The stone walls, bridges and flower gardens of the parkland surrounding the Imperial Palace are nothing short of stunning. Although there’s no longer an emperor in residence, the Palace itself unfortunately remains out of the reach of mere mortals.
With temples, shrines, cherry trees and lotus ponds, Tokyo’s first public park reads like a checklist of serenity. A year-round attraction thanks to its top cultural museums, Ueno is best visited during the festival of Hanami, when Japanese of all generations enjoy the cherry blossom en masse.
A global leader in technology, Tokyo is in the business of shaping the world’s future. But that’s no reason to overlook Japan’s rich history. Begin by exploring Tokyo’s oldest temple Senso-ji, and the market in the nearby old pleasure district of Asakusa.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
The two futuristic towers topping-out the building that houses Tokyo’s government are the undisputed kings of the skyscraper-stuffed Shinjuku ward. Kenzo Tange’s iconic landmarks each have free 45th-floor public viewing decks boasting stunning city views.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings may offer a great city views for free, but they pale in comparison to the 360-degree cityscape vista afforded by Mori Tower. Just make sure you’re not lost in the view for too long, as a world-class contemporary art gallery also awaits your attention.
(Images: Imperial Palace – Yasufumi Nishi; Ueno Park – JNTO; Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – Yasufumi Nishi)