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Founded in 628, Sensoji Temple is Tokyo’s oldest temple. According to legend, two brothers found a statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, while fishing. They returned the statue to the river, but it in turn kept returning to them, so they built the temple for the worship of Kannon. Consult the oracle inside the temple to have any question answered!
The Edo-Museum celebrates the history and culture of Edo-Tokyo and creates a vision of the city and life in the future. The permanent exhibition, showcasing original objects and replicas, offers visitors a journey through the 400-year history of Edo-Tokyo since Tokugawa Ieyasu entered Edo.
TOKYO FISH MARKET
This massive market may have meats and flowers, but the main attraction is the estimated 2,000 tons of seafood handled each day. Arrive early (around 3 am) to see restaurant purveyors and chefs engage in the tuna auction, which ends at 6:15 am. Make sure you try some of the freshest sushi you’ll ever find at one of the on-site restaurants.
Shopping the Ginza is a unique experience—massive department stores, futuristic products, and gracious service are all trademarks. It’s worth a half-day’s stroll around this eye-opening area, even if you don’t plan to buy —particularly on weekends, when a large section is closed to cars.
One of the 23 wards that make up Tokyo, Shinjuku thrives around Shinjuku Station, the busiest train station in the world. This large entertainment, shopping, and business area is a great place to walk around and soak in the atmosphere, do some shopping, or get a birds-eye view of Tokyo at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Center. Here you can ascend to the 45th floor of either the North or South observatory for sweeping views of the city, for free!
Akihabara or “Akiba” is known for the hundreds of electronic stores around Akihabara Station and lining Chuo Dori. From large shops on the main drag to small shops on the side streets selling anything from the newest camera’s to secondhand electronic junk, this is a fascinating area to visit, especially for techies! Although many shops offer goods that will only work in Japan, you can find English-speaking shops that offer goods for use overseas. If you do plan to buy, bring your passport and shop duty free for larger purchases.
The traditional Japanese theater form called kabuki began in 1603 and continues to this day. While you may not speak the language, the themes—such as love and revenge—are usually universal enough to understand. You’ll want to see the elaborate costumes and the skill of the performers, who often sing and dance. Shinbashi Enbojyo is the perfect theater to witness this fascinating art form.
With an expansive beer garden that feels more like a backyard, this bar is the perfect place to relax after a long day. Sekirei is popular with the happy hour crowd, and you may want to join them to escape the throngs of the city. Enjoy a drink beneath a pine tree as dancers in kimonos perform on the lawn. Prices are very reasonable, especially considering the upscale atmosphere.