On March 28, 1869, the capital of Japan was moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. Since the era of the Tokugawa Shogunate, it has become one of the major cities in Japan. After it was renamed Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration, it developed into a hub of politics, economy, culture, transportation, and many other fields in Japan. If you are interested in Japanese culture, Tokyo is a city you must visit, with a wealth of cultural and historical attractions to tour. Even if you only have one day, you can immerse yourself in the rich atmosphere of Japanese culture in Tokyo.
#1 Katana Sword experience
Katana is a big part of Japanese culture, it is the representation of samurai culture, the bushido, honor, loyalty. Other than being a deadly weapon, a masterpieces of craftsmanship, Katana also stands for the strong sense of duty, discipline, honor, and the capability for self-sacrifice of the Japanese character. If you want to deeply understand Japanese culture, Samurai sword is always a good start.
Place to visit: Ginza Seiyudo
Address: Ginza five the second floor, 5-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061
Seiyudo is the largest specialty store in Japan dealing in Japanese swords and weapons armor. The store displays and sells more than 200 items, including Japanese swords and sword fittings. Because Seiyudo offers only authentic nihonto, which is very expensive, if you are new to Samurai sword, you can always customize your own katana from an international maker at a much more affordable price.
Walking inside the store, the tense atmosphere in the store will hit you in the face. Approximately 200 Japanese swords and more than 200 small accessories such as hand guards and pommel caps are neatly arranged. The serious ambiance combined with the real artworks appearing before your eyes for the first time, make the visitors extremely excited.
Visiting Seiyudo in Ginza, Tokyo, is an immersive and awe-inspiring experience for anyone interested in Japanese history, martial arts, or traditional craftsmanship. As you step into the store, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a treasure trove of authentic Japanese katanas, accessories, and armor that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage.
The atmosphere inside Seiyudo is a blend of reverence and fascination, as you’ll be greeted by an impressive collection of over 200 meticulously crafted Japanese swords, along with a wide range of sword fittings and armor pieces. Each item on display is a testament to the skill and artistry of the craftsmen who created them.
As you explore the store, knowledgeable and courteous staff members are available to provide information about the history, significance, and unique characteristics of each piece. They can guide you through the intricacies of sword appreciation, explaining the differences in blade styles, forging techniques, and how to identify the work of various swordsmiths.
In addition to katanas, Seiyudo offers many accessories and armor that showcase Japan’s rich traditions. You’ll find meticulously crafted hand guards (tsuba), pommel caps (kabuto), and other fittings that exhibit intricate designs and motifs. The armors on display are not only functional but also visually striking, with intricate detailing and vivid colors that represent the warrior class’s status and bravery.
Visiting Seiyudo is a captivating experience that allows you to delve into the world of Japanese sword and its craftsmanship. Whether you’re a collector, a history enthusiast, or simply curious about Japanese culture, a visit to this store in Ginza is sure to leave a lasting impression.
#2 Feel the local vibe
If you want to truly experience a city, the local market is go to place to feel the vibe. Especially if you’re interested in sushi, seafood, or cooking, Tsukiji Market should be on your Tokyo itinerary.
Place to visit: Tsukiji Market
Address: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
Tsukiji Market, located in Tsukiji in the Chuo ward of Tokyo, is a public wholesale market and the largest fish market in Japan, covering an area of approximately 230,000 square meters. Its vast scale and wide recognition make it not only Tokyo’s but also Japan’s leading fish wholesale market. Tsukiji Fish Market first opened in 1935 and is packed with hundreds of small wholesalers selling various types of fish and seafood.
The most popular and interesting part of Tsukiji Market is the daily tuna auction, it was opened only to selected visitors, so it’s a tradition to wake up around 2 a.m to join the queue to watch the auction. Tsukiji Market attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world.
For food-loving visitors, the seafood market is undoubtedly a paradise for foodies, offering both the freshness of seafood and a taste of local life. For tourists, the 83-year-old Tsukiji Market in Tokyo is a must-visit attraction when visiting Tokyo. Here, one can experience the lively market atmosphere and find a wealth of fresh and delicious food. Any restaurant you enter is guaranteed to provide you with fresh and tasty meals. You can choose any restaurant at random, and you won’t be disappointed with the quality of their food.
#3 Embracing Serenity in the City
Meiji Shrine, located in Yoyogi, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji (who died in 1912) and Empress Shōken (who died in 1914). It is an important shrine in Shintoism. Located in the heart of Tokyo, the shrine covers 70 hectares, adjacent to the Shinjuku business district, and occupies the entire area between Yoyogi and Harajuku, making it the largest green space in central Tokyo.
Place to visit: Minji Shrine
Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan
The Meiji Shrine is closely connected with the lives of the Japanese people, as numerous significant life ceremonies, including newborn naming ceremonies, coming-of-age ceremonies, graduation ceremonies, and weddings, are held here every year. Many Japanese idols have held their coming-of-age ceremonies here, attracting many fans. Moreover, the thousands of traditional Japanese weddings held at the shrine each year add an exquisite and beautiful scene to the place.
However, the most lively event is the New Year’s Day Hatsumode (first shrine visit of the year). During the three days of New Year, nearly 4 million people come here to pray for blessings, attracting many foreigners to join in as well. If one can throw a coin over the shield wall formed by the police and into the main hall amid the bustling crowd, the coming year will be very smooth.
Visiting Meiji Shrine offers a chance to reflect, appreciate nature, and gain insight into the spiritual and cultural aspects of Japanese life. It’s a place where one can find peace and tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s busiest cities.
As the sun sets over the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo, our journey through time comes to a close. From the breathtaking elegance of katana craftsmanship at Seiyudo, to the vibrant and bustling Tsukiji Fish Market, and finally to the tranquil and sacred grounds of the Meiji Shrine, we’ve traversed centuries of history and soaked in the rich, cultural tapestry of Tokyo.
This city, with its unique blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, continues to stand as a testament to Japan’s incredible ability to honor its past while embracing its future. Whether it’s the artistry of a finely crafted katana, the lively banter over fresh seafood at the market, or the peaceful rustle of the wind through the sacred forest of Meiji Shrine, Tokyo offers countless opportunities to connect with its deep-rooted culture and history.
As you leave the city, the experiences and memories of this one-day journey will no doubt stay with you, painting a vivid picture of Tokyo that goes far beyond its neon lights and skyscrapers. It’s a city that’s not just experienced, but lived, breathed, and felt – one where every corner holds a new story, a new piece of history, a new cultural discovery.
So here’s to Tokyo – a city that never fails to surprise and captivate, a city that truly offers a unique journey through time. Until next time, sayonara.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.