The city of Tokyo, Japan is one of the largest cities in the world (both in land mass and population) and is comprised of over 40 different neighborhoods within the metropolitan area.
Each neighborhood has its own unique and interesting characteristic ranging from calm and serene to unique and flashy.
Additionally, Tokyo has something for everyone including everyone from food lovers to shopaholics to gamers and people who want to dance from dusk until dawn.
This basic guide will help you to explore some of the most well-known neighborhoods in Tokyo.
Ginza: The Center of Luxury
Ginza (銀座) is a neighborhood in Tokyo that is known for its luxury shopping, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The neighborhood is home to the Alice In A Labyrinth Cafe (one of the most unique themed cafes in Tokyo), Kabukiza Theater (Japan’s largest and most famous Kabuki theater), and the largest Uniqlo store in the world.
Looking for fun things to do in Ginza? Check out this great guide on 22 Things to Do in Ginza by Japan Talk.
Roppongi: Entertainment District
Roppongi (六本木) is a neighborhood in Tokyo that is known for its Roppongi Hills entertainment / business complex and its active nightlife, which is very popular with the foreign crowd. In addition to the nightclubs in the area, there are numerous Japanese hostess clubs and bars which cater to a young crowd.
In addition to checking out the nightlife in the area, make sure you do not miss the mega discount store Don Quijote which sells a number of goods ranging from various flavored Japanese Kit Kats to unique Halloween costumes to carpeted toilet seat covers; it is a great place to get quirky Japanese items and gifts.
If you are looking for fun things to do in Roppongi, Time Out Tokyo put out a massive list of 101 Things to do in Roppongi.
Shibuya: Home of Shibuya Crossing
The neighborhood of Shibuya (渋谷) is one of the busiest areas in Tokyo and is home to the famous Shibuya Crossing (the world’s busiest intersection), Japanese fashion stores and malls (such as Shibuya 109), and Hachikō (a statue of Japan’s most loyal dog).
Additionally, if you are looking for inexpensive sushi, you can find it at UOEBI Sushi in the Shibuya neighborhood, and if you are looking for a nice place to relax and escape the busy city life, head over to Yoyogi Park.
Don’t let the crowds and lights in Shibuya overwhelm you; check out this guide to 52 Things to Do in Shibuya help you narrow down what you want to do in the area.
Shinjuku: Peaceful and Exciting
Shinjuku (新宿区) is another one of the busiest neighborhoods in Tokyo and is home to Shinjuku Station (which serves over 2 million passengers per day), Shinjuku Gyoen (one of the city’s largest and most popular parks), The Robot Restaurant (a themed restaurant with dancing robots), and Golden Gai (a small nightlife district packed with a couple hundred restaurants and bars).
Since the Shinjuku neighborhood is so busy, there are a number of things to do in the area. Luckily, Tokyo Cheapo created a great guide to help narrow down your option in their list entitled ‘Top 10 Free Things to Do in Shinjuku‘.
Asakusa: Center of Spirituality
Asakusa (浅草) is a neighborhood in Tokyo that is most well-known for the famous Senso-ji (a famous Buddhist temple where you can have your fortune told) and Kappabashi Street (a famous street that sells every kind of kitchenware you could imagine).
In addition to the more popular sights, make sure to also try the smallest sushi in the world at Sushiya No Nohachi and travel to the top of the Asakusa Tourist Information Center to get stunning (and free) views of Asakusa.
Looking for alternative things to see and do in Asakusa? Consider checking out the list of 50 Things to do in Ueno and Asakusa by Tsunagu Japan
Akihabara: Otaku Central
Akihabara (秋葉原), or Akiba for short, is a neighborhood in Tokyo that is well known for its numerous electronics shops (including Yodobashi Camera), gamers, maid cafes, and Otaku culture.
Looking to visit Akihabara on the cheap? Check out the Top 5 Cheap (and Free) Things to do in Akihabara by Tokyo Cheapo.
This list only dented the surface of all of the wonderful things to do and see within the city of Tokyo, Japan.
Other fun and interesting places to check out in Tokyo that may be of interest are the Tsukiji Fish Market (which will relocate in 2016), the neighborhood of Harajuku (where you can find the popular Harajuku girls), and the island of Tsukishima (where you can find one of the city’s popular owl cafes).
If you are looking for somewhere to stay during your trip, consider checking out the beautiful Park Hotel Tokyo, conveniently located in the Shiodome area of Tokyo.