The Tokyo Bucket List

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a bustling modern metropolis that is home to over 13 million people from all walks of life. It is filled with the rich culture and history of Japan. Tokyo’s scene is a mix of modern, traditional, local, and foreign influences, making it one of the best places to visit and experience Japan.  Here’s a guide for a bucket list for a visit to Tokyo:

Shopping at Harajuku – Harajuku encompasses from Harajuku Station to Omotesando, including smaller backstreets like Takeshita Street and Cat Street, to Sendagaya to the north and Shibuya to the south.

Harajuku, Japan. | Elena Gurzhiy

You can join in the popular cosplay culture, and shop at thrift boutiques and even at some of the world-famous high-end fashion chains.  Harajuku is also very close to other local attractions such as the Meiji ShrineYoyogi Park, and Yoyogi National Gymnasium.

Light incence at Sensō-ji –  (金龍山浅草寺 Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji), founded in 645 AD, is Tokyo’s oldest temple. It was formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism but became independent after World War II. A visit to Sensō-ji  is a wonderful way to experience Japan’s unique culture and history.

Get lost in Yoyogi Park – in Shibuya, Tokyo, may be just the place to go. Next to the Meiji Jingu Shrine, the park is home to over 15,000 trees.

Yoyogi Park, Japan. | jpellgen (@1179_jp)

These include gingko trees that turn gold in autumn and cherry (sakura) trees that blossom during hanami season in a profusion of orange, pink, and white.

Watch Sumo morning practice – there are several sumo wrestling stables in the Tokyo area. Arashio-beya sumo stable is just one of the places you can watch sumo wrestlers in their daily practice. It is closest to Exit A2 of Hamacho Station on the Toei-Shinjuku line, and just a stone’s throw from the lovely Sumida riverside Hamacho Park. Check other sumo stables for their schedule of practice.

Feast on ramen – Ramen is synonymous with Japan and has caught the attention of people from all across the globe, even those with the most discriminating palates. Tokyo has many shops that serve some of the best ramen in the country.  Here are some of the best ramen places to try according to Japan Restaurant Award 2016.

Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. | Andreas Komodromos

Bask in polka dots at the Yayoi Kusama Museum – Yayoi Kusama (b. March 22,1929) is considered to be one of the most important living artists of Japan. Her contemporary works are based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of pop art, abstract expressionism, minimalism, surrealism and feminism, among other things