With borders opening up again, you may be considering coming to Japan and checking out all the cool places you missed the last two years. You’re probably wondering what fun activities you can try out in Tokyo that don’t involve going to different restaurants or going on rides in amusement parks or even visiting mainstream attractions such as Tokyo Skytree or Tokyo Tower. There are a lot of things to do in Tokyo that exist beyond the overhyped tourist activities, and we’ll tell you all about them.
Here’s a curated list for your endeavors!
Things to Do in Tokyo: #1 Art Workshops
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Number one on the list is art workshops! They can be super fun, even if you’re not the best artist. You can paint in groups or even go solo – either way, you’ll have an instructor guiding the session. The instructors are friendly and super easy to follow along with as well; the best part is that they offer instructions in both Japanese and English. Artbar, located in Shibuya at the heart of Tokyo, provides a neverending stream of drinks and snacks while you chase your artistic passions.
The concept of these art cafes is to help people relax and let their creativity loose. You can try your hand at your very own masterpiece and take it home with you as a souvenir. It’s a fun way to spend an evening.
For another art-related place, you can check out Pigment in Shinagawa. This store has every single paint colour you can think of in soothing names such as “natural willow leaves” and “ultramarine rose”. There are thousands of paint supplies you can choose from in this shop. While they do offer online shopping, it’s best to visit this place yourself to revel in the beautifully constructed store with neat bamboo shelves and a world of vibrant hues.
#2 Yanaka District
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You’ll be surprised to know that amidst the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, there still exists small pockets of peaceful quiet. One such place is Yanaka near Sendagi station in Old Tokyo with its old town ambience still intact. You’ll see that much of its architecture has been preserved from the Edo period, with the city teeming with numerous temples and small wooden houses from the olden days. You’ll be able to find small grocery stores, second-hand bookstores even arts and crafts shops sprinkled around the city. But more importantly, you’ll be away from the highly populated areas that make up most of Tokyo and be able to enjoy a small rustic hidden gem with lots of greenery and nostalgia.
If you want to taste a little bit of history, this small city is the perfect place for you.
#3 Sushi-Making Classes
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If you’re a fan of sushi, this is definitely for you. Most of us can appreciate the aesthetics of sushi but hardly any of us know how to really make one. Sushi can be as intricate as it is delicious and beautiful. Getting to know how the beautiful slices of a salmon journey from the bottom of the ocean and onto your plate can be an experience of a lifetime, so definitely take up one of these day-long sushi-making classes if you’re in Tokyo. From nigiri to inari to the satisfying sushi rolls all over social media, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of how these are made by an expert. The duration of most classes ranges from 3-6 hours so you can find one that fits your needs easily. More importantly, most of the instructors speak English, so you’ll have no trouble navigating through the classes.
Although they’re a bit on the expensive side, you may be able to find one within your budget since there’s a wide variety of classes offered. When in the land of sushi, you might as well make the most of it!
Plenty of Things to Do in Tokyo
This list is by no means complete, but it will definitely provide you with a place to start beyond the overly hyped mainstream attractions. Learn to hone your artistic flair at an art workshop, or stroll through a beautiful old city and travel through the past! You can even break down the intricacies of sushi from an internationally-certified sushi master in a sushi-making class. Even if these don’t fit your mood, there are a million other things to do in Tokyo, so you’ll definitely find something that suits you.
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