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Things to do in Tokyo

Attend a Sumo competition at Kokugikan Sumo Hall

With a capacity of 11,000, this huge stadium accommodates the frenetic demand for Japan's national sport. The venue hosts regular sumo tournaments, sending the venue's sumo-obsessed neighbourhood Ryogoku into an excited flurry. Tickets often go fast, so keep an eye on the official website (www.sumo.or.jp/En/) if you're planning to go.

Experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is a tradition which has been around for more than a millennium. An extension of Zen Buddhism, this elegant, spiritual ceremony is something you have to experience it personally to understand and appreciate Japan's culture and history. Many kimono rental shops offer this experience alongside a traditional Japanese meal, or alternatively, look for tea rooms dotted across Tokyo.

Pound the paths around the Imperial Palace

Pounding the pavements is surprisingly popular in Tokyo, with the paths around the Imperial Palace offering a suitably traffic-free place to start. For longer routes, try running along the Tama River or around Koganei Park, and for those who can handle the pace, the Tokyo Marathon (https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/) takes place every February or early March.

Relax with strangers at a public bath house

Public bathing is an essential part of Japanese life, though the 'au natural' dress code may initially come as a surprise to foreigners. There are two types of bathhouses: onsen (filled with geothermal spring water) and sento (heated tap water). Be warned that some establishments may not allow individuals with tattoos as they are often associated with Yakuza (Japanese mafia), although they may make an exception for foreigners.

Sing your lungs out with a spot of karaoke

A trip to Tokyo wouldn't be complete without a night spent clutching a microphone in one hand and belting out as many hits as your wallet can afford. You can find many karaoke haunts in little cubic offices above the streets - keep an ear out and you'll track them down.

Featured Hotels

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Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Set only a few minutes' walk from Shinjuku train station and in easy walking distance of a dizzying array of shops and restaurants, Gracery Shinjuku is something of a landmark - it's set in a modern high rise building that's 30 stories high, and there's a giant replica godzilla head peering out the side. If you're willing to pay extra, you can stay in a godzilla-themed room too. Though the rooms are compact, the bathrooms are larger than the norm and the higher rooms have scenic city views; there's also a convenient Italian restaurant on-site and a cinema on the ground floor.

Park Hyatt Tokyo

The Park Hyatt Tokyo's role as muse and backdrop to Coppola's Lost in Translation pushed it onto the world stage in 2003. Towering over fashionable Shinjuku, guests enter on the 41st floor and gaze across the neon-lit Tokyo sky. Art blends with sleek architecture and spacious rooms, and even the spa combines tradition and modernisation with impressive success. Plus, there's something to be said for working out in the gym that tormented Bill Murray.

Hotel Asia Center of Japan

Quite possibly offering the cheapest double rooms in central Tokyo, this hotel is ideal as as a central base for a short visit. Within walking distance of the ex-pat haven of Roppongi, and the restaurants and bars of Aoyama Itchome, guests are well placed for sightseeing.

Imperial Hotel

This 5-star luxury hotel in Vilnius and is set in a historic 16th-century building. Its great Old Town location, super helpful staff and 55 spotless rooms combine to make this a deservedly popular choice with business and leisure travellers alike.

Claska Hotel

Modern minimalist design and classic Japanese aesthetics brush shoulders in this hip hotel, just outside of the city centre. There’s the chance to choose between a western–style room or traditional tatami space. Each option comes with plenty of home comforts, including beautiful toiletries and access to a huge CD and DVD collection. There’s even an in–house gallery, plus a French/Japanese fusion restaurant.

Hoshinoya Tokyo

Opened in the summer of 2016, Hoshinoya is a unique urban offering for Tokyo, a hotel with a contemporary take on Japan’s legendary omotenashi hospitality, set right at the heart of the city's Otemachi district. Leave your shoes at the door and unwind into spacious quarters, designed with a tasteful nod to the traditional Japenese aesthetic. The 19-floor hotel with stylish lattice exterior forms a bijou enclave in this bustling business district, just a 10 minute walk from Tokyo Station. You won't want to leave your ochanoma lounge area, allocated exclusively to guests staying on each floor and decked in traditional tatami mats, it has a library, sofas and kitchen space. But if you do the rooftop onsen spa is a truly unique Tokyo experience. The hot spring waters are the perfect cure for urban fatigue and will help you revitalise your body and mind, all the while staring up at the open Tokyo skies above.