even see Mount Fuji if you’re lucky and the day is clear! The Mori Art Center Gallery and Mori Art Museum host some of Tokyo’s most diverse and amazing exhibitions.

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Day 2: Shibuya and its surrounding areas

Shibuya Crossing 

Known as one of the busiest crossings in the world for a reason! This street is booming with energy and people. The best time to see it is during the evenings after the sun goes down. One pro-tip is to go to the Starbucks on the corner. Overall, you get one of the best views of this iconic crossing from there! 

The Shibuya crossing at night.
The Shibuya crossing is one of the most notable sites in Japan. Image via Shutterstock

Hachikō statue 

Snap a photo in front of Shibuya’s central meeting point, a statue honoring the most loyal dog in Japan. At first glance, the small Hachiko Statue near Shibuya Scramble Crossing may not be out of this world. It’s only after hearing the emotional story of this loyal dog that you can appreciate it. Hachiko was a faithful dog who waited for his owner at Shibuya station every day, even after his death. 

Shibuya Sky

Catch the best views of Tokyo at this 360° open-air observation deck on the rooftop of Shibuya Scramble Square. Shibuya Sky is about 230 meters above ground and is the highest point in the district of Shibuya. At night, 18 beams illuminate the city sky, creating a magical light show. 

Day 3: Akihabara, Ueno Park, and Asakusa

Akihabara – Electric Town 

If you like electronics, this place is for you! It is one giant street covered with electronic stores and gaming departments. Whether you are looking for a new camera or a dishwasher, this place has every gadget you could think of. 

The Akihabara neighborhood.
Akihabara is home to nerd culture. Image via Shutterstock

Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo 

Ueno Park is one of Japan’s five oldest public parks. It’s a perfect spot to spend the day, famous for cherry blossoms in spring and other incredible natural highlights! Located inside Ueno Park is the iconic Ueno Zoo. There is no place quite like here for seeing different kinds of wildlife up close. Not to mention, it has a remarkable collection that runs from giant pandas to endangered turtles.

Senso-ji Temple

Sensoji is the city’s oldest religious building and one of its most colorful and popular temples. This ancient Buddhist temple is located in the middle of Tokyo. Incense is burned for hours, and everlasting smoke rises over the temple grounds. This temple is also known for its iconic, sizeable red lantern. It is a must-see spot when visiting Tokyo.

Day 4: Tsukiji Market and Ginza

Tokyo Imperial Palace 

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is an iconic symbol of Japanese history and culture. Its beautiful gardens are a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Built on the former Edo Castle site, the palace became the permanent home of the Imperial Family. A large park also surrounds the castle, where you can enjoy a guided tour. 

The Tokyo Imperial Palace.
The Imperial Palace is home to many strolling gardens. Image via Shutterstock

Tsukiji Fish Market

If you are a foodie, visiting the fish markets in Tokyo is a must. You will not find fresher, more delicious seafood anywhere else. Tsukiji is a place full of character, with over 300 businesses serving customers. You can’t go wrong eating in any restaurant here, but some of the crowd’s favorites are Sushi Zamei and Taneichi.

Overall, Tokyo is a vibrant city with so much to offer. The Tokyo central area has a charm of organized chaos, which is hard to find elsewhere. Hopefully this guide helped you plan some exciting things to do during your stay! 

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