5 things you must do in Tokyo
I recently returned from a two week trip to Japan and I have to say it is one of the best trips I have ever been on.
From quiet, leafy backstreets and peaceful gardens to hedgehog cafes, robot restaurants, 7elevens with the most food you’ve ever seen, vending machines every 50 metres and some of the world’s busiest pedestrian crossings, Tokyo is the most interesting and diverse city and there is zero chance of being bored there.
I could have titled this post ‘100 things you must do in Tokyo,’ however here are my top highlights and recommendations for 5 things you must do in Tokyo.
1. Roppongi Hills Roof Top Sky Deck + Mori Art Museum
The best way to take in the view of Tokyo and absorb its greatness is to visit Sky Deck, the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Kanto region. There are many buildings to view the city scape from for free, however the outdoor Sky Deck is definitely worth the entry fee. Purchase a ticket that allows access to the 52F observation deck, as well as Sky Deck and the Mori Art Museum.
Roppongi Hills Tokyo City View
A: 52nd floor Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills 6–10–1 Roppongi, Minato-ku Tokyo 106-6150 Japan
2. Harry Hedgehog cafe
Only in Tokyo would you find a Hedgehog cafe. The land of cat, dog, owl and rabbit cafes has recently added a Hedgehog cafe to its repertoire of crazy but awesome things to do. Here you can play with the cute little creatures for half an hour, or even buy one as a pet if you plan on living in Tokyo (they are illegal in Australia). Just quietly, this was actually the first thing we did when we arrived in Tokyo.
*Tip: Harry Hedgehog Cafe is near Roppongi Hills so it’s a good idea to go here and to Sky Deck on the same day to save doubling back.
Harry Hedgehog Cafe
A: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-7-2 IWAHORI Building 2F
3. Robot Restaurant
Robot Restaurant is one of those must-dos when in Tokyo. The best way to describe Robot Restaurant is that it is like a musical without much of a plot, featuring laser lights, robots, samurais, dinosaurs, unicorns and sharks on wheels that leaves you thinking ‘did someone spike my drink, or did that just happen?’
*Tip: Don’t opt for the dinner option, just stick with the popcorn. Book a night-time show and head to Shinjuku Golden Gai afterwards.
A: 1-7-1 Kabukicho Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo,Japan
4. Shinjuku Golden Gai
Shinjuku Golden Gai is a small area of Shinjuku, made up of six narrow alleys, connected by narrow passage ways. Crammed into these alleys are around 200 tiny 4-6 seater bars and eateries. Some bars have a theme such as jazz, punk-rock and heavy-metal. We went to a halloween-themed bar and also saw a toy troll-themed space. Most bars have a cover charge but if you’re lucky the charge will include snacks like cheese and bickies.
5. Shibuya Crossing
Visiting Shibuya Crossing is definitely one way to make you feel like you are in Tokyo. With approximately 100,000 people crossing every hour, Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. Every two minutes the light goes green and thousands of people scramble across the road from five different directions.
*Tip: One of the best spots to view the crossing and take photos is at Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the Q-Front building.