This enormous Star Wars-like museum focuses on what life would have been like for Tokyoites during the Edo period and it is legitimately wonderful. Located next to the Sumo stadium and nearby Tokyo Skytree, it makes for a great triple-bill day.
This is more like an underground shopping centre than a street. If you need to haul home a bunch of Hello Kitty or Pokémon gifts, this is the place to be.
Gain rare access to Sumo Stables to watch the Sumo in training. While you won’t get the pomp and ceremony of the grand tournaments, this is a gritty, authentic, unique experience that shouldn’t be missed
Tokyo's famous animation museum featuring the incredible work of Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli. A work of art in itself, the museum is west from central Tokyo and requires tickets to be booked in advance. Head here or try here or here with JTB Australia to make sure you don't miss out.
Immerse yourself in the geisha world of art and ambiguity. For the first time in history, a Westerner was accepted as a geisha and, as an expert social anthropologist, is helping open the doors to this ancient culture. Join Sayuki and her geisha sisters for a traditional dinner in Tokyo (bookings essential via the Contact form).
Another great place to get away from the hubbub of Tokyo. The inner grounds are only open twice a year (23 Dec, 2 Jan) but you can take a tour or gaze upon the greatness from a distance (including visiting the palace East Gardens).
Immerse yourself in Japanese Samurai culture. Battle with swords and see ancient Samurai artefacts and costumes. If you're not careful you may come away with your own Samurai Sword from the gift shop.
A school for exploring the traditional arts of Batto (Samurai Sword), Waso (Kimono Dressing), Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) or Sado (Tea Ceremony). They welcome overseas visitors for day 'experiences' in one or all arts.
Scattered over the vibrant cityscape – from fetish basements to renovated bathhouses – these are the best of Tokyo’s alternative galleries and spaces worth taking a trip to Japan for.
Whether you’re into smoky jazz, hard rock or J-pop, Tokyo dishes up a mega mix of music to satiate the gabillions of people in this music-mad metropolis. Check the local rag from Disk Union music stores for gigs or hit the link to 55 of Tokyo's best music spots.
The title says it all. Peruse and buy stunning examples of restored authentic Samurai armour and artefacts. With an international reputation, expect to see avid samurai dealers, collectors and investors in the store.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and enter the peaceful grounds of the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken, this is one of the most serene places to while away an afternoon.
A very brash, loud, intense Japanese version of pokies. Gambling in Japan is illegal so you win Pachinko balls, trade them for a prize then trade the prize for cash. And the industry rakes in about 200 BILLION dollars (20 trillion yen) every year.
One of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. If you love some fancy foliage, this has to be on the itinerary. It is beautiful in every season and features 2 lovely tearooms to really get in the zen spirit.
Visit Tokyo’s oldest, most colourful and popular temple. Enter through the ‘Thunder Gate’, stroll down a centuries-old shopping street before entering the grand Buddhist masterpiece. It’s nearby the Tokyo Skytree, Edo-Tokyo Museum and Sumo area if you want to make a day of it
Kabuki is an ancient cultural tradition of over-the-top dance drama theatre. If you don’t have the time (or patience) for a full performance, arrive 60-90 mins before a show to snap up a one-act ticket (and a translation device). Cheap, quick, great for kids. And awesome.
Tokyo has a vibrant contemporary art community featuring cutting-edge offerings from local and international artists. Click the link for 10 of Tokyo’s top galleries and museums.