14 Tourist Attractions

Elizabeth Cothran

Tokyo is home to many of Japan’s most iconic sites, from historical buildings to bustling centers of modern pop culture. The following examples are only a sampling of the wonders lying within the city.


Natural Beauty

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace is where Japan’s Imperial Family lives and was built where Edo Castle (Tokugawa shogunate) once stood in 1888. It was destroyed during World War II, but rebuilt to look the same as before. Guided tours are offered year-round in English and Japanese, but no buildings are entered. On January 2nd and February 23rd the public can enter the inner grounds for New Year’s and the Emperor’s birthday, respectively.



Shinjuku Gyoen National Park was a residence of the Naito family in the Edo period that became the Imperial Family’s. It is a wonderful place to go cherry-blossom viewing, with over a thousand cherry trees.

Ueno Park is the largest natural area in Tokyo, and it connects conveniently to museums, the lovely Shinobazu pond, Toshogu Shrine, and the Ueno Zoo, Japan’s oldest.


Shopping Districts

Ginza & Kabuki-za

Ginza has been Tokyo’s busiest shopping center for many years, and is located where several ancient roads converged. On the weekends, traffic is barred for ease of shopping. This is a great place to explore and buy some souvenirs.

Located in Ginza, the Kabuki-za theatre is where you can see traditional Kabuki performances that last for hours, eat food, and get a bit rowdy. It is a much more relaxed atmosphere than American theatres.



An essential shopping destination clustered around Akihabara Station, this is where you’ll find anime, manga, and video game-related goods, as well as electronics stores and various themed cafes. Like Ginza, on Sundays the main street is closed to cars to allow free shopping by pedestrians.


Harajuku & Meiji Shrine

The Harajuku neighborhood is the surroundings of Harajuku station, known for its unique fashions as well as the blending of old and new. There are many eclectic street styles and youth trends that have sprouted from its streets. Balancing this modernism out is the presence of the Meiji Jingu shrine, which is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.


Additional Landmarks

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, letting up to around 3,000 pedestrians cross the road at once. It is often featured in movies or videos about Tokyo as a prime example of busy city life.


Tokyo Tower & Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo has not one, but two large towers standing over the city. Tokyo Tower was built in 1953 when the NHK needed a broadcasting tower, and its design was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. At the time of being built, it was the tallest freestanding tower in the world at 333 meters, but was surpassed many times since, finally by Tokyo Skytree in 2010. Tokyo Skytree is another broadcast tower that is now the tallest of its kind at 634 meters. It replaced Tokyo Tower as a primary radio broadcast tower for the region due to the interference of high-rise buildings. It is the tallest structure in Japan and the third tallest building in the world.


Works Cited

“Akihabara.”,, 19 June 2022,

Drillinger, Meagan, and Bryan Dearsley. “16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Tokyo: Planetware.”, PlanetWare Inc., 25 Apr. 2022,

“Tokyo Tower: Travel Japan.” Travel Japan, Japan National Tourism Organization, 2022,

“Tokyo Skytree.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Dec. 2022,


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Tourist Attractions Copyright © 2022 by Elizabeth Cothran is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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