Tokyo named Australia’s top travel destination for Easter

There’s a lot to like about the Land of The Rising Sun. Still, it was a surprise when’s latest data revealed Tokyo as Australia’s favourite destination for the Easter and school holiday period – beating Singapore and Seminyak. 

So, what’s behind the Japanese capital’s leap, up five places from the same period last year?

Simply put, Tokyo hits you like a neon-drenched dream you don’t want to wake up from. It’s a city that shreds the tourist rulebook, offering adventures that are equal parts mind-blowing and strangely acceptable. 

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Here are 10 compelling reasons why Tokyo deserves its place at the top of the bucket list.

Getting there

Qantas, Virgin, Japan Airlines and Jetstar all fly directly to Tokyo from various Australian ports.

Whether you land at Haneda or Narita (which is slightly further out) public transport into the city is easy and affordable. 


Tokyo is just two hours behind Australia’s east coast, making jet lag virtually non-existent.

Book a night flight, and you’ll arrive fresh and ready to tackle one of the world’s biggest cities (population: 13 million) without losing time to the usual haze of exhaustion. 


While we Australians have been battling consistent interest rate hikes, the Bank of Japan has kept interest rates ultra-low to stimulate inflation, and the Japanese Yen is hovering at a historic low.

Long story short, it’s an excellent time to be a tourist in the shopping metropolis of Shibuya. 

Shibuya, Tokyo

The shopping district of Shibuya bustles day and night. Photo: Getty


There are various factors behind Tokyo’s reputation for law and order, which, rather than feeling oppressive or overbearing, is ingrained in local culture as an innate respect for social harmony.

The local police force is efficient and well funded, while streets are well lit and often busy into the night – deterring criminal activity.

The result is a clean, safe environment for visitors and locals alike. Despite language barriers, you’ll never feel more welcome than meeting a Tokyoite for the first time.

Great transport

Widely considered one of the most accessible and efficient subway networks in the world, Tokyo’s web of train systems is a tourist attraction in its own right.

Avoid taxis or Uber, as they often take longer than the two train lines – Tokyo Metro or the Toei Subway.

Finding your way- in an underground station like Shinjuku might feel overwhelming at first, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Station staff are always cheerily accommodating, even if they don’t speak English.

The food and drink scene

Over-indulgence beneath this city’s bright lights is part of the culture.

That’s exactly where the Japanese verb kuidaore comes from, which roughly translates as “eating yourself to ruin”.

Get the full spectrum of eating and drinking experiences here, from the refined Michelin-star sushi restaurant of Ginza Iwa, run by chef Haraguchi, to the hedonistic playground of the Golden Gai.

This neighbourhood of more than 200 tiny bars is crammed into a labyrinth of narrow alleys that hums with excited locals and tourists most nights of the week.

Golden Gai Tokyo

The nooks and crannies of the Golden Gai. Photo: Getty


In the shadows of the metro stations and pedestrian tunnels, you’ll find one of the world’s best intersections of consumption and convenience: The jidohanbaiki (the Japanese vending machine.)

Ubiquitous throughout Tokyo, they provide just about anything from candied bee larvae or hot ramen dishes to alcohol.

Meanwhile, Konbini (Japanese convenience stores) can be found on every corner of the city, glowing like a haven of indulgence, even in the dead of night. Grab everything from coffee to underwear in this integral part of Japanese life. 

So much sport!

Head to Ikegami’s Onoe Stable for a pre-dawn peek at the Sekitori (apprentice Sumo wrestlers) throwing their weight around the ring.

For about $100, you can witness these future champions training with an intensity that’ll redefine your morning routine.

Tokyo Sumo Wrestlers

Watch would-be champions in training at one of Tokyo’s sumo stables. Photo: Getty

The city also has a serious love affair with baseball, making it more religion than national sport. Tokyo boasts two major league teams: The Yomiuri Giants and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

If you’re visiting between March and October, grab tickets to a game at the Tokyo Dome. Even if baseball isn’t your thing, the crowd’s energy is an unforgettable experience.

Alternatively, ditch the fancy clubs and dive into Kabukicho’s neon jungle (the city’s red-light district) for a more offbeat baseball adventure. The batting cages here are the perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring. Grab some bites and beers with the locals, and experience a slice of Tokyo’s unique nightlife scene. 

Bright lights

Tokyo embraces automation and the future more than anywhere else, and its robot culture is a prime example.

The centre of the robot universe is Akihabara, often dubbed the city’s Times Square. Here, enormous anime and manga figures line the streets.

For a more in-your-face experience, head to the Robot Restaurant, a dazzling show filled with giant bots, neon lights and elaborately costumed dancers.

Or, if you crave something simultaneously interactive and meditative, TeamLabs offers an immersive digital experience where robots and projections blur the lines between the real and the virtual.

All the neighbourhoods

Tokyo is more than just a mega city; it has hundreds of suburbs and districts woven together, each with a distinct flavour.

Shimokitazawa – Shimokita as locals know it – is a favourite, and Tokyo’s answer to Melbourne’s Fitzroy or London’s Shoreditch.

Its narrow streets overflow with independent boutiques selling everything from vintage kimonos to the latest streetwear. Quirky Australian-style cafes spill out onto the roads while hidden music venues thrum with the energy of local bands.

At dusk, Shimokita comes alive with students and trendsetters spilling out of the station, searching for a happy hour hangout.

Like all bohemian city enclaves, Shimokita isn’t just a place to shop or grab a drink, it’s a vibrant tapestry of independent spirit and artistic expression.

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