Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, is the host of the 2020 Olympic Games. Picture: Behrouz MEHRI/ AFP.
Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, is the host of the 2020 Olympic Games. Picture: Behrouz MEHRI/ AFP.

Go fancy in Tokyo with these must-visit activities

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Jul 23, 2021

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From cosplay go-karting to traditional tea ceremonies, Tokyo has an exciting display of experiences on offer.

Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, is the host of the 2020 Olympic Games taking place from July 23 to August 8. All eyes will be on the city as people from across the globe will be watching the games either as a domestic fan or virtually.

Here are some ideas:

Tea Ceremony in Tokyo Garden

Ritual tea drinking was first practised by Zen monks during the Kamakura period. The cultural ceremony is a traditional way of making and drinking green tea, as well as allowing guests to enjoy the experience of being hosted in a calm environment, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are a variety of tea ceremonies to choose from including ones where you are adorned in a kimono, traditional Japanese garb and ones where you can learn to make Japanese confectionery in the Japanese style kitchen.

The intricate preparations take place in a beautifully green Japanese garden with informative explanations of the ceremony’s history and technique, offering guests an authentically immersive experience. Visit mai-ko.com

Cosplay Go-Karting

This activity combines two thrills in one. Cosplay is the art of dressing up as characters and embodying their behaviourism and forms a significant aspect of pop culture in the country, as well as in other parts of East Asia.

Just imagine yourself on a custom-designed go kart specifically tailored to bring your favourite characters to life. Dress up in costumes, play the music of your choice and drive through the bustling streets of Tokyo. You can ride with a group of friends or privately, whatever you choose, Street Kart is fully equipped to make your experience as vibrant as possible. Visit kart.st

Wagyu Beef cooking class

Traditionally, Wagyu is a highly prized and expensive cut of Japanese beef renowned for its fat-marbled, tender and buttery-tasting flesh. It is so expensive because of how the cattle are raised and slaughtered there are very strict guidelines for beef to qualify as Wagyu.

Get creative in this cooking class that will enrich your understanding of Japanese cuisine and fine dining in Tokyo. In an intimate group of ten people, you can prepare up to eight different dishes featuring Wagyu beef, Japanese vegetables, and traditional seasoning with techniques taught by experienced chefs. Then, all participants get to sit down to indulge in their creations and reap the fruits of their labours, accompanied by traditional Japanese beverages – sake and green tea.

Visit www.viator.com/tours

Unwind at the spa

Every trip should have at least one spa visit included as a chance to unwind after busy days filled with adventure. Aman is a luxury spa in Tokyo that draws on the Japanese understanding of nature and balance by incorporating natural ingredients in their treatments and therapies.

The spa itself features onsen-style hot baths so visitors can experience the age-old Japanese ritual of soaking in a hot spring-fed tub and steam rooms – a 30m pool with panoramic city views, fitness centre with cardiovascular and weight-training machinery, and dedicated yoga and Pilates studios.

Their “signature spa journey” is designed to purify, calm and restore the connection with one's inner self. As part of the treatment, enjoy a full body scrub with a deeply soothing blend of camphor, kuromoji powder and Japanese clay, to stimulate circulation, boost the lymphatic system and remove toxins.

Vist www.aman.com

Shop ‘til you drop at Shibuya Parco

Shopping, art and hands-on technology, this shopping complex consists of 10 floors with a broad variety of stores and entertainment options ranging from chic restaurants to gaming stores and upmarket fashion like Gucci.

One of the biggest attractions is on their sixth floor – Cyberspace Shibuya – dedicated to games, manga, and otaku (hobby-related interests) culture. Situated in the heart of Tokyo, a visit boasts the opportunity to soak up a variety of unique experiences all in one vibrant space.

Visit shibuya.parco.jp

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