Last month we gave you six top tips to help you get around the city; this month we’ve rounded up some of the best spots in Tokyo for Instagram-worthy shots (if you’re a sweets fan, also check our top Instagrammable desserts). Aside from the fact these are sights you shouldn’t miss out on when visiting Tokyo, they’re also bound to garner plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from friends and followers.
Share a Shrine
Sacred spots for Shinto, Japan’s native religion, jinja (shrines) are also wonderfully picturesque locations, whether large or small. While the biggest ones, particularly Meiji Jingu, get a lot of attention, we’ve got a soft spot for Nezu Shrine, which isn’t far from Ueno Park. Although it really comes into its own during the spring, when the azaleas bloom, its tunnel of torii gates and its lovely gardens make it a year-round winner.
Hit the Alleys
Tokyo’s skyline is known for its massive skyscrapers and its blisteringly fast pace, but its yokocho (alleyways) are places where you can experience another side of life in the world’s largest city. Filled with small bars and eateries, these narrow byways make for perfect spots to taking pictures – and whiling away a boozy evening. You can’t go wrong at Shinjuku’s Golden Gai and Omoide Yokocho, or Kichijoji’s Harmonica Yokocho.
Japanese popular culture is one of the things that draws visitors to Tokyo in droves. And if you’re looking for places to experience it, you’re spoiled for choice in the Big Mikan. Akihabara is an old favorite, filled with video arcades and maid cafes, Harajuku is ground zero for teenagers and twentysomethings in the latest fashion, and Nakano Broadway has shops dedicated to almost any kind of subculture you could imagine.
While they’re not as iconic as the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower and the massive Skytree have their own charm. They’re spots where you can feel just how big the city is, but also photogenic subjects in and of themselves. Getting to both places lets you explore different parts of Tokyo, too: Tokyo Tower is a stone’s throw from Roppongi, and neighborhoods like Asakusa and Kuramae lie in Skytree’s long shadow.
See Tsukiji – While You Still Can
They’ve been planning to move Tsukiji Fish Market to a new location for several years now, but because of issues with the new site, good old Tsukiji, the largest fish market in the world, is still in the same place – for now. Whether you get there before dawn to catch the auctions, or just roam around the stalls, this is one spot that you should see before it makes its (eventual) move.
DON’T GO WITHOUT A SIGNAL
No matter where your travels take you in Japan, you don’t want to miss out on uploading your pictures and posts, finding your way around, and staying in touch with your friends while you’re on the go. When you rent a Pocket WiFi from Global Mobile, you can be online all the time, with blazing fast LTE. Service is available for as little as ¥200 a day. For more details, visit www.gmobile.biz/softbank/inbound.