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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 10 attractions in Tokyo

#1
Roppongi

Roppongi

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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
#2
Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)

Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Temple)

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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
#3
Shibuya

Shibuya

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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
#4
Ginza

Ginza

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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
#5
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu)

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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
#6
Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree

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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
#7
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

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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
#8
Tokyo Imperial Palace

Tokyo Imperial Palace

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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
#9
Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san)

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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
#10
Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

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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

Trip ideas

Know Before You Go: Visiting Mt. Fuji

Know Before You Go: Visiting Mt. Fuji

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Tokyo

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Tokyo

How to Get Around in Tokyo

How to Get Around in Tokyo

Top activities in Tokyo

Japan Adventure - 13 Day

Japan Adventure - 13 Day

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From
$2,735.28

Recent reviews from experiences in Tokyo

star-5
Enjoyable tour
Hideo, Jun 2021
Tokyo Virtual Tour
Very comprehensive tour of Tokyo to understand where to visit
star-5
Tour review
carabarker, Feb 2020
Tokyo Walking Tours with a Local Guide: Private & Tailored to You ★★★★★
She spoke great English.
star-4
Great tour but disappointed that cruise was canceled
sunflower1976, Feb 2020
1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour
The lunch at the sumo restaurant was awesome and we got to see all the major sites in Tokyo which was great as we had our 6 and 8 year old daughters with us, they enjoyed it too!
star-5
Tokyo
PageFoley, Jan 2020
1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour
Highly recommend this tour to anyone who has limited time in Tokyo as you get to see a broad range of sights.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-5
Very good trip to Japan
nelsoncorda, Dec 2019
Mt Fuji, Hakone, Lake Ashi Cruise and Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo
Good English speaking guide.
star-4
Great tour.
mauricelimcj, Dec 2019
Private Full Day Sightseeing Tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone
Excellent service by the English speaking guide.
star-5
Excellent
Robjacq60, 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.
star-5
Tokyo Night Food Tour
Jim8259, Nov 2019
Tokyo by Night: Japanese Food Small Group or Private Tour
Great guide that spoke wonderful English.
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Tokyo Day Tour
attfil22, Jan 2020
1-Day Tokyo Bus Tour
Now want to go back to see more
star-5
Excellent Driver and Service
patriciaboyd, Nov 2019
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
Highly recommend the service and in particular our Spanish-english speaking driver Oriol He was well versed in the streets, parks and sights of Tokyo, often explaining the temples visited and the customs of the people of Japan.
star-5
Nice tour
fabianaa979, Nov 2019
1-Day Mt Fuji Bus Tour with 4-D Mt.Fuji movie Ride and Ninja Experience
Had lots of fun and beautiful spots in to see outside Tokyo.
star-5
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.
star-5
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.
star-4
Review
ianrM9096CR, Oct 2019
3-Day Mt Fuji, Kyoto and Nara Rail Tour from Tokyo
Bullet Train back to Tokyo would be better in the afternoon as would be able to see more of the country side.
star-5
Great Trip in Every Way
elissa8120, Oct 2019
Mt Fuji, Hakone, Lake Ashi Cruise and Bullet Train Day Trip from Tokyo
Wonderful guide, so much you get to see and do on this trip!
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Tokyo bike tour
Tina 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!
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Great Day in Tokyo
Sykelly, Oct 2019
Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour - English Speaking Driver
I can’t think of a better way to see Tokyo in one day.
star-4
More Time at Nikko Preferred.
BGY12, Oct 2019
Nikko 1-Day Bus Tour :World Heritage of Nikko Toshogu,Lake Chuzenji,Kegon Falls
The Lake and Waterfall were nice but the main attraction of the tour was Nikko.

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.

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