Tokyo is a city with a lot to offer the average traveler, and if you’ve never visited before, I shared a few years ago, tips for the first time visitor. While the idea of visiting a place where you can’t even begin to read the local language might be intimidating, Tokyo is a much-loved vacation destination for many. It’s clean, safe, high-tech, and boasts an incredible public transportation system, and you’ll find it easier than you think to get around and enjoy your experience.
Admitting that I was at first intimidated, is an understatement. This was my very first trip to Japan with a child in tow although we were heading to Tokyo Disneyland, as it turned out, there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Not convinced Tokyo belongs on your travel bucket list? Here are just a few reasons why you should visit Tokyo:
Tokyo is a food lover’s paradise. Sushi, ramen, yakitori, udon, chankonabe – the list goes on of Japanese specialty dishes that can be found across Tokyo. If you love to eat and aren’t afraid of ordering from menus you can’t always understand, you’ll have an amazing time in the city. You can indulge in traditional dishes at family-run restaurants, or splurge on meals at establishments with multiple Michelin stars.
Rather do something more fun? Stop by one of the city’s well-loved themed cafes. A quick Google search will turn up eateries inspired by cartoons, comics, and anime series, as well as animal-themed cafes.
Japan is a country with an incredibly rich history, and much of that history can be found throughout Tokyo. From historic districts and buildings that have survived war and natural disasters, to museums that spotlight the nation’s culture and technological advancements, to the revered traditions that form the backbone of Japanese cuisine, you’ll find yourself soaking up Japanese history without even realizing it.
One of the best things about Tokyo, and one of the things that make it stand out as a destination worth visiting, is its incredible architecture. You’ll find ancient temples, perfectly preserved, made of wood – and you’ll also see some of the most ultramodern skyscrapers and high-tech LED displays in the world.
You can take a tour of Tokyo’s best architecture to experience it all with a guide, or you can simply keep your head up when walking around town – you’ll be amazed by what you see.
THE TECH-FORWARD CULTURE
If you love technology, you’ll fall in love with Tokyo. The city has full-on embraced technical advancements, and you’ll see it in everything from the bullet trains to the vending machines.
Tech-lovers won’t want to miss a chance to visit Akihabara, a famous district in Tokyo that’s considered the high-tech hub. There, you’ll find electronics stores selling the newest and greatest tech toys and gadgets, as well as a variety of arcades to check out. And if you love anime, you’ll find shops selling cute gear, collectibles, trinkets, and other merchandise featuring your favorite series and characters.
THE FACT THAT IT’S SO KID-FRIENDLY
Surprisingly, Tokyo is a great place to travel with kids. It’s easy to get around, it feels very safe, and there are tons of activities, museums, and spots to explore that will keep the whole family entertained. While there are definitely some elements of the city best experienced without little ones, like Tokyo’s nightlife scene, you can enjoy the vast majority of what the city has to offer as a family. If keeping your vacation kid-friendly is a priority, Tokyo should be at the top of your list of spots to visit.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to make Tokyo your next vacation destination. Between the delicious cuisine, its fascinating history, and the wide variety of things to see, do, and experience, you’ll find it hard to have a bad time here.