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Tokyo Guide: Top 5 Tokyo Sightseeing Spots Popular with Foreigners!

Tokyo Guide: Top 5 Tokyo Sightseeing Spots Popular with Foreigners!

Date published: 11 July 2019
Last updated: 31 July 2020

LIVE JAPAN PERFECT GUIDE TOKYO is the largest tourism information site designed to assist foreign visitors. The "LIVE JAPAN Awards 2019" was announced the other day, honoring facilities and stores that are popular among foreigners visiting Japan based on the number of user accesses.

Here are the top 5 in the Tourism Division. We also take an in-depth look at why the spot that garnered first place attracts so many foreign tourists.

Here are the LIVE JAPAN Awards 2019 Tourism Division Top 5!

Rankings were announced for the five divisions in which recipients were ranked - Gourmet, Experiences, Shopping (Large Commercial Facilities), Shopping (Retail Shopping Facilities, and Tourism - but let's look at the results in the Tourism Division!

No. 5 Yoyogi Park

Of all the Tokyo Metropolitan Parks within the 23 cities of Tokyo it is the fifth largest, a relaxing place visited by people of all ages, and is especially popular with families and couples on weekends. The trees were young and small when the park opened, but now they have grown into a rich forest that covers one-third of the park grounds. There is a central open space with broad lawns, a waterscape facility comprised of three large and small fountains, a bird sanctuary where you can observe wild birds, and an observation deck. You can also rent bicycles at the cycling center and ride around the courses in the park.

No. 4 Ueno Onshi Park

This is one of the most famous places to view cherry blossoms in Japan. About 1,200 cherry trees bloom every year, and nearly 2 million people visit in spring when the cherries are in full bloom to enjoy the Japanese custom of cherry blossom viewing. In the evening, bonbori [round paper lanterns] are lit giving the cherry blossoms at night the aura of floating ethereally in their soft light.
There are also a zoo, museums and art museums in the park, and it is widely known as a "forest of culture".

Public parks were ranked 5th and 4th. Both Ueno Onshi Park and Yoyogi Park are within walking distance from main stations that tourists often visit and this contributed to their rankings.

  • Ueno Park
    • Address Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3828-5644

No. 3 The Tsukiji Outer Market

Nearly 500 stores deal with high quality fresh food as well as cooking utensils, dishes and food related products. In addition, there are plenty of places to eat offering such delicacies as sushi and seafood bowls making it a popular spot not only for tourists but general consumers as well. Seminars and events about food ingredients are also held from time to time. Information Market Plat Tsukiji, a general information center, provides information about shops, sightseeing and traffic information, and also sells original goods, as well as providing a place to rest where you are welcome to stop by anytime while sightseeing.

Even after the market was relocated in Toyosu this has remained a popular spot for foreign tourists for shopping and enjoying gourmet dishes.

No. 2 Tokyo Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari

This is a facility where you can enjoy natural hot spring baths fed by waters drawn from 1,400 meters underground. One of the attractions here is being able to choose a yukata of your choice to wear while relaxing in the facility.

In addition to indoor baths there are open-air baths, foot baths, and also a mist sauna for women only. The rental yukata come in five different patterns for women, four different patterns for men, and a number of different patterns for children. There are also relaxing esthe treatments and scrubbing massages in this soothing place, and for an extra charge you can use the rock-salt sauna. There is also a large lounge where you can relax after bathing, recliners with TV monitors, a dining room, fortune telling, a game corner, accommodations for those wanting to spend the night.

  • Oedo-Onsen Monogatari
    • Address 2-6-3, Aomi, Koutou-ku, Tokyo, 135-0064
    • Nearest Station Telecom Center Station (Yurikamome)
      2 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-5500-1126

No. 1 Shinjuku Gyoen! Why is this the most popular spot for foreign visitors?

No. 1 Shinjuku Gyoen! Why is this the most popular spot for foreign visitors?

About a 5-minute walk from the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station, Shinjuku Gyoen is a national park with a history of over 100 years. It was originally built as an imperial garden, but was later opened to the public.

Within the park you can walk among three different types of gardens: explore the landscaped gardens set among broad lawns, a beautifully designed rose flower bed in the formal garden, and a Japanese garden in which a small stream flows.

Reason No. 1: Able to enjoy a luxuriously green garden right in the middle of the metropolis

Reason No. 1: Able to enjoy a luxuriously green garden right in the middle of the metropolis

What sets Shinjuku Gyoen apart from other parks is its spaciousness. There are 58.3 ha within its 3.5 km circumference.

Visitors can spread out sheets on the broad, open lawns within the landscaped garden and enjoy picnics. Though off the beaten track of popular tourist spots in Tokyo, it still attracts many tourists.

The skyscrapers in Nishi Shinjuku rise beyond the lawns in the distance. This is the sort of scenery that can be enjoyed from Shinjuku Gyoen.

At Kami no Ike Pond in the Japanese Garden, you can take striking pictures of high-rise buildings reflected on the pond on a fine day.

Drinking of alcoholic beverages in the park is prohibited, but eating is permissible. The central rest area and the Okido rest area sell light meals and drinks as well as snacks.

Reason No. 2: You can enjoy seasonal Japanese flowers

Reason No. 2: You can enjoy seasonal Japanese flowers

No one fails to mention the seasonal flowers being one of the charms of Shinjuku Gyoen. Throughout the year you can see seasonal flowers such as Yaezakura [double-blossomed cherry] and wisteria in the spring, hydrangea and crape myrtle in the summer, maple and cluster amaryllis, also known as red spider lily, in the fall, and camellia and plum blossoms in the winter.

Every year the chrysanthemum display alone, which is connected to the Imperial Family, draws more than 120,000 visitors. The chrysanthemum is a venerable flower that has been designated as the emblem of the Imperial Family, and the chrysanthemum garden exhibition is held every year from November 1 to 15 in the Japanese garden. If you are visiting at this time, be sure to look at the chrysanthemum flower beds that are decorated in unique styles.

In spring the azaleas are in full bloom in a riot of pink, white and red colors. This is a popular photo spot for foreign tourists.

From May the formal garden boasts beds of blooming roses. Perhaps you will be able to spot your favorite among the approximately 110 varieties of the 500 some bushes.

Reason No. 3: You can see historic buildings used by the Imperial Household

Shinjuku Gyoen once was a garden of the Imperial Household and today it still has the original buildings from that time.

The former Western-style pavilion built in 1896 was used as a clubhouse. The private bathroom of the Emperor used a hot water heater that was very rare for its time about 100 years ago. It was designated as an Important Cultural Property (Building) in 2001 as a historically valuable building.

The former Goryotei, also known as the Taiwan Pavilion, is a building that was a gift of the Japanese residents of Taiwan to commemorate the marriage of Emperor Showa in 1927. This was designated as a Tokyo Metropolitan Government Selected Historical Building in 2004.

Although some of the furniture has been moved to the former Western-style pavilion, you can enter the building and view the garden from there. The view is so enchanting that some visitors tend to forget the time as though mesmerized by its beauty.

Shinjuku Gyoen is a national park that welcomes visitors from all countries

Shinjuku Gyoen is a national park that welcomes visitors from all countries

Free brochures printed in English, Chinese (Simplified) and Korean are available inside the park. In addition, at the Information Center on the left, entering from the Shinjuku Gate, you can receive answers to questions asked in simple English. Here you can ask about recommended places to see in the park.

Shinjuku Gyoen is an oasis in Shinjuku, a center for gourmet dining and shopping. It is a place where you can fully enjoy nature throughout the four seasons and sample a bit of Japanese history which are reasons why it is favored by foreign tourists. You should definitely visit this national park so representative of Tokyo if you have the chance.

(*Prohibited matters: Alcoholic beverages cannot be brought into the park and use of toys is prohibited, except in the open space for children.)

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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