travel

Survey picks 8 most disappointing sightseeing spots in Tokyo

9 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

It’s hard to fully express just how much exposure Tokyo gets from the Japanese media. As the center of the nation’s cultural, economic, political, and entertainment worlds, websites, talk shows, and magazines are constantly running features about the city, meaning that many people have seen images and heard stories of Tokyo’s points of interest before actually visiting the locations themselves.

Because of that, it’s inevitable that some people are going to find that the real deal doesn’t mesh with their preconception of it. Japanese Internet portal Goo recently asked its users what sightseeing spots in Tokyo didn’t live up to their expectations, and from 2,168 responses compiled the following top 8 list.

7 (tie). Asakusa Hanayashiki (73 votes)

Founded in 1853, the Hanayashiki amusement park claims to be the oldest in Japan. Unfortunately, its cramped, downtown location means that it just can’t compete with newer, more expansive rivals like Tokyo Disneyland.

7 (tie). Tokyo Tower (73 votes)

Tokyo Tower remains an iconic Tokyo landmark, and its distinct color and park-side location lend it a romantic air. For less amorous visitors, though, it might be a little hard to ignore the fact that since Tokyo Tower was built in 1958, several taller buildings have gone up in the city, somewhat lessening the impact of its vantage point.

6. Roppongi Hills (77 votes)

Located in the trendy Roppongi neighborhood, Roppongi Hills tries to do a little something for everybody, with shops, restaurants, bars, a theater, an art museum, and an observation tower all part of the sprawling complex. There aren’t too many bargains to be found, though, and the high prices may have contributed to it being part of the list.

5. Ameyayokocho (81 votes)

In many ways the polar opposite of Roppongi Hills, this network of shopping streets, which starts just outside Ueno Station, was the site of a major black market following World War II. The merchandise being sold today is legit, but there’s still a bit of a seedy air to Ameyoko, as the district is also called, which might be a little off-putting to those expecting more glitz from Japan’s biggest city.

4. Takeshitadori (93 votes)

Another shopping street, this time located outside Harajuku Station. The Harajuku neighborhood is largely synonymous with youthful fashion, but with dozens of clothing stores flanking the narrow road, you’ll have to be as OK with large crowds as you are trendy threads.

3. Sanrio Puroland (96 votes)

While much newer than Asakusa Hanayashiki, Sanrio Puroland, a.k.a “The Hello Kitty Theme Park,” has a similar problem, in that it just can’t match the scale of Japan’s premiere amusement parks.

2. Shibuya Scramble Intersection (97 points)

Footage of the multi-directional crosswalk outside Shibuya Station, flooded with people, has become one of the go-to establishing shots of Tokyo in movies and other media. It is, though, still just a crosswalk, so those expecting more might be left feeling a little cold once the “Don’t walk” sign comes back on.

1. Tokyo Skytree (108 votes)

The 634-meter Skytree isn’t just the highest point in the city, it also ended up in the highest position on the list.

Now, before you start completely reworking your itinerary for that trip to Tokyo you’ve been planning, it’s important to take the survey’s rankings with a grain of salt. Common sense tells us that no single tourist destination is going to please everybody. The locations listed here might have made the list due to the sheer number of people they attract, of which a certain percentage are bound to be dissatisfied, rather than because they’re fundamentally boring places to spend time at.

Also, since the survey was only concerned with negative reactions, it doesn’t account, in any way, for the potential enjoyment of polarizing places.

Reserved tickets to go up the Tokyo Skytree start at 3,000 yen for adults, which is awfully high for those without a serious interest in seeing high-altitude urban views. If that is your cup of tea, though, a visit to the Skytree is likely to be a major highlight of your time in Tokyo. Takeshitadori and the Shibuya Scramble are constantly crowded, but some people will enjoy the intense rush of being in one of the world’s busiest cities. And Puroland may not have a roller coaster, but you’ll have a hard time finding any other amusement park that does stage readings of boys’ love novels.

In other words, do a bit of homework before you go, and you should have no trouble finding places in Tokyo that’ll leave you feeling happy that you went.

Source: Goo via Byokan Sunday

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors -- We visit the Hello Kitty theme park to eat an adorable Sanrio meal -- All-you-can-eat ice cream unleashed on Japan by Cold Stone

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9 Comments
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there’s still a bit of a seedy air to Ameyoko... which might be a little off-putting to those expecting more glitz from Japan’s biggest city.

People who visit Ameyoko don't go there expecting "glitz." Its lack of glitz and general roughness around the edges is what makes it a great place to visit.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Tokyo Skytree was the most disappointing tourist attraction my family visited in Tokyo. First, we went in August which was a big mistake because it was super crowded. On top of the high cost, we had to wait four hours until our appointed time to go up.Then once you are inside, it's hard to find a good place to stand and take in the view because of the crowd of people. And then of course trying to leave we had to wait in a long line just to take the elevator down. Maybe if we visited at a less busy time it would've been more enjoyable. But I still think the cost is way too high to justify the trip as the landscape of Tokyo just isn't that impressive.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I've only heard terrible things about Skytree, I've still yet to go

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah if you are a first timer I still believe a visit to the Skytree is a must. Just for the heck of it. But forget going up as there are better and way cheaper places to get city view. Me thinks the Tokyo Metro building in Shinjuku is a better choice for viewing the city. Its free too and its not too crowded.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I actually quite enjoy taking the kids to Asakusa Hanayashiki, it's size adds to it's charm and there's actually more crammed in there than I was expecting.

I would have the war museum in Yasukuni and the emperors palace on the list, I found both very uninspiring. I find Odaiba quite a let down also, it's just really poorly thought out and rather dull. Shibuya Scramble??? It's just a busy intersection what do you expect?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm amazed when any popular "sightseeing" attraction in Japan lives up to my expectations. Crowding, lots of stupid rules and security guards yelling thru bullhorns is what I usually encounter. No thanks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tokyo Skytree was the most disappointing tourist attraction my family visited in Tokyo

I would call Skytree not disappointing but overrated. Passable, but not very special view does not justify steep price and long waiting lines. I prefer Tokyo Tower, more interesting view (Odaiba, Tokyo Bay) and no waiting lines, at least on weekdays.

I wonder why the Tsukiji market is not on this list. Tsukiji was a nice place to visit several years ago, you were able to wander there freely enjoying the atmosphere. But last year I accompanied my friends there and I was appalled by the changes - two hours waiting for a short guided tour that reminded a visit to a secret military installation: "do not go here, do not go there". Horrible waste of time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I've shown friends around in Tokyo a few times but still not sure what I would recommend as a really interesting place to go... what would people here recommend as their favourite site to show visiting family/friends?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Striker I don't consider Tokyo that great for sightseeing but it is a great city for wandering around neighbourhoods, soaking up the vibe and having fun. The Edo Tokyo museum in Ryogoku is interesting for a history of Tokyo, as is it's sister open air architectural museum in Koganei park. I would always recommend people visit Asakusa and there are plenty of nice gardens/parks to visit such as Shinjuku Gyoen and the Koishikawa Korakuen Japanese garden next to Tokyo Dome. If the weathers good then a Symphony Cruise on Tokyo bay at sunset with cocktails is nice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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