Over Christmas I spent some time planning my trip to Tokyo and decided it would be great to share with you my top 5 things to do in Tokyo, and invite you to share with me some essential visitor attractions that didn’t make my shortlist.
1 – Sensō-ji temple
I love meditation, so one of the destinations I must visit, and Tokyo’s most visited temple which enshrines a golden image of Kannon (the Buddhist goddess of mercy), is the
Sensō-ji temple. According to legend the golden image of Kannon was pulled out of the nearby Sumida-gawa by two fishermen in AD 628. Further research opens up a mystery even Scoobie Doo would want to look into, as no one is certain as to whether or not the ancient image of Kannon actually exists, as it’s not on public display. This doesn’t stop a steady stream of worshippers from visiting. In front of the temple is a large incense cauldron: the smoke is said to bestow health and you’ll see people wafting it onto their bodies. As someone who could do with some luck in the health department, then I’ll be certainly standing in the smoke for most of the day!
2 – Visit a Sumo stable
By the time I arrive in Tokyo in October I believe the major tournaments will be over, however it doesn’t mean you can’t visit one of 45 Sumo stables in Tokyo. A number do not allow visitors or charge a fortune, however some offer a window view of the training taking place for free, for more information visit http://www.arashio.net/tour_e.html
3 – Mt Fuji, Outlet Shopping, and Onsen in One Day from Tokyo
If you visit Japan, then Mt Fuji surely must be on your lists of things to visit, even if you are based in Tokyo. I’m planning a full day excursion from Tokyo to the Mt Fuji area, first traveling by coach up the slopes of the mountain to 5th station, famous for its great views. Then I’ll relax at the base of Mt Fuji in Yamanakako village and indulge in a rejuvenating soak at a hot springs resort. The day will then be completed by a trip to the Gotemba Premium Outlets and find brand name goods for gifts back home. The trip costs around $84, so well worth it!
4 – The Ad Museum
Now this is a bit left field and I would guess 99% of you would say “what!”, but as someone involved in PR and Marketing, I am really interested in visiting the Ad Museum in Tokyo.
If you see advertising as art, which I do, this museum is a spectacle. Run by Dentsu, Japan’s largest advertising agency, this fine collection runs from woodblock-printed handbills from the Edo period via sumptuous art nouveau and art deco Meiji- and Taisho-era works to the best of today. There’s English signage throughout, and touch screens to view many classic TV ads
5 – The Tokyo National Museum
I’m told if you visit only one museum in Tokyo, make it the Tokyo National Museum. So its on the list. Within the susmptious walls of this internationally famous museum you’ll find the world’s largest collection of Japanese art, including ancient pottery, Buddhist sculptures, samurai swords, colourful ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), gorgeous kimonos and much, much more.