Tokyo, the capital city of the Land of the Rising Sun. What an incredible city to discover from an European’s perspective. Tokyo whilst, a very modern city is centuries old and has stood the test of time as one of Japan’s economic hubs and in recent centuries its capital.

We only had 3 days and a very packed schedule, so we have summarised a lot of useful information and a 3-day Tokyo Itinerary in this article.

The efficiency and well organisation of this city put to shame entire major cities here in the West. To find out more why but also to explore Tokyo through our eyes read more below.


Tokyo, the bustling capital of Japan, is a city that seamlessly blends modernity with tradition. Renowned for its vibrant culture, cutting-edge technology, and delicious cuisine, Tokyo offers a myriad of experiences for every type of traveler.

With a population of over 13 million people, Tokyo is one of the most populous urban areas in the world. Despite its size, the city is remarkably well-organised and efficient, boasting an extensive public transportation network that makes it easy for visitors to navigate their way around.

From the towering skyscrapers of Shinjuku to the historic temples of Asakusa, Tokyo is a city of contrasts. Whether you’re strolling through the neon-lit streets of Shibuya or exploring the serene gardens of Rikugien, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in this dynamic metropolis.

For food lovers, Tokyo is a culinary paradise, with a seemingly endless array of restaurants, izakayas, and street food stalls serving up mouthwatering dishes from all corners of the globe. From sushi and ramen to tempura and yakitori, the city offers a tantalising taste of Japanese cuisine that will leave you craving more.

But Tokyo isn’t just about the bright lights and bustling streets. The city also has a rich cultural heritage, with centuries-old traditions still thriving alongside the modern urban landscape.

Whether you’re attending a traditional tea ceremony, watching a sumo wrestling match, or exploring the historic districts of Yanaka and Kagurazaka, Tokyo offers a fascinating glimpse into Japan’s past and present.

In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to make the most of your time in Tokyo, from how to get there and where to stay, to the best time to visit and the top things to see and do.

Travel to and Around Tokyo

We travelled to Tokyo as part of our November 2023 trip, where you can read more about our Japan itinerary here. Traveling to and around Tokyo is a breeze, thanks to the city’s efficient transportation system and variety of ticket options for tourists.

We personally never felt that the transport was overcrowded with trains coming quickly and regularly even at off-peak times.

Whether you’re arriving by plane, train, or bus, there are plenty of convenient options to get you to your destination.

Arriving in Tokyo

  • By Air: Tokyo is served by two major airports: Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND). Narita is located further away from the city center but offers a wide range of international flights, while Haneda is closer and mainly handles domestic and some international flights. From both airports, travellers can easily access the city center via trains, buses, or taxis.
    • TIP: If you are looking for suitable flight options, make sure to check out this article with top tips on how to find cheap flights.
  • By Train: If you’re traveling from other parts of Japan, you may arrive in Tokyo via the Shinkansen (bullet train) or other JR (Japan Rail) lines. Tokyo Station is a major transportation hub in the city, connecting various Shinkansen and conventional train lines.
  • By Bus: Long-distance buses are another option for traveling to Tokyo, especially for budget-conscious travellers. Several bus companies operate routes between Tokyo and major cities across Japan, with drop-off points in various parts of the city.

Getting Around Tokyo

  • Public Transportation: Tokyo boasts an extensive and efficient public transportation network, including trains, subways, buses, and trams. The Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway systems cover most areas of the city and are a convenient way to get around. Visitors can purchase rechargeable IC cards like Suica or Pasmo for seamless travel on trains and buses.
  • JR Pass: For travelers planning to explore other parts of Japan, the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) is a cost-effective option. This pass allows unlimited travel on JR trains, including the Shinkansen, for a set period of time. However, it’s only available to foreign tourists and must be purchased before arriving in Japan.
    • TIP: You can read more about our experience with JR pass here. You should also note that activating the JR pass solely for Tokyo inner city travel might not be cost effective.
  • Tokyo Tourist Passes: Several tourist passes are available for visitors looking to explore Tokyo’s attractions. The Tokyo Metro 24-hour Ticket, Tokyo Subway Ticket, and Tokyo Free Kippu are popular options that offer unlimited travel on subway and bus lines within certain areas of the city for a fixed price.
    • TIP: Whilst we had the tourist SUICA card we found that the Tokyo Subway Ticket is more advantageous financially since the pay as you go method is charged by the distance travelled, on average @200 JPY/trip. Hence we got a 72-hour ticket and we were surprised how cheap it was (@£8) and how convenient. You can read more about this here.
  • Taxis and Ridesharing: Taxis are readily available in Tokyo but can be expensive compared to public transportation. Ridesharing services like Uber and Japan Taxi are also available in the city, providing an alternative option for getting around, especially during late-night hours when public transportation is limited.

Navigating Tokyo’s transportation system may seem daunting at first, but with a little planning and the right tickets in hand, you’ll be zipping around the city like a pro in no time.

Where to Stay in Tokyo

Choosing the right accommodation in Tokyo can greatly enhance your experience in the city. With a wide range of neighborhoods and districts to choose from, each offering its own unique atmosphere and attractions, finding the perfect place to stay depends on your preferences and interests.

Shinjuku: As one of Tokyo’s most vibrant and bustling districts, Shinjuku is an excellent choice for tourists looking to be in the heart of the action. Here, you’ll find towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and an endless array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Shibuya: Famous for its iconic scramble crossing and lively nightlife, Shibuya is a popular destination for tourists seeking excitement and entertainment. This youthful and trendy neighborhood is packed with shopping malls, department stores, and hip cafes, making it the perfect base for exploring Tokyo’s vibrant street culture.

Asakusa: For a taste of old-world Tokyo charm, look no further than Asakusa. Staying in Asakusa offers a glimpse into Tokyo’s rich cultural heritage, with plenty of opportunities to explore ancient temples, enjoy traditional performances, and sample authentic Japanese cuisine.

Ginza: If luxury shopping and fine dining are at the top of your agenda, Ginza is the place to be. This upscale district is home to some of Tokyo’s most prestigious department stores, designer boutiques, and Michelin-starred restaurants, making it a haven for fashionistas and foodies alike. This is where we stood and found it to be central to most places we wanted to visit with good access to Tokyo’s main JR stations.

Roppongi: Known for its vibrant nightlife and international atmosphere, Roppongi is a popular choice for tourists looking to experience Tokyo’s after-dark scene. This bustling district is home to a plethora of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

If you prefer to stay in a hotel, we would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as or Agoda to get the best rates. For this trip, we used our points from and booked Hotel Tokyu Stay Ginza with accumulated points, meaning we got the hotel for free.

Use the widget below to find the best accommodation in Tokyo for your specific dates.

Best Time to Visit Tokyo

Tokyo is a vibrant city that can be enjoyed year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you want to experience during your trip. From cherry blossoms in spring to colorful foliage in autumn, each season offers its own unique charms and attractions.

  • Spring (March to May): Experience the stunning cherry blossoms and mild weather, perfect for outdoor activities and cultural exploration. This is also when it’s the most expensive especially around Sakura (Cherry Blossom Season).
  • Summer (June to August): Enjoy traditional Japanese festivals and vibrant street life, but be prepared for hot and humid weather.
  • Autumn (September to November): Admire the colorful fall foliage in Tokyo’s parks and gardens, and indulge in seasonal delicacies at food festivals. We went during November and found the temperatures to be mild and crowds to be manageable. Also this is the season where you see the Japanese maple trees have their iconic autumn colours.
  • Winter (December to February): Explore Tokyo’s festive atmosphere with illuminations, Christmas markets, and indoor attractions, plus enjoy fewer crowds and lower hotel rates.

No matter the season, Tokyo offers something unique and exciting for every traveler to enjoy!

Things to do in Tokyo

This map was made with Wanderlog, for making itineraries on iOS and Android

Tokyo is a city that never fails to impress with its diverse array of attractions and activities. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a fashionista, or an adventure-seeker, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this bustling metropolis.

For those interested in delving into Tokyo’s rich cultural heritage, exploring historic sites like the Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa and the Meiji Shrine in Shibuya is a must. These iconic landmarks offer a glimpse into Japan’s past and provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll or contemplative moment.

But Tokyo isn’t just about history and tradition – it’s also a city at the forefront of innovation and modernity. Visitors can marvel at the futuristic architecture of landmarks like the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, or immerse themselves in the mind-bending digital art installations of teamLab Borderless.

Of course, no trip to Tokyo would be complete without indulging in the city’s world-renowned cuisine. From mouthwatering sushi and steaming bowls of ramen to crispy tempura and savory yakitori, Tokyo offers a tantalising array of culinary delights to satisfy every palate.

For a taste of Tokyo’s vibrant street culture, exploring neighborhoods like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku is a must. These bustling districts are known for their eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, making them perfect for a day of exploration and people-watching.

And when the sun sets, Tokyo truly comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene. From cozy izakayas and karaoke bars to pulsating nightclubs, there’s no shortage of options for those looking to dance the night away or simply unwind with a drink in hand.

Card payments are widely accepted, but not at museums or temples. We used our 0% fee cards throughout this trip to make sure we always got the better rates. Read more here about managing your finances when travelling.

With so much to see and do, Tokyo offers an unforgettable experience for every type of traveller. Below, we outline in more detail each of the touristic points to do. We grouped them roughly by the wards/districts they are in.

We did each section in a day and we believe with good planning, you can too.

1. Shibuya and Shinjuku City

Shibuya and Shinjuku are two of Tokyo’s most iconic and vibrant districts, each offering its own unique atmosphere and attractions. Shibuya is famous for its bustling streets, trendy shops, and lively nightlife, centered around the iconic Shibuya Crossing and Hachiko Statue.

On the other hand, Shinjuku is known for its towering skyscrapers, neon-lit streets, and diverse entertainment options. From the bustling shopping districts of Kabukicho and Shinjuku-sanchome to the serene gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this dynamic district.

1.1. Walk down Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is one of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks, renowned for its bustling pedestrian scramble and vibrant atmosphere. Located in the heart of Shibuya, this massive intersection sees thousands of people crossing every time the lights change, creating a mesmerising spectacle of movement and energy.

We went there during the day and also during night time and we would definitely recommend going there after sunset. This is when the area truly becomes mesmerising.

More seasoned travellers, might find Shibuya Crossing to be a bit underwhelming, but still up there with Piccadilly Circus or Times Square.

If you want to see Shibuya Crossing from above, you can visit Shibuya Sky observation deck for some great views of Tokyo.

1.2. Take a Photo at Hachikō Memorial Statue

The statue depicts Hachiko, a faithful Akita dog, who faithfully waited for his owner at Shibuya Station every day, even after his owner’s passing. Hachiko’s unwavering loyalty and devotion captured the hearts of the Japanese people, and the statue serves as a symbol of love and loyalty.

Today, the statue is a popular meeting spot and a beloved landmark in Tokyo, drawing visitors from around the world who come to pay their respects to this legendary canine companion.

1.3. Buy Something Cool on Takeshita Street

Takeshita Street is a famous street in Harajuku which offers a plethora of interesting gadgets from various vendors but also various food stalls.

Many tourists also choose to stay at some of the themed cafes, everything from cat cafes to South East Asian inspired eateries, you’ll definitely find something to spend you money on here. If you are after a cafe experience, check out this Micro Pig Cafe Experience in Harajuku.

1.4. Pay Your Respects at Meiji Jingu

Meiji Jingu, nestled in the heart of Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya district, is a serene oasis of tranquility and spirituality. This Shinto shrine, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken, is one of Japan’s most important cultural landmarks and a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

With its majestic torii gates, tranquil gardens, and traditional architecture, Meiji Jingu offers a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage and provides a unique opportunity to experience the country’s spiritual traditions in the heart of Tokyo.

We also enjoyed walking down the park towards the shrine and seeing the offering of sake in authentic Japanese barrels. Something quite unique for any outsider.

1.5. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also known as Tocho, is a prominent landmark located in the bustling Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Standing tall at 243 meters, this iconic structure comprises two towers, each with a distinctive observation deck offering panoramic views of the city.

Visitors can take high-speed elevators to the observation decks on the 45th floor of each tower, where they are treated to breathtaking views of Tokyo’s skyline, including landmarks like the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, and Mount Fuji on clear days.

Best of all, admission to the observation decks is free, making it a popular destination for tourists looking to capture stunning photographs of the city.

1.6. Omoide Yokocho

Omoide Yokocho, which translates to “Memory Lane” in English, is a nostalgic alleyway tucked away in the bustling Shinjuku district of Tokyo. Also known as “Piss Alley” due to its narrow pathways and cramped quarters, this atmospheric enclave is steeped in history and charm.

Lined with tiny eateries, izakayas (Japanese pubs), and yakitori stalls, Omoide Yokocho offers a taste of old Tokyo, evoking memories of post-war Japan with its retro ambiance and traditional dishes.

This is trully a Japanese experience for anyone looking to immerse themselves. Do be warned, these stalls can be quite small and crammed but we found it to contribute to the overall authentic experience.

2. Taito City

Taito City, situated in the northeastern part of Tokyo, is a treasure trove of cultural heritage and traditional charm. Home to some of Tokyo’s most iconic neighborhoods, including Asakusa and Ueno, Taito City offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Japan’s rich history and vibrant contemporary culture.

One of the highlights of Taito City is the historic district of Asakusa, famous for its iconic Senso-ji Temple, a revered Buddhist temple dating back to the 7th century.

With its rich history, vibrant cultural scene, and abundance of attractions, Taito City offers visitors a truly immersive and unforgettable experience in the heart of Tokyo.

2.1. Nakamise-dori (& Kaminarimon-dori) Street

Heading to Sensō-ji temple is a must when in Tokyo. However, to get there you most likely will come from Kaminarimon street. The street offers some great shops however, we found that there is a cool hack in the nearby visitors’ centre just by Hōzōmon gate.

Just before entering through the gate head over to Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center and head upstairs to the viewing deck opening up to Najamise and Sensō-ji temple.

From here you can also see Tokyo’s SkyTree. We really think this is one of the better kept secrets when seeing Tokyo and we recommend you go up to this viewing deck for some good panoramic shots.

As you head towards Nakamise-dori, the whole street is filled with stalls and shops of all sorts selling anything from souvenirs to pastries and cakes. As a heads-up, you can’t eat on the street so make sure to either eat inside the shop (if you can) or otherwise wait till you get outside the temple grounds.

We got some Japanese cakes with red bean filling. They are very similar to Chinese mooncakes, but for us they felt very dry.

2.2. Pay your Respects at Sensō-ji Temple

Sensō-ji Temple, located in the heart of Asakusa, is Tokyo’s oldest and most revered Buddhist temple, steeped in centuries of history and tradition.

The main hall of Sensō-ji enshrines a golden statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, to whom the temple is dedicated.

One of the highlights of a visit to Sensō-ji is the vibrant atmosphere that permeates the temple grounds, with visitors from all walks of life coming to pay their respects, seek blessings, and soak in the spiritual ambiance.

Whilst Hristina did see Hong Kong and so was more accustomed to Buddhist sites, for myself this was the first time I was in contact with a Buddhist temple. It felt impressive and novel.

The temple also offers paper fortunes known as omikuji that predict the purchaser’s luck for the year ahead. If you get bad luck then you should tie it on the strings adjacent and if it is good luck you should take it with you. I still have mine till today.

2.3. Buy a Melon Pan at Asakusa Nishi-sandō Shopping Street

Asakusa Nishi-sandō Shopping Street is a charming shopping street which runs parallel to the more famous Nakamise Street, which leads to the Senso-ji Temple.

Asakusa Nishi-sandō Shopping Street offers a more laid-back and local shopping experience compared to Nakamise Street. Visitors can explore a variety of small shops, boutiques, and stalls selling traditional Japanese goods, souvenirs, snacks, and handicrafts. You can find items such as kimono, fans, traditional sweets, ceramics, and more.

We bought an ice cream filled Melon Pan which is a sweet bread filled with the ice-cream of your choice. The bread was freshly baked and the Macha ice cream was exactly what you’d expect.

2.4. See Tokyo’s Skyline from Tokyo Skytree

For a breathtaking view of Tokyo’s skyline, look no further than Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in Japan and one of the tallest structures in the world. Standing at a towering height of 634 meters, this iconic landmark offers unparalleled panoramic views of the city and beyond.

Visitors can ascend to the tower’s observation decks, located at heights of 350 and 450 meters, via high-speed elevators that whisk them skyward in mere seconds. On clear days, it’s even possible to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance, adding to the awe-inspiring spectacle.

Whether you’re admiring the city lights at night or taking in the stunning views during the day, a visit to Tokyo Skytree promises to be a memorable and awe-inspiring experience that offers a unique perspective on the vibrant city of Tokyo.

We really enjoyed our time there and the tickets can be purchased ahead of time or on the spot. We got them in advance and chose a time slot convenient for us.

There is very little queuing and the animated high speed lift makes the ascend super quick and entertaining. Buy your tickets from here.

2.5. Walk through the many Tori Gates at Nezu Shrine

Believed to have been founded over 1,900 years ago, this historic Shinto shrine is renowned for its picturesque setting, lush greenery, and stunning architecture.

As visitors approach the shrine, they are greeted by a majestic torii gate, followed by a winding pathway lined with towering cedar trees and stone lanterns, leading them to the main hall.

There are a lot of torii gates and we thought this resembles the Fushimi Inari Taisha Sembon Torii in Kyoto.

The shrine’s serene atmosphere and timeless beauty make it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

2.6. Immerse yourself in the world of Manga and Anime at Akihabara (Electric City)

Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of manga and anime at Akihabara, affectionately known as Electric Town. This bustling district in central Tokyo is a mecca for fans of Japanese pop culture, offering a dizzying array of manga, anime, video games, and electronic gadgets.

As you wander through the streets of Akihabara, you’ll be greeted by towering billboards, colourful signage, and larger-than-life character statues, creating an electrifying atmosphere that’s unlike anywhere else in the world.

Akihabara is home to countless specialty shops, anime stores, and manga cafes, where fans can browse shelves overflowing with manga volumes, rare collectibles, and limited-edition merchandise.

In addition to its shops and arcades, Akihabara is also a hub for otaku culture, with themed cafes, maid cafes, and cosplay shops offering fans the chance to immerse themselves in their favorite anime and manga worlds. Visitors can enjoy themed food and drinks, interact with costumed maids and butlers, and even participate in cosplay events and photo shoots.

But Akihabara isn’t just for hardcore fans – it’s also a fascinating cultural experience for anyone interested in exploring Tokyo’s vibrant subcultures. From the quirky cafes and themed restaurants to the colourful street art and lively atmosphere, Akihabara offers a unique glimpse into Japan’s modern pop culture scene and is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable Tokyo experience.

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3. Ginza and Koto (Tokyo Bay) City

Ginza City, situated in the heart of Tokyo’s Chuo ward, is a bustling commercial and shopping district renowned for its luxury boutiques, upscale department stores, and fine dining establishments.

As one of Tokyo’s most prestigious and fashionable neighbourhoods, Ginza exudes an air of sophistication and elegance, with its wide boulevards, gleaming skyscrapers, and stylish storefronts.

Just a stone’s throw away from Ginza lies Tokyo Bay, a vibrant waterfront district nestled along the banks of the Sumida River. This modern and cosmopolitan area offers stunning views of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge, as well as a variety of recreational activities and attractions.

One thing to note here for Tokyo Bay is that the Tokyo Metro does not extend till this area of Tokyo so your Metro pass won’t be valid. If you plan to use the local Yurikamome Line, you will need to buy a special ticket sold at each station.

3.1. Tsukiji Outer Market

The Tsukiji Outer Market, located adjacent to the former site of the iconic Tsukiji Fish Market, is a bustling culinary paradise that offers visitors a tantalising array of fresh seafood, produce, and gourmet delights.

Although the famous inner market has relocated to Toyosu, the outer market continues to thrive as a vibrant hub of food culture and culinary exploration.

The market is home to over 400 shops and stalls, selling everything from sushi and sashimi to dried seafood, pickles, and kitchenware.

Visitors can sample local specialties like tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette), fresh oysters, and grilled scallops, or pick up souvenirs and gifts to take home. We were so sorry that we ate too well for breakfast at the hotel as when we arrived we felt like sampling everything.

I tried some Wagyu Beef (A5 graded) skewers with sea urchin on top. That was my first contact with Wagyu Beef let alone the highest graded Wagyu. One Skewer price you might ask? – £35 (equivalent). Worth. every. bite. The beef melts in the mouth with the sea urchin providing saltiness and added buttery texture.

We also had a Japanese omelette, which was good but nothing to write home about. Continuing our food crusade we had some scallops which were nice and felt fresh.

And since we were in Japan we stopped at a what it seemed a very popular stall which offers traditional sushi and other delicacies. All in all, we would recommend it. Everything was prepared in house and was super fresh. You can check it out here.

3.2. Walk through the Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Located in the heart of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is the official residence of the Emperor of Japan and is surrounded by expansive gardens that cover over 1.3 square kilometers.

The gardens are dotted with historic landmarks and architectural treasures, including ancient stone bridges, traditional tea houses, and ornate gates, providing a fascinating glimpse into Japan’s imperial past.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Imperial Palace gardens is the Ninomaru Garden, a scenic landscape that surrounds the Ninomaru Palace, a former residence of the shogun.

In addition to the Ninomaru Garden, the Imperial Palace gardens are also home to the East Gardens, which are open to the public and offer a variety of attractions, including the Sannomaru Shozokan (Museum of the Imperial Collections) and the Fujimi-yagura watchtower, which offers panoramic views of the city.

Whilst they don’t compare to the Versailles Gardens they are still worth visiting on a beautiful day.

3.3. Visit Zōjō-ji Temple

Zōjō-ji Temple, situated in the shadow of Tokyo Tower in the Minato ward, is a historic Buddhist temple that holds great significance in Japan’s cultural and religious landscape. Founded in the 14th century, Zōjō-ji served as the main temple of the Jodo sect of Buddhism in the Kanto region and played a vital role in the spiritual and political affairs of the time.

One of the highlights of a visit to Zōjō-ji Temple is the opportunity to explore the temple’s beautiful gardens, which offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. We didn’t manage to explore too much of the garden as we decided to press on with the schedule that day but it’s still worth checking it out.

At the temple grounds you will also find the “Garden of Unborn Children”, a serene and poignant place dedicated to unborn children. The garden is a memorial to stillborn babies, miscarriages, and abortions, offering a place for parents to grieve and remember their lost children.

3.4. See Tokyo Tower

Modeled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tokyo Tower was completed in 1958 and quickly became a beloved symbol of Tokyo’s modernity and prosperity. Despite the construction of taller towers in the city in recent years, Tokyo Tower remains a beloved symbol of the city and a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

Visitors to Tokyo Tower can ascend to its observation decks, located at heights of 150 and 250 meters, via high-speed elevators that whisk them skyward in just seconds. From the observation decks, visitors are treated to breathtaking 360-degree views of Tokyo and beyond, with landmarks like the Tokyo Skytree, Mount Fuji, and Tokyo Bay visible on clear days.

We decided not to go on top of the tower as Tokyo Skytree promised to be a better experience overall and so decided to just observe the tower from the grounds of Zōjō-ji Temple.

3.5. Take a Stroll in Ueno Park

Covering an area of over 53 hectares, Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular public parks, attracting millions of visitors each year with its lush greenery, scenic ponds, and cultural attractions.

Ueno Park is also home to several museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, making it a hub of art and culture in Tokyo. Visitors can explore the Tokyo National Museum, Japan’s oldest and largest museum, which houses an extensive collection of Japanese art, artifacts, and cultural treasures.

Other highlights include the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and the Ueno Zoo, which is home to over 3,000 animals from around the world.

We didn’t manage to see the Zoo as it was too late but got a good glimpse at the lotus leaf covered pond. Nonetheless it’s a great day out to go and explore the park.

We also found it impressive to see the number of public (clean) toilets available throughout the park. A plus in the eyes of any tourist far away from their hotel!

3.6. Learn about Japanese History at Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo National Museum, located in Ueno Park, stands as one of Japan’s premier cultural institutions, housing a vast and diverse collection of art and artifacts that span over 5,000 years of Japanese history and culture.

Established in 1872, the museum boasts an impressive array of treasures, including ancient pottery, sculptures, textiles, paintings, and samurai armor, as well as archaeological artifacts and cultural relics.

Highlights include the Honkan (Japanese Gallery), which features masterpieces of Japanese art from prehistoric times to the modern era, including Buddhist sculptures, ceramics, and ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

The museum’s Heiseikan (Asian Gallery) showcases artifacts from across Asia, including China, Korea, and India, providing a broader perspective on the region’s cultural heritage.

3.7. Immerse yourself in Digital Art at teamLab Planets

teamLab Planets is an immersive digital art museum located in Toyosu, Tokyo, where visitors are invited to step into a surreal and dreamlike world of interactive art and technology.

Created by the renowned art collective teamLab, this one-of-a-kind museum offers visitors a truly immersive and multisensory experience that blurs the boundaries between art, technology, and nature.

The “Planets” exhibition isn’t the only one; there are more similar exhibits from teamLab so make sure you look them up to figure out which one you want to go to.

One of the highlights of teamLab Planets is its signature “Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers” exhibit, where visitors can walk through a room filled with thousands of digital flowers that bloom and wither in response to their presence.

For us, the experience was both mesmerising and meditative, it definitely left us to contemplate the transient beauty of nature and the interconnectedness of all living things.

As this was one of the last things we saw in Tokyo before our onward travel to Hakone, it left us impressed and wanting more.

3.8. See the Japanese Statue of Liberty

This iconic landmark is a replica of the original Statue of Liberty in New York City and was erected in 2000 to commemorate the “Japan-U.S. Friendship Treaty” and to celebrate the bond between the two nations.

Standing at 11.5 meters tall, the Tokyo Statue of Liberty is significantly smaller than its counterpart in New York Harbor, but no less impressive. Perched on a small island in Tokyo Bay, the statue overlooks the Rainbow Bridge and offers stunning views of the city skyline and waterfront.

Whilst not as impressive as the real thing, it still serves as a good photo opportunity if heading to Tokyo Bay area.

Other Things to Do in Tokyo

If you have more time to spend in Tokyo, here are some suggestions for day trips and other activities.

And for the ultimate in relaxation, why not treat yourself to a day at one of Tokyo’s many onsen resorts? These traditional hot springs offer a blissful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, allowing you to soak in soothing mineral waters and unwind in serene surroundings. Read more about our Hakone Ryokan experience here.

Top Restaurants in Tokyo

When it comes to dining in Tokyo, visitors are spoiled for choice with a culinary landscape that offers something for every palate and preference. From traditional Japanese cuisine to international flavours and innovative culinary creations, Tokyo boasts a vibrant and diverse restaurant scene that reflects its status as a global metropolis.

For those seeking an authentic taste of Japan, Tokyo is home to countless restaurants serving up traditional Japanese dishes such as sushi, sashimi, tempura, and ramen. You can indulge in fresh seafood at one of Tokyo’s famed sushi bars, sample delicate kaiseki cuisine at a traditional ryotei (Japanese restaurant), or slurp up steaming bowls of ramen at a local noodle shop.

For those with adventurous palates, Tokyo is a paradise for foodies, with a thriving street food scene and a plethora of izakayas (Japanese pubs) and yakitori stalls serving up tasty snacks and small plates.

You can sample local specialties such as takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), and yakitori (grilled skewers), washed down with cold beer or sake.

One thing worth noting is that in Japan restaurants aren’t always on the ground floor of a building, i.e. street level. You might find that the venue you are after is at floor x in a building.

TIP: When dining out in Tokyo but also in Japan as a whole, do not offer tips. Tips are not required as the Japanese don’t conceive why should you receive a tip to provide a better service. Therefore the service you are paying for is already inclusive of the tip so to speak.

No visit to Tokyo would be complete without experiencing the city’s world-renowned dining scene, which includes Michelin-starred restaurants, celebrity chef establishments, and innovative dining concepts. When we say Michelin rated it typically makes us think of unaffordable high class restaurants. However, in Japan, this is not true.

We went to a few Michelin rated venues and we paid no more than what we would pay here in London at a local casual restaurant. We definitely encourage you to explore the Michelin starred places in the Tokyo Michelin guide.

Below is a list of our top recommendations for where to eat in Tokyo.

1. Have a Waffle at Noa Cafe Harajuku

Noa Cafe Harajuku is a small but aesthetic coffee shop, located at the beginning of Takeshita Dori, just across from Daiso.

They offer a good selection of coffees, cakes and waffles. We tried the macha and soy bean waffles. Overall, a good solid waffle topped with great macha ice cream. Definitely worth it when visiting Takeshita Street.

If you are after a proper cafe experience, check out this Micro Pig Cafe Experience in Harajuku.

2. Eat in Peace at Ichiran Ramen

Ichiran Ramen is a chain of ramen restaurants offering a very interesting perspective on solo dining. Once you arrive you will go to a vending machine, choosing your selection and add-ons.

Once done, you’ll head over to wait your turn to be seated. The aim of the restaurant chain is to minimise on human interaction. Whilst you might not be an introvert yourself, it still is an interesting dining experience in itself.

You will be seated at a cubical table where the person behind a curtain will take your vendor machine tickets and bring you the food. Overall, a very interesting experience.

The ramen in particular was very good, whilst not the best we had in Japan, this was still pretty high up there. The stock was nice and creamy, noodles were tasty and that Chashu (Japanese Braised Pork Belly) was nice and tender.

3. Speak with a Stranger at ARAKU Bar

Looking for a drink in Shinjuku? Look no further and head to Bar Araku. This 4 table bar offers anyone a great opportunity to make friends with who happens to seat at the table with them.

The decor isn’t too bad either with banknotes from all around the world pinned to the walls. We got to speak with an American couple also travelling through Japan for the first time and a German gentleman exploring Japan for his 3rd time. Quite a mixed bag!

4. Try Michelin Starred Japanese Ramen at Sōsakumen Kōbō Nakiryū

Sōsakumen Kōbō Nakiryū is to date the best bowl of ramen I’ve tried. We arrived there at 3pm and stood on the queue till 4.30pm. Yes, it was worth it!

That was fine also as we made some new friends in the queue and managed to exchange experiences in Japan, making time pass much faster and forgetting of the chilly wind constantly blowing.

The restaurant has 3 tables and 1 chef’s table (bar). It’s very small seating a total of around 15 people in one go. No reservations either.

I ordered their flagship ramen bowl with Dandan noodles with extra Chashu. Hristina also tried the soy based ramen and wasn’t disappointed. Needless to say we had their famous gyoza dumplings which were heavenly.

Overall, my Ramen was simply divine. The intense flavours of pork and the amazing noodles paired with the unbelievable broth are some flavours I will always benchmark when I try ramen from now on.

Total price you might ask for 2 ramens, 2 beers, 2 chashu add-ons, 1 soy egg add-on and 1 gyoza portion? – Equivalent of £24. Yes.

5. DAWN | Avatar Robot Cafe ver.β

DAWN Cafe is a themed cafe around robots. The owner suffered a tragic accident and found himself incapacitated, springing this idea of remote work through a guided robot.

Essentially, you come through the door and you are met by a series of robots all welcoming you. Behind these robots is a person with disability earning a living through this job.

The food and drinks aren’t something to write home about but the experience is unique in itself. Oh, and of course you can talk to the robots!

6. Ginza Steak Ginza Honten

Ginza Steak is a chain of all you can eat Wagyu beef steaks cooked on a teppanyaki. The price isn’t too bad either, although too many people on Tripadvisor don’t seem to have read the different charges that may apply to their consumption.

Overall going for their lunch offers might yield the best cost effective approach. We suggest you still book ahead through their website.

The cuts of meat aren’t your prime ones but you still get Wagyu beef. Debatable whether it’s A5 (or at least all of the cuts) as advertised but very good nonetheless.

7. A Happy Pancake Ginza

A Happy Pancake is a chain of pancake coffee shops offering their flagship product which is a souffle style pancake. The chain has a few branches but we found that the Ginza one is the least busy. Others tend to have a waiting list of 1+ hours.

Overall, it was very good and fluffy pancake. But in reality this was a souffle in disguise.

Final Thoughts

As we bid farewell to Tokyo, we took a moment to reflect on the myriad experiences and memories we’ve gathered during our time in this dynamic and captivating city.

From the serene temples and historic shrines to the bustling markets and vibrant neighborhoods, Tokyo is a city of contrasts and contradictions, where tradition and modernity coexist in perfect harmony.

Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:

  • Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.

  • Transport – consider for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.

  • Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide, Klook or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.

  • Travel money – we have Starling Bank accounts (UK residents only) with 0% fees on FX and a good Mastercard exchange rate. Revolut is another good option.

  • Internet abroad – with Airalo or Nomad you can access a wide range of eSIMs (digital SIM cards) available for different countries and regions.

  • Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.

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