When you think of Tokyo, what immediately springs to mind? Neon lights? Crowded footpaths? Street food? Cramped trains?
Of course, the city does have all of these things, being one of the largest metropolises in the world, but it also has much, much more besides. It is a city that begs to be explored – and, given its sprawling nature, it certainly pays to venture from the city center to find areas of calm serenity.
Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the five places we’ve picked out below, then get your bags and cameras packed, and start exploring the lesser-known side of Japan’s capital city.
Five quiet spots to visit in Tokyo
1. Shiba Park
Although relatively central, this is undoubtedly one of the city’s most overlooked areas of green space. Right beside the Tokyo Tower, the park tends to be ignored in favor of a trip to Tokyo’s second-tallest tower (only Tokyo Skytree is taller).
This is the perfect place for a picnic, a relaxing afternoon reading in the sunshine, or taking photos of the park’s famous cherry blossoms. Whatever you’re planning to do, you should make sure Shiba Park is on your list.
2. Rikugien Park
This list won’t just be parks – we promise – but we couldn’t have a list of Tokyo’s hidden quiet places without including Rikugien. Famous for its light shows, which change based on the season, this is definitely somewhere to head to once the sun has set. It is, without doubt, one of the city’s best locations for those interested in capturing urban nature.
3. Mount Takao
If your trip to Tokyo is longer than just a few nights, then it is well worth dedicating a day to visiting Mount Takao. Located about an hour away from the city center by car, it’s the perfect opportunity to get some exercise in and ultimately enjoy the stunning views. The walk is definitely achievable for those with the willpower to trudge upwards for a couple of hours, but for those determined to take it easy, there is a cable car!
4. Zojoji Temple
Known colloquially as ‘Wolverine Temple’ ever since it appeared in an X-Men film, the temple is not far from Tokyo Tower and Shiba Park, but it offers a completely different perspective on this part of the city. At times, the temple can be rammed with tourists, but if you come early in the day, you can get stunning shots of the temple, the Tokyo Tower, and the sky changing color.
5. Meguro River
Meguro River is small – only 7.8km in length – but it certainly punches above its weight. Its banks are dotted with cherry blossom trees, the leaves and branches arching over footpaths before drooping towards the water, and it is undeniably one of the city’s most stunning locations. Even those without an artistic eye will be able to capture a wonderful snap!
Time to go?
Tempted to visit Tokyo and grab some shots that’ll make your friends jealous? There’s no better time than now – it’s time to tick it off your bucket list for good! Be sure to check out our other great guides and locations we have for Japan.