Here’s how to enjoy Tokyo for…
Get up before dawn to witness the lively tuna auctions at Tsukiji, Japan’s largest and busiest wholesale market. There is an incredible array of seafood to check out at the sprawling market’s vibrant stalls. Many of the restaurants in and around the market offer super fresh sushi for breakfast and early lunches at great prices.
After Tsukiji, stroll to Hama-rikyu Gardens, formerly a shogun’s (military governor’s) duck hunting grounds that’s now a blend of tidal ponds, landscaped walkways and flower fields set against the high-rise backdrop of the Shiodome area. Then go window shopping in nearby Ginza district – be sure to taste the myriad free samples from deli counters in Mitsukoshi department store.
Head to Sumida to see Tokyo Skytree, the world’s second tallest building at 634m. Visit the aquarium and planetarium, then head for the observation decks (at 350m and 450m) for breathtaking panoramic views of the metropolis.
Next explore the nearby Asakusa district. The Senso-ji temple complex houses a five-storey pagoda, two giant roofed gateways. Don’t leave without picking up local mementos from the souvenir stalls that line Nakamise-dori. A short walk away, the tiny Hanayashiki amusement park is crammed with retro attractions, including Japan’s first rollercoaster.
Have a wander around Roppongi – visit Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, for its wide range of sleek shopping and dining options. Art lovers will want to visit the uber contemporary Mori Art Museum, 21_21 Design Sight design museum, and the Suntory Museum of Art
Splurge on a dinner you won’t forget, with an evening at tofu specialist Tofuya Ukai. Housed in a mock Edo-era (1603-1867) mansion, the kaiseki restaurant serves multi-course meals that showcase seasonal ingredients alongside tofu. Marvel at the grace and ornate presentation that’s synonymous with Japanese cuisine, as you savour your meal and enjoy views of a traditional landscaped garden.