Updated: January 14, 2017
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10 Must-Explore Neighborhoods to Feel the Real Tokyo

A vacation in Tokyo is like many mini-holidays all rolled into one, as Tokyo boasts many interesting neighborhoods, each with its charm and character. Here are 10 neighborhoods you should check out!

1. Shinjuku

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Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku!
Unleash the die-hard shopper and foodie in you by visiting Shinjuku, a district chock-full of brand-name department stores and shopping centers as well as chic restaurants and cafes. The souvenir and gourmet choices here are so awesome that you can't just stop spending!

For a brief respite from the bustle, make your way to the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, where you can get a FREE panoramic view of magnificent Tokyo.

2. Shibuya/Harajuku/Omotesando

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The busy Shibuya Crossing will take your breath away
Crossing the Shibuya Crossing - arguably the world's busiest intersection - with throngs of salarymen and shoppers is an exciting adventure in itself. Be sure to patronize Shibuya 109 and Shibuya Hikarie, both of which offer great shopping experiences.

At Harajuku, visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine that will calm your mind with its tranquil surroundings of about 100,000 trees. To get a feel of how rich Japanese spend their money, head over to Omontesando, where the streets are dotted with swanky high-fashion boutiques and specialty design stores.

3. Asakusa

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The awe-inspiring Sensoji Temple
Get up close and personal with Japan's refined history, as manifested in Tokyo's oldest temple, Sensoji Temple. Don't forget to take a selfie with the giant lantern at Kaminarimon Gate! Also not to be missed are the exciting souvenir stores at Nakamise Shopping Street. Some of these stores date way back from the Edo period, so you can be sure that their goodies are yummy.

4. Sumida/Ryogoku

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Go spot Mount Fuji from Tokyo Skytree
No trip to Tokyo would be complete without a visit to Tokyo Skytree, an architectural feat of wonder that offers a spectacular bird's eye view of the whole Kanto area, including Mount Fuji on a clear day.

If you are into sumo wrestling, watching hefty sumo wrestlers battle it out at Ryogoku Kokugikan is an adrenaline-pumping experience.

5. Ueno

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Beautiful sakura at Ueno Park
Ideal for families, Ueno Park offers a wide array of facilities that will allow you to spend quality time and craft precious memories with your family: Ueno Zoo, the National Museum of Nature and Science and even the International Children's Library. Try to visit it during spring, where the spectacular cherry blossoms elevates the already elegant ambiance!

6. Akihabara

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Brighten up your day at a trendy maid cafe
Both gadget geeks and lovers of kawaii culture will have the time of their lives at Akihabara. The former will relish browsing among the shelves filled with the latest sophisticated IT and electronics products. Likewise, the latter will want to dine at a maid cafe and enter a fantasy world where adorable girls and handsome guys serve them passionately in bright, eye-catching costumes!

7. Ginza

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Enjoy the classy (and classic) ambience at Ginza
Ginza is widely known as an upmarket shopping district, but do you know that it is also home to Kabukiza Theatre? Immerse yourself in compelling Japanese tales of good trumping evil. Even if larger-than-life kabuki shows are not your cup of tea, looking at Kabukiza Theatre - a building that showcases the synergy of both Western and Japianese architecture - itself is highly recommended.

8. Marunouchi

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A dignified-looking Tokyo Station
Take a trip down memory lane by admiring the splendor of Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. Tokyo Station is an impressive Renaissance-style red-brick building that draws your attention from a long distance. The Imperial Palace, on the other hand, features the Edo Castle whose beauty is nicely complemented by the majestic Nijubashi Bridge. Open to the public on 2 January and 23 December every year, do get up close with its allure then if you can!

9. Nihombashi

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Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store is Japan's first department store.
An area that marked Japan's liveliness and prosperity during the Edo period. Take a boat ride down the scenic Nihombashi River that will give you a feel of how it was pulsating with energy with many cargo-carrying boats and fish markets doing a roaring business then.

10. Odaiba

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View the sunset with a special someone at the Rainbow Bridge
Soak in the quiet air of Odaiba and take in the energetic bay area developments at Odaiba Kaihinkoen Park, where you can get a solid view of the Rainbow Bridge. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) is also worth visiting so that you can keep abreast of the latest innovations from Japanese creators.
There you have it. 10 fantastic neighborhoods, 10 dynamic experiences in Tokyo. Which neighborhoods appeal to you? Regardless of which neighborhoods you choose, we at Wasa-bi are confident that you will enjoy yourself to the fullest!

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