Your ultimate guide to Tokyo

Explore the best of Tokyo and Japanese culture

10 reasons why Japan's convenience stores are the best in the world
Shopping

10 reasons why Japan's convenience stores are the best in the world

Ready-to-eat hot meals, buy event tickets, pick up luggage, do you paperwork... Japan's konbini offers all that and more

Please scream inside your heart: Japan's new roller coaster rule becomes motto for 2020
News

Please scream inside your heart: Japan's new roller coaster rule becomes motto for 2020

We want the T-shirt!

This new Yayoi Kusama exhibition will feature never-before-seen works of art
News

This new Yayoi Kusama exhibition will feature never-before-seen works of art

There's gonna be a new infinity room

Japan’s Go to Travel campaign offers up to 50 percent savings...
News

Japan’s Go to Travel campaign offers up to 50 percent savings...

... on day and overnight trips

Japan plans to ease entry ban for 10 Asian countries and regions
News

Japan plans to ease entry ban for 10 Asian countries and regions

Japan will start negotiations to lift travel restrictions for China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and more

Latest news

Japan could relax its re-entry rules for foreign residents this week
News

Japan could relax its re-entry rules for foreign residents this week

There is a possibility foreign residents stuck abroad could have a chance to return to Japan soon

Tokyo Disney Resort cancels Halloween and Christmas
News

Tokyo Disney Resort cancels Halloween and Christmas

2020 is pretty much cancelled

Sorry Mario Kart fans, Tokyo’s IRL go-karting is no more
News

Sorry Mario Kart fans, Tokyo’s IRL go-karting is no more

Many people visiting Tokyo for the first time expect the city to look like an anime or video game. Of course, it’s not. However, there are certain aspects of Japanese pop culture that do reflect real life here – just stroll through Akihabara for otaku goods or Harajuku for innovative fashion and kawaii snacks. Until recently, you could even see costumed characters zooming on the streets a la Mario Kart, taking in the sights whilst angering local drivers.  Unfortunately, the latter is no more. Originally named MariCar, Street Kart led tours of the city for visitors dressed in Mario, Luigi and Yoshi onesies, letting them drive go-karts on the city streets – just like in the video games – to see Tokyo’s most famous landmarks, including Tokyo Tower, Shibuya and Akihabara. In 2017, Nintendo sued MariCar for intellectual property infringement, eventually forcing the go-kart company to pay ¥50 million in January this year. In the meantime, the company continued to operate by changing its name to Street Kart and posting disclaimers explaining it was not affiliated with Nintendo. Street Kart also removed Nintendo-themed costumes from its wardrobe, focusing on animals and superheroes instead.  Enter Covid-19 coronavirus. Inbound tourism in Japan fell by 99.9 percent in April, at the height of the virus, and Street Kart struggled from the fallout with the lawsuit and lack of customers. On April 24, Street Kart started a crowdfunding campaign named ‘Save the Street Kart’ on the Japanese

Tokyo’s Art Aquarium is opening its first permanent museum this August
News

Tokyo’s Art Aquarium is opening its first permanent museum this August

You’ll be able to see over 30,000 fish swimming in glass vessels of all shapes and sizes at the new museum in Nihonbashi

More news

Japan travel inspo

JR East will cut shinkansen ticket prices in half until March 2021
News

JR East will cut shinkansen ticket prices in half until March 2021

From August 20 this year, it'll be 50 percent cheaper to travel from Tokyo to Hokkaido, Nagano, Niigata and more

The most beautiful places in Japan
Travel

The most beautiful places in Japan

Venture beyond Tokyo – add these breathtaking temples, landmarks and hiking trails to your Japan bucket list

JR Hokkaido is offering half-price rail passes until January 2021
News

JR Hokkaido is offering half-price rail passes until January 2021

From July 17, get six days of unlimited JR train travel around Hokkaido for only ¥12,000

Kanto vs Kansai: the food edition
Restaurants

Kanto vs Kansai: the food edition

The culinary differences between Tokyo and Osaka go beyond okonomiyaki and monjayaki – here are some of the big ones

10 things you must eat in Osaka
Travel

10 things you must eat in Osaka

The birthplace of takoyaki and kitsune udon is also home to okonomiyaki, box sushi, fugu, squid crepes and more

You can now ride a real Thomas the Tank Engine train in Japan
News

You can now ride a real Thomas the Tank Engine train in Japan

Hop aboard this incredibly accurate replica of the friendly blue train for a scenic ride through Shizuoka prefecture

Get our mags and maps for free

Special issue out now: join the green revolution for a better future
Things to do

Special issue out now: join the green revolution for a better future

Inside this digital-only edition: Tokyo goes green, Japanese ice cream flavours, botanical gardens, virtual museum tours and food documentaries

New release: 88 things to do in Tokyo guide map
Things to do

New release: 88 things to do in Tokyo guide map

Read it now

Spring 2020 issue out now
Things to do

Spring 2020 issue out now

The best of springtime in Tokyo, the city’s most scenic waterways, food streets, Japanese gardens, restaurants for solo diners, Kanagawa islands, and more

Winter 2020 issue
Things to do

Winter 2020 issue

Tokyo on a budget, with free things to do and cheap eats under ¥1,000

Make the most of your Time In

These speed-corrected historical films show the streets of Tokyo over 100 years ago
News

These speed-corrected historical films show the streets of Tokyo over 100 years ago

See everyday scenes from old Tokyo at the turn of the 20th century

Explore Shibuya, Koenji, Tsukiji and more with these POV video walks around Tokyo
News

Explore Shibuya, Koenji, Tsukiji and more with these POV video walks around Tokyo

It'll feel like you're actually walking the streets yourself

You can now ride Japan’s most famous roller coasters online
News

You can now ride Japan’s most famous roller coasters online

Scream to go faster

Download more than 100 recipes from the world's top restaurants, including Tokyo's Narisawa
News

Download more than 100 recipes from the world's top restaurants, including Tokyo's Narisawa

'Come Together: The World’s Finest Chefs': this cookbook features recipes from 84 world-renowned chefs, and it's free to download

Visit the top museums in Tokyo and across Japan with these virtual tours
News

Visit the top museums in Tokyo and across Japan with these virtual tours

See sand sculptures, Japanese art and more museum exhibitions from your home for free

This Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto is teaching Zazen meditation online
News

This Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto is teaching Zazen meditation online

Feeling stressed or anxious? Calm your mind with this introduction to Zazen meditation

More things to do at home

What to watch next

The best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in July 2020
News

The best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in July 2020

Expect a horror series based on the original 'Ju-On', the award-winning movie 'Shoplifters', and more

The best documentaries about Japanese food
Film

The best documentaries about Japanese food

Learn about the history, flavours and techniques of Japanese cooking with Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, Niki Nakayama, Jiro Ono and more

Best Japanese movies and series with English subtitles on Netflix
Film

Best Japanese movies and series with English subtitles on Netflix

More titles added!

10 best Studio Ghibli films
Film

10 best Studio Ghibli films

Studio Ghibli, the animation powerhouse behind classics like ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ and ‘Spirited Away’, turns 35 this year. Although it’s practically synonymous with director Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli has a lot more to offer than just Miyazaki flicks. In fact, with three and a half decades of stellar anime films, the Ghibli catalogue is pretty daunting for newcomers. And with every Ghibli film now available for streaming on Netflix (except in Japan and the US), there’s never been a better time to settle in for a movie night. So whether you’re just starting your Ghibli journey or coming back for more, these are – in no particular order – our top ten favourite Studio Ghibli films. RECOMMENDED: What we know so far about the upcoming Ghibli theme park Text by Matt Schley and George Art Baker

Coronavirus updates

Japan to set up coronavirus testing centres near major airports for overseas travellers
News

Japan to set up coronavirus testing centres near major airports for overseas travellers

The centres at Narita, Haneda and Kansai airports, plus in central Tokyo and Osaka, plan to offer PCR tests for travellers

Cool and quirky new face masks and accessories in Japan
Shopping

Cool and quirky new face masks and accessories in Japan

Take your face protection to the next level with these creative face masks and accessories

These are all the countries and regions affected by Japan’s entry ban
News

These are all the countries and regions affected by Japan’s entry ban

129 nations and regions are affected by this measure

No screaming on roller coasters – Japan shows you how it's done
News

No screaming on roller coasters – Japan shows you how it's done

This unintentionally funny video from Fuji-Q Highland theme park demonstrates how to keep your cool on a roller coaster

Japan releases new travel guidelines following ease in domestic travel restrictions
News

Japan releases new travel guidelines following ease in domestic travel restrictions

Backpack and mask at the ready

The New Normal interview series
Things to do

The New Normal interview series

We check in with some of the top experts in Japan to understand the impact the coronavirus pandemic has on society and the world

Learn something new

Japanese condiments you should know
Restaurants

Japanese condiments you should know

These Japanese seasonings and sauces will elevate your next meal: ponzu, shichimi, yuzu kosho, miso and more

10 things you didn't know were invented in Japan
News

10 things you didn't know were invented in Japan

From pop culture icons like the emoji to technology staple like flash memory, Japan has changed the world profoundly

How to make a DIY no-sew face mask from t-shirts, socks and paper towels
News

How to make a DIY no-sew face mask from t-shirts, socks and paper towels

Follow these videos to make a simple non-medical face mask – no sewing required

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan
News

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan

Did you know 'viking' means buffet in Japan?

Online courses about Japan you can attend for free
Things to do

Online courses about Japan you can attend for free

These English-language university-level courses cover everything from Japanese literature and history to architecture and business. Best of all, they’re free

Learn Japanese for free online
Things to do

Learn Japanese for free online

These online resources will help you learn and brush up your Japanese language skills at no cost

Virtual tours of Tokyo and Japan

Take a virtual tour of Japan's most spectacular tulip garden
News

Take a virtual tour of Japan's most spectacular tulip garden

Explore Hitachi Seaside Park's virtual tour and see 260,000 tulips in bloom right now

Travel through Japan with these VR videos: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki and more
News

Travel through Japan with these VR videos: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki and more

See Japan from the comfort of your couch

Watch now: These 360-degree cherry blossom VR videos are incredibly soothing
News

Watch now: These 360-degree cherry blossom VR videos are incredibly soothing

You can now see the flowers all year round

Zoos in Japan are live-streaming their polar bears, white tiger and whale shark
News

Zoos in Japan are live-streaming their polar bears, white tiger and whale shark

For your daily dose of cuteness

Find more travel ideas

More stories about Tokyo and Japan

Cinnamoroll is the most popular Sanrio character in Japan, as ranked by fans
News

Cinnamoroll is the most popular Sanrio character in Japan, as ranked by fans

Sanrio announces its most popular characters as ranked by fans – and Hello Kitty didn’t even make the top three

Tokyo Q&A: Who are the people on Japanese yen banknotes?
Things to do

Tokyo Q&A: Who are the people on Japanese yen banknotes?

Who's printed on the ¥1,000, ¥5,000 and ¥10,000 Japanese yen notes – and how they will change in 2024

Tokyo has two 'hospitals' for treating soft toys
News

Tokyo has two 'hospitals' for treating soft toys

Plushies get the full treatment at these adorable clinics, from a warm bath to a face lift and hair treatment

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan
News

English words that have completely different meanings in Japan

Avoid getting lost in translation by learning these commonly used Japanified terms with different meanings...

What you need to know before getting a Japan-inspired tattoo
News

What you need to know before getting a Japan-inspired tattoo

Rule No. 5: never rely on Google Translate

The best books set in Japan
Things to do

The best books set in Japan

Explore postwar Nagasaki, go on road trip with a cat, and meet Japanese mythological creatures in these five books that take place in Japan

Keep the kids entertained

Hanshin Railways offers Osaka and Kobe colouring pages and art tutorials
News

Hanshin Railways offers Osaka and Kobe colouring pages and art tutorials

Learn how to colour trains and landmarks in Osaka and Kobe with these tutorials from Hanshin Railways

This Studio Ghibli co-founder is showing us how to draw Totoro
News

This Studio Ghibli co-founder is showing us how to draw Totoro

Get an anime art lesson from Studio Ghibli producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki

Doraemon offers free online games and manga to encourage fans to stay home
News

Doraemon offers free online games and manga to encourage fans to stay home

The new Stay Home Project by Doraemon features free online games, wallpapers, manga and colouring pages

Our favourite Japanese children’s books in English
Things to do

Our favourite Japanese children’s books in English

Give bedtime a Tokyo twist with these popular kids’ books from Japan