Tokyo is a great place to visit for foreigners – the city is a perfect blend of the modern, bustling city and traditional culture with the added bonus of amazing cuisine, agreeable to most people tastes and preferences.
Tourist friendly locations include landmarks such as: the Tokyo tower, Meiji shrine, Disneyland, shopping districts such as Shibuya and Harujuku (where product descriptions and sales services are sometimes provided in English as well as tax refunds for shopaholics). I also highly recommend visiting these tourist locations because they are not just destinations visited by foreigners – Japanese people often visit these areas too! And as they say, do as the locals do.
Walking around the shopping districts (I highly recommend Shibuya!) as well as modern attractions like the Tokyo tower is a great way to appreciate the vibrant energy of such a modern and high tech city. Streets are littered with bright lights and neon signs; make sure to keep an eye out for upper levels as Tokyo buildings sprawl upwards unlike Australian stores which usually sprawl horizontally. In busy districts, a single building usually contains multiple floors home to various unrelated businesses!
Traditional attractions are a great way to get away from the bustle of city life. I especially recommend shrines like the Meiji shrine (also located in Shibuya!) for a quieter moment. I found that these attractions are also a wonderful way to learn more about the history and culture of Japan.
When planning for a Tokyo trip, remember that our seasons are flipped! Winter in Tokyo means you will be dealing with shorter and very gray days whilst trying to keep warm in temperature averages of under 10° on the best of days and even lower temperatures once the sun sets.
The Bug UNSW