8 Unique Spots in Tokyo You Must Experience

Tokyo’s appeal lies in its blend of tradition and modern subcultures. In this article, we will introduce you some of the city’s most distinct spots that capture the essence of Japan. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, we’ve curated a list of must-see destinations tailored for those craving an authentic Japanese cultural experience. Get ready to immerse yourself in the excitement and uniqueness of Tokyo✨

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Gotokuji Temple (豪徳寺)

Gotokuji Temple, located in a quiet residential area in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, is a famous temple said to be the birthplace of “Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat),” which have long been popular as one of the most popular good-luck charms.

More than several thousand Maneki Neko, from large to small, are lined up in the main hall and precincts of the temple, and the sight is truly breathtaking! Maneki Neko placed in the dedication hall are for people who have made a wish on a Maneki Neko and brought it home to return it after their wish has been fulfilled.

The Maneki Neko in general holds a koban (coin), but the Maneki Neko at Gotokuji Temple does not hold a coin and raises its right hand. This is because the Maneki Neko brings us the opportunity and chance to obtain good fortune, rather than directly providing the hapiness itself. So it is up to the individual to turn its chance into fortune through their actions. The absence of a coin in the Gotokuji Maneki Neko serves as a reminder of this lesson, emphasizing that constant gratitude are the keys to attracting good fortune and happiness.

Gotokuji is also an enjoyable stroll from the station to the temple. As soon as you pass through the ticket gate of Gotokuji Station, you will be greeted by a Maneki Neko ornament. From the station to the temple, there is a charming shopping street with a nostalgic atmosphere, with cat-related art. Easily accessible from central Tokyo, the temple is about a 15-minute walk from Gotokuji Station on the Odakyu Line and about a 5-minute walk from Miyanosaka Station on the Tokyu Setagaya Line, so be sure to enjoy sightseeing in and around Gotokuji to see the Maneki Neko!

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Ninja Experience Cafe (忍者体験カフェ)

Ninja Example Photo

In Tokyo, there are two cafes, one along Takeshita-dori in Harajuku and the other in Asakusa, where you can experience the ninja experience. The cafes offer entertainment for children and adults alike. Those who wish to experience ninja training can dress up in ninja clothing and try their hand at ninja weaponry such as shuriken, blowguns, and swords. You can immerse yourself in the world of ninja training, enjoy food and drink, and take pictures at all kinds of photo spots in the shop.

*Normally, we recommend that you make a reservation online in advance before visiting, as the shop is expected to be crowded and may be fully booked. (Compared to the Asakusa branch, the Harajuku branch has relatively more seats available.) For more information, please check the official website.

Official website:

Meguro Parasitological Museum (目黒寄生虫館)

A museum recommended for those seeking an unusual Tokyo attraction is the Meguro Parasitological Museum in Meguro-ku, Tokyo! This spot is one of the few museums in the world specializing in parasites and attracts many visitors from overseas. The permanent exhibition features about 300 specimens and related materials collected from Japan and abroad. Admission is free (Donations are welcomed). There is also a museum store in the museum where you can buy original goods, so please stop by together!

Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro Sohonten (ガシャポンのデパート池袋総本店)

Located in “Sunshine City”, a shopping center in Ikebukuro, the Gashapon Department Store Ikebukuro Sohonten houses approximately 3,000 gashapon vending machines, one of the largest in the world! You will find an incredible variety of toys, including figures from Pokemon, Gundam, Doraemon, and more and more! The capsule toys make good little souvenirs, and since they are easy to carry around, you can try many different kinds, not just once, and some people have even spent three hours in the Gashapon Department Store lol Enjoy the experiences that can only be tasted here!

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Edomae Kisen Monja Yakatabune (元祖もんじゃ屋形船 江戸前汽船)

A yakatabune is a large Japanese-style boat with a roof and seating area. On the “Edomae Kisen” you can enjoy cruising while eating various traditional oldtown gourmet foods such as okonomiyaki and monjayaki. Even if you are a beginner at monjayaki, the waiter will carefully teach you how to cook it so that you can do it well by yourself.

The nearest station is Shinkiba Station, which is a direct connection from Tokyo Station. From Shinkiba Station, there is a free shuttle bus to the boat pier, so you can get there without getting lost.
Don’t forget to make reservations in advance by phone or online. Monjayaki served on a boat is exceptional, so be sure to experience it!

Official website:

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Nakano Broadway (中野ブロードウェイ)

Nakano Broadway, located just a short distance from JR Nakano Station, is an old-fashioned building complex built in 1966. While retaining the atmosphere of the Showa period, it has become a “mecca for subcultures” and a source of the latest culture.
The B1 to 4F floors are filled with a variety of stores, where enthusiasts in various fields gather daily for rare bargains and other items that cannot be found even on the Internet.

As Japanese pop culture, anime and manga, have become popular in countries around the world, more and more tourists from abroad are coming to Japan and enjoy this place!

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Toyosu Fish Market (豊洲市場)

Toyosu Fish Market, a hot spot in Tokyo that opened in 2018, is a new central wholesale market to which the aging Tsukiji Market (Chuo-ku, Tokyo) was relocated. A variety of fresh fish, produce, and other goods are traded daily, and if you visit early in the morning, you can even observe the auction process. The market is also famous for its gourmet food. Many popular Tsukiji restaurants have relocated to the new location, and you can enjoy not only sushi, but also a wide variety of tastes from long-established restaurants such as set menus and coffee shops that are frequented by the market workers.

Official website:

English guide:

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Henn na Hotel Tokyo Ginza (変なホテル 東京 銀座)

The world’s first photogenic robot hotel filled with the near futuristic vibes, this hotel opened in 2018 and has been certified by Guinness World Records as the first ever “hotel where robots serve guests” and offers a unique experience never before seen using advanced technology. The location is excellent, and Tsukiji and central Ginza are within walking distance, so if you are interested in a different kind of hotel, this can be your options!

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