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I remember the sensory overload and information paralysis I experienced when visiting Tokyo for the first time. With over 38 million residents, Tokyo teems with people, colours, smells, and sounds jam-packed into labyrinth-like wards and districts connected by the world’s busiest train system.

Neon lights flashing from every corner, crowds of people crossing the famous Shibuya intersection, endless places to see and activities to try – it was exhilarating yet also overwhelming.

Where do you even begin to start making sense of this giant metropolis? As a Japan enthusiast, I’ve created this guide to the 25 best things to do in Tokyo for first timers based on my own travel experiences.

The goal is to help cut through the confusion and provide a curated list of must-see attractions and experiences that give you a quintessential taste of Japan’s colourful capital city.

I still vividly recall my first visit to Tokyo’s serene Imperial Palace gardens – a quiet haven amid the surrounding skyscrapers. My first dinner at a tiny 10-seat sushi counter in Tsukiji Market left me awestruck at the finesse of the sushi chef masters.

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