Ultimate Travel in Tokyo PrefectureHandpicked Sightseeing Locations

🕓 2023/1/21



What is Tokyo Prefecture?

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is characterized by its advanced technology, historical temples and shrines, world-class cuisine, and a diverse and vibrant culture.

The history of Tokyo dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when it was already flourishing as Japan's largest city and the political center of the Tokugawa shogunate. The heritage from this period is still largely preserved today, with notable tourist sites such as Asakusa Temple and Ueno Park.

After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Tokyo became the official capital of Japan and rapidly modernized. Despite the strong influence of Western culture, it has maintained Japan's unique traditions and culture, forming the diverse and vibrant city image of today.

Present-day Tokyo is the largest city in Japan, with a population of about 14 million, and its economy is one of the largest in the world. Therefore, Tokyo serves as an international hub in various fields such as business, finance, fashion, art, and culture.

As a tourist destination, it features entertainment and shopping areas such as Roppongi and Shibuya, and tranquil spots like the Imperial Palace and Meiji Shrine. Also notable are modern landmarks like the Tokyo Tower and the newly completed Tokyo Skytree.

Furthermore, Tokyo is globally recognized for its gastronomy. From traditional Japanese dishes like sushi, ramen, and yakitori to Western cuisines like French and Italian, a wide variety of dishes can be enjoyed. In addition, Tokyo is known as the city with the most Michelin stars.


Three handpicked sightseeing locations in Tokyo Prefecture

1. The Imperial Palace

名称未設定のデザイン (12) 1

● Attractions

The Imperial Palace, located in the heart of Tokyo, serves as the residence of the Japanese Imperial Family. Just a short walk from Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi financial district, it offers a tranquil atmosphere, a stark contrast to the bustling city. Visitors can stroll through beautiful gardens and historical structures, experiencing Japan's tradition and history.

Notably, the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace feature the Sannomaru Shozokan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections), displaying art inherited by the Imperial Family, and the ruins of the former Edo Castle's keep. Additionally, the Imperial Palace Outer Garden offers scenic views with rows of Japanese pine trees and popular photo spots like the Nijubashi Bridge.

● History

The current Imperial Palace is situated on the site of the former Edo Castle, which was the residence of the Tokugawa shogunate for over 250 years, serving as the political and cultural center during the Edo period. Following the fall of the Edo shogunate in 1868, the capital functions were transferred from Kyoto to Tokyo, along with the relocation of the Imperial Palace. The current Imperial Palace's main palace building, constructed after the original was destroyed during World War II, was completed in 1968.

The Palace symbolizes Japan's history and tradition, serving as the site for official events and governmental functions of the Emperor and the Imperial Family. It also marks significant historical transitions, including the move of the capital from Heian-kyo (Kyoto) and the Tokyo establishment after the Meiji Restoration。

● Access




2. Meiji Shrine

名称未設定のデザイン (22) (1)

● Attractions

Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, is a shrine that enshrines Emperor Meiji, the 122nd Emperor of Japan, and Empress Shoken. The vast grounds of about 700,000 square meters are known as the "Eternal Forest," composed of approximately 100,000 trees donated from all over Japan. These trees were planted based on the original plan for the construction of Meiji Shrine, aiming to create a forest close to its natural state. The forest includes a variety of trees such as Japanese red pine, black pine, cypress, sawara cypress, cedar, oak, chinquapin, and camphor tree, fostering a rich natural environment nurtured by natural cycles.

The shrine precincts contain Japan's largest wooden torii gate, main sanctuary buildings, prayer halls, inner and outer worship halls, and treasure houses, which are important cultural properties. The grand torii gate, in particular, is located at the junction of the southern and northern approaches, overwhelming visitors with its presence. The approach to the shrine is surrounded by majestic nature, a rarity in the city center.

Moreover, the Meiji Shrine precincts feature attractions such as Meiji Jingu Gyoen (Meiji Shrine Garden), the Treasure Museum, and Meiji Jingu Museum. The garden, created by Emperor Meiji for Empress Shoken, delights visitors with flowers from spring to summer. The Treasure Museum displays items used by Emperor Meiji and architectural structures designated as Important Cultural Properties.​​

● History

The history of Meiji Shrine began as a response to the nation's fervent wish after the demise of Emperor Meiji. Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912 (the 45th year of Meiji), followed by Empress Shoken in 1914 (the 3rd year of Taisho), leading to the establishment of the shrine to enshrine their spirits. The site of the shrine was once the estate of the Ii family of the Hikone domain, donated to the nation after the Meiji Restoration.

Founded on November 1, 1920 (the 9th year of Taisho), Meiji Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken and hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Following damage in World War II, the current shrine buildings were reconstructed in 1958, funded by donations from Japan and abroad. The forest, formed by about 100,000 trees donated from across the country, was created as an artificial forest aiming to be an "Eternal Forest."

Meiji Shrine is also designated as a separate table shrine by the Association of Shinto Shrines and boasts the highest number of visitors during the New Year's visit in Japan. The precincts maintain a rich natural environment with a diverse range of plants and wildlife.。

● Access

  • Address: 1-1 Yoyogi Kamizono-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • How to Access: 3 minutes walk from the Omotesando exit of JR 'Harajuku' station, 3 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line 'Meiji-jingu-mae' station, 5 minutes walk from Odakyu Line 'Sangubashi' station
  • Official Website: Meiji Shrine Official Website
  • Google Maps: Location of Meiji Shrine




3. Senso-ji


● Attractions

Senso-ji, located in the Taito district of Tokyo, is the oldest temple in the city, venerating the Holy Kannon Bosatsu as its main deity. Established as an independent temple in 1950, it became the head temple of the Chisan School of Buddhism. As a designated place of the Bando Thirty-three Kannon Pilgrimage and the Edo Thirty-three Kannon Pilgrimage, it holds significant national religious status. Particularly during the New Year's visit, Senso-ji attracts many worshippers from across Japan, consistently ranking among the top ten in the country.

The historical importance of Senso-ji is not just due to its age. During the Edo period, it flourished as a center of popular culture and commerce. The area transitioned from a samurai society to a downtown hub for merchants, leading to economic development and the emergence of numerous entertainment facilities.

The modern-day Senso-ji harmoniously blends historical ambiance with contemporary vibrancy. While retaining the traditional charm of an old downtown area, it continuously embraces new cultures. One of its major attractions is the array of street food available along Nakamise Street, where visitors can enjoy everything from traditional Japanese snacks to modern gourmet delights.

● History

Senso-ji was founded in 628 during the reign of Emperor Suiko, making its history span approximately 1400 years. According to legend, the temple began when brothers Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari, who were fishing in the Miyato River (now Sumida River), found a statue of Kannon Bosatsu in their net. Locals built a hall of grass to enshrine the statue, marking the origin of Senso-ji. In the Edo period, the temple was fervently protected by Tokugawa Ieyasu and garnered extensive faith.

However, Senso-ji has faced several calamities throughout its history. It suffered significant damage during the Great Kanto Earthquake and the Tokyo air raids of World War II but was rebuilt each time. The current main hall, reconstructed in 1958, symbolizes the temple's resilient spirit.

● Access

    • Address: 2-chome, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
    • How to Access: 5 minutes walk from 'Asakusa' station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, 8 minutes walk from 'Asakusa' station on the Toei Asakusa Line
    • Official Website: Senso-ji Official Website
    • Google Maps: Location of Senso-j