23 ku municipalities: the urban Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

10 places

Anastasia Milovidova

First of all, there is no such thing as Tokyo city – it's Tokyo Metropolis (2,188 sq.km, 23 tokubetsu-ku municipalities, 26 shi municipalities, 5 cho neighborhoods and two Pacific Archipelagoes – Izu Peninsula and Ogasawara Subprefecture – 1,000 km from the shoreline. Before the 1943 reform, ku marked the city limits still comprise cultural, political and economic center of the Tokyo Metropolis.

Tokyo Racecourse

If you never tried horse race betting this is the best place to do this. The process is all automatized – no lines and so much fun as if you are playing a video game. Spend the prize on beer and yakisoba (fried noodles) which they sell on the spot.

Jindaiji Onsen Yukari

This antique Onsen with open-air bathhouse is really small - so try not to disturb others with noise or talks. The place is so quite and peaceful. Before enjoying hot-spring bathing, take a shower and hide your tattoos if you have any – they’re not allowed. And drink milk between bathes – it's very Japanese. They sell it on the spot.

Love Hotel District

Rabu Hoteru neighborhood is all about fast love – dozens of hotels with rooms of all styles and decorations (a palace or a classroom – whatever you like). All venues are equipped with cutting-edged sex toys for any fantasy. Many hotels have rooms rent per hour.


Tokyo hosts big sumo events three times a year – in January, May and September. If you missed it you can watch the big guys morning training – the most foreigner friendly sumo stable is Arashio. Check visiting hours on the website.

Summer Fireworks

The season is opened last weekend of July with a great fest gathering thousands every year. Up to September all Tokyo residents can admire hanabi (fireworks) if they have a great watching spot (come about 2-3 pm to secure a better place) and snacks. Everybody wears its yakata kimono and traditional wooden geta footwear fanning with beautiful fans under the hot July son or eating sushi, noodles, beet and sake on a mat on the floor.

Helicopter Flight

Boarding deck is in the neighboring Chiba Prefecture, so not to travel in vain check the weather and book your flight in advance.

Boat tour

Though Tokyo river routes are not that picturesque as in Paris or Moscow, a boat trip can reveal the city from a different angle. My choice is Asakusa-Hamarikyu route, which is quite short, though the night one – Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba – is also nice.

Imperial Palace jogging

This place is an absolute darling of Tokyo joggers. Their classic distance is one 5-km leap – both fitness and great views of Imperial gardens and palaces and skyscrapers. The place has everything for sport-loves – WCs, lockers, drinking fountain and vending machines. So, ready, steady, go!

Тokyo Skytree

One of the world's tallest structures (634m), it was opened back in 2012 and is an absolute must-do. Come early or book online (if you a lucky owner of a Japanese bank-issued card) and check the weather – they shut the thing if it's bad.


The neighborhood is like a time travel – century-old noodle houses, antique coffee shops with low ceilings, tiny shops selling handmade postcards, souvenirs or prints. Locals are charming and atmosphere of old Japan is felt in the air.


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