Tokyo is a huge city, so for many tourists, it might be a little bit hard to take it all in! When visiting Tokyo, the best way to think about it is as if several different cities had been brought together. That way, you can plan your trip around Tokyo as if each area was a city in itself which needed exploring, as most tourists don’t know that Tokyo is comprised of so many neighborhoods, each of which has their own character.
Some of these Tokyo neighborhoods represent youth culture; others hark back to history, while a few bigger areas are just giant melting pots of culture and people. If you spend a week in Tokyo, then imagine as if each day you are visiting a different city, and then Tokyo will begin to make sense. Of course, there are a lot more than 12 ‘cities’ in Tokyo, but here we will introduce ones that simply can’t be missed!

1. Akihabara – Tokyo's Anime & Gadget Town

As soon as you step off the train you can feel the vibrancy of this famous of Tokyo neighborhoods in the east side of Tokyo. Here you'll find heaps of otaku (or nerds) and rub shoulders with salarymen and technology enthusiasts. The local electric stores attract their own worshipers, ready to be separated from their money while anime lovers flock to the maid cafes and arcades.
You can feel a flavor of this by visiting Animate, a massive anime and comic store. An undercurrent to Tokyo’s electric town is a growing economy in cuisine with amazing ramen shops and crafts, such as the artisan-oriented mall 2k540. The surprising thing about Akihabara is that not far from all the neon lights you can discover old Japan in the guise of Kanda Myojin Shrine.

Animate – Akihabara
4-3-2, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
03-5209-33302k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN
5-9, Ueno, Taitou-ku, Tokyo

The 3 Must-Try Ramen Restaurants in Akihabara

Kanda Myojin – Akihabara’s Iconic Shrine

2. Asakusa – Tokyo's Traditional Cultural Center

A little further east from Akihabara is one of the historical Tokyo neighborhoods: Asakusa. Here go down the little streets in which crowds gather at Kaminarimon gate; head towards Sensoji temple and then scatter out into the surrounding streets full of shops.
The diverse visitors include couples in rented kimonos, schoolchildren and tourists from all around the globe. The nearby streets are the very definition of shitamachi, or old town, you can see stalls which seem unchanged from hundreds of years ago, crafts at Edo-Shitamachi Traditional Crafts Hall and on a pretty much monthly basis there is some kind of festival going on.
Along Sumida River, you can experience hanami (sakura blossom viewing) during April and it’s a fairly short walk to Tokyo Skytree. Asakusa is also one of the best places to try Japanese eel, known as unagi, like at Asakusa Unatetsu.

Senso-ji Temple
2-3-1, Asakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo
03-3842-0181Kimono Rental「Asakusa Aiwafuku」
NW building 1 – 3F, 1-11-4, Hanakawado, Taitou-ku, Tokyo

Visiting Temples and Collecting Goshuin Stamps in Asakusa

3. Ikebukuro – The Other Akihabara


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