Tokyo is one of those destinations too bloody hard to try and explain, but look, we’ll try. It’s weird, it’s wonderful, and it’s just downright WTF. Whether you tuck into the local art, design, music, food, cultural events or fashion, there’s always something that’s going to leave you wide-eyed in the hustle and bustle of Japan’s buzzing capital.
Because there really is so much to do n’ see in East Asia‘s crown (you’ll need more than a week there, OK?), we’ve taken the liberty of shortening that ever-growing list of must-dos for y’all. After you’ve ticked the below off we’ll allow you to do with your time what you like. We’re just looking out for you and your inevitable FOMO. You’re welcome.
BE SHOOK BY THE TSUKIJI FISH MARKET
Les Poissions, Les Poissons, HOW I LOVE LES POISSIONS! Make sure you get down to 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045 for all things seafood. Think Sydney Fish Market or Adam Garcia‘s dawn shift in ‘Coyote Ugly‘ but like, 1000x better. It’s crazy and they carve fish the size of cows right in front of you. Suggestion: get down there early for the tuna auction and fish carving. Not a morning person? You’ll still get an awesome experience regardless.
GET YOUR FREAK ON AT THE ROBOT RESTAURANT
Anyone who’s been to Tokyo will tell you about this doozy. We’re just reinforcing. Think bright lights, techno music, glow sticks, dinosaurs, dancers and just all-round good, lit times.
SIP ONE DOWN IN THE GOLDEN GAI DISTRICT
Wanna bar crawl? This is where it’s at. The Golden Gai district is snug, cute and incredibly friendly – how could it not be when you’re stuffed into a bar the size of a walk-in with five other people? Even if you don’t speak the language you’ll get chummy with others, because that’s the sort of kindness Japan’s all about.
BELT OUT KARAOKE BANGERS
Missing out on karaoke in Tokyo would be like having sex without a condom: plain stupid. After a certain time in Tokyo, tourists just do as the locals do and it ain’t a night out in Tokyo unless you do karaoke. You can hire a room with your mates or fam, or go full throttle and perform to an audience. It’s up to you. Hey, why not hit up some arcades while you’re at it and make a night of it?
GO IRL MARIO KART RACING
JUST TRY AND TELL ME YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THIS. Mario Kart racing, in real life, is the chance to make your childhood dreams a reality. Is there any better way to see Tokyo than dressed as your fave Mario character (I’m forever partial to Princess Peach the bloody damsel) alongside the local traffic? You should definitely take the longer course for this activity – it’s over before you know it.
Want more? Check Lonely Planet’s Best Of Tokyo Guide and Guides App.