Get away from the hussle and bustle of Tokyo and enter the peaceful grounds of the Meiji Jingu Shrine. Dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken, this is one of the most serene places to while away an afternoon.
Another great place to get away from the hubbub of Tokyo. The inner grounds are only open twice a year (23 Dec, 2 Jan) but you can take a tour or gaze upon the greatness from a distance (including visiting the palace East Gardens).
One of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. If you love some fancy foliage, this has to be on the itinerary. It is beautiful in every season and features 2 lovely tearooms to really get in the zen spirit.
Gain rare access to Sumo Stables to watch the Sumo in training. While you won’t get the pomp and ceremony of the grand tournaments, this is a gritty, authentic, unique experience that shouldn’t be missed
Tokyo has a vibrant contemporary art community featuring cutting-edge offerings from local and international artists. Click the link for 10 of Tokyo’s top galleries and museums.
A school for exploring the traditional arts of Batto (Samurai Sword), Waso (Kimono Dressing), Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) or Sado (Tea Ceremony). They welcome overseas visitors for day 'experiences' in one or all arts.
Immerse yourself in Japan's One Piece world, located at Tokyo Tower. For die hard manga fans it is totally epic! If you don't know One Piece, you may still enjoy checking out the ultimate in classic kid-teen manga culture.One Piece Site (Click the title above for bookings)
A very brash, loud, intense Japanese version of pokies. Gambling in Japan is illegal so you win Pachinko balls, trade them for a prize then trade the prize for cash. And the industry rakes in about 200 BILLION dollars (20 trillion yen) every year.
This enormous Star Wars-like museum focuses on what life would have been like for Tokyoites during the Edo period and it is legitimately wonderful. Located next to the Sumo stadium and nearby Tokyo Skytree, it makes for a great triple-bill day.
Scattered over the vibrant cityscape – from fetish basements to renovated bathhouses – these are the best of Tokyo’s alternative galleries and spaces worth taking a trip to Japan for.
Immerse yourself in the geisha world of art and ambiguity. For the first time in history, a Westerner was accepted as a geisha and, as an expert social anthropologist, is helping open the doors to this ancient culture. Join Sayuki and her geisha sisters for a traditional dinner in Tokyo (bookings essential via the Contact form).
This is simply one of best ground-shaking, chest-pounding, culturally-astounding experiences in Japan. Book tickets well in advance to the Grand Tournament in Tokyo in Jan (or Osaka in March) or special events such as the Retirement ceremony in Feb. Great for the whole family, especially in a box seat (yes, it's totally worth it).
Visit Tokyo’s oldest, most colourful and popular temple. Enter through the ‘Thunder Gate’, stroll down a centuries-old shopping street before entering the grand Buddhist masterpiece. It’s nearby the Tokyo Skytree, Edo-Tokyo Museum and Sumo area if you want to make a day of it
Kabuki is an ancient cultural tradition of over-the-top dance drama theatre. If you don’t have the time (or patience) for a full performance, arrive 60-90 mins before a show to snap up a one-act ticket (and a translation device). Cheap, quick, great for kids. And awesome.
The title says it all. Peruse and buy stunning examples of restored authentic Samurai armour and artefacts. With an international reputation, expect to see avid samurai dealers, collectors and investors in the store.