Take 5… activities around Tokyo

Rising 634 metres over Tokyo's Sumida district, Tokyo Skytree is the world's tallest tower. It is located near the  the Asahi Beer Headquarters and across the river from the historic Asakusa district.

What’s so special? Tokyo Skytree affords sweeping 350-degree views of Greater Tokyo from spacious multi-floor observation decks at two levels. On clear days, visitors can enjoy views of up to 70 kilometres, including Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji. Located at 350 metres, the Tembo Deck has a restaurant, café, and shop spread across three floors. It is possible to stare straight down to the streets below through a window in the floor of the lower level. Stand on it if you dare!

Located at 450 metres, the Tembo Galleria has a spiral, glass-enclosed walkway leading up to Sorakara Point, which at 451.2 metres is the tower’s highest reachable point. The lower deck can accommodate up to 2,000 people; the upper deck, up to 900 people.

Enjoy the ride
Rickshaw pullers can take guests on guided tours through the streets, alleys, and parks of the historic Asakusa district.

What’s so special? Asakusa is one of Tokyo’s oldest and most interesting neighborhoods, and what better way to explore it than by rickshaw?  Pullers will point out key attractions, which guests can return to later on foot. The jewel in the district's crown is Sensoji Temple, which is reached by three large gates. Within the temple complex is Nakamise Street, a pedestrian mall lined with stalls selling all manner of snacks, souvenirs, and handicrafts. The fortune-telling stand is especially popular. Foodies will enjoy nearby shopping streets lined with shops selling traditional Japanese products, including a wide variety of kitchenware suitable for home and restaurant use.

Ebisuya offers rickshaw rides through the streets and alleys of the district. They can run from 12 minutes for a one block tour to two hours for a more in depth jaunt through the neighborhood.

Geisha experience
Geisha can accompany guests to reputable tea houses and restaurants throughout Tokyo.

What’s so special? Geisha are professional entertainers that are trained in traditional Japanese arts and music. They can accompany guests to reputable tea houses and restaurants, where they entertain their clients while they dine, chatting with them as well as singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. Geisha can also perform at events such as trade shows, shop openings, product launches, banquets, and fashion shows. One of the best places for a genuine geisha experience is Kannonra Street in the Asakusa district, which is lined with Japanese tea houses.  There are currently about 45 geisha working in the vicinity. An agency such as Sayuki can book geisha and will make sure that there will be at least one English speaking geisha to facilitate communication.


Cruising the Sumida
Water buses can take visitors on a leiasurely cruise down the Sumida River. There are 10 trips a day, and the voyage takes about 35 minutes.

What’s so special? The Sumida River Line can take guests from Asakusa Pier to Hama Rikyu, a traditional landscaped garden across the street from the Conrad Tokyo. Boats pass under more than 10 bridges and past several landmarks along the way, dropping off passengers in the garden, which dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867). Formerly serving as a duck-hunting ground, the garden has several reconstructed duck hunting blinds and the remains of an old moat. Food and beverage service is available on board boats. Several other itineraries along Tokyo's waterways are also available.

Early morning at the fish market
Tsukiji Fish Market is Tokyo's largest wholesale fish market, handling more than 2,000 tonnes of fish and other kinds of seafood per day.

What’s so special? Foodies will think they’ve died and gone to Sushi Heaven when they walk inside Tsukiji Market, a bustling wholesale fish market, which supplies fish, vegetables, fruit, meat, and flowers to restaurateurs and markets in Central Tokyo. Early risers can witness the daily tuna auction, of which there are two sessions, the first beginning at 5.25am; the second, at 5.50am. Visitors are limited to 60 per session, and they are admitted on a first come, first served basis – so get there early. The wholesale area opens to visitors at 9am after the early morning rush is over. A visit to the market should begin or end with a sushi breakfast or lunch at one of the dozens of restaurants and cafes the surround the market. Many of them open as early as 5am. The market will reopen at new premises in November 2016.

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