There are so many places to visit in Tokyo, it’s almost impossible to ever get bored with Japan’s capital. After a comprehensive 7 day itinerary in Tokyo, we absolutely fell in love with the city. So much so, that we decided to move to Tokyo for a while and get to experience the less known sights of the mega-metropolis.
From the famed Shibuya to the secret corners of Akihabara, here are the places to visit in Tokyo during your next trip to Japan.
One of the best places to visit in Tokyo is, without a doubt, the well known Shibuya Crossing. This pedestrian scramble seems to somehow represent the core soul of Tokyo: busy and frantic, but utterly organised and dynamic. No trip to Tokyo is complete without a quick trip to the Shibuya crossing. And remember there are many things to do in Shibuya which involve shopping, eating and photographing.
One of our favourite parks in Tokyo is the Shinjuku Gyoen. This is a magnet for tourist during the cherry blossom festival, yet, despite the crowds, it remains one of the most zen places in the city. We recommend spending at least a few hours exploring the park’s green corners.
Shinjuku Golden Gai
Who’s up for some fun in Tokyo? Golden Gai is the places to visit in Tokyo if you want to interact with the locals and grab a few drinks. Golden Gai is located in Shinjuku and it’s a well-known neighbourhood for those in search of late night fun. You can find some establishments with English menus on the door so probably you should aim for those bars. If someone refuses you entry, it’s because these bars have very few seats (like 3-5) and very likely they are fully booked or are expecting their regulars.
For Tokyo adult guide entertainment, Kabukicho should be added to your list. Ideally, you would just watch and not touch as these establishments are known to be linked with the Japanese mafia. Many foreigners get scammed here, so if you don’t have a local guide or don’t know Japanese, perhaps you should meander around.
Yoyogi Park is a beautiful, large green space in Tokyo which attracts countless locals during the weekend. For those looking to escape the bustle of the city, Yoyogi Park is the place to visit in Tokyo. Remember to grab a blanket, a few snacks and enjoy a lovely picnic under one of the many colourful trees of the Yoyogi Park.
Meiji Shrine is a Shinto Shrine located in Yoyogi Park. This is a place in Tokyo where you will see many traditional Japanese weddings. Please be sure to photograph from afar and be respectful. Next to Meiji Shrine, you can see a wall of sake barrels. Don’t forget to learn more about Japanese manners prior to heading to any shrine in Tokyo.
Located in the heart of Harajuku, Takeshita is a long street lined with shops, boutiques and eateries tailored for a more young and colourful target audience. Takeshita will surprise you with many out of ordinary fashion accessories, fun dishes and cute desserts. This is the kawaii paradise place.
Omotesando Hills is the place to visit in Tokyo if you love fashion boutiques. You can start at Omotesando Plaza and make your way towards Shibuya. The street usually looks best at night, when all the shops put up a dreamy light show to capture your attention and imagination. This street is rather expensive so it’s more targetted towards luxury shoppers who love brands. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants for a well-deserved break.
Ginza is one of my favourite places in Tokyo and truly, it is a shopper’a paradise. You should experience Ginza during the weekend when part of the main street is closed for cars and open to pedestrians only. There are some tables and chairs available as well, for when you might need to take a break from all the shopping.
Tsukiji Market is a seafood nirvana and well known to be the biggest seafood market in the world. You can purchase fresh food here and enjoy fantastic Japanese food made with ingredients caught the same day. We travel vegan but we still recommend a day trip to Tsukiji to learn more about Tokyo and its seafood culture.
Do you want to see Tokyo from above? Head over to the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest structure in Japan. It is a broadcasting, restaurant, and observation tower from where you can enjoy incredible views of the city. We recommend visiting just before sunset.
Tokyo Government Building
If you travel to Japan on a budget, you might want to consider the Tokyo Government Building. It is amongst the best free things to do in Tokyo as it enables tourists to enjoy incredible views of the city, entirely free. No reservation needed, just head to the building located in Shinjuku, and have lots of fun!
Oh, sweet Akihabara, the electronic town is a fantastic place for those interested in electronics, manga and anime. Akihabara is a bit geeky but also provocative, with its unconventional jumbo posters of anime characters. You can either love or hate Akihabara but it will definitely leave a deep impression.
Senso-Ji is the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo and amongst the most popular things to do in Tokyo. It is open 24/7 which means you can visit during night time so you can enjoy the temple grounds in quiet. Don’t forget to draw an omikuji and immerse yourself in the spiritual side of Japan.
Ueno Park is not just a beloved green space in Tokyo but a cultural hotspot. With so many things to do in Ueno Park, it’s easy to see why this park became a popular tourist attraction. Beyond a relaxing walk in the park, you can visit various temples, as well as check some of Tokyo’s most impressive museums (including the main Tokyo Museum).
Are you ready to explore Japan’s capital? Leave a comment and let us know what places to visit in Tokyo will you add to your epic itinerary!