Tokyo is a sprawling, densely populated city packed full of nightlife spots, restaurants, museums, entertainment venues, shopping malls and everything besides. The city offers its expats a vibrant, unique and sociable lifestyle, with plenty of annual events in addition to more permanent sightseeing and entertainment attractions.
Shopping in Tokyo
Shopping in Tokyo is an important part of the crazed consumer culture – in fact, it can constitute an essential cultural experience for expats. For one, Tokyo has a bizarrely futuristic shopping environment, with everything from fish broth and fresh eggs to ties and socks available from vending machines.
The city is also at the cutting edge of fashion, design and electronics – with Akihabara being a haven for the latter as well as the city's anime and manga hotspot.
Shopping malls are a major part of the urban landscape. Shinjuku Station is surrounded by multi-level malls retailing every item imaginable. Major chains like Keio and Isetan can be reached directly from the station.
Those looking for gifts for loved ones back home should look out for traditional items like Daruma dolls and crafts such as ceramics and chopsticks. Kimonos are always good, although quality garments are expensive.
Eating out in Tokyo
The biggest city in the world by population, Tokyo may well be the globe’s cuisine capital as well. Restaurants in Tokyo are plentiful – the city has more Michelin stars to its name than any other, and boasts eateries offering all manner of ethnic cuisines, fine dining experiences, local delicacies and foreign foods. Of course, Japanese sushi is a must-have and whether one is in Tokyo to stay or just passing through, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Nightlife in Tokyo
The nightlife in Tokyo is excellent, offering everything from themed bars to dance clubs and karaoke bars. It certainly helps that it’s legal to drink in public and that vending machines stock cans of beer. One of the best party areas is Roppongi, which has friendly locals very familiar with Westerners. Other key nightlife areas are Kabukicho and Ginza.
►Check out Getting Around in Tokyo to learn about transport in the city
Are you an expat living in Tokyo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Tokyo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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