45 Best Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan

This page may contain affiliate links. More info in ourPrivacy Policy.

If you’re heading to Japan, you won’t want to miss this epic list of things to do in Tokyo. Packed with adventure, food, history and culture, Tokyo is a place that is easy to love. Since Japan’s capital city is on most travelers’ itinerary, we’re sharing our top tips and advice that will help you plan what to do in Tokyo, Japan!


There is no place in the world quite like Tokyo. This sprawling metropolis has a combination of modern skyscrapers as well as historic temples. You’ll find ultimate zen as well as chaos.

You’ll find Michelin star restaurants next to vending machines selling surprisingly tasty meals. And you’ll find long-standing traditions like tea ceremonies and sumo wrestling just blocks away from eccentrically costumed teenagers that live and breathe Japanese pop culture.

These beautiful contradictions are what make Tokyo such a unique and interesting place that appeals to travelers of all ages, budgets and interests.

With so many things to do in Tokyo, it can be overwhelming trying to plan your first trip to this crazy city. But fear not – we are here to help!

We’ve rounded up the top things to to in Tokyo from our own experiences as well as favorites from other travel bloggers. This huge list will surely inspire you with all sorts of quirky activities and must-see sights when you plan your trip to Japan’s capital city.

Read this before your trip:First Timer’s Guide to Traveling to Japan

Tokyo Travel Guide

For more tips and advice for planning your trip to Tokyo, jump to the following sections (or just keep scrolling to see it all!).

嘘!如果你会旅行更多的整个c华体会最新登录网站ountry, be sure to check out our bucket list ofcrazy fun things to do in Japan!

Top things to do in Tokyo

If you’re looking for thevery bestthings to do in Tokyo, here are our top recommendations:

  1. Walk through Shibuya Crossing
  2. Eat your way around Tokyo on a food tour
  3. Explore TeamLAB Planets
  4. Catch a Sumo wrestling match
  5. Take a free walking tour
  6. Climb (or just view) the Tokyo Skytree

Keep reading for more detailed information on each of these things and more ideas of fun things to do in Tokyo.

1. Walk through Shibuya Crossing

Things to do in Tokyo Shibuya Crossing

在东京时,大多数游客使它成为一个指向华体会最新登录网站ee the world’s busiest intersection: the “Shibuya Scramble”!

It’s a pretty wild sight to see crowds merge into one ridiculously packed junction. Stand on the sidewalk and wait for the crosswalks to turn green and get lost in the chaos!

Come in the daylight hours or at night when everything is aglow in neon lights. Or if you have time, come for both!

Check out this short time lapse we took in the middle of Shibuya Crossing!

YouTube video

Another alternative to having eyes on the ground is viewing the chaos from above. The Shibuya Sky rooftop observatory is the newest addition to Tokyo’s lineup of rooftop views.

At approximately 230 meters (~755 ft) above the intersection, it’s the tallest skyscraper in Shibuya. The open-air observatory offers 360º views of the city and on a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance.

  • Entrance fee:2000 yen for adults (~$15 USD); 1800 yen if youbook online in advance
  • Hours:10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Things to do in Tokyo Shibuya Crossing

Insider Tip: There’s also a Starbucks that overlooks the madness. Though we will warn you, the Starbucks is something of an attraction itself, and is always crowded. It is even said to be the busiest location of this coffee chain in the world!

2. Eat your way around Tokyo on a food tour

Things to do in Tokyo Sake

If you’re like us and want to try as much food as possible in the little time you have, the best way to do so is to go on a food tour of Tokyo. Sample small portions of popular dishes so you can have a little of everything without filling up too quickly.Oh, and the walking portion of the tour helps you “earn” that food. Genius!

We’ve taken food tours all around the world, and they are a great way to find local gems and learn more about each dish and the culture as a whole.

We went on two food tours in Japan, one inOsaka和一个在东京。每个旅游是非常不同的we not only got to try a ton of different foods, but we were able to explore neighborhoods alongside someone who lives in the city.

Arigato is the highest rated food tour company in Japan, and we had a great experience with them on their Tokyo tour.Below are some of the different food tours they offer in Tokyo.

Food and Drink tour options in Tokyo:

3. Explore teamLAB Planets

Things to do in Tokyo teamLAB Borderless Digital Museum

You may have heard ofTeamLAB Borderless, Tokyo’s uber-Instagrammable digital art museum. Well this is the latest installment from the art collective known as teamLAB.

Lose yourself in this immersive art experience—an art show where you’re encouraged to kick off your shoes and connect with the art, blurring the boundaries between art and nature. It’s sure to be every bit as ‘gram-forward as the museum.

  • Location:teamLab Planets TOKYO, Toyosu 6-1-16, Koto-ku, Tokyo
  • Hours:Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday and holidays, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee:3,200 Yen for adults (~$23 USD)
Things to do in Tokyo teamLAB Borderless Digital Museum

A note on TeamLAB Borderless:

As of August 31, 2021, teamLab Borderless Tokyo is closed until further notice. The good news is, the ultra popular digital art museum is set to reopen in 2023 in a new location. The original museum, which was housed in Mori Tower at the center of the Roppongi Hills urban development project, has shut down.

Coming in late 2023, as part of the Toranomon-Azabudai Project, teamLab Borderless will find its new home in Tokyo in a yet to be reported underground location.

嘘!Check out our list of themost beautiful places in Japanyou’ll have to see to believe!

4. Visit a sumo wrestling stable

Things to do in Tokyo Sumo Wrestling Stable

Recommended by:Annette fromBucket List Journey

You can’t fully understand the intensity of the sumo wrestling sport unless you are up close and personal at an intense morning practice session to witness the panting, grunting and dripping sweat.

The practices are not attractions created for tourists—the athletes are not putting on a show for you—they are in serious training and need to be shown respect while you are there.

Things to do in Tokyo Sumo Stable

Though there are over 40 training stables, most in the Ryogoku district, only a few accept visitors. The most common are Kasugano Beya, Takasago Beya and Musashigawa Beya.

It’s best to book asumo wrestling tour. Make sure to call ahead to confirm that they will be having practice on the day you arrive!

5. Take a free walking tour

Things to do in Tokyo Walking tour

自由步行参观是一个伟大的方式highlights of a city when you have limited time. Plus, being guided through Tokyo by a local will open your eyes to some sites and stories you never would have picked up on otherwise.

Tokyo Localizedoffers a few types of tours in different neighborhoods that highlight unique aspects of the city.

Or do it at your own pace by pinning all the big sights on your Google Maps app or Maps.me and letting your feet guide you.

Insider Tip:While you can download a map of Tokyo on Maps.me to use offline, it might be worthwhile to get aWiFi hotspotfor your trip to Japan. This means you’ll have unlimited data and won’t ever be left without Internet.

6. Climb (or just view) the Tokyo Skytree

Things to Do in Tokyo Skytree Tower from the Ground

The Skytree is to Tokyo what theSpace Needle is to Seattle. While walking around Tokyo, if you look up at the skyline, you really can’t miss it.

Standing 634 meters tall, the Tokyo Skytree is a TV broadcast tower and all-around symbol of the city.

We’re not huge proponents of overpriced viewpoints, so our recommendation is to spot it from the ground (then check out #32 for a free viewpoint!). But if you don’t mind shelling out $17 USD, going to the top of the Skytree (350 meters and second platform of 450 meters) might be your jam!

On a clear day, this is the best place in Tokyo to view Mount Fuji.
To get a ticket to the viewing point,book your Skytree admission ticketahead of time. You’ll get to skip the line too!

Unique things to do in Tokyo

Tokyo is absolutely packed with mind-boggling, heart-thumping, imagination-bending things to do. Satisfy your nerdy urges, your boozy desires and your adrenaline cravings in this exciting city!

Planning a trip to Japan? Find out thebest time to visit Japanbased on seasonal weather patterns and your personal travel style.

7. Drive a real life Mario Kart

Things to do in Tokyo Mario Kart

Recommended by:Emily fromTravellers Horizons

As someone who has spent many hours of their life playing Mario Kart, I was super excited when I found you can make the game a reality by dressing up as your favorite character and driving around the streets of Tokyo in a custom built go-kart.

Though you can’t throw banana skins or turtle shells, it is still a unique and fun experience and probably the coolest way to see the city sights.

We booked a tour withMariCar, and opted for their SM course which began at their Shinagawa #1 office just a short train ride from Tokyo city center.This 2-hour tour took us through the well-known areas of Shibuya, Roppongi, Harajuku, and even past the Tokyo Tower, which dwarfed us in our mini carts.

At first I was nervous about driving in a tiny cart on the streets of Tokyo, but those nerves soon subsided when I experienced how organized the roads are, and how courteous other drivers are towards you. It was also less busy than I expected, as amazingly 57% of all travel in Tokyo is via public transportation.

Things to do in Tokyo Mario Kart

Our guide Miyoshi ensured we were never separated and took many photos of us throughout the journey which were quickly uploaded to a Google Drive and emailed to us after the tour ended, plus we were provided with a printed photo collage which was an unexpected and happy surprise.

If you’re thinking this sounds great but you’re going elsewhere in Japan, do not worry! MariCar not only have offices around Tokyo but also other major cities like肯塔基州otoandOsaka. There are loads of tours you can choose from and even night tours where they light up the go-cart.

You can also add some extras to make your tour even more fun such as music, LED shoes and mustaches. If you want to record the journey, bring your own action camera or rent one from the shop. They also sell SD cards at a very reasonable price.

You feel like a celebrity when you drive around the city, as many people wave at you and take pictures. It’s an experience that should not be missed on your visit to Japan!

8. Experience insanity at an over-the-top themed restaurant

Things to do in Tokyo Robot Restaurant

The Robot Restaurant is arguably the most famous of the themed restaurants in Tokyo (visited by famous people like Katy Perry and Anthony Bourdain). However, it seems it has sadly another casualty of the pandemic (along with the popular Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku which closed down in 2021).

The good news is, there are plenty of other over-the-top themed restaurants and cafes in Tokyo you can still visit to get the full experience. From Ninja and vampire-themed to back-to-school and Alice in Wonderland, it seems there isn’t a theme untouched in Tokyo.

Check out this list of othercrazy themed restaurants in Tokyo!

9. See a Japanese Baseball Game at the Tokyo Dome

Things to do in Tokyo Dome Baseball Game

Recommended by:Anne from Pretraveller

A great cultural activity while you are visiting Tokyo is to attend a Japanese baseball game –you may not realize that baseball is the national sport of Japan.The Japanese people really love to support their teams, so the experience of being part of a very active crowd and hearing the drums and cheering is amazing!

In Tokyo the easiest options to attend a match are either to see the Yomiuri Giants in action at the Tokyo Dome on the northern side of Tokyo, or to see the Yakult Swallows play at Jingu Stadium, which is right beside Shinjuku. The professional baseball season runs from late March to October each year and easy options to book your tickets online can be found in our article onhow to purchase your baseball tickets.

10. Celebrate your inner child at Tokyo Disneyland

Things to do in Tokyo Disneyland

Recommended by:Mark fromThe Shutter Whale

You can never be too old for Disneyland! If you ever find yourself in Tokyo, you should set aside one full-day to explore the happiest place on earth!

Since you are technically not supposed to consume any food that is not purchased in the park, make sure you bring enough cash since the food prices can be quite high. On the bright side, the food quality is very good, and some of the snacks are almost too adorable to be eaten.

Things to do in Tokyo Disneyland

Also, make sure you bring your camera since there is a photo opportunity around every single corner.

If you are planning to get on the most popular rides at the Tokyo Disney resort, make sure you understand how the FASTPASS works.

Planning is crucial if you wish to make the most out of your stay. Otherwise, don’t stress out and simply enjoy the journey – just make sure to stay until night falls for that amazing fireworks display!

Alternative: Spend a day at Tokyo DisneySea

A new kind of Disney theme park, DisneySea in Tokyo is a nautical themed park featuring more adult-friendly attractions.

As part of the Tokyo Disney Resort, DisneySea is unique to Tokyo. Made up of seven themed ports, you can visit the Mediterranean Harbor, Mysterious Island, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery and American Waterfront.

虽然公园仍然为所有年龄提供了乐趣,to appeal to a more grown up audience, you will find more table-service restaurants here and can purchase alcoholic beverages as well (which are not available in neighboring Disneyland).

11. Soak in an Onsen

Things to do in Tokyo Onsen

Recommended by:Lena from The Social Travel Experiment

The Japanese hot springs called Onsen are very popular with locals and tourists alike, and while there are many famous Onsen resort towns all over Japan (mainly where hot springs occur naturally), Tokyo is not famous for Onsen. But that doesn’t mean you cannot have an authentic Onsen experience in one of the biggest metropolis in the world.

Over the years I have visitedmultiple Onsen in Tokyo. They all have something a little bit different to offer and vary in size and price.

My very first visit to an Onsen in Tokyo was Oedo Onsen Monogatari, a theme park like Onsen experience where you cannot only take a bath in one of the many indoor and outdoor pools, but have other entertainments like delicious food, shows and different experiences like doctor fish or stone sauna.

If you want an experience that is as authentic as possible,I recommend a visit toTokyo Somei Onsen Sakura.This Onsen is exceptionally beautiful in spring when the cherry blossoms on the property are in bloom, but a visit at any time of the year won’t disappoint.

12. Sing your favorite tunes in a Karaoke Room

Things to do in Tokyo Karaoke Room

If you’re traveling with friends or meet some interesting people along the way, consider going to a karaoke room!

You’ll be escorted to your own room, which typically has a couch and a television screen from which you can select all your favorite songs… Spice Girls, anyone?? (“Wannabe” is Ben’s go-to Karaoke song!) And the best part is nobody will complain if you’re off-tune!

Mostkaraoke roomscharge by the half-hour and serve snacks and drinks if you’d like to indulge.

Alternative:If you want to experience karaoke but in a bar setting (aka no private room rental), we’ve heard good things aboutDiamond Bar in Golden Gai.

13. Stroll Kappabashi Street


Sometimes referred to asKitchen Town, this interesting street in Tokyo is almost entirely populated with shops supplying the restaurant trade.

You may be wondering why on earth a street for restaurant supplies would make our list of top things to do in Tokyo, but hear us out…

The shops on Kappabashi are best known forsampuru—replicas of food dishes that are part of a century-old craft. These dishes make excellentJapanese souvenirs. Plus, a stroll through this part of town will get you off the main tourist path.

14. Ghibli Museum

Showcasing the anime from the famous Studio Ghibli, this museum is one of the most unique things to do in Tokyo.

Known as the Japanese Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki is the mastermind behind the art. Visitors to the museum can learn about the process of animation and admire his work displayed in the many interactive exhibits.

  • Entrance fee:1000 yen for adults (~$7)
  • Hours:10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., closed on Tuesdays

15. Cuddle kitties at Cat Cafe MoCHA

Things to do in Tokyo Cat Cafe MoCHA

Recommended by:Chelsea fromThe Portable Wife

If you love caffeine, city views, and adorable cats, a visit to Harajuku’s Cat Cafe MoCHA is a must.

Once you don your slippers and fuzzy cat-ear headband, you’ll join tourists and Japanese salarymen inside kitty paradise.Not surprisingly, the feline residents are rather aloof, but if you snag a blanket and put it over your lap, you’ll greatly increase your chances of a cozy encounter.

Things to do in Tokyo Cat Cafe MoCHA

Guests pay a timed admission fee, with 30 minutes being the minimum, and the price includes a drink.

The cafe limits the number of visitors allowed inside at a time, so if you visit on the weekends or during peak travel season, you may need to queue outside.

Related Reading:Not far outside of Tokyo,Japan has some incredible destinations for scuba diving. Just a couple hours drive or a short flight to some of the islands and you will find yourself in a diver’s underwater paradise.

Japanese cultural experiences

There is something utterly captivating about Japanese culture. While you’re traveling in Tokyo, there are plenty of opportunities to delve deeper and learn about longstanding traditions and customs.

16. Watch a traditional tea ceremony

Things to do in Tokyo Tea Ceremony

Recommended by:Laura from Savored Journeys

A real, traditional Japanese tea ceremony can take many hours and is a very choreographed ritual that includes the preparation and serving of the matcha tea to the guests.

It’s a wonderful authentic ceremony, but it’s not necessary for tourist to partake in a full tea ceremony in order to learn about it, which is why there are many shorter, more informal ceremonies for tourists that are respectful of the ritual.

Participating in a traditional tea ceremonyin Japan can be very fascinating and educational.If you want to add this activity to your things to do in Tokyo, it’s a good idea to first understand the different types of ceremonies that are available to tourist.

You can participate in an hour-long ceremony, where you wear traditional kimonos, or you can go join aninformal ceremonywhere you learn about the ritual and perform the steps yourself in just a few minutes.

Tea ceremonies for visitors range in price from 100 to 35,000 yen, depending on the type of experience it is.

For a basic overview during an informal ceremony head to Hamarikyu Gardens tea house, where at 15-minute do-it-yourself tea ceremony is just $6. Another option is at Kyoto City in Tokyo Station, open from Friday to Sunday afternoon in the afternoon.

If you want the fully immersive experience wearing a kimono, the Asakusa area has many option, like Nadeshiko, which is open 11am to 5pm everyday except Wednesday and Thursday. It’s always best to make an advanced reservation, particularly in high season.

Whichever way you choose, you will surely learn a lot about the culture of tea ceremonies and enjoy the experience.

17. Visit the Tokyo Imperial Palace

Just a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station sits one of the city’s crown jewels, the Tokyo Imperial Palace. This complex consists of meticulously-maintained gardens, art galleries, castle ruins, parks, and of course, the home of the Emperor himself.

Much of this area can be visited for free (you just need to register) and there are even complimentary guided tours, making this a must if you’retraveling Tokyo on a budget.

18. Watch a Kabuki Show

Things to do in Tokyo Kabuki Theater

Recommended by:Julie fromThe Bamboo Traveler

How would you like to see sword-wielding samurai, heart-broken geishas, and devastating betrayals?

Then you’ll want to be sure you watch kabuki theater while traveling to Tokyo. This is Japan’s version of a racy and tragic Shakespearean drama, in which women’s roles are played by men and the actors are adorned in extravagant makeup.

Kabuki shows run every day at the Kabuki-za Theater in Ginza.

通常情况下,显示是昂贵的和持续一整天。However, the theater offers reasonably priced single act tickets ranging from 600 yen for a 20-minute dance performance to 1500 yen for an hour and a half drama.

You can choose from 5 to 6 shows a day starting at 11:00 am and going until the evening. Tickets go on sale 30 minutes before shows begin. Make sure to arrive at least 60 minutes before the show starts as tickets are limited.

You can even get a“behind-the-scenes” tour of the Kabuki-za Gallerybefore a performance and learn about the the theater and props.

Insider Tip:Although performances are in Japanese, you can rent an electronic translator for 500 yen, which helps tremendously.

19. Visit the Kamakura Buddha

Things to do in Tokyo Kamakura Buddha

Recommended by:Shannon fromA Little Adrift

Just an hour long train ride from Tokyo but a world away from the bustle, Kamakura is a beach town popular with Japanese and international tourists alike. It’s quite easy to navigate, and there are enough things to fill an entire day.

The most notable is the giant bronze Buddha statue in Kōtoku-in temple that dates to the 13th century.Although it’s not the largest in Japan, it is a gorgeous statue!

You should also not leave town until you’ve hiked through the forests in and around Hase-dera temple, relieved the heat with a sweet potato ice cream, and splashed in the waves at the beach.

A local bus service easily runs between the train station and the cluster of recommended sites, which are all easily walkable once you step off the bus.

20. Wander around the Meiji Shrine

Things to do in Tokyo Meji Shrine

Tokyo is chaotic, there’s no doubt about it. But there are a few places near the city that feel like an escape from the madness of the center. Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) was one of those places for us.

Walk on wooded pathways, and explore the grounds of this simple, yet beautiful temple.If you visit on a weekend, you might even be lucky enough to see a Japanese wedding ceremony take place like we did!

21. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Things to do in Tokyo Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Recommended by:Alyse from The Invisible Tourist

If there were only one simple word to describe Tokyo, it would be LARGE. Not only is it the world’s largest city by population and coming a close second in area after New York City, Tokyo is also home to the world’s largest passenger train station located in Shinjuku.

A whopping 3.5 million people pass through it daily. With all these large statistics, it’s no wonder Tokyo may feel a little crowded at times!

Thankfully, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is located only a short 10 minute walk east from JR Shinjuku Station andis the perfect place to escape the otherwise hectic streets of the surrounding neighborhood.

The grounds are made up of three different types of landscaped gardens: French, English and traditional Japanese and are lovely stroll through the many winding pathways or lounge on the emerald lawns to soak in some sun.

Things to do in Tokyo Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

A whopping 20,000 trees are dotted throughout Shinjuku Gyoen including 1,500 cherry trees, making the park one of the most popular locations in early springtime forcherry blossom viewing in Tokyo.

Shinjuku Gyoen is open Tuesday through Sunday from 09:00 – 16:30 and costs JPY 200 to enter. Be sure to add this beautifully tranquil location to yourTokyo itinerary!

22. See the famous red lantern at Sensoji Temple

Things to do in Tokyo Senso-ji Temple

Famous for its giant red lantern, theSensoji Templeis a top sight to see in Tokyo. And since it’s on just about every traveler’s itinerary, expect this area to be crowded. Really crowded! But even so, it is worth a quick visit.


This Buddhist temple is located in Asakusa, a district in downtown Tokyo known for its historical sights. Built in 645, Sensoji is Tokyo’s oldest temple.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, you’ll find no shortage of stands in this popular tourist zone, selling everything from Japanese snacks to folding fans.

23. Tokyo National Museum

The century-old National Museum is Tokyo’s oldest museum and one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum houses a collection of art from all over Asia celebrating the cultural heritage of Japan.

  • Location:Ueno Park
  • Entrance fee:entry is free of charge
  • Hours:9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed Mondays

24. Spend the night at a Ryokan

Things to do in Tokyo Ryoken stay

For a quintessentially Japanese hotel experience, staying at a ryokan is a sure way to soak up traditional culture and hospitality. Though you can find ryokans all around the country, there are some great ones to choose from in Tokyo.

Ryokans are typically characterized by tatami-matted rooms (see the photo above).Traditionally, ryokans have communal baths and they provide guests with yukata (a casual kimono).

Staying at a ryokan isn’t cheap, but it is one of those “bucket list” experiences that you can only find in Japan, so why not add it to your travel plans?!

Depending on your budget, you can choose from ryokans that include traditional meals as part of your stay. Some even have their own onsen (hot spring for bathing).

Best Ryokans in Tokyo

Budget Ryokan:Ryokan & Day Shizuku,而不是在东京市中心,位置would be good for a night or two so you can have your own private spa and ryokan experience. Get the feel of Japanese hostipitality without the big price tag.

Mid-Range Ryokan:Miyabiyado Takemine– Ryokan and Western style mix in this beautifully decorated inn. Feel at peace in the premium rooms which offer open-air baths.


Luxury Ryokan:Hoshinoya Tokyo– Everything you have ever wanted in a Japanese culture experience. Bamboo framed paper walls, onsite hot spring bath, and settled in the prefect location in Tokyo.

Best food and drink experiences in Tokyo

Japanese cuisine is touted as some of the finest in the world (and trust us, it goes far beyond sushi!). While you’re exploring the capital city, there are plenty of Japanese foods to try and interesting foodie experiences to be had.

Related Reading:Best foods to try in Japan: Everything you need to know about Japanese cuisine.

25. Take a Japanese cooking class

Things to do in Tokyo Japanese Cooking Class

We are huge fans of takingcooking classes on our travels, as we think food is one of the best ways to learn about a culture. Plus, we love to cook, and we really enjoy collecting recipes that we can make for our friends and family back at home someday.

While in Tokyo, sign up for a cooking class and learn how to make Japanese staples like homemade soba noodles, wagyu beef or tempura.

Or sign up for a sushi class where you’ll learn all the secrets to making your very own rolls.

Note:We took a cooking class in Kyoto and in Osaka, but there areplenty ofgreat cooking classes in Tokyo.

26. Eat ALL the Ramen

Things to do in Tokyo Eat Ramen

Forget about those packets of dry noodles you bought for 20 cents back in your university days.在东京拉面你会发现(或在日本的任何地方an, for that matter!) is a whole different story.

With thousands of noodle shops around the city, you’ll have no problem finding a place to sit belly up next to the bar as your bowl of steaming noodles is prepared for you.

A traditional bowl with have perfectly chewy noodles, thin slices of pork shoulder and a soft cooked egg all together in a bowl of brothy goodness. And you’ll find non-traditional versions as well, like smoked duck, lemon chicken or spicy seafood.

Like I said, these gourmet bowls are a far cry from the sodium-ridden packets you ate in your younger years. And they are oh so satisfying after a long day of walking around the city, especially if you’revisiting Tokyo in the winter.

Where to eat ramen in Tokyo

There are literally thousands of restaurants to choose from in Tokyo, so don’t go too far for a specific restaurant. But here are a couple of ideas to start off your #RamenHunt:

a) Ramen Cubicle at Ichiran:Multiple locations in Tokyo (and around Japan)

Things to Do in Tokyo Ichiran Ramen

We’d heard people rave about the famed ramen chain, Ichiran, and decided we couldn’t leave Japan without giving it a try. Lemme tell ya… it was well worth it.

First, you get to fill out a survey, more or less, in which you tell the chefs how to make your perfect ramen. You’ll have to answer questions that you’ve never thought about, like ‘how chewey do you want your noodles?’ and ‘how rich do you like the flavor?’

Once there is a seat available, you’ll be led to your own private ramen “cubicle”, which kind of reminded me of a row of phone booths with small partitions.

Your little booth even has a water spout so you can hydrate while you wait. Iit won’t take long before a small door is opened and a pair of hands holding a bowl of ramen extend and set it down in front of you before said door is closed.

Now it’s time to enjoy that sweet, sweet ramen in your little isolation booth.

Yep, that’s right, there are actually signs that explain the ramen booths were designed so guests can have a more “intimate experience with their ramen, free of distractions”. Mmmm… however weird that statement makes you feel, I can assure you one thing:your ramen will be friggin’ delicious.

Oh, and you can press a button and request “extras”, like more noodles, a soft-boiled egg, or sliced pork.

How did Ichiran stack up against other ramen shops we tried?The broth was really, really good. However, we both agreed we’ve had better noodles elsewhere. Still highly recommended. But we also urge you to try a bunch so you can find your own personal favorite ramen. There are many types of ramen, and each person has their own preference.

The great thing about Ichiran is they have many locations all around the country (and even abroad).

b) Tokyo Train Station Underground:Choose from the Best Ramen Shops in the Country

Things to Do in Tokyo Ramen Street Tokyo Station Underground

In the Tokyo Station Underground, there is a place where you’ll find perhaps your best bowl of ramen in the country. That’s right – I said you’ll find some killer food in thetrain station.

“Ramen Street” is deep underground, yet the food that’s served up here is far better food than you’d expect of a train station. E

ight of the most famous ramen shops in the country have been asked to make a secondary restaurant, so you’ll have the best of the best all in one place. Plus, there’s a ton of variety – from vegan ramen to the classics to types you won’t find many other places.

The most famous of all is Rokurinsha, which is known fortsukemen, a style of ramen where the noodles are served separately and dipped into the rich broth. The queue can get very long, so if you don’t have time or patience to wait, you can try this style ramen at Oreshiki Jun, which is just around the corner.

We tried it there andohemgee, these were the best ramen noodles I’ve ever tasted. They’re also known for a greattonkotsuramen, so if you’re traveling with a partner, try one of each.

27. Drink sake

Things to do in Tokyo Sake Casks

This spirit is to Japan what mezcal is to Mexico or what chianti is to Tuscany. So while in Tokyo, try a glass… or two! But be careful; even though it is referred to as “rice wine”, the alcohol content is higher, weighing in at 18 – 20 ABV percent or more.

You won’t have a problem finding sake on just about every menu, but if you want a cool experience, head toSake Stand Motoin Shinjuku. Tiny hole-in-the-wall bar is standing room only and fits just 15 people. The sake choices change up often, and there is quite the variety. Tell the staff you’re a beginner and they can give you recommendations.

Good to know:It can be considered rude to pour your own glass of sake. If you are drinking with a friend, pour for each other — it’s considered a way to bond!

And if you want to learn more about the whole distilling process, consider taking asake brewery tour. There are 9 to choose from in Tokyo, and some are free!

The breweries are located on the outskirts of the city, however, so plan on making a day trip of it. Our pick isOzawa Shuzo, which is the oldest sake brewery in Tokyo and is located near picturesque mountains, nature trails and shrines.

Fun Travel Tip:For a uniqueJapanese souvenir, pick up a ceramic sake decanter. They come in all sorts of beautiful designs and can be priced really reasonably. We bought a really beautiful one for less than $10 USD.

28. Enjoy Yakitori & beer surrounded by locals

Things to do in Tokyo Yakitori Ton Ton

One of our favorite things about traveling is getting out of the tourist zone and brush shoulders with locals. And in Tokyo, you don’t have to go far for that, because ummm, there are peopleeverywhereso you’ll be brushing a lotta shoulders!

Popping into one of the city’s thousands ofizakayas, or small pubs, is one of the best ways to soak in the local vibes. And you’ve probably already guessed that we have a recommendation just for you…

Located in a tunnel underneath the railroad tracks just outside Tokyo Station,Yakitori Ton Tonhas an atmosphere that is hard to rival.On the week nights, this place is packed with salarymen letting loose with a beer and snacks after a long day at the office. (We’re pretty sure we witnessed a business deal go down across the table from us.) And smoke fills the tunnel as skewers of meats and veggies are grilled over charcoal.

Things to Do in Tokyo Yakitori Ton Ton

After getting some recommendations from the (very) drunk salarymen across the table from us, we ordered a couple drinks — a beer for Ben and a chuhai for Katie (my favorite summertime Japanese drink!) — edamame, veggie and meat skewers.

Just so you know what to expect:

  • Lots of local businessmen (and some women) grabbing beer and yakitori after work
  • Crowded and smoky
  • reasonable prices
  • simple menu of drinks and veggie & meat skewers
  • Communal type seating for the most part
  • Few foreigners (we were the only ones when we visited)
  • While we didn’t encounter this, we’ve read about Westerners who have been turned down during busy times

Good to know:There are plenty of other cool izakayas around the city (and country!), so if this one is out of the way for you, no worries.

29. Grill your own Wagyu

Things to do in Tokyo Grill Wagyu Beef

(Psst! Vegetarians, you can skip this tip because the next one is for you!)

Japan is known for its high-qualitywagyu,or beef.But if you’re traveling on a budget, it can be difficult to find any wagyu that doesn’t empty out your wallet (especially in Tokyo).

Don’t worry, we’ve done the legwork for you and found a place that serves a variety of cuts and grades of beef and is reasonably priced. Oh, and you’re able to cook your own meat on a personal grill and season it to your liking.

Good to know:The wordwagyuactually refers to all Japanese beef cattle (“wa” meansJapaneseand “gyu” translates tocow), so it’s not really that specific.

Located in the Akihabara neighborhood,Jiromaru Akihabara, is a small, no-frills restaurant inside which there are no seats, which means you’ll be standing at the “meat bar”… if you can call it that. In front if you is a personal grill, on which you can – you guessed it –grillyour own cuts of meat to what you deem perfection (but please don’t overcook it!).

There are also sauces and seasoning if you’re tastebuds desire. But we recommend first trying it with just a bit of salt.

*Cue me drooling on my keyboard as I type this.*

So what should you order?It can be a little confusing when ordering, but fear not, the staff speak some English, so they can help if you need it.

You can order individual pieces of meat, which cost between 250 – 300 yen each. But it can be a little confusing choosing which cuts to get.

Things to do in Tokyo Grill Wagyu Beef

We’d suggest getting the “sampler” where they give you 5 small pieces of their recommended cuts.The last piece they give you is an A5 grade wagyu (the highest grade), and lemme tell ya, it was by far the best. Wow. I’m not even a huge red meat eater, and I could dream about that stuff.

You can certainly just order this cut exclusively, but the “sampler” will allow you to truly taste the difference and see why the A5 is so good.

We’ve also heard their raw beef “sushi” is excellent, so give that a try if that’s your thing!

除了各种各样的肉类,成绩nd cuts, there are also vegetables which you can order à la carte.We loved the shiitake mushroom (yasss!), shisito peppers, and spring onion.And you can get a bowl of rice to round out that meal!

Cost:We paid 4,000 yen for our two wagyu “samplers”, veggies, and one beer, which works out to be $18.88 USD per person.

Insider Tip:While I assume this tiny 15-person “restaurant” can get packed and draw a line, we got in right away when we showed up around 2:30pm after the lunch crowds. We’d recommend trying to go before or after typical lunch/dinner hours if possible.

30. Find vegetarian Japanese food

Things to do in Tokyo vegetarian food

Recommended by:Victoria fromBridges and Balloons

One of the most memorable parts of Tokyo for me was the food. I wasn’t sure that Japan would be a particularly good place for vegetarians, especially those who don’t eat fish, but we actually ate incredibly well there and Tokyo was particularly easy as a veggie.

Things to do in Tokyo vegetarian food

A good budget option is to keep an eye out for one of the many curry shops, which nearly always have a vegetarian option.

Some of my other favorites were a tofu restaurant in Shibuya called Tofu Ryori Sorano (where they make fresh tofu at your table); Komaki Shokudo, a little restaurant where you can try traditional Japanese temple food; and Itasobakaoriya (板蕎麦 香り家), a soba restaurant in trendy Ebisu. These are all great options even if you’re not vegetarian.

Bonus tip for vegetarians traveling in Japan:Try searching on Happy Cow to find a really comprehensive list of all the vegan andvegetarian restaurants in Tokyo!

31. Explore Tokyo’s craft beer scene

Things to Do in Tokyo Drink Craft Beer


I hate to say it, but my love for craft beer has made it very difficult for me to appreciate a regular ol’ light beer. So these days, I reserve my beer calorie budget for the good stuff. The craft stuff.

In the past, craft beer has been expensive and hard to find in Japan, as well as much of Asia. However, this is starting to change (albeit slowly).

Tokyo has some great craft beer options, and I’m sure this scene will only grow.

Here are some good places for craft beer in Tokyo:

  • Spring Valley Brewery: large, beautiful facility with decent selection of beers and food, albeit sub-par service (in our experience)
  • Coaster Craft Beer & Burger: good choice if you want a burger with your brew
  • TAPTIME: quaint bar with fantastic selection of Japanese craft beers
  • BathHaus: part bathhouse, part craft beer bar. Sounds strange, but they earn rave reviews!
  • Far Yeast: higher-end vibes and a decent selection of beers and snacks
  • Ebisu: one of the largest selections of craft beer (40+ taps), mostly Japanese brews

32. Have drinks at Park Hyatt New York Bar

Things to do in Tokyo Park Hyatt New York Bar

Recommended by:Julianne fromIt’s Five O’Clock Here

Yes, the Park Hyatt Tokyo and its New York Bar will be forever linked to Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film, “Lost in Translation.” The iconic hotel bar may have looked stunning in Coppola’s film, but is itreallyworth a detour in your precious Tokyo itinerary?

The answer, it turns out, is absolutely.Located on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, finding your way up to New York Bar is actually half of the fun. The Park Hyatt Tokyo comprises the top 14 floors of the Shinjuku Park Tower (floors 39 to 52), and you’ll have to take not one, buttwoelevator rides up to this swanky bar.

Things to do in Tokyo Park Hyatt New York Bar

Once you’re in, though, you’re in for a treat. New York Bar’s drinks menu covers a lot of ground: there’s a stellar selection of scotch and Japanese whisky, wines (the list is truly dizzying and odds are you’ll find something to suit your palette), and, of course, cocktails.Be sure to try the Café-Tini– a much better version of the traditional espresso martini.

With those mesmerizing floor-to-ceiling views, we really can’t fault anyone who wants to spend hours here listening to live music and taking in the gorgeous Tokyo skyline.

So go ahead, pretend you’re Scarlett Johansson sipping on cocktails with Bill Murray. We won’t judge.

33. Spot quirky vending machines

Things to do in Tokyo Ramen Vending Machine

Japan is known for efficiency, so it comes as no surprise that their vending machine game is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

With so many people in Tokyo, vending machines are often the quickest (and most efficient) way to get things that they would otherwise have to wait a few minutes for.

No more standing in line at the supermarket: get your sports drink in a matter of seconds from a vending machine. And no need to sit down at a restaurant and wait to be served. Get your hamburger on the go from a vending machine, of course!

While wandering through the streets of Tokyo, take note of the strange vending machines you spot: sushi-printed socks, anyone?!

34. Have sushi for breakfast at Toyosu Fish Market

Things to do in Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market has long been a Tokyo staple, but sadly it has stopped doing the famous tuna auction back in October 2018. The brand new Toyosu Fish Market is now where the early morning tuna auction happens. There are still many sushi shops around Tsukiji, but some of the famous sushi shops, like Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi, have opened locations at the new market.

Things to do in Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Sushi

Tip: Arrive as early as you can, because this is when the market is most lively. Sushi for breakfast is a thing here!

One of the most intriguing experiences one could have at Tsukiji was to come early, at 5 a.m. to watch the live tuna auctions take place.

Instead of being right next to the action as the day’s freshest catch was being sold, visitors can now only experience this from a second-floor observation deck at Toyosu. However, it is still an experience worthy of yourJapan bucket list.

Toyosu is modern and beautiful, albeit lacking the character and charm (some may say chaos!) of Tsukiji. You can still get a feel for what Tsukiji used to be by visiting its outer market and compare it to its more refined replacement.

Tip for sushi lovers:Another fun food experience in Tokyo is to go to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Pick and choose items as they come past you, and pay per piece.

35. Photograph the tiny alleys in Memory Lane (aka “Piss Alley”)

Things to Do in Tokyo Memory Lane Piss Alley

While Tokyo is undeniably modern, there are still small alleyways that are reminders of the past. Tiny bars and restaurants are packed in beside one another and have remained more or less the same since they popped up right after WWII.

These traditional-style alleyways, calledyokocho, are sprinkled throughout the city.One of the more poplar is known as “piss alley” because in 1999, a fire ravaged the area leaving it toilet-less. And we can all deduce how the nickname stuck…

Don’t worry, there are toilets there today as well as little eateries serving up tasty noodle bowls andyakitori(meat skewers). And if you’re feeling adventurous, Piss Alley is a great place to try something out of the ordinary, like grilled salamander, frog sashimi and pig testicles.

36. Make a toast in Golden Gai

Things to Do in Tokyo Golden Gai

Similar to Memory Lane (aka Piss Alley), Golden Gai is a maze of narrow streets, but instead of eateries, this is where you’ll head to get a drink!

Located in Shinjuku, Golden Gai is home to some 270 drinking establishments, most of them so tiny that fitting 10 people inside is tricky.This charming network of alleyways is popular with locals as well as tourists.

Some bars only allow locals inside, and upon entering you will be told there is no room (even if you see an empty seat). Avoid the embarrassment and choose a bar that has signs outside with some English text, or head to Albatross, a favorite amongst foreigners. We also popped into a Anime bar with an energetic bartender.

Our favorite tiny bar in Golden Gai was one called Not Suspicious bar(seriously, that is the name of it). This one row bar has probably 100,000+ post-it notes with various phrases from previous patrons posted on its walls. The people we met inside really made the atmosphere great and the drinks were good too!

Things to Do in Tokyo Golden Gai

While in Golden Gai, don’t expect to bar hop if you’re on a budget, as some of the establishments charge a cover fee that’s far from cheap ($12 is said to be average for this area).

Insider Tip:If you’re looking for a less touristy alleyways to wander, try Drunkard’s Alley near Shibuya Crossing or Hamonika Yokocho in Kichijoji.

37. Try black sesame ice cream at Gomaya Kuki

Things to do in Tokyo Eat Black Sesame Ice Cream at Gomaya Kuki

I’m not one for Japan’s obsession with cutesy, trendy treats that cost $10 and look much better than they taste. Feel me?

So when someonemessaged us on Instagramand recommended we try this black sesame ice cream, I kind of wrote it off as a “fad” (like charcoal ice cream). But then another person recommended it. And another. So on our last day in Tokyo, we sought it out, and I am so upset at myself that I didn’t try it sooner!

Sesame ice cream is a bit tricky to find, and from my research,Gomaya Kukiseemed like one of the best places to try it.There is only one flavor at this ice cream shop; you guessed it: Sesame. It comes in 6 different variations, based on richness and whether white or black sesame seeds were used.

This ice cream allegedly has 9,000 sesame seeds per scoop, and you know what? Ibelievethat claim. The ice cream is so dense and rich that there’s no surprise 9,000 seeds were needed to create each scoop of nutty goodness.

Not too sweet, not too bitter, and almost peanut butter-y, this ice cream legit has me daydreaming about it months later.

Do yourself a favor and try it when you’re in Harajuku. And don’t blame me when you go through withdrawal and can’t find the flavor outside Japan #mycurrentstruggle

Cost:Two flavors (one scoop each) costs ¥500. Top it off with a drizzle of sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds if you’d like.

Free or cheap things to do in Tokyo

Even though Japan is notoriously expensive, there are certainly some free and cheap things to do in this massive city.

Related Reading:Read up onhow to travel to Japan on a Budget.

38. Take in the views from atop the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Things to do in Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building View

Recommended by:Jamie fromGajin Crew

Head to the top floor of the Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku (another one of Tokyo’s 23 districts) and experience a full 360-degree view of the city. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the city stretches further than the eye can see (in every single direction)!

This is one of the best things to do in Tokyo, and it’s totally free! While Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree are both popular tourist attractions that give you unbelievable views of the city, they both cost and are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

So if you’re after the ultimate picture of the vast urban landscape that is Tokyo, save yourself the cash and head to the Government building. Go up at night for the coolest views.

39. Explore Anime Heaven on Takeshita Street in Harajuku

Things to do in Tokyo Takeshita Street Harajuku

Recommended by:Jamie fromGajin Crew

Known as one of the most popular and busiest shopping streets in the whole of Tokyo, Takeshita street is the epicenter for the weird and wonderful side of Japanese fashion culture.

你会看到扮演者装扮成他们的一些favorite anime characters, unicorn-flavored candy floss and enough crepes to last a lifetime. Not to mention the insane number of shops as well!

Located in Harajuku (one of Tokyo’s 23 districts), Takeshita Street is also close to the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park (both also worth visiting) so you could easily spend up to a full day exploring all three.

40. Explore Ueno Park

Tokyo cherry blossoms Japan
Image credit: Unsplash

This large public park in central Tokyo is known as one of the best places for viewing thecherry blossoms in Japan.

Even if you are not visiting during the famous cherry blossom festival in the spring, there’s still plenty to discover at Ueno Park. The park has various other attractions such as the famous Ueno Zoo and Tokyo National Museum, among others.

However, it also makes a lovely place to enjoy a picnic or a relaxing stroll.

Related Reading: Check out thislist of Tokyo festivalsand see if your travel dates line up with any of the city’s celebrations!

41. Wander around Yanaka: Tokyo’s most traditional neighborhood

Things to Do in Tokyo Yanaka Traditional Neighborhood

If you want to imagine Tokyo as it was years ago before the ultra modern buildings and posh shopping districts, you’ll want to make time to explore the neighborhood of Yanka.

Adoringly called “Tokyo’s most traditional neighborhood,” the nickname says it all.谷佤邦s spared from much of the bombings in WWII, and thus retains a lot of charm and nostalgia that you can’t find in many other parts of the city.

Things to do in Yanaka:

  • Yanaka Cemetery:stroll through this beautiful, peaceful cemetery on a street lined with cherry blossom trees
  • Take a food tour of Yanaka:We went on afood tour in Yanaka with Arigato Food Toursand filled our bellies with food and our minds with fun facts about this neighborhood.
  • Tennoji Temple:here you’ll find a large statue of Buddha
  • Yanaka Beer Hall:rustic setting with craft beers makes a nice stop to rest your feet
  • Shop for souvenirs on Yanaka Ginza:Ginza, meaning “shopping street”, has many small family-run shops. We bought some beautiful ceramic bowls at a tea shop calledKanekichien.
  • Eat a rice cracker atYanaka Senbei:This shop has been open for more than 100 years (est. 1913) and has changed little over time. They serve traditional rice crackers, orsenbei, and have many flavors to choose from.
  • Spot all 7 cats:Yanaka has earned the nickname “Tokyo’s Cat Town” because of the number of stray cats that have found refuge in this place. You’ll see lots of cat souvenirs and even cat-inspired snacks. But keep an eye out for the 7 cat statues throughout the main street. It is said that if you find all 7, you will have good luck.
  • Take a photo on the Yuyake-dandan steps steps:You’ll see many Japanese people taking photos on these steps that lead from Nippori Station down into the main shopping street. This is a famous view, featured in newspapers and on many television shows.

42. Explore Daikanyama, aka Tokyo’s hippest neighborhood

Things to Do in Tokyo Daikanyama Neighborhood

Like any major city, Tokyo has tons of neighborhoods, each with a very different vibe.In recent years, the tiny neighborhood of Daikanyama has earned a reputation as the “Brooklyn of Tokyo” for its trendy cafes, stylish boutiques, quirky cafes and bookstores.Oh, and did I mention there’s a brewery in the area too?

I am a sucker for craft beer and bohemian vibes, so yeah, I loved Daikanyama.

Technically Daikanyama is probably not even considered its own true neighborhood, but rather a subsection of the Shibuya district. But compared to the pulsating, neon-lit center of Shibuya,Daikanyama is much quieter, more laid back and feels like a completely different place, despite it only being a 10-minute walk away.

Things to do in Daikanyama:

  • ExploreDaikanyama T-site, a stunning bookstore
  • Get your caffeine and sugar fix at one of the many cute coffee shops
  • Wander into the neighborhood’s quirky boutiques, which sell everything from clothing to crystals
  • Cheers with a craft beer at Spring Valley Brewery

43. Capture memories at a Japanese photo booth

Things to do in Tokyo Japanese Photo Booth Purikura

Forget regular old photo booths. Just like many things, Japan does it better!

Purikura, or Japanese photo booths, are a pop culture staple that is super fun to try out on your visit to Tokyo.

Often found in arcades, there is a wide variety ofpurikurato choose from. Some even have an area to pamper yourself with hair straighteners and costumes to wear for your photo sesh.

One of the biggest differences between these photo booths and the traditional variety is you can do post-photo editing. You can smooth your skin, make your eyes bigger, add makeup, or add cutesy stickers and text.

Snapping some pictures in apurikurais one Japanese experience that will bring a smile to your face. Plus, it’s a perfect souvenir from your trip!

44. Stay in a capsule hotel

Things to do in Tokyo Capsule Hotel

Recommended by:Mehdi Fliss fromAsian Wanderlust

In the beginning, these capsule hotels were made for salarymen (expression used for hard workers in Japan) who wanted to work late at their offices in Tokyo. The metro stops at around 1:00 a.m. so instead of taking a taxi to their home, many office workers started to sleep in a capsule for few hours and get back early to work the next day.

But today, the concept has changed a bit and this type of accommodation is now used by a wide range of people, including tourists. I personally like minimalism, so sleeping a capsule was pretty interesting. They are also comfortable and you can also find nice public baths in the capsule hotel.

Things to do in Tokyo Capsule Hotel

这是一个伟大的物有所值,所以它是一个很好的option for people traveling to Tokyo on a budget. However, if you are a bit claustrophobic, you might want to stay away from this type of hotel!

Note:Capsule Hotels are typically gender seperated.

Best Capsule Hotels in Tokyo

9 Hours in Shinjuku-North:位于非常干净,这高评级的帽子sule hotel can house over 206 visitors per night.


First Cabin Kyobashi:Where capsule and luxury meet! You’ll be wow-ed by these large capsule cabins. Well located, clean and excellent service.

One more thing to do before you go…

Even if you’re on your way home, you can still have one last Japanese experience!

45. Souvenir Shopping at Edo Market & Tokyo Pop Town

Things to do in Tokyo Edo Market

Recommended by:Tiffy fromAsiatravelbug

Shopping at Haneda Airport (Tokyo’s International Airport) is something I always look forward to whenever I’m in Tokyo. The price of souvenirs and restaurants inside the airport are very reasonable, and not inflated like airports in many other countries.

The Edo Market, located on the 4th floor of Haneda Airport before immigration, is a great place to have a memorable Japanese meal and do last-minute souvenir shopping before your flight. I discovered this place by chance when I arrived at the airport earlier and it’s such a wonderful find!

Arriving at Edo Market felt like being transported back to Asakusa in Tokyo. There are a multitude of restaurants to choose from. If you are looking for a reasonably-priced yet high-quality sukiyaki meal, I recommend Takafuku.

Things to do in Tokyo Pop Town Soradonki

After a hearty meal, head one level up to Tokyo Pop Town where you can find Soradonki, a branch of Don Quixote – the most famous bargain shop in Japan. While prices of souvenirs after the airport’s immigration are very reasonable, souvenirs at the Soradonki shop are even cheaper!

Once you are done with your sayonara meal and last-minute shopping, head over to the top floor observation deck where you can have a close up view of the planes landing and departing at Haneda International Airport.

Bonus Tip:Cut your airport transfer time in half by picking Haneda International Airport instead of Narita when you book your flight to Tokyo. Haneda is much closer to downtown Tokyo than Narita.

Best things to do in Tokyo

Here’s a recap of all the best things to do in Tokyo so you can see everything in one place.

  1. Shibuya Crossing
  2. Tokyo food tour
  3. TeamLAB Planets
  4. Sumo wrestling match
  5. Free walking tour
  6. Tokyo Skytree
  7. Drive a real life Mario Kart
  8. Themed restaurants
  9. Japanese Baseball Game
  10. Tokyo Disneyland
  11. Soak in an Onsen
  12. Rent a Karaoke Room
  13. Kappabashi Street
  14. Ghibli Museum
  15. Cat Cafe MoCHA
  16. Traditional Tea Ceremony
  17. Tokyo Imperial Palace
  18. Kabuki Show
  19. Kamakura Buddha
  20. Meiji Shrine
  21. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  22. See the famous red lantern at Sensoji Temple
  23. Tokyo National Museum
  24. Ryokan
  25. Japanese cooking class
  26. Eat ALL the Ramen
  27. Drink sake
  28. Yakitori & beer
  29. Grill your own Wagyu
  30. Vegetarian Japanese food
  31. Tokyo’s craft beer scene
  32. New York Bar
  33. Vending machines
  34. Toyosu Fish Market
  35. Memory Lane
  36. Golden Gai
  37. Black Sesame ice cream
  38. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
  39. Takeshita Street in Harajuku
  40. Yanaka
  41. Daikanyama
  42. Ueno Park
  43. Japanese photo booth
  44. Capsule hotel
  45. Edo Market & Tokyo Pop Town

Best time to visit Tokyo

Foods to Eat in Japan | Two Wandering Soles

Tokyo is really one of those destinations you can visit year-round and you’ll have a good experience no matter what season.

That being said, there are some things to consider when planning your trip to Tokyo…

The spring and summer time are considered peak tourism season in Japan.The cherry blossom festival is celebrated throughout the country during springtime and you’ll have to book your accommodation further in advance to guarantee a place to stay.

Summer in Tokyo gets hot. Likereallyhot. And with the summer heat comes humidity, which isn’t always ideal, depending on what kinds of activities you plan to do in Tokyo.

Our recommended time to visit Tokyo would be in the fall, when the leaves are turning and the heat and humidity lets up a bit.

Winter is also a special time to visit Japanand there are plenty of benefits to visiting Tokyo during low season.

The ideal time to visit largely depends on your interests, preferences, and itinerary.We have a full breakdown of each season, plus pros and cons in our guide to thebest time to visit Japan.

Tokyo Metro & Using the JR Pass

Tokyo Subway system map

The trains and metros in Japan are some of the cleanest and most efficient in the world, and the rail system covers almost the entire country making it a very efficient way to get around. However, transportation is one of the biggest expenses to factor into yourJapan travel budget.

There are two major companies that operate the subway system in Tokyo: Toei and Tokyo Metro. The Tokyo Metro has 9 different subway lines, where the Toei only has 4 lines. You can get to all the major spots on the Tokyo Metro lines.

If you plan to spread out your days in Tokyo, here is a tip from Anne fromPretraveller:

“To most easily get around Tokyo we recommend that you purchase either a Suica or Pasmo tap on tap off public transport card – you get a starting amount of credit and then just top it up as you need at most train stations. These transport cards can be used for all public transport within Tokyo, and also within most other cities within Japan.”

Tokyo Metro Suica Card

Good to know:You can get refunded for any money remaining on your card that you have not spent (as well as the required 500 yen deposit). You can find refund counters at major train stations, or you can spend this money at 7-Eleven and other convenience stores.

If you plan on doing quite a bit of exploring in a day, another cost-effective option is to purchase the Tokyo Metro 1-Day Pass. The 1-day pass only costs 600 yen ($5.34 USD) and you can purchase it at any ticket vending machine.

You should only get the Toei 24-hour pass (700 yen and gives you access to Toei subways and buses) if you’re hotel is only by a Toei station.

Insider Tip:The Tokyo metro system can look quite confusing at first glance. Just take a look at that spaghetti-like map above! But if you download theJapan Official Travel app(available for iOS and Android), you will be saved a HUGE headache. It is literally a lifesaver for navigating all transportation in Japan.

Things to do in Tokyo

The Greater Tokyo Pass

An alternative would be to purchase theGreater Tokyo Pass, a 3- or 5-day pass that grants purchasers unlimited rides on railways, trams and ordinary fixed-route buses around the Tokyo metro area and surrounding suburbs.

The cost of the 5-day pass is 7,200 yen (~$53 USD) for adults, or 6,000 yen (~$44 USD) for the 3-day pass.

You can do your own research into thevalid linesincluded on the pass to see if purchasing one will save you money depending on which things to do in Tokyo you want to cover on your trip.

What about the Japan Rail Pass?

Does it make sense to purchase the JR Pass for your visit to Tokyo?

Here’s the simple answer to your question:

  • If you are staying only in Tokyo: NO
  • If you will be traveling to at least 2 more places in Japan: YES

Read more abouthow much money the Japan Rail pass will save youand find out how to get it. We have a whole guide and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Where to stay in Tokyo

Tokyo Neighborhoods Map Japan

Tokyo is massive, so choosing a neighborhood to base yourself in can be daunting. Then you have the task of choosing a hotel orAirbnb. We have a few suggestions to help you get started in the planning process.

Below is a breakdown of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo.

  • Shibuya(黄色):繁华的商业和商业岑ter of Tokyo can be found in the neighborhood of Shibuya, as well as the world-famous Shibuya Crossing (#34 on this list) … And would you believe the Shibuya Station is thesecondbusiest railway station in the world?
  • Shinjuku(blue): This neighborhood encompasses Tokyo’s sky scrapper district (home of some of Tokyo’s tallest buildings and several premier hotels) as well as the neon-lit nightclubs and karaoke rooms of East Shinjuku and the red light district. At the center of it is Shinjuku Station, the busiest railway station in the world with more than 2 million passengers passing through on a daily basis.
  • Ginza(green): As Tokyo’s most prominent upmarket shopping, dinning and entertainment district, you’ll find posh boutiques and glamorous cocktail and sushi bars in this neighborhood.
  • Chiyoda(pink): In this neighborhood you’ll find something a little different than the above neon-lit concrete jungles. The moats, gates, and pathways of the Imperial Palace East Gardens and adjoining Kokyo Gaien National Garden are at the center of Chiyoda. The National Theatre and Tokyo International Forum head up the arts & cultural side of this ‘hood.
  • Tokyo Station(purple): Just east of the Imperial Palace and Chiyoda, Tokyo Station is the city’s main transportation hub, making it a great base to find your way to many different regions.

Hotels in Shibuya/Shinjuku


Budget Hotel:Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado Premier– Super close to Shinjuku Station, this capsule hotel is highly rated and has great service. Note: Gender separate sleeping.


Mid-Range Hotel:Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel– Next to Shibuya Station, this hotel has spacious rooms and an onsite restaurant and bar.

Hotels in Ginza

肯塔基州obashi Hotel Tokyo | Agoda

Budget Hotel:First Cabin Kyobashi– This spacious capsule hotel has a great location and is well worth the value. One of the highest rated hotels in Tokyo for its value.


Luxury Hotel:The Celestine Ginza– Impeccable service, large rooms with great views, on-site massage spa, restaurant and bar.

Hotels near Tokyo Station

Budget Hotel:Tosei Hotel Cocone Kanda– Great location with decently priced rooms in the heart of one of the best foodie areas of Tokyo.


Mid-Range Hotel:Hotel Intergate Tokyo Kyobashi– Steps away from Tokyo Station, this very clean hotel has rave reviews and excellent service.



Fun Fact:We stayed in our very first Airbnb in Tokyo. It can be a great way to save some money on accommodation. Check out all theTokyo listings here.

Bonus!We have loads of info on how to book Airbnbs, red flags to watch out for when booking, and our favorite Airbnbs in ourAirbnb article. Plus, we’ll give you our Airbnb coupon code for up to $55 off Airbnb.

Save money by commuting into the city

With rooms in the city center booking up well in advance at a hefty price tag, another option for travelers would be to stay somewhere out of town. Get yourJapan Rail Passahead of time and save money on the commute into the city to experience all the fun things to do in Tokyo.

Here are some of your best options for staying outside of Tokyo, all within a 1 hour train ride of downtown:

  • Yokohamais a port city just south of Tokyo on the Bay. Known for it’s massive China-town and Sankei-en botanical garden.
  • Chibais another port city about 25 miles southeast of the city center of Tokyo. Much of the city is residential so there should be plenty more accommodation options available here.
  • Saitamais the nearest city to the north of Tokyo, where many residents make the daily commute into Tokyo. Home to the village of Kawagoe, otherwise known as “Little Edo,” and a popular day trip from Tokyo.

Are you planning a trip to Japan?

We have TONS of resources on travel in Japan and destinations throughout the country. Check out ourUltimate Japan Travel Guidefor all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

Save this article on Pinterest for later!

Things to Do in Tokyo | Two Wandering Soles
Things to Do in Tokyo | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

Which of these things to do in Tokyo is going straight to the top of your bucket list? Are you planning a trip to Tokyo and have more questions? Leave your comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (65) on “45 Best Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan

  1. Rohan says:

    Kappabashi Street (Kitchen Town) is great. I’ve been spending a lot of time there recently. If you want a good knife for cooking, it is THE place to go. And there are even shops that sell replica food models like the ones you see in the windows of Japanese restaurants.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I came across your blog while I am starting to plan my trip to Tokyo next year. I was curious though how did you all get your international driving permit for the Mario cart drive. I want to do this but I read on there website you had to have a international driving permit in order to this.

    • Gregory Scott Reade says:

      AS far as I know AAA can sign you up for a International Driving permit. Not a lot to do but ask and sign up. (May be old info as I had one in the 90s!)

  3. Paulino says:

    Wow! impressive!
    So tokyo is such a nice place to live with teamlab borderless being what I have loved about the place.

  4. Russ.ford29@gmail.com says:

    Great information. Looking at going to Tokyo next April for a music concert. Have to do the Mario kart experience. Also want to see the Ghibli museum and experience all the crazy food. Love the budget planner and all the information, so much detail. Definitely going to do a lot of research and planning beforehand. Thanks.

  5. gabbymont@gmail.com says:

    This was amazing thank you so much for giving all this information and your experience! Sounds like you guys had an amazing time! My best friend and I are going to Tokyo (upcoming summer) and this website was really great to read and get tips on where to stay and go. Thank you!

  6. Lostwithjen@outlook.com says:

    This is such a good post with so many great ideas! I’ve always wanted to try the real life Mario Kart haha. I was supposed to be heading to Tokyo in a couple weeks but unfortunately my flights were cancelled! I’ll definitely be saving this post for whenever I’m able to go again. ?

  7. nycpblue83@gmail.com says:

    感谢你的信息。我们将访问东京,太Fuji and Hiroshima next year. You have mentioned everything we put on our top ten things to do which is now a top 25. We are hoping 11 days can allow us to do most. Had we read your info before booking we would have added at least 3 more days. Thanks, Daisy, Orlando, Fl.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      You are very welcome, Daisy. If you have any questions, feel free to comment back and we’ll do our best to answer!

  8. Bonnitaluoch@gmail.com says:

    I love love this post, it is very comprehensive. I already know where check out when I visit. I love your photos too! Sleeping in a Ryocan is also high up in my list thanks to you!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      All of the Ryokans we have stayed in have been wonderful. They tend to have the nicest staff and the environment is peaceful. I’d highly recommend it.

  9. anjalilakhwani@hotmail.com says:

    访问日本是我的遗愿清单!东京似乎really a fun place to visit. Driving the Mario Kart and visiting Disneyland would be to on my to do list there. Thanks for all these great ideas, they are surely going to make our trip to Tokyo incredible!

  10. curioustravelbug@gmail.com says:

    我希望很快访问日本,这是一个如此great list of things to do in Tokyo. I had never heard of a lot of these activities and the Anata no Warehouse looks really neat and like a must do. I usually like staying in private rooms but the capsule hotels look like such a unique experience and like you have privacy.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey Brianna, staying in a capsule hotel is definitely an experience! Just to note, Anata no Warehouse is no longer open, but there are still a ton of things to do in Tokyo left on the list!

  11. madhuonthego@gmail.com says:

    Wow never knew Tokyo has such huge list of things to do and that too so interesting. Saving the post for future use.

  12. divyasaggar@gmail.com says:

    Such a perfect guide to Tokyo and makes me want to take a flight right now. Now I know whey there’s a Japanese garden (replica) in almost every other city – it’s thanks to this iconic Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Oh I so badly want a picture in front of those cute buildings. Thanks for sharing your inspiring experiences.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Sounds like you have the start of a good Tokyo itinerary! Let us know when you go and we’d be happy to help sculpt the rest of your route

  13. Umiko says:

    I have always wanted to stay at a capsule hotel, but apparently it’s not recommended for people with claustrophobic. ☹️ I guess an AirBnB will be my next choice. I only got to the airport so far, but I got to experience a few things in the list, like matcha Kit-Kat, ramen, and the singing toilet.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      There are a few hotels that are like "Pod-hotels", similar to a capsule but about 2 or 3 times bigger. That might be something to check out if you’re really interested in staying in one. Hope that helps!

  14. go4theglobe@gmail.com says:

    OMG this is such a helpful guide to Tokyo! I’ve never bene but will be pinning this for when I finally make it there. Usually with blog posts like these there are a few things I’d like to do, but this list is stacked with amazing activities and things to do! I seriously want to do and see and eat everything on this list! The Mario Kart racing looks so fun and Robot Restaurant looks absolutely insane. I always love a good rooftop view, bonus points for the free view from the Metropolitan Government Building!

  15. bordersandbucketlists@gmail.com says:

    ooh this is perfect! I’m heading to Tokyo in a little over a month, so this was super helpful! I’m definitely excited for all of the gardens, temples, and food!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hope you have a great time in Tokyo! Let us know if there are any more things to do in Tokyo that we could add to the list.

  16. hello@therealjapan.com says:

    Wow – what an extensive guide to Tokyo!

    Some absolute gems in here. Visiting a sumo training session is still something I’ve yet to do and as a sumo fan it’s a gap in my experiences. Reading about them again here reminds me I need to book one of those this year.

    Also, I totally agree on Wi-Fi rental for anyone travelling in Japan. It will make your life so much easier and one router can support multiple devices (laptops and mobile phones) – so they are great value for money.

    Great work!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hi Rob. We would love to go to a sumo training session too! It’s definitely on the list for next time. And yes, yes, yes you need a Wi-Fi rental! We were so lost without one. We have a nice pocket WiFi through SkyRoam and won’t leave home without it ever again.

  17. smith.orla@gmail.com says:

    Japan is on my bucket list but holy moly this post has made me more excited than I ever was before. This is excellent thank you so much! I am saving this for my trip planning and I will absolutely be doing everything on this list. Driving Mario Karts on Tokyo streets??!!! I love the tip for getting a panoramic view of the city. Definitely going to head out to the Buddha and go for a nice forest walk – love having a place like that to go to from a busy city.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words – we are so happy to hear it is helpful. We were so excited to read so many great suggestions in this article from other travelers, and we can’t wait to get back to Tokyo and experience more!

  18. milijana@worldtravelconnector.com says:

    This is a great comprehensive guide to Tokyo! Good job!

    I love to read collaborative posts because they offer a diversity of unique impressions, experiences, highlights … of a bunch of people. I love to find out what everyone likes about the place from their point of view.
    Different people, different views, different impressions, different experiences – love it!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Totally! We feel lucky to have such a great round up of advice from all types of travelers! We have definitely added a few things to our list for next time in Tokyo.

  19. letsgettripsy@gmail.com says:

    Wow, congrats on such a thorough post, such an awesome collaborative piece! I am so happy to hear that there would be lots of vegetarian options and I love all the food related things to do – my kind of place! We would also enjoy Red Lantern and the National Garden, love anything nature related! We have never been to Tokyo but the modern mixed with the traditional sounds fascinating and matcha ice cream – sign me up!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Haha yes, matcha ice cream for sure! Have you used Happy Cow before? It’s pretty handy for finding good veg options anywhere in the world!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      我认为马里奥赛车将为所有的孩子在他很有趣art! Such a unique experience! And seeing the sumo wrestlers practice is high on our list for our next visit to Tokyo!

  20. archivesofadventure@gmail.com says:

    Wow! There certainly are some incredible experiences to be had in Tokyo! It seems like you’d need at least a week or two just in the city to experience it all!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      There are so many things to do in Tokyo that is can be hard to choose your favorites. We’d recommend just to pick some major things and then fill in the gaps!

  21. hard157@flash.net says:

    I love that you have given such an extensive post about Tokyo! I really want to visit Japan, but not sure how much time I could spend in Tokyo. I will definitely be saving your post for when I make the trek!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Tokyo is wonderful, but I can understand the itch to explore the rest of Japan! So many amazing places to see!

  22. suewherewhywhat@gmail.com says:

    Love This! Really comprehensive guide. I visited Tokyo a few years ago but just on a stopover from Australia. With a slight "Lost in Translation" obsession at the time I visited the Park Hyatt & a few other things on the list (sushi at the fish market & the tiny bars were amazing!). I plan to head back to see a lot more of Japan & have pinned this for then. Thank you for sharing!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Tokyo is definitely worth another stopover! We’ve been there twice now and have barely scratched the surface!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked*