Tokyo, Japan’s intriguing capital, is an established tourist destination for both thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts. As one of the world’s largest metropolis cities, Tokyo has been able to enchant travellers with its exquisite charm; with top attractions ranging from their various fields of cherry blossom trees to their advanced technological entertainment. It’s nearly impossible to absorb all of the city’s magic in one weekend, but while there, consider spending those 72 hours to explore some of these trendy hotspots.
Attend a Show at Robot Restaurant
Located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku red-light district, Robot Restaurant is a bionic-themed bar and eatery that features frenzied performances in a fantastical showbiz production. Once inside, roaring music fills the venue as guests sit witness to cabaret-style acts, where performers ride robots into battles against dinosaurs and women dance on glittered war tanks. An admission ticket for a single performance is 8,000 yen ($70 USD), though they are reduced to 7,500 yen ($65 CAD) when purchased on their official website. Even though it’s called Robot Restaurant, the in-house snacks are underwhelming in comparison to the electrical production. Food and drinks are available to order during the various intermissions, but with the venue being located in a tourist-heavy area, meals are best sought out elsewhere, while entertainment is at its prime during the variation of the robotic spectacle.
Visit a Sumo Stable
Considered one of Japan’s most traditional forms of entertainment, sumo wrestling originated in the country during the Yayoi Period and still remains popular amongst locals and tourists. Sumo stables, otherwise regarded as locations for wrestlers to train, are loosely scattered across the city. There are approximately 45 training stables in Tokyo, most of them in the Ryogoku district where the city's grand tournaments are held. A majority of them allow visitors to attend their morning training sessions, though this must be confirmed with the stable before entering. While wrestlers are internationally perceived as large, half-exposed warriors facing against each other on a circular ring, they are considered as sacred beings in Japan. Silence, respect, and limited distractions are essential when attending a public viewing of their training, though once the session starts, the only distraction will be how captivating the experience is.
Walk Along Cherry Blossoms in Nakameguro
From late March to mid-April, during Japan’s cherry blossom season, people are able to appreciate the spectacular flowers in a variety of different parks and locations. Known for its light pink colours and symbolism of the beauty of life, cherry blossom trees are a landmark of Japan’s fascinating culture. While visitors are able to view them in various places across the city, the Meguro River in the residential district of Nakameguro remains one of the most stunning areas to witness the natural phenomenon. During the day, large crowds are expected to gather for the spectacle, though it’s at night when the flowers really blossom - numerous lanterns are then lit at the sides of the river, illuminating the streets and trees. While there are no official tours along the water, the cherry blossoms can still be seen from street cafes and restaurants in the district, which allow tourists to enjoy the view while also enjoying a meal.
Dine At Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai
Considered to be an ultimate dining experience, Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai is a prestige tofu restaurant surrounded by pine trees and a comforting silence not felt within the city. While the indoor Kisshou-an lounge is commonly used for casual meetings and conversations, the restaurant is most known for its authentic homemade tofu served in a classic sit-down establishment. Located underneath the Tokyo Tower, the private rooms of the restaurant are furnished with traditional floor chairs and stunning views of a surrounding Japanese garden. Grand courses range from 10,800 to 16,200 yen ($100 - $150 USD) while lunch courses are around 5,940 to 7,560 yen ($55 - $70 USD), so if there’s only one allowed meal to spend big bucks on, then this should be it - and it'll definitely be worth it.
In a city filled with rare entertainment experiences and vast fields of unworldly nature, it’s likely that tourists won’t be able to fully grasp all that it has to offer in three days. In addition to the above suggestions, there are still countless other hotspots to be seen: from drinking feline-friendly coffee at Cat Cafe Mocha to singing karaoke at Lost in Translation filming location Karaoke Kan, Tokyo never seems to have a night of rest. While there is more to be explored, we hope these few recommendations provide a beginners guide on how to spend a perfect weekend in Tokyo, Japan.