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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


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

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

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

Tokyo DisneySea®

The second theme park to open at the Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo DisneySea is one of the Japanese capital’s most popular attractions, for adults as well as children. Explore the nautically themed park and visit all seven ports of call, each of which is filled with rides and attractions.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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tokyo’s Harajuku district is known the world over for the youthful crowds that gather there to flaunt their wild fashions. This is where you can spot local teens dressed up in colorful and outlandish punk, goth, and anime costumes. But there’s even more to Harajuku than over-the-top street style.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Tokyo

1 Day Private Mt Fuji Tour (Charter) - English Speaking Driver
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Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone
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Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
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Tokyo Private Tour by Car / Van - Guide Option Available
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Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Culture Walking Tour
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Challenge Sumo Wrestlers and Enjoy a Chanko Lunch
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Tokyo Half-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
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Walking Food Tour of Shibuya at Night
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Recent reviews from experiences in Tokyo

Wonderful tour with Miyuki
Tudor_I, Dec 2022
Private Custom Tour: Tokyo in a Day
Highly recommend the tour to start your Tokyo trip and get to see as much of the city as possible
great experience
david_w, Nov 2022
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
Extremely convenient and flexible, great way to see tokyo.
One of the best things to...
Pallavi_P, Nov 2022
Go-kart tour Shinjuku drive metroporitan area ※must have IDP
One of the best things to do in Tokyo.
Loved our guided e-bike tour of Tokyo
Tempe_Z, Oct 2022
Enjoy local Tokyo E-bike tour, 3 hours of ride starts Kanda
I would highly recommend this way to see a lot of Tokyo in a short amount of time!
A great break from Tokyo
Jill_K, Oct 2022
Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone
This was a fabulous trip -the weather cooperated and I was able to see Fuji-san from several viewpoints.
One love to this TOUR!
Carlene_D, Oct 2022
Go-kart tour Shinjuku drive metroporitan area ※must have IDP
I will be back and I would love people to ask me what fun things there are to do in Tokyo so I can send them here.
Fantastic way to see Tokyo
Jack_N, Oct 2022
Small Group Cycling Tour in Tokyo
It was a lovely way to see Tokyo and Akio was knowledgable, funny, and nice.
Very good
Adeline_C, Oct 2022
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
He speaks very well in English and he gave us very clear and easy to follow instructions so we can see all of the places of interests.
Best Tour for the Market and Sushi
Kevin_M, Dec 2022
Tsukiji Fish Market Visit with Sushi Making Experience
While waiting for the tour time to start she took us up to see the Buddhist temple.
Mt. Fuji
anna_k, Dec 2022
Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone
Our Tour guide Rehan Ghazi was very friendly helpful & knowledgeable with excellent English and had a great sense of humor.
A highlight of our week in Tokyo
Clay_H, Nov 2022
3-Hour Guided Musubi Japanese Home Cooking Class
We are a family of four with kids 11 and 14, they loved the experience, too.
Perfect way to start our stay in Tokyo
Naomi_C, Nov 2022
Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Besides the tour itself - we are very thankful to Takashi for a great conversation and wonderful recommendations for things to do and where to eat in Tokyo.
Shirley_W, Nov 2022
1 Day Private Mt Fuji Tour (Charter) - English Speaking Driver
We got to see the best views of this amazing place.
Quite possibly the best setup tourist bike I have ever ridden in a magical mega city.
francisprieto, Nov 2022
Small-Group Tokyo Biking Tour
I try to go on a bike tour in every city I am lucky enough to visit and I have to say that without a doubt, my bicycle was setup perfectly.
Great tour!
Mark_B, Nov 2022
Enjoy local Tokyo E-bike tour, 3 hours of ride starts Kanda
My guide was very informative and the e-bike was a really fun (and easy) way to see a lot of the city.
Amazing Full Day Tour of Tokyo
Michael_P, Nov 2022
Tokyo Full-Day Private Tour with Government-Licensed Guide
Kiyo maximized the time we had for the day for the best sightseeing spots.
More than we could have hoped for!
madeline_d, Nov 2022
Private tour - All "Must-Sees"! Enjoy your First-Time Visit Tokyo!
And spoke excellent English.
Educational and fun tour. Highly recommend!
Makenna_M, Oct 2022
Small-Group Tokyo Biking Tour
We also feel better equipped for the rest of our trip bc he advised which activities were worth our time and which were skippable.
Fun Walking Tour
MaraSmithCapella, Nov 2021
Private Tokyo Tour with Government Licensed Guide & Vehicle (Max 7 persons)
Really interesting to see the comparison of old and new in one place.
Tour review
carabarker, Feb 2020
Tokyo Walking Tours with a Local Guide: Private and Customized
She spoke great English.
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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.

Frequently Asked Questions