30 Amazing Things Tokyo Is Known And Famous For

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Tokyo is found in the heart of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. It is the capital city of Japan, as well as the largest city in the world by population, housing well over 39 million people. As a result, Tokyo is known for its constant hustle and bustle, with opportunities at every corner. 

The booming metropolis is also connected by the Uraga Channel to the Pacific Ocean, inspiring the seafood and other cuisine that Tokyo is famous for.

What Is Tokyo Known For? 

Tokyo is famous for its Tokyo Tower, themed cafes, charming districts, and a unique blend of cultural heritage and modern amenities. The city boasts plenty of historic shrines, the majority of which are Shinto, practiced by 70% of the population. On the other hand, it is also contemporary, demonstrated by the colossal skyscrapers and revolutionary designs. 

In addition, Tokyo is known for its robust industries, from anime to fashion and technology.

History, Culture, And Traditions Tokyo Is Known For


Before being changed to Tokyo in 1868 following the Meiji Restoration, the capital city was formerly known as Edo. During the Edo Period beginning in 1603, the city was a quaint fishing village with few prospects. Tokugawa Shogunate was a military government that dictated during this time.

However, Emperor Meiji returned to Edo, renaming it Tokyo, meaning Eastern Capital. Hence, the Meiji Era commenced. 

Vending Machines


When ambling around the city, you will notice that Tokyo is famous for its vending machines, which are peppered around every alley. In fact, Japan has the most vending machines per capita. There are almost 6 million of them!

The most common sell snacks and food that range from bananas to dashi (fish stock). Water is also a staple, as there is much emphasis on hydration. On the other hand, there are also some unique products, such as cake-in-a-can and insects.

Fashion Capital


One of the largest fashion capitals in the world is Tokyo. From aspiring directors and stunning models to distinctive new looks and trends, the Asian city is at the forefront of the industry. As a result, many people interested in fashion flock to Tokyo. 

Harajuku is an area of the Shibuya district that is particularly renowned for its style. Unlike the usual traditional style that Tokyo is known for, which is conservative and typical, Harajuku combines different aesthetics. Gothic, eccentric, and sweet themes are common.

Capsule Hotels 


The first capsule hotel was invented in Osaka, Japan in 1979. From then, there was a boom in the trend, and these innovative hotels that Japan is known for became increasingly popular. 

A capsule hotel is simply a small, basic room designed for one person. Originally, they were designed as affordable options for vacationers who were traveling solo and did not need unnecessary extra amenities.

Staying in a capsule hotel is worth considering, as they are an easy way to make new friends, gives you a good amount of privacy, and are rather budget-friendly.

Largest City In The World 


When wondering what Tokyo is famous for, you will often think of towering skyscrapers, chaotic streets, and crowded alleys. This is because Tokyo is the most populous city in the world, with over 39 million residents. If you thrive in a social atmosphere, this is the ideal city to visit.

An interesting phenomenon in Tokyo is ‘pushers’, who are designated workers to get people on the subway. Shinjuku Station is the busiest in the world and has many of these. 

Similarly, the majority of modern buildings in Tokyo are built high to maximize the limited space to accommodate the huge population.

A Safe City

Tokyo is extremely populated. Nevertheless, it is one of the safest cities in the world because of the respectful culture instilled from generation to generation. The character of its citizens is termed kokuminsei. It aims to be peaceful, calm, and understanding, despite the loud atmosphere. 

The violent crime rate in Tokyo is surprisingly low because this is important to the government. For example, there is increased security in commonly targeted areas.  

Technology, Infrastructure, And Design 


Innovation and industrialization are areas where Japan excels. Many popular buildings are newly built, modifications are made to problematic designs, and solutions are consistently being discussed. 

Tokyo is famous for being the city with the most neon signs, displaying advertisements on huge billboards that you will surely notice when passing by. It also adds color to the streets, boosting morale. Additionally, although the city suffers from natural disasters, the buildings are strong and earthquake-proof.

Districts And Areas Tokyo Is Known For


What is Akihabara famous for if not anime and electronics? The popular area is filled to the brim with gadgets, toys, and manga. Formerly it was known as Denki-gai, roughly translating to Electric Town.

If this is within your interest, be sure to visit Radio Kaikan. This multi-facility complex is home to hundreds of independent anime stores, where you can find figurines, cards, and video games. 

A widespread phenomenon in Akihabara is maid cafes. They are found along the streets featuring waitresses dressed as maids, serving coffee and cakes.



Ginza has always been an upscale area. It was named after the mint, which is responsible for making silver coins. To this day, it is an industrial district known for its affluent department stores and huge entertainment complexes. Furthermore, the dynamic nightlife and swanky food will ensure you always have things to do.

If you are wondering what Ginza is famous for in addition to these high-end boutiques, don’t forget the fairly traditional and cultural elements. The Kabuki-za Theater and Tsukiji Fish Market ensure that the modern area remains habitual.

Although the Tskuji Fish Market has lost some of its local charm after moving to the new location, it continues to be a popular foodie spot. Sample and learn about some local delights on a food and culture tour here.



Shibuya, similarly to Ginza, has many luxury stores and boutiques and is therefore referred to as the Fashion District. Harajuku is the main neighborhood in Shibuya for vintage clothing. 

Shibuya 109 is a 10-story mall where you can find not only fashion but Tokyu Hands, an innovative DIY store offering every lifestyle product you can come up with.

Additionally, the district is home to the iconic Shibuya Crossing, a bustling intersection that Tokyo is famous for. You will definitely have seen photos of this crossing when you look up images of Tokyo. When the cars simultaneously stop, pedestrians are free to walk in any direction.

One of the funky experiences that you can have in Shibuya is actually a Go-Kart tour going through the streets of the iconic district. What’s the best thing? You get to dress up in costumes as if you are in a Mario Kart game.

>Check Out The Shibuya Food Tour



Asakusa is worth visiting because it offers something to do for everyone from cultural exploration to modern amenities.

The multicultural district is best known for its temples, especially Sensō-ji, the Buddhist sanctuary that is the oldest in the city. In the same way, the Asakusa Shrine is a Shinto monument that is valuable to the locals. 

If you are visiting at the end of May, you may find yourself caught up in the Sanja Matsuri Festival. This parade is held at Asakusa Shrine, celebrating the three men who established the Sensō-ji.

You can take a relaxing and traditional rickshaw tour as you enjoy the sights in the ancient yet rather romantic way.



Shinjuku is a bustling district always filled with people from day to night. The metro station here – Shinjuku Station, is the busiest in the world, where 3.5 million passengers travel each day. There are 4 grand entrances and 200 exits!

In addition, Shinjuku has a dynamic nightlife that is great fun. Omoide Yokocho in a cascading alley offering foods and cocktails, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Building observatories are especially enchanting at night.

It is also worth visiting the Shinjuku Gyo-en, a historical park with tropical flowers and towering trees.

The district also has a vibrant nightlife and one of the best ways to experience it is to go bar hopping and food hunting in this bustling neighborhood that remains active even as the sun sets.



Roppongi is yet another fast-paced district that Tokyo is known for, as most of the areas are crowded and energetic. 

The Roppongi Hills complex is a series of offices, apartments, and hotel rooms. As well as this, there is entertainment like restaurants and art. For example, the Mori Art Museum displays an assortment of modern works collected from Asia. 

Furthermore, the Observation Deck located at the rooftop boasts a panoramic view of the city from 238 meters.

Landmarks And Architecture Tokyo Is Known For

Tokyo Tower


If you had to pick one landmark in Tokyo to visit, many would probably recommend the Tokyo Tower. 

The 333-meter skyscraper is the tallest self-supported steel tower in the world, constructed in 1958. Tokyo is famous for repainting the tower every 5 years in stark red and white hues, making it visible to planes. 

Ideally, you should visit the enchanting tower with your partner. Legend states that your relationship will last forever if you both watch the lights turn off at midnight.

Tokyo Skytree


Even with all its impressive elements, the Tokyo Tower is not the tallest structure in Tokyo. The tallest skyscraper in Japan is the Tokyo Skytree, dominating the skyline at 634 meters.

It is a modern structure that opened in 2012, showcasing the impressive architectural skills that Tokyo is famous for. The building is earthquake-proof, avant-garde, and used for television coverage. 

The purpose was to replace the pre-existing Tokyo Tower, which could no longer broadcast due to being surrounded by tall buildings. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the iconic landmarks in Japan.

>Check Skytree Admission Tickets

Meiji Jingu 


Over two-thirds of the Japanese population practice Shinto, and as a result, there are several Shinto Shrines scattered around the country. One of the most significant is the Meiji Jingu, named after Emperor Meiji and his wife. However, his remains are located at Fushimi Castle. 

The complex is built in a forest encapsulated by natural beauty. It is a common place for festivals because of its size and charm. You can find Meiji Jingu in Shibuya City, a short walk away from Harajuku Station. 

Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo National Museum in Taito City is an art museum that draws in over 2 million visitors each year. It boasts a collection of 120,000 masterpieces, mainly composed of paintings and sculptures. Additionally, it protects national treasures such as the Tomb Sculpture from the 6th century and the Portrait of Tamaki Senseki.

The main structure of the complex that Tokyo is famous for is The Honkan, also known as the Japanese Gallery. It houses works from prehistoric times, demonstrating the beginning of Japanese art. 

Shibuya Crossing


One of the coolest Japanese facts is that Shibuya Crossing is the busiest zebra crossing in the world. It consists of seven roads, and at any time, up to 3,000 pedestrians may cross the streets. You can find it directly outside Shibuya Station.

Shibuya Crossing is known as a scramble intersection. This means that all the vehicles stop at the same time, and then the people can cross in all directions. As chaotic as it sounds, the method is incredibly efficient and is likened to Times Square.



Another religious landmark that Tokyo is famous for is Sensō-ji, the oldest temple in the city, found in Asakusa. The Buddhist sanctuary was established in 645 AD. Right next to it is the Asakusa Shrine, a Shinto complex dedicated to the three founders of Sensō-ji.

Sensō-ji is dedicated to Kannon, a Bodhisattva, representing compassion. Legend states that a local man found its statue in the nearby river and built the shrine accordingly. 

The monumental pagoda is made up of five stories and is painted a characteristic red and bronze color. 

Food Tokyo Is Known For



Sushi is a dish made with vinegared rice topped or filled with vegetables, seafood, or meat. There are many different types, with the most popular being nigiri, a ball of sushi topped with a slice of raw seafood, or maki, rolled sushi rice.

fun fact about Tokyo is that the city has the most Michelin-star restaurants in the world. Over 200 restaurants are starred, 12 of which are awarded three stars. Of these, Sushi Yoshitake is considered to be the best sushi restaurant. 

If you are searching for a more affordable alternative, conveyor belt sushi restaurants are incredibly prevalent. 

Noodle Dishes


Tokyo’s famous foods usually include noodles of some kind. This is because they are a great source of energy and provide a silky texture that compliments the other ingredients.

One of the most popular noodles is udon. They are wheat noodles that are thicker than their counterparts, making them ideal to eat on their own with oyster sauce. Alternatively, they are commonly paired with shrimp, cabbage, or some fried delights called Tempura.

Similarly, a versatile ramen is a noodle dish. It is commonly classed into four groups: shio, miso, shoyu, and tonkotsu. They are with salt, fermented bean paste, soy sauce, and pork, respectively.

Head out on a tavern and ramen tour to explore (and taste, of course!) the bustling food scene even at night. You can observe how the locals unwind after a busy day at work with drinks and comforting food.



Tempura is fried seafood that is battered with a flour coating. The characteristic texture is light and crispy, paired with a sweet dipping sauce called tentsuyu.

The most ubiquitous tempura is shrimp; however, vegetarian options exist. These include sweet potato, green beans, and mushrooms. 

This renowned dish that Tokyo is famous for originated in Portugal, and was brought to Japan in the 16th century after Portuguese merchants accidentally sailed to Tanegashima.

Wagyu Beef


Wagyu beef is considered to be the most affluent, elusive food in Japan. It is primarily made from Black and Brown Japanese cattle. 

Whilst Wagyu has become a global sensation, it comes with a high price tag. This is because the cows come from a small area in Japan and are therefore rare, along with the transport costs. 

Nevertheless, the rich and buttery taste of wagyu beef is unmatched. Mostly, it is consumed raw and cut thinly.



Yakitori is, essentially, grilled chicken. It includes skewering chicken chunks on a stick called a kushi and subsequently grilling it over coal for the smoky flavor. 

The meat is tangy and tender because of the sauces it is bathed in. Although this varies from region to region, most often, it is teriyaki, soy, brown sugar, and ginger.

Unlike other, much smaller Japanese cities, Tokyo is famous for its inclusivity to vegetarians. The meat-free version of this is called Yaki Yasai and includes zucchini, scallions, and cabbage.



The perfect way to end a traditional Japanese meal is daifuku. It is a variation of mochi, a small round dessert made with gelatinous rice. You can find it at restaurants, street markets, and bodegas.

Daifuku is the name of the mochi stuffed with anko filling. This is a sweet red paste made from azuki beans and added sugar. The texture is chewy and firm. Other popular flavors include matcha, chocolate, and strawberry.

Famous People From Tokyo

Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono is not only famous in Japan but also in the rest of the world. She is an influential singer and songwriter who grew up and spent her childhood in Tokyo, before moving to New York City to chase success. 

In 1969, she married John Lennon from The Beatles, and the two had a son who also followed in his parent’s footsteps. Sean Lennon is also a singer. 

In addition to Grammy and Emmy Wards, Yoko Ono is an activist. She has protested against the Vietnam War and supported AIDS patients and human rights.

Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki is a globally-recognized filmmaker. He is primarily involved in animation, as well as designing Manga, which is a traditional Japanese comic.

His first movie was Castle In The Sky, which streamed worldwide. Since then, he has become an international success, widely acclaimed for the themes of his works. Often, the concepts touch on environmentalism, peace, and forgiveness.

Perhaps his most famous movie is the fantasy film My Neighbor Totoro.

Hiroyuki Sanada

Hiroyuki Sanada is a celebrity that Tokyo is famous for. He is best known for his acting, both in Japanese and American movies. Sanada’s most well-known roles include Shingen Yashida in The Wolverine, and Ujio in The Last Samari.

In addition to acting, Sanada has had breakthroughs in the music industry and is a martial artist. He has also had roles in theatre, making him a well-rounded performer.

Naomi Osaka

The most popular sports in Japan include sumo wrestling, martial arts, and karate. Despite this, Naomi Osaka is the most famous athlete Tokyo is famous for, who is a professional tennis player.

Osaka has broken several records, including being the first Asian to achieve the Number 1 ranking in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association. Furthermore, Osaka has won countless Grand Slams, making her an international hit.

Osaka has used her platform to raise awareness of police brutality, racism, and other vital topics detrimental to the world today. This landed her a nomination for Sports Illustrated Spokesperson Of The Year for her hard efforts.

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo in 1916. She spent her childhood there before moving to the United Kingdom, pursuing ballet and piano. Her real dream was acting, landing her first role in 1935. 

De Havilland’s most reminisced-on performance was Gone With The Wind, a romantic drama set after the Civil War. Also, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in To Each His Own.

Her legacy lives on as the world continues to indulge in her wartime classical movies.

Discovering More Things Tokyo Is Known For

Despite the high-energy atmosphere Tokyo is known for, it strangely has a homely feel. It is safe to live in, the food is kept traditional and made with passion, and the people are welcoming. 

Vising Tokyo once is not enough, especially because of its sheer size. With so many historical landmarks to pay respects to and modern attractions to see, you can easily become captivated with the city and enticed to visit again.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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