Tokyo is an urban jungle that combines traditional culture with futuristic innovations. As such, tourists have no shortage of activities even after multiple visits to this bustling city. We’ve highlighted some itinerary ideas for first timers in a previous post, but in case you’re planning on going back or crave alternative activities, here are a couple of additions you can include in your list.
Blow Off Steam at Car Drifting Tracks
Traffic jams are not unusual in Tokyo. In fact, Japan Today posted that the country’s minister for the 2020 Olympics stated to the press that traffic congestion is their biggest concern. The culprit, apparently, are the capital’s narrow streets which are unable to accommodate a lot of vehicles within a short space of time.
The city is similar in this regard to other major cities like New York and London. Eyewitness News specified that New York has 9 traffic ‘bottlenecks’ out of 50 in the entire US. London hasn’t been able to do much as well when it comes to its roads, even after improving vehicle congestion around major infrastructures such as airports. Gatwick Airport for one, deployed numerous car parks and added more parking options that are listed by Parking4Less like hotel and summer specials, aside from the usual short stay and long stay parking options; but once people leave the airport’s vicinity, they are usually met with bustling roads especially during rush hour.
That said, driving in Tokyo can be discerning especially during rush hour traffic, and the perfect place to blow off that frustration from traffic is the race track. Drifting was popularized in the Fast and Furious film Tokyo Drift, but to get a taste of the real thing, Time Out Tokyo recommends watching the annual Tokyo Drift in Odaiba which brings together the nation’s greatest drifters and racers.
It’s a big event, complete with concerts and other performances. There’s also a motocross competition for fans of motorcycle racing. Odaiba can be reached through the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo.
In case the dates don’t coincide with your vacation, you may also check out smaller circuits scattered across the city. Some drifting circuits such as TK Club are similar to karting circuits as they allow hands-on sessions for beginners even without a professional license if you want to try it out for yourself.
Partake in a Tea Ceremony
From the fast-paced and intense racetracks, we go to a mild and very relaxing activity that’s truly Japanese: the traditional tea ceremony. Tea is at the core of Japanese culture, so if you want to experience something that they’ve been doing for centuries, then attending a tea ceremony is an activity you shouldn’t miss.
Tokyo has lots of establishments which hold tea ceremonies and Tokyo Cheapo explained that they range from public, free admission halls to pre-arranged private rooms. The dates also vary which include holiday celebrations as well as booked sessions. Prices differ depending on your choice.
There are also schools dedicated to ‘sado’ or the ‘way of tea’ which hosts traditional tea ceremonies. It’s a serious art for the Japanese, as they pay attention to the smallest of details like the speed of stirring and colors of cloths used in the ceremony.
If you participate, you can choose to partake in the ceremony or have an added kimono dressing ritual before the actual tea ceremony. Surely, the best way to do it is to make the tea while clad in their traditional clothes though, right?