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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

Tsukiji Fish Market

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
Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

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
Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)

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


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


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 Imperial Palace

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)

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
Tokyo Skytree

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
Lake Ashi (Ashi-no-ko)

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 Tower

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
Mt. Fuji 5th Station

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


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
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

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
Robot Restaurant

Robot Restaurant

In Shinjuku's Kabukicho district (entertainment and red light district), the surreal Robot Restaurant may be unlike anything you've ever seen. Its sci-fi Japanese cabaret show starring giant robots is loud and proud, both visually and audibly—taiko drums and techno music accompany flashing lights, multiple mirrors, and huge video screens. A sensorial extravaganza, the restaurant is no quiet night out.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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Tokyo

1 Day Private Mt Fuji Tour (Charter) - English Speaking Driver
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Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Culture Walking Tour
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Tokyo Bar Hopping Night Tour in Shinjuku
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Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
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Shibuya Bar Hopping Night Food Walking Tour in Tokyo
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Toyosu new market and Tsukiji market Food Tour
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Recent reviews from experiences in Tokyo

yoshinori_K, Jul. 2022
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
Must see it It is summer in Tokyo Super hot must need cold water
Excellent service and good value for money
Amit_P, Sep. 2022
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
His knowledge of the city and its history was great and he made it convenient for us to visit every sight and find him again.
1 day private tour to Mnt Fuji from Tokyo
Yoel_R, May 2022
Private Tour: Chartered Car to Mt. Fuji Lake Kawaguchiko or Hakone and Lake Ashi
Fuji Peace park We arrived at the best moment to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Enjoyable tour
Hideo, Jun. 2021
Tokyo Virtual Tour
Very comprehensive tour of Tokyo to understand where to visit
Tour review
carabarker, Feb. 2020
Tokyo Walking Tours with a Local Guide: Private & Tailored to You
She spoke great English.
Perfect day
adono11, Jan. 2020
Private Tokyo Tour in chartered vehicle
Everything went smoothly and this was the best way to see Tokyo on our own.
Super fun bar tour
Leesa P, Dec. 2019
Tokyo Bar Hopping Night Tour in Shinjuku
She gave us wonderful recommendations on what to do in other areas of Tokyo as well as where to get good Ramen and sushi.
Great tour.
CheeJin_L, Dec. 2019
Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone
Excellent service by the English speaking guide.
Robin_J, Nov. 2019
Private tour - All "Must-Sees"! Enjoy your First-Time Visit Tokyo!
It was a wonderful tour where we got to see everything we wanted to and at the pace we wanted.
Tokyo Night Food Tour
Sandra_K, Nov. 2019
Tokyo by Night: Japanese Food and Drinks Experience
Great guide that spoke wonderful English.
Amazing Tokyo in one day
Hope_M, Apr. 2022
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
While driving between stops he gave us fantastic history and background of the sites we’re about to see in the city.
Fun, Good Food and Different
llsee, Nov. 2019
Sangenjaya Back-Alley Private Tour with Tokyo Local Guide
I really felt that we got to see a side of Tokyo that most tourists would not.
Tokyo with a local
tony g, Nov. 2019
Tokyo Tours By Locals: Private & Tailored to You, See the City Unscripted
We had the great opportunity to see Tokyo and talk about the city, Japan and it’s people with a local.
Tokyo bike tour
Christina_C, Oct. 2019
Enjoy local Tokyo E-bike tour, 3 hours of ride starts near Tokyo Station
This was great fun and a great way to see Tokyo when we first arrived in the city John our guide was really helpful - thanks!
Amazing Tokyo
MaFlorentina_d, Sep. 2019
Tokyo Private Tour by Car / Van - Guide Option Available
We were able to see a lot of beautiful and amazing Tokyo sites.
Tokyo full day tour
leszek w, Sep. 2019
Private Custom Tour: Tokyo in a Day
I highly recommend this as it was custom and we picked the top attractions to our liking.
See a lot with a great guide
John_A, Jul. 2019
Small-Group Tokyo Biking Tour
Highly recommended way to see Tokyo.
Great Tokyo Tour
Abraham_W, Jul. 2019
Private Custom Tour: Tokyo in a Day
This tour is a great way to see some of the major sites in Tokyo.
worth every penny
SuhHui_C, May 2019
Private tour - All "Must-Sees"! Enjoy your First-Time Visit Tokyo!
great way to see tokyo especially when you do not speak japanese.
It was the highlight of our trip!
Amy_B, Apr. 2019
Electric-Powered Biking Tour: Asakusa, Akihabara, and Imperial Palace
We recommend the electric bike tour and would do it again to see other places.
We perform checks on reviews

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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