January 2nd and December 23rd are the only two days when visitors can enter the Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan. However, you are free to stroll through the palace gardens (Higashi Gyoen), which are open to the public all year long and offer a nice view of this building which was destroyed by bombs during World War II and then rebuilt during the 1960s.
2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3842 0181
This Buddhist temple, the city's most venerated and most frequently visited, was built in 628. Destroyed during the bombardments of 1945, it was rebuilt during the 1950s. Located in the Asakusa neighbourhood, one of Tokyo's most pleasant and authentic sectors, the temple can be reached via the bustling Nakamise-dori shopping lane.
2-1 Ueno-Koen, Taito-ku , tel. 81 (03) 3823-7451
Featuring a faithful reconstitution of a 19th-century Asakusa street, this museum is dedicated to the history of the Asakusa and Ueno neighbourhoods.
National Museum of Western Art
7-7 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, tel. 81 (03) 5777-8600, www.nmwa.go.jp
The National Museum of Western Art boasts several masterpieces, including Rodin's The Kiss and several works by Impressionist painter Monet.
The two impressive towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices are the work of architect Kenzo Tange. Visitors can head to the 45th floor of Tower 1, where they'll enjoy one of the most extraordinary views of the city.
Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, tel. 81 (02) 28854-0560
This pilgrimage site was established in 1651 and is dedicated to the memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who chose Tokyo, formerly called Edo, as the site to establish his government.
3-1-1 Kudan-kita, Chiyoda-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3261 8326
This shrine is dedicated to the millions of Japanese soldiers who died in combat. It is extremely controversial though, especially because it is associated with Japan's various Asian colonial conquests.
1-1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, www.meijijingu.or.jp
This highly sacred site features Shinto architecture and honours Emperor and Empress Meiji, who modernized and opened Japan to the world at the end of the 19th century.
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art
4-7-25 Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3445 0651, www.haramuseum.or.jp
The permanent collections of this spectacular contemporary art museum mainly specialize in 20th-century Japanese and international paintings and sculptures.
Tokyo National Museum
13-09 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3822 1111, www.tnm.jp
The Tokyo National Museum is the oldest and largest museum in the country. Its five galleries devote most of their space to Japanese and Asian art.
National Museum of Modern Art
3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, tel. 81 (03) 5777 8600, www.momat.go.jp/english
An extraordinary collection of modern Japanese art is showcased at the National Museum of Modern Art.
Asakura Choso Museum
7-18-10 Yanaka, Taito-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3821 4549
This museum presents a beautiful traditional Japanese home. Sculptor Asakura Fumio, who died in 1964, lived and worked here.
1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3626 9974, www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp
The Edo-Tokyo Museum traces the history of the city from 1590 to 1964, when Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympic Games. The museum's exhibits explain how Tokyo was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1923 and the bombardments of World War II.
Museum of Maritime Science
3-1 Higashi-Yashio, Shinagawa-ku, tel. 81 (03) 5500 1111, www.funenokagakukan.or.jp
This museum displays various model ships. An excellent view of the port and its surrounding area can be enjoyed from the museum's observation tower.
5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, tel. 81 (03) 3541 2640, www.tsukiji-market.or.jp
Visitors will enjoy strolling through this fish market, which is considered the largest in the world. The fishermen's stands and the hustle and bustle of the morning sales are an attraction in themselves, and visitors should head here early in the morning to witness all the action.
1-1 Maihama, Urayasu-shi, Chiba, tel. (045) 330 5211, www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp
An exact replica of California's Disneyland, the Tokyo version is sure to please both young and not-so-young visitors.
2-57 Aomi, Koto-ku, tel. 81 (03) 5500 1126
After walking through the streets of Tokyo and visiting the museums, parks and other temples found in the city, visitors can relax at the Oedo-Onsen Monogatari. These traditional indoor and outdoor public baths are very popular with Tokyoites.
4-12-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, tel.81 (03) 3541-3131, www.shochiku.co.jp/play/kabukiza/theater
Kabuki performances, a mix of theatre, singing and dancing, are a must-see in Tokyo.