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What to do in Tokyo - My Hundredth Zoo

Discussion in 'Japan' started by FunkyGibbon, 3 Dec 2018.


Which Tokyo collection should be the big 100?

Poll closed 20 Dec 2018.
  1. Sumida Aquarium

  2. Tama Zoo

  3. Tokyo Sea Life Park

    0 vote(s)
  4. Ueno Zoo

  5. Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

  6. Zoorasia

  1. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    5 Jul 2008
    Knowle, UK
    Congratulations on booking your trip! Could be bittersweet if there's a break in posting on the 'Bilou' thread, though :p

    @MikeG, @TimBrown and I had no difficulty getting to Tama Zoo, just be mindful that it'll take a while to get there. I found the JR travel app on my mobile (combined with a pocket WiFi router) extremely useful.

    You'll probably need to go up one of the towers - choose between Skytree and Tokyo towers. Skytree is taller, newer and has the Sumida Aquarium at its base (it's technically the tallest tower in the world), but Tokyo Tower has a large temple (Zojoji) on the walk from a few of the nearest stations. Late opening is usually an option - although you then wouldn't see Mount Fuji, you'll still get to see Tokyo by night, which is still worth it.

    Tokyo is odd for not really having a central city focal point, but a lot of tourist and business activity is centred in certain districts. We found it was easiest to be based in Shinjuku on both of my trips. Despite not having a true city centre, when films show the screens in Times Square in NYC and Piccadilly Circus in London, it's usually the Shibuya Crossing which is featured next.

    On my first trip we combined a walk and visit to Meiji Jingu shrine with a walk down Harajuku's stylish streets. Really quirky, but pricey and touristy. Great for buying clothes which will look unique anywhere else, and you'll also find quite a few of the owl/cat(etc.) cafes around. Asakusa was the other place we went to buy gifts.

    Disneyland was interesting. Smaller than I expected when compared to other Disney parks, but one of the busiest, and cosplay is a very big deal. I found it odd that they didn't offer photos from the rides. The sister park, DisneySea, gets good reviews but I haven't been.

    The Tsukiji fish market is meant to be very impressive, but due to the ridiculously early start, difficulty getting there and loss of zoo-visiting time, I've not yet been.

    The gardens of the Imperial Palace are a great place to go for a walk - there's plenty to see, along with lots of wild waterfowl. There are a few interesting museums to around there too - we spent some time in the National Museum of Modern Art - as someone who isn't particularly interested in the general topic, I found it better and more engaging than expected. :)
    Brum, CGSwans and FunkyGibbon like this.
  2. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

    12 Feb 2009
    The tour of the Imperial Palace, however, is not one I would recommend. You don't go inside, the building itself dates from the 1950s and is not very interesting, and all told I'm not sure it's worth the time.

    Continuing the art theme, Tokyo National Museum (which is in Ueno Park near the zoo) is well worth it. It focuses exclusively on Japanese art and craft (or almost exclusively - if there's foreign art there I don't remember it) and is a really good insight into the culture.

    The Edo Museum is a bit over-produced but is interesting enough for its insight into Tokyo history. Also, it looks from the outside like one of those massive walking tank robots from Star Wars, for reasons that are not at all apparent.
    FunkyGibbon likes this.
  3. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

    4 Jan 2016
    Tsukiji fish market was moved to another place,not in Tsukji anymore.
    Anyway, Tama is accesible. Go to Shibuya or Shinsuku, change another line that's going out to Tama, and then change a monorail. Not that hard.