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Things to do in Tokyo

Things to do in  Tokyo

Welcome to Tokyo

Neon lights and cherry blossoms. Sacred tea ceremonies and robot cabaret shows. Buddhist temples and high-octane sumo matches. The Japanese capital of Tokyo is a city of contradictions, where ancient traditions coincide with modern culture. Sightseeing tours help travelers get oriented with the sprawling metropolis and visit sights such as Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Meiji Jingu Shrine, and Senso-ji Temple. Dinner at a robot cabaret and a tour of Kabukicho offer a taste of the city’s eclectic nature. And food and market tours show off the best of Tokyo’s cuisine. Tokyo is also home base for day trips to Lake Ashi, Mt. Fuji, and Kyoto.

Top 15 attractions in Tokyo

Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

As Japan's highest mountain, the legendary Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san) stands 12,388 feet (3,776 meters) tall. Travelers from around the world head to Hakone National Park to see the mountain, and over 1 million of them hike all the way to the top each year for the 360-degree views of Lake Ashi, the Hakone mountains, and the Owakudani Valley.More


The area surrounding Shibuya Station—famous for its busy streets, flashing neon advertisements, trendy boutiques, and teeming malls—ranks among Tokyo’s most energetic neighborhoods. Shibuya Crossing, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections, has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in its own right.More

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)

The must-see Senso-ji Temple (also known as Asakusa Temple or Asakusa Kannon Temple) combines architecture, centers of worship, Japanese gardens, and traditional markets to offer visitors a modern-day look at Japan’s rich history and culture. Erected in AD 645 in what was once an old fishing village, Senso-ji Temple was dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Stone statues of Fujin (the Shinto wind god) and Raijin (the Shinto thunder god) guard the entrance, known as Kaminarimon or the Thunder Gate. Next is Hozomon Gate, which leads to Nakamise’s shopping streets, filled with vendors selling handicrafts and Japanese snacks. Don’t miss the Asakusa Shrine or Kannon-do Hall.More


A decade ago, going to Roppongi meant you were either visiting an embassy or out to party with the expat community. While Roppongi remains one of Tokyo’s best nightlife districts, it has successfully broadened its appeal with a wider variety of cultural and entertainment options.More

Lake Ashi (Ashi-no-ko)

In the shadow of Mount Fuji, Lake Ashi (Ashi-no-ko), is a scenic spot in Hakone National Park. Considered sacred by the Japanese, it is home to the famous Hakone Shinto shrine. Visitors come to see the shrine, take a boat out on the lake, or enjoy the many hiking trails in the area.More

Tokyo Imperial Palace

Home to Japan’s Emperor, the Tokyo Imperial Palace occupies the site of the original Edo Castle (Edo-jō), the Tokugawa shogunate's castle, which was once the largest fortress in the world. Located in the center of Tokyo, the palace is surrounded by moats and serene gardens.More

Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

The Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is the most important and popular Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken, in 1926, the shrine comprises buildings of worship, gardens, and a forest where each tree was planted by a different citizen of Japan wanting to pay respects to the emperor. A highlight of the shrine is the Meiji Memorial Hall, where visitors find more than 80 murals dedicated to the emperor.More

Tsukiji Fish Market

The Tsukiji Fish Market was once the largest seafood market in the world, handling more than 2,000 tons of marine products a day. Although the market wasn't originally intended to be a major tourist attraction when it opened in 1935, Tsukiji now regularly shows up on visitors’ lists of must-see destinations in Tokyo for its lively atmosphere and incredible sushi.Please note: The Inner Market and tuna auction relocated to the nearby Toyosu Fish Market in 2020.More


With its neon lights, towering department stores, and trendy nightclubs, Tokyo’s upscale shopping district of Ginza is a chic, cosmopolitan adventure. You can catch a Kabuki performance, check out the latest Japanese film or art exhibition, and dine at some of Tokyo’s best restaurants. And, then, of course, there’s the shopping.More

Tokyo Skytree

Since opening in 2012, the Tokyo Skytree has taken the title of Japan’s tallest building—and one of the tallest in the world—measuring an incredible 2,080 feet (634 meters) high. In addition to serving as a TV and radio broadcast tower, it has two observation decks affording spectacular views across Tokyo and the distant Mount Fuji.More

Hakone Ropeway

Tokyo’s Hakone Ropeway is the second-longest cable car in the world. Visitors come to experience the thrill of a cable car ride, with views of Mt. Fuji and Lake Ashi along the way.More


Akihabara, also commonly known as “Electric Town,” is the go-to district in Tokyo for electronics—and a popular spot to immerse in anime and manga culture. The area’s hundreds of stores sell everything from computer parts to home goods, and north of Akihabara Station, you’ll also find video games and popular manga-related items.More

Tokyo Tower

At 1,092 feet (333 meters) tall, Tokyo Tower is an impressive Japanese landmark offering 360-degree views of the city from its two observation decks. Built in 1958 from red and white latticed steel, the Eiffel Tower-inspired structure houses a wax museum, a Shinto Shrine, an aquarium, restaurants, and other entertainment spots.More

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

With a long history dating back to 1063, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine in Kamakura, and the spiritual and cultural heart of the city. Dedicated to Hachiman, the patron saint of samurais, the complex contains several shrines and museums, and is a popular venue for festivals, weddings, and other events.More

Mt. Fuji 5th Station

At 7,546 feet (2,300 meters), Mt. Fuji’s 5th Station affords incredible views over Fuji Five Lakes and Hakone National Park. Easily accessible by road, 5th Station lies at the midpoint of the Yoshida Trail to Mount Fuji’s summit; many hikers begin their ascent here.More

Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Tokyo

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Tokyo

Top activities in Tokyo

Tokyo Private Car Tour: Professional Guide and Driver/Optional airport xfer
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1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour
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1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour

Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Culture Walking Tour
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Mt. Fuji & Hakone 1 Day Tour From Tokyo (Return by bullet train in option)
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Mt Fuji and Hakone 1-Day Bus Tour return by Bullet Train (Shinkansen)
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Recent reviews from experiences in Tokyo

Excellent tour
purvi_P, Mar 2023
Tokyo Private Tour by Car / Van - Guide Option Available
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to visit the Imperial Palace since we took too long at each stop on our tour.
Great tour and fabulous guide.
Darryl_P, Mar 2023
Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
She also gave us written tips for things to see on the other days.
Rich was very helpful...
Fernando_C, Mar 2023
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
Before he drop us off at a location, he will explained everything about the place so we know what to do.
Great few hours in Tokyo
Christopher_O, Mar 2023
Tokyo Half-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Wanted to visit the Western Art museum which was a must for me.
Great Trip with Shami!
Linda_W, Mar 2023
Private Car Tokyo Tour
We were able to see everything we wanted and then some.
Great Way to See Tokyo
SueAnn_W, Mar 2023
Private Custom Tour: Tokyo in a Day
This is the best way to see Tokyo on a limited time.
Great service by driver.
Francis_F, Mar 2023
Private arrival Transfer from Haneda Airport(HND) to central Tokyo city
We were very happy to see that he had waited.
Friendly tour guide and lovely surroundings
Farha_M, Mar 2023
東京下町自転車ツアー(ショートコース)Guided cycle tour (short) in the central Tokyo
I love that the tour made me able to see different side of Tokyo rather than the typical bustling side.
Well worth it
Nusrat_R, Mar 2023
Tokyo Private Tour by Car / Van - Guide Option Available
Bilal San was great as he showed me all the great places in Tokyo- that I would not have been able to see in a short time.
Best Tour Ever!
Paula_O, Mar 2023
Private Custom Tokyo Tour VIP
His English was fantastic!
Take this tour!
Beth_Y, Mar 2023
Kart experience in Shinjuku drive metropolitan area
Zooming around the city was a great way to see the sites.
We travelled with friends...
Azita_A, Mar 2023
Private One Day Tokyo City Tour with Bilingual driver
Tokyo is a really nice city with a lot of places to visit.
Traditional Tokyo tour with some unique extras thrown in!
Andrea_C, Feb 2023
Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
His English was excellent so we had no issues with communicating.
Great night out in Tokyo
Paul_M, Feb 2023
REAL, All-Inclusive Tokyo Food and Drink Adventure (leave the tourists behind)
A great way to see Tokyo away from the tourist areas.
Best Cycling Tour in Town , Hands down
abhinav_r, Feb 2023
Small-Group Tokyo Biking Tour
This is the best way to see Tokyo and Gaku was an amazing guide.
Excellent, eye opening and memorable
Matthew_S, Feb 2023
Tokyo Walking Tours with a Local Guide: Private and Customized
Experiencing all the cultural areas, seeing the hidden side of Tokyo and getting ideas for where to visit over the next few days
Mt. Fuji road trip from Tokyo
Arun_R, Feb 2023
Mt Fuji Private customize tour with English speaking Driver
We had to cancel this tour due to heavy snowfall the day before (leading to road closures from Tokyo to Mt.
Enjoy the beautiful nature of Japan 🤩
Lasse_C, Feb 2023
Mt Fuji, Hakone, Lake Ashi Cruise and Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo
The trip is very diverse and we got to see everything from beautiful mountains to the lake.
Best Tokyo City Experience
Robin_H, Jan 2023
Kart experience in Shinjuku drive metropolitan area
Fantastic way to see Tokyo and worth every cent.
Amazing tour with insider insight
Teryn_B, Jan 2023
Freely set up plans Guided Private Tours in Tokyo
This was an amazing tour and opportunity to see Tokyo from the eyes of a local with expert knowledge on the area.
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All about Tokyo

When to visit

Sakura (cherry blossom season) is indisputably the best, albeit busiest, time to visit Tokyo. The peak of the season varies each year according to the weather, but blooms are generally at their brightest from late March to early April. If you want to avoid the crowds, fall (September to November) is a great time to see Japan’s natural landscapes drenched in autumn colors.

Getting around

Due to its status as the world’s largest city, Tokyo doesn’t lend itself well to walking. The best method of getting around is the metro, an efficient yet mind-boggling transport system of multiple branches. Make your life infinitely easier by getting a PASMO, a prepaid travel card that will save you from lining up at ticket machines and trying to decipher Japanese characters to determine ticket costs.

Traveler tips

For a unique cultural experience, don’t miss an early-morning tuna auction at Tsukiji Fish Market, where colossal tuna fish are snapped up for sushi in seconds. Viewing the free public auction is on a strict first-come, first-serve basis, so ensure you arrive at least two hours early to register.

In Tokyo, tipping is not customary, even though excellent service comes as standard. In restaurants, bars, and taxis, don’t be offended if your tip is refused—profuse thanks receive much more of a warm welcome.

A local’s pocket guide to Tokyo

Claire Bourillon

While living in Tokyo, Claire spent her time exploring the traditional and modern streets of the city, shopping in Harajuku, and eating at izakayas (Japanese pub restaurants).

The first thing you should do in Tokyo is...

get an IC rechargeable card—it makes it easier to travel around the city’s public transport network and explore.

A perfect Saturday in Tokyo...

starts with a stroll in the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, followed by a visit to the National Museum, a shabu-shabu hotpot in Shinjuku, and karaoke to end the day.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Shibuya Crossing. Wait to cross alongside thousands of pedestrians while staring wide-eyed at the flashing advert-filled screens.

To discover the "real" Tokyo...

wander the historic Asakusa district, take a tour of the Senso-ji Temple, and sample kibi dango (mini mochi balls) and taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes).

For the best view of the city...

climb to the free observatories in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. On cloudless days you might be able to glimpse Mt. Fuji.

One thing people get wrong...

The language barrier is real but Tokyoites will do their best to help, so don’t hesitate to ask.

People Also Ask

What is Tokyo best known for?

The sprawling, neon-soaked metropolis is known as one of the most exciting cities in the world. It’s a place where ancient traditions sit side by side with the thrillingly futuristic. While it’s home to many attractions, from the Imperial Palace to Senso-ji temple, it’s the experience of simply being here that draws return visitors to Tokyo.

What should you not miss in Tokyo?

From the Skytree to Roppongi Hills’ Mori Tower, Tokyo is home to many observation decks that offer sweeping views of the city’s complex skyline. The twin towers of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building have two observation decks, which offer some of the city’s best views, stretching as far as Mt. Fuji. And the best part is that they’re free.

What kind of activities can you do in Tokyo?

Foodies will find some of the best restaurants in the world in Tokyo, while history lovers can enjoy the museums, ancient temples, and shrines, and nature lovers while away hours in the sprawling parks. From beer and yakitori in a tiny alleyway to dancing the night away at a megaclub, the nightlife scene is also top-notch.

How many days in Tokyo is enough?

A lifetime in Tokyo wouldn’t be enough to experience everything it has to offer. But, for starters, give yourself at least a week to visit the must-see attractions and get a taste of the city’s different districts. If time is tight and Tokyo is just one stop in Japan, try for three days at the minimum.

What outdoor activities are in Tokyo?

Tokyo is a surprisingly green city and exploring the city’s parks, such as Shinjuku Gyoen and Ueno Koen, is a highlight, especially during cherry blossom season. Just outside the city, hiking the trails of Mount Takao makes for a great day trip, as does wandering around the ancient capital of Kamakura or enjoying the hot springs of Hakone.

Do they speak English in Tokyo?

Yes, to an extent. While you’ll likely come across more English speakers (and bilingual signage) in Tokyo than anywhere else in Japan, the language is not widely spoken beyond the basics. While you can certainly get by in Tokyo without any Japanese, you should learn at least a few phrases.


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