The Best Things to do in Tokyo, Japan

Written By: The Planet D

It can be overwhelming planning a trip to Tokyo but we are here to help! We share the best things to do in Tokyo and guide first-time visitors through the massive capital city of Japan.

Tokyo is a city that will blow your mind! It is an enormous city but once you understand how it works, it is easy to get around and plan each day to perfection. It is hectic and crowded where one minute you can find yourself among the masses in the Shibuya District and then the next to be in complete harmony and serenity during an early morning visit to a traditional Japanese temple.

Things to do in Tokyo

things to do in tokyo japan
Get your map of the best things to do in Tokyo HERE

When it comes to choosing the top attractions in Tokyo, just lookup. It is a city filled with skyscrapers offering plenty of opportunities to look at the skyline from above. Tokyo has a blend of futuristic designs mixed with ancient structures and customs. Throughout the city, you’ll find historic temples to experience Japanese culture at its finest alongside massive buildings taking you into a world of the future. When you visit Tokyo, you’ll be taking a journey through both the past and the future.

There are so many things to do in Tokyo from exploring ancient temples to getting lost in an ultramodern city – It has it all. When planning a trip to Japan, make sure to allow at least four days to explore Tokyo because there is a lot to see!

1. Shibuya Scramble View

things to do in tokyo mag 7
Shubuya from Magnet 7th Floor

Shibuya Crossing is most certainly one of Tokyo’s most recognizable attractions and it is one of the coolest things to do in Tokyo. Shibuya crossing is the world’s busiest intersection in Shibuya.

When you arrive in Tokyo, make your way here first and then go up to the Shibuya Scramble Square Tower where you will go all the way to the Sky Rooftop Observatory for a bird’s eye view of Shibuya Scramble Square. Standing 230 meters high, it is the tallest structure in Shibuya with shopping, restaurants, and a great observation deck at the top.

Another place to get a sense of the crowds below at the world’s busiest intersection, make your way to the top of Magnet by Shibuya109. Take the escalators or elevators up to the 7th floor for the viewing platform. You’ll have to walk through restaurants and shops to the rooftop lookout, but it is free and you can order drinks outside.

things to do in tokyo, shibuya crossing view
Watch our video of people crossing the street at Shibuya Square

The glassed-in viewing area looks right over Shibuya Crossing and you will have the perfect view to take in what looks like an army of ants crossing the street from all directions. We had never seen anything like it and really you have to see it with your own eyes to believe it. Check out the Mag7 Website for details.

2. Join the Crowd at Shibuya Crossing

things to do in tokyo shibuya crossing

Shibuya is one of the most visited wards in Tokyo being the main shopping hub and meeting place of the capital city. The Shibuya intersection sees more than a quarter of a million people crossing every day so no trip to Tokyo would be complete without joining the masses for a crossing or two.

Roughly 2500 people cross this intersection every time the lights turn green making it a pedestrian crossing like no other. Surrounded by billboards and neon lights, thousands of people walk this all-way pedestrian crossing every few minutes. This is our choice as the best tourist attraction in Tokyo.

  • To get to Shibuya, take the Yamanote Line direct to the Metro stop at Shibuya Station.

Pay Tribute to Hachiko Statue in Shibuya

While in the Shibuya area, take a walk to find the Hachiko Statue. It may not be one of the top attractions in Tokyo, but the story makes my heart melt. The story goes that the dog Hachiko used to meet his owner every day at the Shibuya station coming home from work. When his owner died the dog kept coming back to the train station every day for years until its own death. It is now a popular meeting spot at his memorial.

3. the Tokyo Tower

things to do in tokyo japan - tokyo tower japan at night

The Tokyo Tower may not be the tallest building in Tokyo, but it is certainly the most well-known tower in the city. Located in the Shiba-koen district in Minato, this upscale Tokyo neighborhood is worth visiting in its own right. Housing embassies and popular Japanese businesses like Honda and Sony you cannot miss going for a stroll in the area.

However, the star tourist attraction is the original tower standing at 332 meters (1092 feet) high and dates back to 1958. It has definitely become the symbol of Tokyo. Go up to its observation deck for 360 degree views of the city. It was designed to look like the Eiffel Tower and it really does! (except that it is red and white) and we suggest visiting it at night. Its golden glow is beautiful.

Stroll Through Shiba Park

places to visit in tokyo shiba park

After exploring from above from above, take a stroll across the street to explore Shiba Park for the best night view of the tower. Shiba Park is located right next to the famous Tokyo landmark and makes for a great view. It’s a giant green space and there’s a temple to visit too -The Zojo-ji Temple dates back to 1622. The temple complex has been here since 1393 and is the main branch of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism.

4. Tokyo Skytree

the best things to do in tokyo japan

The Toyo Skytree is the tallest tower in the world and is the second tallest building in the world next to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Standing 634 meters (2080 feet) high, it is an impressive sight and one of the city’s top tourist attractions.

Whenever we arrive to a new city, we love going to the top to see its skyline from above, and nothing compares to the view from here. There are two enclosed observation decks and a restaurant. Like the CN Tower, it has a glass floor, but it’s not quite as dramatic as ours here in Toronto. From the observation decks, you can see 360 degree views of Tokyo and even Mount Fuji on a clear day.

  • You can purchase combo tickets to see both floors for 4000 Yen ($35USD).
  • Getting there: Directly connected to Tokyo Skytree Station on the Toei Asakusa Line.
  • Where to Eat: Lunch in Asakusa at Aoi Marushin (Tempura)

Best view of Tokyo Skytree

things to do in tokyo tokyo sky tree from Jukken Bridge
View from Jukken Bridge

It’s no doubt this the Tokyo Skytree is one of the top attractions in the city, so you’ll want to see it from all angles. Walking to the Jiggen bridge makes for a beautiful view of the tower with its lights reflecting in the river. It’s only about a 10 minute walk from the Skytree and we suggest getting there well before sunset to save your spot. There were a lot of local photographers on the bridge once the sun went down jockeying for position. So you know it is one of the best views in Tokyo.

  • Note: There is a lighting schedule each evening that you can check to see what colors they will be showing.

There are 75,000 temples and 80,000 shrines in the country and many of the most iconic temples in Japan are in Tokyo. If you want to visit some of the more famous temples in the city, here are a few of our top choices.

5. Hie Shrine

things to do in tokyo hie shrine

If you are looking for that famous the temple in Tokyo with that row of red Torii Gates in Tokyo, Hie Shrine is the spot. Hie Shrine is located right in the heart of Akasaka in the Minato Ward and is one of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo.

This Shinto Shrine houses massive white Shinto gates, temples and pagodas, and the Torii Gate. It also has guardians like the statues we saw in Nikko which are dressed in red to ward off spirits. Hie Shrine’s spirit (kami) is Oyamakui.

Getting there: Hie Shrine is very easy to get to Hie Shrine. It’s an easy walk from Tameike-Sanno Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Ginza Line. When you get off the subway, take the escalator up to the shrine on one side and then walk down the gates on the other.

6. Sensoji Temple

what to do in tokyo japan sensoji temple

Sensoji Temple is without a doubt the most popular temple in Tokyo to visit. It is usually at the top of people’s Tokyo bucket list. There is a Buddhist temple and there is a Shinto Shrine adjacent to the complex that you can visit as well. This private walking tour is a great way to see all the highlights of the Asakusa district, Ueno Park and the Senso ji temple.

It is Tokyo’s oldest temple dating back to 628, but it has been rebuilt. There is one gate that still stands but it has recently been repainted. It’s a shame because it is one of the few original pieces on the grounds. The best time to visit is early in the morning to avoid the crowds because it is very busy.

  • How to get there: Take JR Yamanote or JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station, transfer to Ginza line and take the subway to Asakusa station.

Sensoji Temple View

sensoji temple things to do in tokyo japan

Right across the street from the Sensoji Temple is the tourist information center. Go inside for tourist information, but also, catch the elevator to the top floor for an overhead view of Asakusa. You’ll see the long roof of the shopping, temple and the river. They also offer Geisha transformation experiences in the tourist information center too. Read: Male Geisha Transformation in Tokyo

One of the best ways to see this neighborhood is by Rickshaw. This Rickshaw tour takes you through Asakusa to see the cherry trees of Sumida Park, (Famous for its cherry blossoms blooming) the temples, and a visit to the oldest amusement park in Japan.

7. Nakamise Street

Things to do in Tokyo Sensoji Temple Grounds
Entering the temple from Nakamise street

Entering the temple through the Thunder Gate takes you to a street lined with souvenir shops. Nakamise street is Tokyo’s most famous shopping street. It is busy and filled with vendors, food stalls and souvenir shops. It runs for 250 meters towards and is the main entrance to Sensoji Temple.

After shopping at the many stores buying Japanese souvenirs, you’ll be ready to enter the temple complex. For a guided walk through the district, take this tour of the Asakusa district with a local guide to see popular Tokyo landmarks in this 1400-year-old district, explore the market street of Nakamise-Dori and try Japanese snacks and food.

Where to Eat

things to eat in tokyo japan

No trip to Tokyo would be complete without sampling authentic Japanese food. For the best tempura go to Aoi Marushin for authentic Japanese Tempura and bento boxes in their lunch set menu. It is located just down the street from the Sensoji Temple and the tourist information center. It’s busy with both locals and tourists and is located just a few minutes from the temple. Address: 1-4-4 Asakusa, Taito 111-0032

8. Meiji Shrine

tokyo things to do meiji shrine

One of the city’s most popular shrines is the Meiji Shrine. This shrine is dedicated to Emperor Meiji who was considered the first modern emperor of Japan. During his reign, Japan had modernized and westernized herself enough to join the world’s major powers by the time he passed away in 1912.

  • How to get there: Metro Stop is Harajuku Station and then walk to the shrine.

Relax in Yoyogi Park

For a reprieve from the crowds, duck into Yoyogi Park. It was the home of the Olympic Village for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Today it is one of the largest city parks in the city. Getting there: From Harajuku Station, Yoyogi Park is just a 5-minute walk.

9. Nogi- Jinja Shrine

top things to do in tokyo nogi shrine

Nogi Shrine is a peaceful Shinto Shrine in Akasaka. This shrine is dedicated to a man that is considered the Last Samurai of Japan. You feel like you have stepped back in time when touring the shrines of Tokyo. You can almost feel the spirits of the Samari.

It was here at Nogi Shrine, that the Last Samari of Japan and his wife committed ritual suicide (seppuku) after Emperor Meiji died. This was the way of the Samurai but wasn’t practiced anymore at the time of his death, so it is very peculiar. The shrine is open year-round, but the house is only open two days per year in September. You can walk around the outer walkway to glimpse inside where you can see the sword he used, a bloodied shirt, and photographs.

Getting there: It is a five minute walk from Nogizaka station to Nogi Jinja Shrine. See our interactive map for more details.

10. Ginza Street

ginza street best places to visit in tokyo

Ginza was once home to a silver coin mint in the 1800s. Today it is the chicest and upmarket shopping street in Tokyo with high-end shopping and dining. Spend an afternoon exploring its shopping malls, department stores, shopping streets, and high-end fashion.

We’ve been to a lot of cities around the world, and no city has the extreme spectrum of ancient culture mixed with space-age futuristic vibes like Tokyo. It is truly a one-of-a-kind destination.

To delve into Tokyo’s drinking culture (and let me tell you, it’s a big one) book a bar hopping tour. This tour is a 3-hour Shinjuku’s Yakitori Alley, one of Tokyo’s biggest nightlife districts where you’ll visit 3 local izakaya bars with a local guide. It includes food and drinks.

11. Takeshita Street in Harajuku

things to do in tokyo japan harajuku takeshita street

One of the best places in Tokyo to really get a feel for the modern culture and energy is Takeshita Street. It is one of the most vibrant areas in Tokyo. This pedestrian-only shopping street is located in Harajuku and is one of the top places to visit in Tokyo. This popular fashion district in the Shibuya Ward of Japan is where you’ll find all the latest trends and fashionistas. It’s also home to all those strange cafes in Tokyo. If you are traveling to Tokyo, make sure to do some shopping and people watching on this street.

Indulge in Black Sesame Ice Cream

If you want to try some more interesting food in Tokyo make your way to Gomaya Kuki for their rich Sesame ice Cream. It is said that 9000 sesame are used in one ice cream making it the richest most delicious ice cream in Tokyo. Black sesame ice cream has become a huge sweet craze in Tokyo. Gomaya Kuki is located in Harajuku so grab some ice cream as you stroll around this exciting Tokyo district.

Godzilla Street

godzilla street thigns to do in tokyo japan

When thinking of Japan, who doesn’t think of Godzilla? The people of Tokyo have a lot of fun with their pop culture, and in the Shinjuku district, there is a street named Godzilla Street. The Godzilla head towers over the Toho Movie Theatre (Toho is the movie studio behind the Godzilla movies) promoting the entertainment complex.

Shinjuku is in Central Tokyo and is one of the top attractions for first-time visitors. It is where you really feel that you have stepped into a foreign land. Shinjuku is the place where all the nightlife, karaoke bars, unique cafes, and other zany things to do in Tokyo happen. Shinjuku station. We had so much fun just walking the street of Tokyo, it’s the perfect place to people watch and take in the biggest, craziest skylines

12. See the Mirrors of Tokyu Plaza

unique things to do in tokyo tokyu plaza

There are a few Tokyu Plazas around the city but this one is located on Omotesando Avenue. The Tokyu Plaza entrance is located on a busy corner and a must-stop when walking this street. Take the escalators up, stand in the middle of the staircase and watch the hexagonal mirrors reflect the masses of people walking by. This is definitely one of the city’s coolest views.

Getting lost in the crowds was our favourite experience in Tokyo. It is so busy and filled with energy, we wanted to be outside all the time taking in the chaos and commotion.

13. Relax in a Cat Cafe

unique things to do in tokyo cat cafe

Tokyo is known for its unique cafes. There are maid cafes, fishing restaurants, owl restaurants, and ninja cafes. One of the more unique things to do in Tokyo is to sit and play with cats. Calico Cat Cafe is the biggest and probably most famous.  

Located in Shinjuku up five flights of stairs, it feels more like you are checking into a veterinarian’s office instead of a cafe. I was happy to see that they are well taken care of. It’s pricey and you pay hourly, plus you pay for treats but it is a great way to limit the number of visitors so the cats are not overwhelmed.

14. Experience a Robot Restaurant

weird things to do in tokyo robot restaurant

For a unique experience in Toky, head to the Robot Restaurant, It is one of Tokyo’s most popular attractions. When I first visited Japan in 1994, it seemed so much farther ahead than the rest of the world. And now Tokyo just keeps pulling farther away with whackier ideas and futuristic restaurants and bars. Snacks are sold at the Robot Restaurant but not a full meal. And it is advised to book ahead.

Located in Shinjuku, the Robot Restaurant runs a high-tech show with dancers and technology takes place three times a day. It’s well worth popping in to experience this really unique attraction.

Go Karts in Tokyo

Looking for more unique things to do in Tokyo? This awesome go kart tour takes you through the vibrant Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya districts of Tokyo on a Mario Kart. Taking go karts around the city streets quintessential thing to do in Tokyo because it is so darn strange.

Dress up as your favorite Manga character or Mario Kart player and whizz past the Metropolitan Government Building and the Shinjuku Love Sign in your own go kart. Then head to the nightlife district of Shinjuku Station and then to the shopping district of Harajuku.

15. Walk to Love Hotel Hill (Dogenzaka)

Tokyo not only has weird and whacky shops it also has weird hotels. This hill is dedicated to romantic getaways. We don’t recommend going into a love hotel, but it is cool to see. If you want to try one out for yourself, you can stay for a few hours or overnight. Many hotels won’t allow foreigners though, so be prepared to look around.

16. Take a Rickshaw Ride

interesting things to do in tokyo japan rickshaw ride

One of the top bucket list items when visiting Asia, in general, is taking a rickshaw ride. A great place to take a rickshaw tour in Tokyo is in the Asakusa District. There are rickshaws parked all along the street right in front of the Aoi Marushin restaurant and the market street. This is probably the best place to ride a rickshaw in Tokyo due to it being a more traditional ward. You can easily hop on a Rickshaw without booking in advance.

If you want to make sure you see all the best attractions here, book this highly rated tour that goes by rickshaw through Asakusa. You’ll see all the highlights including including Nakamise shopping street, Denpoin street, Geisha district, and Hanayashiki amusement park.

17. Imperial Palace

places to visit in tokyo imperial palace

Just north of the Minato/Akasaka area is the Chiyoda Ward. This is where one of the top attractions in Japan is located. The Imperial Palace is surrounded by a park in the center of Tokyo. You can view the palace from afar through the bridges, but it is open to the public twice a year – December 23 and Jan 2.

To really explore the grounds, check out this walking tour starting from the Otemon Gate where you’ll see the Imperial Tokagakudo Music Hall and the Museum of Imperial Collections and other gardens near the palace.

18. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

what to do in tokyo government building
View of Tokyo metropolitan government building at evening

One of the best views of Tokyo is from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building It’s free to enter and offers a panoramic view of the city. There’s also a tourist information center in the building. If it is a clear day, you will even be able to see Mt. Fuji.

If you want to see Mt. Fuji up close, book this Mt. Fuji and Hakone day tour including a scenic lake cruise, a trip to the Hakone shrine and Owakudani. It’s a great day trip from Tokyo. Read The Complete Guide to Climbing Mount Fuji for more information on Mount Fuji.

19. Golden Gai – Izakaya Alleys

tokyo things to do alleyways

All around the city you’ll find alleyways filled with pubs and bars known as Izakaya Alleys. These alleyways are one of the top attractions for foodies in Tokyo. They are tiny stalls serving Japanese food and drink and are popular after-work meet up points for locals.

There are more than 200 tiny bars to choose from. They only seat a few people and entry is at the owner’s discretion. In Shinjuku, you can wander through the alleys of Golden Gai in search of the perfect bar. Subway stop – Shinjuku Station.

  • It can be overwhelming and intimidating choosing which bar to enter, so instead book this highly rated tour of Shinjuku Golden Gai food tour.
  • Or book a Japanese cooking class – Meet a local chef for your own private cooking class on this highly rated experience. You’ll learn how to roll sushi in a local apartment in Shinjuku area where you’ll have the chance to experience local life.
  • Get Your Guide offers tours in the Shinbashi area to check them out thoroughly and to be sure you get a seat at one of these small bars!

20. the Rainbow Bridge

things to do in tokyo rainbow bridge

You probably recognize the Rainbow Bridge from the Olympics. It seems that every reporter has stood in front of its colorful lights giving us updates about our favorite athletes. Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge has become as iconic to the Tokyo Skyline as its temples and towers. Spanning across Tokyo Bay it is a whopping 798 meters long. It is possible to walk across it with several observations decks to stop and take in the Tokyo skyline along the way.

This Tokyo Cycling Tour takes you the Hibiya flower park in Ginza, The English Garden, the Kabuki Theatre of Kabukiza and tea t Odaiba beach park before boarding a cruise to see the Rainbow Bridge from the water.

21. Kabuki-za Theater in Ginza

No trip to Japan would be complete without watching  Kabuki so now that you have seen where the theatre is, book a show to see live Kabuki. Kabuki is a Japanese traditional theater of dance and drama. Kabuki-za is the premier place in Tokyo to watch Kabuki. Performances last for hours, but you can take in a single act that last about an hour and a half to two hours.

22. Sumo Wrestling – Ryogoku Kokugikan

unique things to do in tokyo japan sumo wrestling

Want to catch sumo wrestlers in action? This is the place where the grand slam sumo tournaments take place. If the main event isn’t happening you can still go on a tour. There is also a sumo museum to check out the Sumo Stable and the history of Sumo. Book a Sumo experience in combination with Skytree at Get Your Guide.

23. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

places to visit in tokyo shinjuko gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen national garden is Tokyo’s largest park is a great place to take a stroll through a traditional Japanese garden. During cherry blossom season, it is a good place to see the cherry blossoms bloom. Located in Shinjuku, it is a great escape from the crowds.

  • Getting There to Shinjuku: Take the Metro to Shinjuku Station, the world’s busiest railway station. It is then just a 10 minute walk from the station 
  • Where to Stay in Shinjuku: Check out TripAdvisor for reviews and places to stay near Shinjuku

24. Experience a Tea Ceremony

fun things to do in tokyo japan tea ceremonies in japan
a Japanese woman shows the tea ceremony during a public demonstration

For a unique cultural experience take part in a Japanese tea ceremony at a Japanese Tea House. Many hotels can set one up for you but you can also book through GetYourGuide. If you take an Old Town Tokyo Food Tour you will explore traditional Tokyo buildings, enjoy a Japanese traditional Teishoku lunch and enjoy a special ceremony in a 4th generation antique gallery and tea room.

25. Go Shopping at Solamachi

places to visit in tokyo solomachi

While visiting the Skytree, make sure to spend time browsing the stores at Solamachi. It’s a massive shopping center at the base of the tower. With 300 stores, there’s shopping for everyone. When you arrive, go directly to customer service with your passport to receive a coupon book. It’s filled with savings and great deals.

Where to Dine with a View in Tokyo

where to eat in tokyo solamachi

Located on the 31st floor of Solamachi this is the place to eat authentic Japanese food in Tokyo! Plus it has one of the best views of Tokyo. If you are going to have one traditional Japanese meal in Tokyo, splurge and do it here. We had the Matsu Course that costs 10,800 ($88 USD) Yen per person but it is totally worth it. It included sampling many of staple Japanese food like Wagyu Beef, and hot pot.

  • Getting to Solamachi: From Asakusa Station go one stop on the TOBU SKYTREE Line.
  • Taxis weren’t too pricey to attractions in nearby Asakusa.

26. Stay in an Onsen (Japanese Hot Springs and Spa)

things to do in tokyo ryokan

One of the coolest things to do in Japan is to stay in an authentic Japanese Onsen. These hotels have hot springs and pools where visitors can take part in a Japanese bath. You will be given Yakutas to sleep and eat in and you will stay in a tatami room with futon beds.

They are truly heavenly. Check out our video of our stay at a Ryokan

27. Asahi Beer Headquarters

places to visit in tokyo sumida river

The Asahi Beer Headquarters is located along the river which flows into Tokyo Bay and is a very intriguing building. The design is supposed to represent a golden flame. On the 21st floor, visitors are welcome at the Asahi Sky Room to enjoy an icy glass of Asahi beer.

28. Stroll Along the Sumida River

The Sumida River offers an excellent walk. This river runs right through Tokyo city center. It is a beautiful scenic walk that lets you see the skyline from different perspectives.

Make your way along the river to Sumida Park, it is the quintessential place to view the Tokyo Cherry Blossom Trees in bloom. There are an astounding 500 cherry trees in the park. Located on the water, it offers great views of the city including the Sky Tree. The best time to visit Tokyo for Cherry Blossoms is mid-to-late march into early April.

One of Tokyo’s first bridges is located along the Sumida River, The Azumabashi Bridge is a lovely walk connecting Asakusa with Solamachi. Catch a River Cruise to explore the city from the water.

29. Go Shopping at Isetan

fun things to do in tokyo go shopping

Tokyo has no shortage of shopping streets and department stores, but the most famous department store is without a doubt, Isetan. It is the oldest department store in Tokyo dating back to 1886. Even if you don’t want to do any shopping, you can eat at its food hall, or simply take a stroll through its 9 floors for a unique peek into Tokyo’s history.

Watch our Video – Best Places to Visit in Tokyo

things to do in tokyo video
Watch our video of the best things to see in Tokyo for first-timers

Heading to Tokyo for shopping? This full-day shopping tour lets you create your own itinerary to shop until you drop with a personal chauffer taking you to the best shopping districts in Tokyo, including Akihabara district and Ginza district, plus experience Tokyo’s Otaku culture and manga.

30. Ameya Yokocho Market

Ameya Yokocho Market is a busy street that means Candy Store Alley. It used to sell candy but now it is filled with street food stalls, dried food and spices, fresh fish, and many other goods such as handbags, clothing, and cosmetics.

Traditional Japanese Pancakes Food

To immerse in Tokyo food, you may want to check out this interesting tour of West Tokyo. This two-hour street food tour lets you sample 5 street food eats from one of the many local vendors, markets, and Japanese franchises where you’ll finish up at a local izakaya.

31. Tokyo Fish Market

If you want to see fish being sold, the Tsukiji Fish Market is the place to go. It’s for early risers to see the local sellers trade their wares starting at 5:00 am. Visitors cannot visit the inner market reserved for wholesalers but you can visit the outer markets.

Tsukiji  Outer Market consists of narrow lanes selling everything food-related. The crowded streets are fun to walk in search of seafood, food products, food stalls, and souvenirs.

32. Try the Tokyo Vending Machines

unique things to see in tokyo vending machines

One thing you’ll notice when exploring Tokyo are all the vending machines located throughout the city and in train stations. You can get everything from Japanese snacks to beer to candy soup and sake.

33. Tokyo Disneyland

If you have families, a day at Tokyo Disneyland is a must. Tokyo Disney is a massive theme park that has developed into two theme parks, four Disney hotels and a shopping complex. There are also six non-Disney hotels on the site. But what makes this Disneyland stand out is TokyoSea. TokyoSea feels like you are sailing the seven seas from the Mediterranean to the Americas. This is a great option for adults.

34. Hanayashiki Amusement Park

fun things to do in tokyo amusement park
photo courtesy of AimaimyiCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t want to visit Disneyland, make your way to the oldest theme park in Japan is fittingly located in Asakusa. Dating back to 1853, it was first opened as a flower park. Today it has amusement park rides like a roller coaster, space shot and several other traditional theme park rides.

35. Catch a Baseball Game

Baseball is as much of a pastime in Japan as it is in America. If you are in the city between March and October, make your way to the Tokyo Dome to see the Yomiuri Giants or you can heat to Jingu Stadium to the Yakult Swallows. These professional baseball teams will make you feel like you are transported to the midwest.

36. Edo Tokyo Museum

If you want to visit some museums and art galleries in Tokyo, there are plenty to check out. Here are a few recommendations. The Edo Tokyo Museum is a reconstruction of Tokyo’s history with recreations of the Edo period of Japan. It is one of the most popular museums in Japan with interactive exhibits, miniature recreations of life in the city 400 years ago. For hours and prices visit their website.

37. TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum

For the ultimate interactive museum, head to TeamLab Borderless. It is one of the most instagrammable spots in all of Tokyo. The digital art museum is a multisensory extravaganza with colourful displays. TeamLab Borderless opened in 2018 and instantly became one of the hottest things to see in Tokyo. Visit the TeamLab Borderless official website for information on this digital art museum.

When visiting TeamLab make sure to stop at the En Tea House. It’s free to enter and you’ll enjoy a cup of tea as digital flowers bloom inside your teacup.

38. Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum is Japan’s oldest museum dating back to 1872. Travel through ancient Japan discovering Japanese antiquities, tools, pottery, and clothing. Check out the website for entrance and prices to the National Museum.

39. Ghibli Museum

We all know how popular Japanese animation is and the Studio Ghibli Museum celebrates animation from the Ghibli Animation Studio. A cool thing about this museum is that one of Japan’s greatest director’s and animator’s Hayao Miyazaki designed the museum himself. He is famous for popular films Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke. For hours and prices visit the website

Getting Around Tokyo

how to get around tokyo

A great way to get around Tokyo is by Subway. We went everywhere using its easy-to-navigate underground. It’s fast, efficient, and very reasonable. There are train stations and subway lines everywhere in Tokyo.

  • Tokyo has two separate subway lines. You can buy tickets at the machine. Costs are very reasonable starting at ¥200. ($2) You can purchase 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-Hour passes.
  • Taxis are expensive and traffic can be brutal, it is much better to use the subway.
  • There are two different airports, Narita International and Haneda Airport. From Narita Airport, The JR Narita Express will take you to Tokyo Station for 3000 Yen. ($30 USD) one way.
  • There are shuttle buses that will take you to Tokyo Station for approximately 1000 Yen (10 USD).
  • Taxis can be very expensive to the Airport to downtown Tokyo. For example Narita Airport can cost nearly $200 USD.
  • To Haneda, you are looking at much more reasonable fares (since it is closer to the city) costing around 7000 – 8000 Yen ($65 – $75 ISD)

From Tokyo’s many train stations, you can easily hop on a high-speed train to take a day trip, or you can easily explore the country as well.

Visiting Tokyo? Book a private guide – This 6-hour tour takes you to the top highlights of the city. Including Asakusa, Asakasa, Fish Market, Harajuku and Omotesando

WiFi and Data in Tokyo

interesting things in tokyo japan

You can rent a wireless wifi router from Get Your Guide to help navigate and book tours in Tokyo. We used Knowroamding for International Data Roaming – Unlimited data/cellular for $3.99 per day.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Tobu Hotel Levant We stayed at the Tobu Hotel Levant which had a fantastic view of the Skytree. Located in Asakusa it was close to shopping centres, eateries and was a short walk to Kinshicho Station.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo We loved our stay at the Intercontinental. It was in a fantastic location near the Senso-ji Temple, Ginza and it had one of the best views in Tokyo.

Park Hyatt Tokyo – The Park Hyatt has one of the best views from its swanky bar, The New York Bar and was made famous in the movie Lost in Translation starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanson.

Capsule Hotel – If you are looking for a unique and affordable place in Tokyo in a Capsule hotel. These small hotels are just private tiny bunks but are definitely one of the most unique things to do in Tokyo. The Millenial Shibuya is a good one to check out.

Even though Tokyo is considered expensive, there are ways to travel it on a budget. We found many things that didn’t break the bank. Read our guide: Tokyo on a Budget – How to Travel Without Breaking the Bank. Get your Tokyo Airport Transfer from Haneda Airport direct to your hotel to avoid stress and confusion once you arrive in Tokyo. (free cancellation for full refund if canceled up to 24 hours in advance)

things to do in tokyo japan
Tokyo – Sensoji-ji, Temple in Asakusa, Japan

And those are our tips and suggestions for all the things you can do in Tokyo. Have you been to Tokyo? What are your favourite things to do? We haven’t been everywhere in Tokyo yet, but we look forward to exploring more next time. Let us know what we missed so we can add it to our list!

Tokyo Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not miss in Tokyo?

You should not miss seeing the Shibuya Crossing to witness the busiest intersection in the world, the Sky Tree and the Hie Shrine.

Is Tokyo Safe?

Tokyo is a very safe city, but like when visiting all large cities, proper precautions should be taken. Don’t go out late at night alone, keep an eye on your personal belongings, and don’t make yourself a target by overdrinking.

What are the things you should do in Tokyo?

Visit one of their unique cafes like a robot restaurant or cat cafe, stay in a capsule hotel, and take in the view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

So now that you have our recommendations of where to stay in Tokyo, let’s get on with all the things to do in Tokyo, .

Did you enjoy all of these things to do in Tokyo? Pin this post to Pinterest for future reference

Things to do in Tokyo Japan

And these are the most popular things to do in Tokyo. I hope this guide helped you decide what to do, where to stay and how to make the most of your visit. Just remember, the more you do in Tokyo, the longer you will want to stay! This city guide only scratches the surface of all the things Tokyo has to offer, so what are you waiting for? Book your trip today!

Photo credit: Shinjuku Gyoen national garden courtesy of KestrelCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

14 thoughts on “The Best Things to do in Tokyo, Japan”

  1. Wow! Such a comprehensive Tokyo itinerary.. cat cafes sound unique.. Tokyo is on my bucket list to be ticked really soon. Thanks for all the information!

  2. Such a Nice post, all places are wonderful, Thank you for this list, it’s super useful for planning my first trip to Tokyo…………

  3. Very comprehensive guide to Tokyo! I managed 13 from this list during my first trip there. I really want to go back, Iran he do those cities where there’s just so much to see and do, it would take a lifetime. Thanks for a great post!

  4. Tokyo is one of the best cities to visit anywhere. It’s full of nightlife, culture, amazing temples and shrines and shopping, weird things to see and do. It is is also a tourist friendly place and easy to get around.

  5. Nice one guys!
    I haven’t yet been to Tokyo but Japan is going to be the graduation present for our teen, as he’s a Japan freak. In fact, one of our cats is called – Yukiko – after a Japanese cartoon character!

  6. You have no idea how much I’ve been missing Tokyo now, Dave and Deb! You brought back amazing memories from this busy city. I loved visiting the Burj Khalifa and the Tokyo Skytree didn’t disappoint me either. Hope to make it there again soon.

  7. What an excellent guide! I have already bookmarked it -I truly hope to make it to Japan this year. Thanks for writing such an informative post 🙂 Merry Xmas!