Tokyo is fascinating in more than a million ways, and we would jet off to that Japanese city in a heart beat. And do we even need a reason to do so?
Not at all, we’d say. But if we must, Tokyo is where anyone and everyone can be inspired by anything and everything. From their incredible food, splendiferous culture and history, amazingly friendly and polite citizens, and even world-class toilets, we really think it is impossible to not fall in love!
If you haven’t been, we are here to share our favourites about Tokyo, and we hope this list of 25 Reasons Why We Love Tokyo will activate the bigger wanderlust bug in you and have you book a flight out on your next leave. For those who are already fans, let’s take a moment in time to reminisce all the good that Tokyo has brought to our soul:
1. AFFORDABLE AND GOOD QUALITY SUSHI AND SASHIMI
Japanese food in Tokyo is is a one-of-a-kind experience and a leisure on a whole different level. Sushi and sashimi are so fresh that you will never see Japanese food in the same light ever again. Our top pick is Uoriki Kaisen Sushi, a humble Japanese eatery that dishes out super fresh sushi and sashimi at pocket-friendly prices.
2. CONVENIENCE STORES HAVE EVERYTHING
Convenience stores in Japan are a-m-a-z-i-n-g. From ATMs, kiosks selling movie and bus tickets, piping hot oden and all kinds of Japanese instant noodles and snacks, Japanese convenience stores have everything you need.
3. TOKYO’S DISNEYSEA
What’s there not to love about Mickey and friends? Disneyland is the happiest place on earth!
4. EVERY NEIGHBOURHOOD HAS ITS DISTINCTIVE CHARM
No matter how many times you have been to Tokyo, it is a place that you will fall in love with again and again. Every neighbourhood has its distinctive charm, and there are always new things to discover and fall in love with.
5. FLOWER MARKET CAFE
Awestruck. That was how we felt when we stepped into Aoyama Flower Market Tea House in Tokyo. It combines a florist with a tea house, and the result is the dream café for every girl.
6. GLORIOUS, MELT-IN-THE-MOUTH TONKATSU
Once you have had a tonkatsu in Japan, your life will never be the same again. A good tonkatsu is one that is deep-fried to golden brown and texturised with crumbs, and has layers of meat and fats bursting with flavours and melts in your mouth – nothing overly oily, and satisfying on every level.
7. GO CRAZY AT JAPANESE FOOD HALLS
One of the highlights of Japan is surely its Japanese food halls, which are filled with kiosks selling anything from cute pastries and cakes, to delicious Japanese bentos and snacks. We can eat ten meals a day with the endless selections!
8. HARAJUKU, THE LAND OF ALL THINGS KAWAII
Vibrant and full of life, Harajuku is the epicentre of Japanese youth culture and fashion, and it is littered with independent boutiques and hip cafes. Do not leave Takeshita Street without picking up a crepe, too! Which brings us to the next point.
9. HARAJUKU LEGENDARY FRENCH-STYLE JAPANESE CREPES
No one visits Harajuku without having the legendary French-style Japanese crepes. There are four to five crepe stores in Harajuku, but we like Angels Heart and Marion Crepes the most! Who says you cannot have the best of all worlds? You can have your crepe with fresh cream, sweet fruits, ice-cream and a slice of cake altogether!
Ichiran Ramen is a popular ramen chain in Japan, and it has been widely accepted as one of the best spots for tonkotsu ramen. And we cannot agree more – with all my heart. A bowl of Ichiran ramen is truly food for the soul, and it is very affordable (¥780/S$10). It is undisputedly a ramen house that you cannot leave Japan without patronising.
11. THE WORLD’S FIRST KITKAT BOUTIQUE
Make a trip to the world’s first Kitkat Boutique. The KitKat Chocolatory store is located within the Seibu department store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district.
Read more about the the world’s first Kitkat boutique here.
12. LARGEST UNIQLO SHOP IN THE WORLD
Spanning over 12 floors, Uniqlo’s flagship outlet in Ginza is the largest in the world. Time to fill your luggages with all colours of their Airism basics and Heat-techs, we say!
13. MARCHE JAPON FARMERS’ MARKET
Tokyo’s farmer’s market located at Aoyama, in front of the United Nations University, is one that offers fresh produce of vegetables and fruits. Expect an array of colours and even if you are not shopping, it is quite a sight to behold!
14. MOUNT FUJI IS JUST TWO HOURS AWAY
Take a day trip to Lake Kawaguchi, and enjoy Hakone’s hot springs, breath-taking scenery, and the ever picturesque Mount Fuji. Life can be so simple, just like that.
15. EXPLORE AND GET LOST IN THE ALLEYS OF OMOTESANDO
The Champs-Élysées of Tokyo, Omotesando has surprises at every corner, and we can easily spend a whole day wandering around. There are many small streets waiting for you to explore, discover, and to get lost in, in a good way of course.
16. ROPPONGI HILLS MORI TOWER
Currently the fifth-tallest building in Tokyo, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower is a 54-story skyscraper. The observation decks at the Mori Art Museum on level 53 are perfect spots to see the city’s landscape.
17. SADAHARU AOKI HAS THE BEST JAPANESE FLAVOURED MACARONS AND ECLAIRS IN THE UNIVERSE AND BEYOND
This famous Japanese-trained pastry chef made his name in Paris by creating French desserts with Japanese flavours. Sadaharu Aoki boasts splendid Japanese-flavoured sweets; think Houjicha maracons and matcha eclairs. Bringing his success back to his hometown, Japanese and visitors all over the world flock to his outlets every day. Be prepared to queue if you want to dine in.
Read our guide to Tokyo’s Best Patisseries.
18. SAMANTHA THAVASA & SAMANTHA VEGA
Who else is a fan of their quilted bags and fancy Sanrio bag charms? Shop to your heart’s content, and if you are at the Tokyo Skytree’s outlet, there is even a sit-in café!
19. SENSO-JI TEMPLE IN ASAKUSA
Senso-ji Temple, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is one of the most colourful and prominent temples in Tokyo. It is also the oldest, dating way back to Year 628.
20. SHIBUYA CROSSING, ALSO KNOWN AS TOKYO’S TIMES SQUARE
There is just something special about Shibuya Crossing, also known as Tokyo’s Times Square. And drop by to say hi to Hachiko, the famous loyal dog. His status sits right outside Shibuya station.
21. SHIBUYA 109 – WOMEN’S SHOPPING PARADISE
Do we need to say more? Let your credit cards do the talking!
22. INEXPENSIVE AND GOOD STANDING SUSHI BAR
There are plenty of standing sushi joints in the city which offer good sushi fix. And the best part? They are mostly inexpensive.
23. STREAMER COFFEE COMPANY
With good coffee with beautiful latte art, and a buzzing atmosphere, Streamer Coffee Company is one place that coffee lovers must go to when in Tokyo.
Read our guide to Tokyo’s Best Coffee Shops.
24. TSUKIJI MARKET, THE WORLD’S LARGEST SEAFOOD MARKET
Tsukiji Market is the world’s largest seafood market, and it is one of the must-see places when you are in Tokyo. We are just dreaming about the Chirashi-don that we had now as we are penning this…
25. TOKYO SKYTREE, THE TALLEST BUILDING IN JAPAN
The tallest building in Japan, the 634-metre Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower, with endless restaurants and shops, and is now Japan’s No. 1 tourist attraction. Skytree town is divided into three areas – East Yard, Tower Yard, and West Yard – and you can find shops, restaurants, and an aquarium.
For more recommendations, read our curated Tokyo’s food & travel guides.