Tokyo has long been a bucket-list destination for many, but its recent victory in hosting the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, as well as the 2019 Rugby World Cup has further positioned the Japanese capital on travelers’ radars. Famed for the harmonious co-existence of time-honored tradition and boundless innovation, its reputation as one of the most exceptional cities on earth continues to entice visitors from across the globe, with 2019 travel trends positioning Tokyo as one of the must-see cities of the moment.
If you are planning to visit this year, take your sightseeing cues from the experts at the award-winning Peninsula Tokyo, with an insider’s guide of things to see and do on your trip. Superbly located opposite the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park in Marunouchi district, and within minutes’ walk of the shopping capital of Ginza, The Peninsula Tokyo boasts commanding views of the capital’s skyline, sophisticated facilities, extraordinary dining options and The Peninsula’s legendary service.
Visit one of Tokyo’s famous museums
There are over a thousand different museums in Japan, and you can’t say you’ve visited Tokyo without hitting a few of these yourself. Learn about Japanese history and culture; explore the more scientific advances that have shaped our modern era or absorb yourself in modern artworks from emerging artists, based both locally and abroad. Schedules may vary, so check with the concierge to see if the museum you plan to visit is open.
- National Museum (Your one-stop museum for everything about Japan)
- National Art Center (Showcasing temporary exhibits of modern artists)
- Mori Art Museum (Modern Art museum with beautiful sky view of the area)
- Snoopy Museum (Learn more about Charles Schulz and the animation world of Peanuts)
- Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science)
- Nezu Museum (Art museum with more than 7,400 Japanese and East Asian art pieces)*
*Keys to the City Access to Nezu Museum: Peninsula guests may purchase museum tickets in advance at the hotel Concierge desk.
Take a walk in the Imperial Palace Garden
As the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan, the Imperial Palace is located in the centre of Tokyo. Immersed in natural greenery, flowers and surrounded by a moat, the palace is built on what used to be the Edo Castle compound of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603–1867). Adjacent to the inner grounds of the palace is the Japanese-style Imperial Palace East Gardens, covering an area of approximately 210,000 sq m.
Keys to the City Access: Peninsula guests may enjoy a fully guided, 60-minute excursion, either in English or Japanese, of the Imperial Palace East Garden by a hotel staff member at JPY 7,000 (AED 235) (1–2 persons, including tax). Interesting stories and historical events will be shared as visitors stroll through the beautiful green gardens. A complimentary bilingual souvenir book and transportation via a MINI Cooper or hotel Alphard are included in the program. Two days’ advance booking is required.
Shine in a Shrine or Temple Run
The Japanese are very spiritual people, and show this through their multiple festivals and home practices. But nothing beats discovering their spirituality by visiting an authentic shrine. Don’t forget to bring some loose change with you as you may want to offer a prayer, purchase a charm or even have your fortune told. Right beside the Sensoji temple, you’ll find a bazaar area where numerous local produce and trinkets can be purchased, making perfect souvenirs or snacks to munch on. Visit The Peninsula Tokyo’s concierge to discover the best way to get to these places using the subway, and learn how to adopt shrine etiquette in the way Japanese locals do.
- Sensoji Temple
- Meiji Jingu Shrine
Whether it’s a major department store, speciality boutique or a store with everything you never knew you needed, shopping will always be a pastime for Tokyo locals and foreigners alike. Visit the basement of the city’s department stores for some amazing food collections or get lost in several floors of stationery products that will bring out the scrapbook hobbyist in you. Check with the hotel concierge on opening hours.
- Tokyu Plaza Ginza (Glass shopping-mall)*
- Itoya Ginza (Your go-to stationery paradise)
Mitsukoshi Ginza (the most popular department store in Ginza with branded products and an extensive basement food plaza)
Ginza Six (Newest Department Store to hit Ginza with high-end fashion shops and large bookstore)
Don Quijote (Everyone’s favorite shop for almost anything you are looking for, Tax-free for foreigners with passports)
Harajuku Takeshita Dori (The teen fashion district)
Omotesando Hills (The Rodeo drive of Tokyo with boutique shops all lined up
*Keys to the City Access at Tokyu Plaza Ginza: Peninsula guests will have access to an after-hours (9:00 pm onwards) shopping spree at Tokyu Plaza Ginza, providing private, leisurely shopping at one of nine selected stores: Bally, Kiton, Cruciani, EDWARD GREEN, Emporio Armani, Hackett London, Strasburgo, Hunter and GLOBE-TROTTER. One to seven days’ advance booking is required.
See Tokyo from Above
If you’ve ever wanted to reach for the clouds, then this is the best way to do it. The SkyTree and Tokyo Tower reveal a magnificent 360-degree view of the Tokyo area – making it impossible to not be awestruck by the engineering and architectural planning of one of the most liveable cities on earth. After the SkyTree visit, head over to the Sumida Aquarium in the same building to view an array of aquatic creatures; if you’re lucky you may even catch feeding time for the penguins. Speak to your concierge to check on the weather forecast for the day to ensure your amazing view won’t be obstructed with a multitude of clouds.
Feast on Authentic Japanese Cuisine
You can’t leave Tokyo without trying a restaurant or five of different Japanese cuisines. Even if Japan has the most Michelin-starred restaurants than any other country, Tokyo has countless other dining destinations of different styles which can easily match those listed, and provide a magnificent ambience and memorable dining experience. The concierge can provide guests with a list of must-try restaurants during your stay
- Imahan Ginza for SHABU SHABU / SUKIYAKI
- Roppongi Robataya for ROBATAYAKI (Skewers)
- Koju for KAISEKI
- Shima for STEAK
- Tempura Kondo for TEMPURA
- Bifteck no Kawamura (Ginza) for TEPPANYAKI