The dates for the 2020 Summer Olympics have been announced. If you’re a sports enthusiast, you should book your tickets to Tokyo now. Apart from the obvious thrill of the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo will have a lot to offer for the adventurous, fun-loving traveller during that time of the year. True, there won’t be any cherry blossoms for the perfect Instagram post. But, there will be a lot more to see and do in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, 2020.
Here are 10 places to see and things to do in Tokyo and around the Japanese capital when you visit for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
1. Watch the show at Robot Restaurant
This isn’t your regular restaurant where you can order off the menu. The Robot Restaurant in Tokyo is all about a magical, colourful, enthralling show. It’s an astounding display of lights, robots, and animals. You can book a meal for yourself here, but you won’t be doing much eating while the show is on. Make sure you get a seat in the front row. Click here to book.
2. Make a day trip to Mt Fuji
Visiting Tokyo and not seeing Mt Fuji is a sin. Especially when it’s so easy. All you need to do is book a bus to Kawaguchiko and take a 2 hour, smooth bus ride to the volcano. Click here to book your bus tickets well in advance. But don’t worry, an advance booking isn’t mandatory for a bus to Fuji-san. When you arrive in Tokyo, go to the main Tokyo Station, accessible by metro or bus. In the main atrium there, you will be able to buy tickets on the spot. You can also catch the bus from the same station. But do arrive before time. These buses are not even a minute late.
3. See the pandas at Ueno Zoo
This is an absolute delight for anyone who likes cute, cuddly animals like pandas. You can see three pandas here, including the papa panda, mama panda and the star attraction, the baby panda. The mama and baby panda have special privileges so you need to arrive at the zoo before 5pm and buy special tickets to see them. But the papa panda can be seen in the general area of the zoo.
4. Walk through the Shinjuku gyoen
A prime spot for parties under the cherry blossom trees, Shinjuku gyoen is beautiful all year round. In July and August, you’ll see lush greenery around water bodies here. Enjoy an evening stroll here or a day long picnic on a good day. Spend your time admiring the beautiful architectural contrast between traditional Japanese structures and modern skyscrapers here. You can also roam the streets of Shinjuku and go shopping when you’re done.
5. Experience the bullet train to Kyoto
If you’re a fan of technology and speed, you have take the lightning fast trip on the Nozomi bullet train between Tokyo and Kyoto. Not only will you get to experience the marvels of Japanese tech, you will also get to see another beautiful Japanese city, in only 2 hours from Tokyo. We would say make a day trip, but there’s so much to see in Kyoto that you should spend two nights at least.
6. Get drunk in Golden Gai
A network of tiny lanes after lanes, and tinier pubs with seating for as few as five or six people, Golden Gai is a unique adventure. This is where you can go pub hopping to several places in the course of the night and meet people from across the world. In fact, most of the pubs here are teeming with tourists and locals alike. However, there are some bars here which are for members only. It’s no use even trying to get into those.
7. Roam the streets of Shibuya
So what if you can’t make it to Times Square? The famous Shibuya crossing is just as fascinating. You can spend hours sitting on the side watching the rhythmic dance between pedestrians and vehicles all day long. Become a part of the hustle or stroll on the sidelines, it’s an unforgettable experience either way. This is also one of the most famous shopping districts in Japan so you can spend quite a lot of your money here.
8. Experience the famous ‘Lost In Translation’ bar
Perched high atop the city of Tokyo, the New York bar in the Park Hyatt is an experience unlike any other. The views of the city from the 52nd floor are absolutely spectacular. If you’re a fan of the Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson starrer, Lost In Translation, you need to see this bar which was featured quite prominently in the film. Even the elevator ride up to the bar is gorgeous.
9. Eat at the Kill Bill restaurant
Since we are on the subject of Hollywood films, another iconic location in Tokyo is the Gonpachi restaurant, or the Kill Bill restaurant. At first sight, you will be awed by the restaurant and you will imagine Uma Thurman lurking somewhere. But when you start eating here, you will only be thinking of the amazingly delicious food. You’ll need to make a reservation here in advance. Click here to book a table.
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