This is the second part of my series on the best things to see in Tokyo where I look at numbers 3-5 on my list. These are just my opinions, but I think they are fantastic. Enjoy!
3. Climb Mount Takao – Most people think of Mount Fuji when they think of the Japanese mountain most sought after to climb and see – and they would be right. The only problem is, it’s a decent ways away from Tokyo (a few hours) and it’s not the easiest to hike. If on the other hand you’re in Tokyo and want a day out from the urban madness, Mount Takao may be your answer.
Situated about an hour outside of Tokyo by rail in the Tama area, Mount Takao is a much smaller mountain than Fuji but climbable and oh so quaint on the way up. There are six different paths you can take to reach the 800m high summit and on decent days, you can see Mount Fuji if you know where to look. The temple near the top is well worth the journey, but even if you don’t feel like hiking, there is a cable car that can do the work for you.
When to Visit: Changing leaves in Nov/Dec is worth the hike but it’s great all year.
4. Witness the Insanity of Akihabara – If you’re a gamer, computer enthusiast, enjoy nerding out or just want to watch those kind of people do that, head to Akihabara. Right off the Yamanote line you can see giant electronics stores, maid cafes, import games shops and all sorts of unusual things – definitely worth checking out.
You can spend hours just walking around most days, but if you’re there in the summer on the weekend the streets close and the magic that is cosplay takes place. For those not in the know, cosplay is when people dress up as anime/video game characters and… that’s about it. If that gets a little weird, keep walking down the main street until you hit Ueno and just relax in the serene temples – but be sure to at least see the cosplay once, if for no other reason than to shake your head.
When to Visit: Try to make it here in the summer during the weekend.
5. Sunset on Odaiba – The Tokyo skyline really doesn’t get enough acclaim – it is a thing of beauty, particularly at sunset. Take the fancy Yurikamome line from Shimbashi and check out the view from the Rainbow Bridge on route to the artificial island of Odaiba, home of great shopping and views. With lots of photo opportunities and a chance to just relax, you might find yourself coming back here a few times if you can!
When to Visit: Ideally suited to warm, clear days if possible.