It can be hard to know how to spend your time during a short visit to Tokyo. But you can cover a lot of ground with a little planning, checking off the must-see sights, heading out into the nearby mountains, and eating your way around the city. Here’s how to see Tokyo in just three days.
Day 1: Get to Know Tokyo
By focusing on particular areas that interest you, you'll get to know Tokyo’s distinct culture and character in a short amount of time. Spend day one taking in the city's biggest attractions on a themed sightseeing tour by bus or on foot—you won't want to miss the Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines of the Asakusa district, the quirky youth culture in the Harajuku neighborhood, or the luxury shopping in Ginza and Shibuya. After a day of photo ops, settle in for the ever-entertaining Robot Restaurant cabaret show. Book tickets in advance to see a high-tech robot and laser performance with the option to also include dinner and drinks.
Day 2: Take a Day Trip to the Mountains
After exploring some of Tokyo’s busiest areas, head out of the city to see some nature. Easily accessible by Japan's famous bullet trains (shinkansen), Mount Fuji is a must-see that holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Japanese. While the peak can occasionally be seen from Tokyo, nothing a beats a convenient guided tour to the mountain to learn about its significance. Alternatively, head north of Tokyo to Nikko National Park on a guided day trip. The area's 17th-century shrines are some of the most beautiful in Japan, and there are plenty of hiking trails and onsen baths to suit your interests.
Day 3: Focus on Food
Japanese food holds a lot of regional variation around the country. Learn about the cuisine’s variety—and how to cook some of its most iconic dishes—on a guided food tour. Start with an early morning Tsukiji fish market tour and continue on around the city to sample various bites. Choose a cooking class to learn the art of sushi-rolling or find out how to make the perfect ramen broth, or book a Japanese tea ceremony experience to gain insight into this high art. End your final day in Tokyo with a memorable dinner in a local izakaya pub or a revolving-sushi restaurant. If you’ve still got some energy afterward, head out on a Tokyo karaoke or bar crawl tour for some late-night fun.