A promenade in serene, historical gardens
A stroll around an exceptional green oasis full of flowers and wild birds:
The Imperial Palace East Gardens
Only steps away from Tokyo station, the East Gardens would surprise you with the absolute beauty of nature and its enormous size extending over 210,000sqm. A part of Honmaru, Ninomaru, and Sannomaru of the former Edo Castle were renovated to the East Gardens, where you can still see some of the remnants. This is the only area of the Imperial Palace that is open to the public.
Plan for 1-1.5 hours to enjoy a walk in the traditional Japanese garden full of seasonal flowers, woodland groves, and wild birds. City sounds are almost unnoticeable, and the birds singing will allow you to feel a deep dive into nature. The Gardens are open to the public throughout the year, and entrance is free of charge.
A long walk in a beautiful historical Japanese garden in the midst of skyscrapers:
The Hama-rikyu Gardens
Being one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo dating back to the Edo period (1603–1868), the Hama-rikyu Gardens were built to serve as a feudal lord's residence. The Garden, overlooking the Tokyo Bay, has an impressive central tidal pond connected to the seawater. While walking through the greenery, you would be amazed by the colorful view of various plants and the city center skyscrapers surrounding the Gardens. A bowl of matcha green tea in one of the teahouses would refresh you immensely after a long stroll in any season. A complimentary English guide service is available. It is accessible by a Water Bus which stops directly in front of the Gardens.
Hiking and cycling:
the green mountains and the blue sea
Refreshing activities in perfect nature: Izu Oshima Island
A trip to Oshima Island takes around two hours by a high-speed ferry, departing daily from Tokyo’s Takeshiba Ferry Terminal. Certified as the Japanese Geopark, this island is ideal for cycling, hiking, and diving. Walking and jogging are also great ways to indulge in the Island’s abundant nature. The best way to refresh and relax your mind is to soak in a natural hot spring overlooking the Island’s magnificent landscape. Oshima is a paradise for seafood lovers and is famous for Japanese spiny lobster and local sushi.
Enjoy a day out in Tokyo’s wild nature: Mt. Mitake
Believe it not, mountains and forests occupy about 40% of the Tokyo territory, with the most prominent part located on the west side of the prefecture. Mt. Mitake (929m) can easily be reached by train or bus, about 1.5 hours from central Tokyo. Since ancient times, worshipped as a sacred mountain, it is a popular hiking destination for beginners. Several hiking trails are available, and when you reach the peak of the mountain, a magnificent view of the faraway skyscrapers and TOKYO SKYTREE® awaits you.
A stroll in local alleys
and a ride in an
open-top bus tour
A relaxing stroll in good old Tokyo: Yanesen
Yanesen is the collective name of Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi neighborhoods after their first syllables. The area still leaves a mood of old Tokyo. Yanaka is famous for its “Sakura Dori” street, running through Yanaka Cemetery, the resting place of the last Tokugawa shogun. Nezu Shrine is well known for azaleas. Many authors including Soseki Natsume and Yasunari Kawabata used to live in Sendagi. The most popular spot for a stroll to soak into the traditional atmosphere is Yanaka Ginza street, with small shops and stalls. While checking out sundry Japanese goods and famous savoring sweets and snacks, you will forget how fast time passes.
Feel the Tokyo sky on board of a double-deck open-roof bus: the SKY BUS
An exciting bus tour will take you around the most famous tourist attractions in Tokyo. The courses include the Imperial Palace, Ginza, and Marunouchi, or the Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge.
The SKY BUS ticket counter is located in front of the Marunouchi South Exit of Tokyo station. Though an online reservation is available, it is also easy to purchase tickets on-site. Enjoy Tokyo from an angle that you cannot discover on your feet.
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Tasting Japanese food and drinks
A lesson learnt through tasting Japanese food in the dark: Kurayami Gohan
(A blind restaurant)
The usual act of eating becomes extraordinary when you dine in dark. This experience starts by wearing an eye mask in a dimly lit room to be wholly deprived of sight. You will focus on the remaining senses, especially smell and taste, while dishes are delivered one by one. Naturally, hearing and touching allow for successful communication with people sharing the table, and they also help you identify the food location. This experience stimulates your imagination. It also allows you to reevaluate the feelings forgotten in your daily life and reconsider your relationship with other people. This program is often used in corporate training for team building and problem-solving within a team.
Touring and sake tasting in a traditional sake brewery: Ishikawa Brewery
The Ishikawa Brewery, located in the Tama area on the western side of Tokyo, has a long history since 1863. It is one of the very few Japanese sake breweries remaining in Tokyo. Six buildings on the premises are historically significant and are designated as the national-registered tangible cultural properties. In the tour, you will learn about the sake brewing process that uses local pure water, pumped up from 150 meters depth, and carefully selected ingredients. At the end of the tour, you will be able to enjoy Sake tasting. In the Japanese and Italian restaurants located on the premises, you can enjoy sake and the local beer, which brewing history also started in the Meiji era. The tour requires prior reservation.