Tokyo’s Experiences, as told by National Geographic

For over a century, National Geographic has been educating people globally about exciting cultures and unique places, and now they are tackling one of the most fascinating and complex cities in world: Tokyo. In its Experience Tokyo: Where Old Meets New series, NatGeo uses five categories: Express, Exalt, Explore, Exclaim and Expand, introduce us 20 unforgettable locations throughout Japan’s capital, from ancient temples to rock music venues and many more. Join and discover the magical modern story of this vibrant city.

Choose an experience

  • EXPAND

    Admire The Future

  • EXALT

    Celebrate Spirituality

  • EXPRESS

    Capture The Imagination

  • EXCLAIM

    Indulge The Senses

  • EXPLORE

    Unearth Urban Cool

EXPAND

Admire The Future

EXALT

Celebrate Spirituality

EXPRESS

Capture The Imagination

EXCLAIM

Indulge The Senses

EXPLORE

Unearth Urban Cool

EXPRESS

Capture The Imagination

For well over a millennium, Japanese art has flourished and captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike. It sits front and centre as part of a deeper aesthetic in Japanese culture and artistic expression not only weaves its way through obvious examples such as origami and calligraphy to woodblock printing but also landscape design, and of course food.
Everything is approached with the same level of passion and dedication - from the creation of a samurai sword, to a kitchen knife, handcrafted crystal or even delicate tempura of exquisite subtlety.
Interestingly, the Tokyo area’s strong artistic tradition stretches back over 2000 years ago when it was first settled.Now while this deep heritage continues to permeate through modern Japanese society, visitors can sometimes be oblivious to Tokyo’s thriving artistic scene and how it’s deeply ingrained in so many facets of Japanese culture.
Now while we can suggest ways to uncover Tokyo’s art in its purest form, we also recommend visiting some of the city’s artisans who are creating paeans to aesthetic beauty in the simple objects we use every day.

  • PIGMENTPIGMENT

    PHOTOS BY Shinichiro Oroku

    There are all the colors of the rainbow – and many, many more – on the walls at PIGMENT, an art store, laboratory and workshop in Shinagawa. This is nirvana for anyone with an interest in visual arts, from the pigments in about 4500 hues lining the walls, to the artisan-made calligraphy and paint brushes, to the papers, canvases, easels and other supplies. PIGMENT also serves as a museum, collecting and exhibiting rare and precious inkstones and brushes that showcase the history of art and design in Japanese culture.

    PIGMENT

    For the artistically inclined, PIGMENT offers workshops and courses to share the knowledge acquired in their onsite laboratory.

  • KAMA-ASAKAMA-ASA

    PHOTOS BY Shinichiro Oroku

    To truly appreciate the skill and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of a Japanese kitchen knife, you have to cast your mind back – way back. The art of crafting blades in Japan stretches back to the time of the samurai, almost 1000 years, when katana were made. The more modern iteration of this art form can be seen today in the creation of Japanese knives, in particular at KAMA-ASA, a retailer of some of the country’s finest kitchenware. Visit the KAMA-ASA store in Asakusa and you can appreciate the artistic beauty of these products, plus watch as knives are sharpened and engraved before being packaged for sale.

    KAMA-ASA

    Pick up the ultimate souvenir for a budding foodie: a santoku knife, the classic Japanese cooking utensil.

  • Kagami CrystalKagami Crystal

    PHOTOS BY Shinichiro Oroku

    So much of Japan’s artisanal skill can be seen in the small things: in beautifully designed stationery; in a hand-crafted kitchen knife; and in crystal glassware, cut with precision and styled with skill. The last is an art form that dates back hundreds of years, and is still practised today by the masters at Kagami, a glassware store in bustling Ginza. Here you’ll find everything from crystal whisky and sake glasses to ornamental glassware, all blown, cut and engraved according to the tradition of Kozo Kagami, the founder of the company, and a master of the craft.

    Kagami Crystal

    Kagami’s hand-cut crystal whisky glasses make the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of Japan’s now famous spirits.

  • Tempura FukamachiTempura Fukamachi

    PHOTOS BY Shinichiro Oroku

    This Michelin-starred tempura joint elevates deep-fried food to an almost unbelievable level. Each course in a degustation-style meal here is a single, carefully chosen piece of seafood or vegetable that has been dipped in lighter-than-air batter and fried until it’s just perfect. This is a style of cooking that has been around in Japan for centuries – it was introduced by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century – and which has been perfected at this friendly, intimate restaurant in the backstreets of Ginza.

    Tempura Fukamachi

    For those travelling on a budget, the lunch menu at Fukamachi is much cheaper than the dinner set.

Choose an experience

  • EXPAND

    Admire The Future

  • EXALT

    Celebrate Spirituality

  • EXPRESS

    Capture The Imagination

  • EXCLAIM

    Indulge The Senses

  • EXPLORE

    Unearth Urban Cool

EXPAND

Admire The Future

EXALT

Celebrate Spirituality

EXPRESS

Capture The Imagination

EXCLAIM

Indulge The Senses

EXPLORE

Unearth Urban Cool

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