There are countless things to do in Tokyo, and there’s never enough time to do them all in one trip. To cover the maximum number of attractions in the time you have, why not visit the city by taxi? I have been invited to take part in the tours organized by the Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is currently promoting.
They’re actually guided tours where you can visit some areas of Tokyo by taxi. There are two main advantages of using these taxi tours. First of all, you will benefit from the detailed explanations of your (English-speaking) driver; I find that the sightseeing experience is so much better with a competent guide at your side. The second advantage is that even if the tours’ itinerary is preset, they remain very flexible and you can ask your driver to go to the places you want to visit. How convenient is that?
Today, we’re going on a bit of a special tour. It’s a tour that you will take to go to Haneda or Narita airport but instead of going there directly, you will make a few last stops at your favorite spots in Tokyo. It’ll definitely set the mood for the rest of your day!
For more information about these taxi tours, you can have a look at this brochure (this tour is #10). The cost of the ride will, of course, depend on the course you choose. Have a look at the official website for bookings.
Now that you know what Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi is, let’s have a look at the places I visited.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Main Office
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building is really impressive and it is one of the most important central governing powers in Tokyo. It is no less than 243 meters high and offers free access to its observatory where you can enjoy a panoramic view of all of Tokyo. You can even see Mount Fuji in clear weather.
Please note that during this taxi tour, you don’t have to visit each spot and can enjoy looking at them from the comfort of your car seat.
Meiji Jingu Shrine
Meiji-Jingu Shrine is one of the most visited attractions in Tokyo. It is located right next to Yoyogi Park and Harajuku district. The architecture of its buildings is really great and if you are lucky, you can attend traditional Japanese ceremonies there.
Omotesando is one of the most popular shopping districts in Tokyo. It may remind you of the Ginza district with the beautiful fronts of its luxury clothing stores. One of the best places to visit is the entrance of the Tokyu Plaza shopping center the ceiling of which is covered with mirrors. FYI, it is open every day from 11 AM to 9 PM.
The Imperial Palace And The Kokyo Nijubashi Bridge
The Imperial Palace is also a must-see attraction in Tokyo so if you missed it, this tour would be your chance to visit it. As you probably know, it is the residence of the imperial family of Japan. One of the most interesting spots there is the Kokyo Nijubashi Bridge which you can see on the picture above.
Also, don’t miss the beautiful statue of samurai Kusunoki Masashige, standing tall in the gardens surrounding the palace.
Tokyo station is one of the largest train stations in the city and has a lot more to offer. The Marunouchi exit has a beautiful classical architecture with lovely red bricks. However, it was destroyed several times during the great Kanto earthquake and WWII bombings. After extensive restorations, Tokyo Station looks the same as it did when it was built in 1914.
As you enter the station, have a look inside the dome. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Tokyo Tower has become one of the city’s great symbols. It is 332 meters high and is therefore just a little taller than the Eiffel Tower. Despite its height, it is extremely light and weighs less than half the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
Last but not least on this tour is the district of Odaiba. There are so many things to do there but the otaku in me will tell you that the coolest spot ever is the huge Gundam statue which is just in front of the Gundam Cafe. Impressive, isn’t it? You’d think he’d start moving any minute!
It’s time to get to the airport, people! I’m sure this last ride will make your memories of Japan even brighter. If not, come back as soon as possible 😉
See you around, fellow travelers,