Visiting Tokyo – A City Guide
Tokyo is a historic and futuristic metropolis, sprawling inland from the Pacific Ocean and across the Kanto Plain. Neon-lit skyscrapers, tranquil Zen gardens, ultra-modern hotels and atmospheric Shinto shrines offer visitors endless variety and enduring mystery.
Tokyo: City Layout and Top Attractions
Modern Tokyo expands outward from historic Edo Castle, now occupied by Tokyo Imperial Palace
. Many main attractions and hotels in Tokyo can be found in the central ward, Minato-ku. The Sumida River cuts through the oldest neighborhoods of Asakusa and Ueno, and the southeast limit of the city curves around Tokyo Bay, where Rainbow Bridge
and man-made entertainment hub Odaiba Island
light up the waterfront.
Iconic Mount Fuji can be seen on clear days from high-rise Tokyo hotels, and the observation decks at Tokyo Tower
or Tokyo Skytree
Buzzing nightlife attracts crowds to central Shinjuku, Roppongi and Shibuya, with its famously busy pedestrian crossing. Each district is packed with karaoke rooms, jazz bars, and nightclubs, sometimes in the same building.
Eating Out in Tokyo
Tokyo is a major foodie destination, with a sophisticated international dining scene and numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, including three Michelin-starred Quintessence
, near Shinagawa Station. If you redeem your IHG®
Reward Club points for a luxury stay at ANA InterContinental® Tokyo Hotel, you can treat yourself to dinner at two Michelin-starred Pierre Gagnaire
. The premium-grade sushi and sashimi at world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market
is near central Tokyo hotels.
Japanese food is the first choice for most visitors, and the city is packed with noodle shops, sushi bars and high-end kaiseki
restaurants serving traditional multi-course meals. Akasaka is good for traditional restaurants, and Ginza has the highest concentration of stylish fine-dining venues.
Shopping in Tokyo
The best places to shop in Tokyo can be found in neighborhoods known for particular specialties. Akihabara is nicknamed Electric Town because of its electronics stores, and also revered for its comic book and video game culture. You can pick up international games, cameras and more at Yodobashi Camera
Ginza, home to many Tokyo hotels, is known for luxury brands and designer boutiques. Nearby Nihonbashi is a historic merchant quarter, with older shops selling traditional Japanese sweets, teas and kimonos.
If you’re planning to visit Minato Mirai
on Tokyo Bay, you’ll find hundreds of stores and restaurants that run the gamut from quirky to ultra-chic.
Culture in Tokyo
Tokyo’s cultural scene was founded on traditional performance arts, which can still be seen at the Kabukiza Theater
and National Noh Theater
. Sumo wrestling remains vital to Japanese culture, and the best wrestlers go belly-to-belly during tournaments in January, May and September at Ryogoku Kokugikan
The city is a world capital of contemporary art. Three separate galleries – the Mori Art Museum
, Suntory Museum of Art
and National Art Centre, Tokyo
– form a central cluster known as Art Triangle Roppongi. There’s reduced-price entry if you visit more than one.
The Strings by InterContinental® Tokyo is a 15-minute drive from Zojoji
, a stunning 16th-century Buddhist temple.