Visiting Japan’s capital, and wondering what to do in Tokyo? Need a little help in crafting the ultimate Tokyo travel itinerary? Well, guess what? I’ve rounded up some of the best and most fascinating things to do in Tokyo, Japan! From quirky experiences to serene spots, these must do Tokyo attractions and experiences will give you tons of pleasant memories for your trip.

I am a tour guide who has been living in Tokyo for a long time and this is my personal list of things to do in Tokyo. With all my experiences and years of exploring the city, I’ve compiled and combined all the main must do Tokyo attractions and activities. This is the list of experiences I usually recommend to my guests based on what I personally like and enjoy doing as a resident. Below I listed 25 things to do in Tokyo in 4 days. Trust me, these must do Tokyo attractions and experiences will give you the adventure of a lifetime!

1. Cross the world’s busiest street in Shibuya

Shibuya crossing - one of the must do Kyoto attractions

This is the busiest pedestrian walking area and intersection in the world, making it one of the can’t-miss must do Tokyo attractions and experiences. It appeared in more than half a dozen movies, such as Last in Translation, Fast and furious, and a whole lot more).

After crossing this wondrously chaotic Tokyo attraction, see the famous Hachiko Statue, which is pretty near the JR station.

  • Tip: You can watch people cross the intersection from the Starbucks on the 3rd floor of the Tsutaya Building.

 

 

2. Write your wishes on EMA in Meiji Jingu

Meiji Shrine - must do Tokyo attraction

Meiji Shrine was built 100 years ago right after emperor Meiji passed away, meaning it’s one of the must do Tokyo attractions for history buffs. The shrine gate has the largest torii gate in Japan.

You can walk to the Yoyogi Park where the Tokyo Olympics were held in 1964.

  • Tip: At the Meiji Shrine you can write your wishes on wooden plates (ema) with a small donation.
  • Opening times: 05:00 AM to 06:00 PM daily
  • Contact number: +81 3-3379-5511

 

3. Have kimono and Tokyo Tea ceremony in Shinjuku 

tea ceremony Tokyo

No list of the best and must do Tokyo activities is complete without the inclusion of a tea ceremony in Shinjuku. Not only will give you an insight into the Japanese Culture, but it’s meditative and surprisingly therapeutic.

And, there’s no better place to enjoy a Tokyo Tea ceremony in Shinjuku than Maikoya.

  • Best cultural experience including kimono wearing, Japanese sweets tasting, performing a Japanese ritual, doing meditation and learning zen. Once in a life time experience.
  • Tip: You can choose to do it with or without wearing a kimono.
  • Contact number: +81 3-6273-8818
  • Opening hours: 09:30 AM to 07:00 PM

 

4. Blow the Smoke from the Ashes in the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa

asakusa - must do Kyoto attractions

Tokyo’s oldest and most visited temple. Check the giant lantern at the gate that weighs 700 kgs and donated by Panasonic.

  • Tip: It is believed that if you cover your body with the smoke from the giant pit, you never get sick. So, make sure to include it to you must do Tokyo attractions.
  • Contact number: +81 3-3842-0181
  • General admission: JPY 1,000

 

5. See Mount Fuji Once in your lifetime

Mount Fuji - must do Tokyo attractions

Mount Fuji is obviously not in Tokyo City but not far (112 km). You can just go to Shinjuku Station and jump on the high way bus to go to Kawaguchiko. Most people do not climb to the summit and just have a boat ride on the lakes.

If you want to see something spectacular, Mount Fuji should be on your must do Tokyo activities.

  • Tip: If you don’t have time to go to Mount Fuji, you can still come close to the Mount fuji while riding a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. The bullet train passes by the mountain. Tip: If the weather is not clear, it is not worth making the trip to Mount Fuji.

 

6. Watch the Sumo Show Once in your lifetime

Sumo wresting in Tokyo, Japan

Sumo is actually a Shinto ritual done to wish for a better harvest season. Women are not allowed to enter a stage and wrestlers stomp their feet to scare the devils away.

If it is the sumo season, you can watch a game and include it to your personal list of must do Tokyo attractions.

  • Tip: If it is not the sumo season you can visit the sumo museum or buy a ticekt to watch the morning practice at a sumo stable.

 

 

7. Pet an owl at owl cafe in Harajuku

animal cafe in Harajuku

Tokyo has no shortage of animal themed cafes. If you’re a certified lover, make sure to include a visit to an animal cafe to your list of things to do in Tokyo, Japan. For a memorable experience, explore Owl Cafe, Cat Cafe & More in the Harajuku Area.

The most popular owl cafe is in Akihabara but you can find all different kinds of animal cafes mostly in the Harajuku area.

 

 

8. Savor mouthwatering, fresh sushi at Tsukiji fish market

Tsukiji fish market - one of the must do Tokyo attractions

The famous Tsukiji fish market moved to Toyosu last year!!!. The new Toyosu Fish market is not that popular among travelers. The Tsukiji fish market area now has many food stalls and is still very popular.

You can view the fish auctions at the new Toyosu Fish market, but only behind glass windows and there are not many street food stalls around.

  • Tip: The new Toyosu Market has a huge roof area covered by grass where you can see Tokyo skyline.

 

9. Find your zen in the Rikugien Japanese Gardens

Autumn bridge - must do Tokyo attraction

Rikugien is the most popular Japanese garden in Tokyo and its name means the garden of 6 principles. It was an unknown Edo-period garden until the founder of Mitsubishi company restored it.

  • Tip: The garden has the best views in the Fall and Sakura seasons.
  • Contact number:+81 3-3941-2222
  • Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM daily

 

 

10. See the jaw-dropping displays inside the Mori Lights Show

Mori Lights Show

Spectacular and jaw-dropping, the Mori Lights Show promise to blow your mind. A one-of-a-kind interactive modern art museum, this light show dazzles and is one of the best contemporary must do Tokyo attractions.

The reviews are very positive as there is nothing like it in other countries.

Contact number is +81 3-6368-4292.Opening hours are 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM on weekdays. 10:000 AM to 09:00 PM on weekends.

 

 

11. Drive Fast and Furious at Mari Street Car

must do Tokyo experience

Looking for fun and adrenaline-pumping must do Tokyo attractions? If you are a thrill seeker, this should be on on your Tokyo travel itinerary. Although you drive slowly because of safety reasons, you get to drive in traffic while wearing costumes.

Nintendo recently sued the company and the name changed from Mario to something else.

Contact number is +81 80-8899-8899. Opening hours are10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

 

12. Soak up gorgeous city views from Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

Before, Skytree Tokyo Tower used to be the most popular tower and the tallest building in Japan (333 m). Still, it remains one of the most popular must do Tokyo attractions.

In my opinion it has a better view, as compared to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building. Tip: The main deck entry fee is 900 yen and the top deck is an additional 700 yen. For the night time it is worth going to the top deck.

 

  • Tip: There is a One Piece Tower Tokyo, a cool manga cafe you may want to check out. Tip: There is Zojoji temple right behind the tower dating back to 1600s.
  • Contact number: +81 3-3433-5111
  • Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily

 

13. Watch wonderfully weird shows at Robot Restaurant

Robot restaurant

This is the most popular show in Tokyo for tourists but it is in the middle of the red light district.

So, I would not take my family there. If, however, you don’t have kids, you might want to check out this must do Tokyo attraction.

Contact number is +81 3-3200-5500.

 

 

 

14. Meet the friendly locals at Hub Bar in Shinjuku

Hub Bar must do Tokyo

Hub Bar is a dynamic Irish sports bar known for its fresh bar and delectable cheap eats.

Even better, there are plenty of English-speaking locals there, so it’s a must do Tokyo bar if you’re looking for a friendly chat.

Contact number is +81 3-3208-1462.

 

 

 

15. Feel the electric energet of baseball or soccer game in Tokyo Dome

Tokyo dome

Are you a big-time sports fan looking for some fun must do Tokyo attractions? Then, watch a game of baseball or soccer in Tokyo Dome!

When there are no games scheduled, the dome still offers a smorgasbord of incredible activities and diversions, including rides, restaurants and a whole lot more.

Contact number is +81 3-5800-9999.

 

 

16. Have a selfie of the famed giant Gundam robot in Odaiba

Odaiba - must do Tokyo attractions

Odaiba is an artificial island with malls, entertainment centers and unique buildings. You can spot many unusual exhibitions and statues inside the buildings.  A visit here lets you dive into some of the most awesome attractions and things to do in Tokyo, including Tokyo Beach, Fuji TV, Gundam Front as well as Aqua City & Diver City.

And, don’t forget to snap a photo of the giant Gundam robot. It’s simply a must do Tokyo experience.

 

  • Tip: Odaiba Oeda Onsen Monogatari is a nice Japanese onsen (hot spring) that has spa and Japanese-style public bath.
  • Tip: The rainbow bridge has a beautiful nighttime illumination.

 

17. Unwind at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Nice relaxing must do Tokyo Japanese garden in the middle of the city. Near Tokyo Metropolitan Building,  a FREE-entry Skyscraper with an observation deck where you can see the full Tokyo skyline. (The metropolitan bldg. is closed until mid-January for renovation) 

  • Tip: Shinjuku Gyoen is near MAIKOYA kimono tea ceremony, a must do cultural activity in Tokyo.
  • Tip:  Shinjuku Gyoen is near Golden Gai and Piss Alley where you can have a night walk and food-sample.
  • Contact number: +81 3-3350-0151
  • Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM  Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays)

18. See the picture-perfect Imperial Palace East Gardens 

Imperial Palace

This is where the Edo Castle, the home of shogun, used to be. It is a huge area, some parts of the park and the imperial palace are often closed but the East gardens are open. With its beautiful garden and elaborate features, it’s truly one of the most picture-perfect must do Tokyo attractions.

  • Tip: The Chidorigafuchi Park behind the palace has an amazing view during the Cherry blossom and Fall leaves.
  • Contact number: +81 3-3350-0151
  • Opening hours: 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM  Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays)

 

19. Watch an unofficial live fashion show at Harajuku Takeshita Street 

harajuku

The cultural icon of modern Tokyo. This is where you can find trendy cafes and spot Japanese youngster with a little strange sense of fashion.

  • Tip: If you go to Omote Sando street you can find Tokyu Plaza with a rooftop style cafe and also the famous Kiddy Land shop.
  • Opening hours are 10:00 AM to 08:30 PM Mondays to Fridays, 10:00 AM to 09:00 PM on Saturdays and 10:00 AM to 08:00 PM on Sundays

 

 

 

20. Unleash your inner anime fanatic in Akihabara 

Akihabara, Tokyo

This is where you can find many unique anime figures and electronics. On weekends you can also spot many youngsters doing cosplay. There are also maid cafe where the waitresses dress up as house maids.

  • Tip: You can find any kinds of electronics and figures at the Yodobashi Camera.

 

21. Be enthralled by the panoramas from Tokyo Skytree

tokyo skytree must do Tokyo attractions

This is the tallest building/structure in Japan (634 m) and one of the irresistible must do Tokyo attractions. The tower is not far from the Asakusa area. Under the tower there is a shopping mall and a well-designed aquarium.

  • Tip: There are nice cafes and benches by the river next to Skytree. The night illumination of the tower is also picture worthy.
  • Contact number: +81 570-550-634
  • Opening hours: 08:00 AM to 10:00 PM  daily

 

22.  Experience the thrills of Tokyo Disneyland & Disney Sea

Tokyo Disneyland

Disney’s first international park opened in 1983. It is located outside the Tokyo City area and often a date spot for young lowers. Different from Disneyland in the US, there are many hidden Mickey Mouse signs you should discover.

  • Tip: Every night there is a3-d mapping and fireworks.
  • Contact number: +81 45-330-5211
  • Opening hours: 08:00 AM to 10:00 PM  daily

 

 

23. Be sprited away at Ghibili Museum

Must do Tokyo

This is a must-see spot for Anime fans. It’s a must do Tokyo attraction and a theme park based on Gibili movies such as spirited away and Totoro.

  • TIP: you have to buy tickets 30 days in advance. You can purchase them on the website of Lawson convenience store.
  • Contact number: +81 570-055-777
  • Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM Wednesdays to Mondays (Closed on Tuesdays)

 

 

24. See the beauty of Japan’s past in Nikko Toshogu Shrine 

Nikko Toshogu Shrine

This is a shrine dedicated to the Tokugawa shogun which is a UNESCO world heritage site. There are 42 buildings on the site with priceless wood carvings.

  • Tip: You can see the Nikko National park and Kegon Falls that have an amazing view in all seasons.
  • Contact number: +81 288-54-0560
  • Opening hours: 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM daily

 

 

 

25. See the magnificent wonders of Kamakura & Yokohama

Yokohama

Kamakura is the first capital of the samurai government and home to the giant Amida Buddha Statue (11.4 meters). On the way to Kamakura you can see the Yokohama City and visit the old Chinatown.

  • Tip: The Sankeian Japanese garden near downtown Yokohama has a nice relaxing atmosphere.

 

 

 

26. Get wonderfully lost in The old Tokyo

yanaka tokyo japan

Kagurazaka is known as the geisha area of Tokyo. You can see many old houses and traditional neighborhoods if you go to the Yanaka area. For history buffs and shutterbugs, there places are must do Tokyo attractions.

  • Tip: You can rent a bicycle at Tokyo Bike Rentals Yanaka.

 

 

27. Master the art of Japanese cuisine at Maikoya Shinjuku

The best way to immerse yourself into culture of Japan. You can learn how to cook sushi, cook ramen noodles, make Japanese sweets and more.

  • Tip: You can combine it with other cultural activities e.g. calligraphy, ikebana, origami,etc. These activities are good for honeymooners and couples.
  • Contact number: +81 3-6273-8818
  • Opening hours: 09:30 AM to 07:00 PM

 

28. Hit Kawai Monster Cafe & Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant

kawaii monster cafe tokyo

Some call it cool theme cafe or a must do Tokyo experience and some call it a tourist trap. This is an interesting place where you can order colorful hamburgers and creatively designed sweets and also watch shows.

  • Tip: If you find this place touristy you can check out Vampire cafe or Alice in Restaurant cafe.
  • Contact number: +81 3-5413-6142

 

 

 

 PLEASE ENJOY TOKYO!!!

ARIGATOU!

PS:

If you only have 1 day in Tokyo I would take you to:

 

Photo credits

  • Photo number 2: Israel González via Flickr
  • Photo number 7: Toukou Sousui via Flickr
  • Photo number 9: Raita Futo via Flickr
  • Photo number 10: rabbit_akra via Flickr
  • Photo number 11: RJ via Flickr
  • Photo number 13: Christina M via Flickr
  • Photo number 15: Wikipedia
  • Photo number 18: Wikipedia
  • Photo number 23: Lucius Kwok via Flickr
  • Photo number 24: Wikipedia
  • Photo number 28: Roxanne Ready via Flickr

 

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