Tokyo, the capital of Japan is home to over 37 million people, making it the most populated city in the world. This incredible city is vibrant, wacky and will definitely be one of the most unique places you ever visit. It offers a unique blend of culture, with the Imperial Palace paying homage to the past and Harajuku being the epi-centre of modern pop culture. Tokyo should be on everyone’s bucket list and not just the manga and anime fans. In addition, Japan is a great vacation destination for the whole family as there is definitely something for everyone. Select your preferences on the Tripio App and create your custom top 10 and custom itinerary. This is sure to make whatever adventures you plan to have on your vacation great.
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With such a heavily populated city, it isn’t surprising that Tokyo is home to the world’s busiest train station, Shinjuku, which sees more than 3.5 million commuters a day. Speaking of train stations, the one to visit is Shibuya.
Shibuya is famous for its crazy 5 way crossing, which is the busiest intersection in the world but Shibuya station is also home to the amazing statue of Hachiko. Furthermore, Hachiko, an Akita, is the world’s most loyal dog who waited at Shibuya station every day for 9 years for his owner to return. Animals in Tokyo are very popular. You will find cafes all over the city that offer a cuddle with everything from a dog, otter and even a hedgehog. Their cafes and restaurants are very unique as well. The Japanese are very much into everything ‘Kuwaii’ which means super cute. What’s more even their food and drinks are made to look cute. Henceforth, food art is very common throughout the city.
Cosplayers… Listen Up
The Harajuku district is where you will feel like you’ve just walked onto the set of an anime series. The fashion here is pretty crazy. In the United States it would be called cosplay, here it’s just fashion. If you want to be thrown into the weird and wonderful culture of Tokyo, dine at the Robot Restaurant, it is out of this world. While in Japan, you may want to try out a spa as Japan has some incredible hot springs. However, they are called Onsens and you will have to enter naked so I’ll leave that one up to you.
Tokyo experiences a humid, subtropical climate. The hottest month is August where temperatures top 80°F. The coldest month is January where temperatures dip below 40°F. Tokyo is extremely easy to get around via the trains and subway. Moreover, get yourself a rail pass for the duration of your stay and this will make your trip hassle free. Be mindful that English is rarely spoken in Japan so bring along a little pocket translated picture book, it will be a life saver.
Kicking off our top 10 is the weird and wonderful Robot Restaurant. The robot restaurant in Tokyo is like nothing you have ever seen, I can guarantee you that. This is a wild, weird ride that is sure to make your vacation fun. This dinner and show has everything from kung-fu fighting pandas, to samurais, robots, pyrotechnics and anime girls riding giant robotic dragons. This is a must-see while in Tokyo so add this to your itinerary on Tripio now.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a character in Mario-Kart? Well, you don’t have to wonder any longer. MariCAR Shibuya in Tokyo offers the unique experience of dressing up as a character from Mario Kart, getting into your own go-kart and driving around the streets of Tokyo! Sounds Crazy, cause it is but super fun. However, be aware that you need to bring photographic ID with you along with a valid international driver’s license plus your own country’s driver’s license. This is bound to be an unforgettable experience. Your friends and family just seeing this on your itinerary will make them jealous of your vacation before you even travel.
The Ghibli museum in Tokyo is a dedicated space of the world renowned Japanese animated film director, Miyazaki Hayao. This one is for all the fans of the global animated hits like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. Even if you aren’t familiar with these animations, this is a super cute museum that should be added to your itinerary.
Harajuku is a shopping district in Tokyo that attracts the weird and the wonderful. This shopping area is full of animal cuddle cafes and cafes offering cute food or ‘kuwaii’ as it is known here. What may be considered as cosplay to the rest of the world, in this district, is just everyday fashion. However, it can get very crowded on a weekend. Expect the unexpected. Just walking down the streets in Harajuku is an adventure all in itself.
Hedgehog Café & Pet Store HARRY Harajuku is one of many animal cuddle cafes in Tokyo. They range from an Owl cafe, Shiba Inu dogs, cats, bunnies, otters and you guessed it, hedgehogs. You order a drink and get to cuddle these adorable animals. It is impossible for these little guys not to steal your heart. This one is worth travelling for.
Ever been adventurous with your food? The Pompompurin Cafe in the Harajuku district of Tokyo offers ‘Kawaii'(cute) food based on an animated dog. Everything from curry to rice to pancakes and desserts, even drinks are modeled to look like the dog Pompompurin. You will not be able to stop taking pictures of your adorable and delicious dishes.
Hakone Kowakien Yunessun offers one of the most unique experiences in Japan, maybe even the world. This theme park spa resort offers a combination of natural hot springs which Japan is famous for and crazy themed pools. However, they have put a spin on it like only the Japanese can. There are multiple pools to choose from including, pools filled with wine, tea, coffee and even ramen.
In addition, there’s a grotto and waterslides to enjoy. Traditionally, hot spring spas in Japan are called Onsens and you have to be naked with no tattoos to attend. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun is different in the sense that it has both, the traditional onsen where you need to be naked and the quirky pools where you can wear a bathing costume. Ensure to keep tattoos covered at all times. Taking photographs in the different themed pools is bound to confuse all your family and friends.
Sneaking in at number 8 of our top 10 list is DisneySea. This family-friendly adventure destination is one to add to that family bucket list. While Tokyo Disneyland is usually dubbed as the worst of the Disney Parks, DisneySea is rated one of the best. A family vacation to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a trip here. This is the world’s only Disney park themed around the sea. If family-friendly fun is a priority, add this to your custom itinerary on tripio app now.
Did you think the only Eiffel tower was in Paris? Well, you don’t have to travel to France to see an imitation Eiffel Tower. Tokyo Tower is an observation tower downtown. It was modeled off of the much more famous one in Paris and stands at 1,100 feet high. Making it the second tallest structure in Japan. Fool everyone back home on where you actually are in the world. Ensure you add this one to your custom itinerary on the Tripio app and if Instagram worthy photos are your priority, it should definitely be on your custom top 10.
10. Coffee Art
Rounding up our Top 10 list of the weird and wonderful is a café. Reissue is a café in Tokyo that creates 3D coffee art. They create amazing images out of the foam in your coffee. If you bring in a picture, they can even recreate it for you in your cup of coffee. Consequently, it looks almost too good to consume. Make sure to get a snap before you sip the art away. This is the perfect spot to scroll through the tripio app and plan your next vacation.
Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay is a hotel in Tokyo that is run by robotic dinosaurs. Yes, you read that right, only in the weird and wonderful Tokyo. Furthermore, in order to check in here, you are required to have your passport scanned by a robotic dinosaur. Even if you aren’t a guest at the hotel, it’s worth having a peak in reception to see these dinosaurs. Where else can you travel to and be served by dinosaur robots? Whoever said Japan wasn’t the future obviously hasn’t stayed here.
Interested in more travel, check out our blog on: The Top 10 Best Greek Islands
or even more of Japan: Best Cultural Experiences In Osaka & Kyoto
and Wonders Of Japan
– Gemma Winchester, Tripio Guru