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30 Things to Do in Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Activities Bucket List 2019)

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30 Things to Do in Tokyo on Your First Visit | Attractions and Activities [Updated 2019]

I instantly fell in love with Tokyo the first time I visited this vibrant and bustling city. I love everything about it: the bright lights, the cleanliness, the delicious food, the kind and honest locals, and the variety of things to do while in the city!

I’ve never had any bad experience when I travel to Japan. It is one of the safest countries in the world and if I could, I would love to experience living here someday. Did I mention that everyone is just so nice? Even with a language barrier, the Japanese will still go out of their way to help you. The care and thought that they put in everything that they do is admirable.

And the food, oh the food! If you’re worried about setting a budget for food when you travel, you really don’t have to! From the cheapest to the fanciest, it’s guaranteed to be delicious. The budget-conscious will be pleased to know that convenience stores in Tokyo (in the whole of Japan actually) are nothing like anywhere in the world. You can literally live off eating at convenience stores during your visit. The quality is never compromised even if it’s just fast food. But eating just fast food is no fun right? With the endless number of ramen and sushi shops, izakayas and other specialty restaurants, your tummy will always be full and happy. I’ve never had a bad meal when I was in Tokyo!

You won’t run out of ideas on what to do in a city like Tokyo. There are literally thousands of things to do, see and eat. In this post, I’ve narrowed it down to top 30 things to do in Tokyo that’s perfect for first and even second-time visitors.

*Most admission/tour tickets are available for purchase online and are usually at a discounted rate. To help you plan your trip and get the best deals, I have provided (affiliate) links from one of the most trusted Travel Providers — Klook and Viator. If you click a link to a certain product, I might earn a small commission from it – at no extra cost to you. Any concern you may have regarding your purchase must be directed to the website or service provider.

TOP ACTIVITIES TO DO IN TOKYO, JAPAN

1. TOKYO DISNEYLAND

Let the fun begin by spending a day in Tokyo Disneyland. Expect a classic Disneyland experience that’s ideal for families traveling with young children.
Duration: Whole day
Location: 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031, Japan
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
How to get there: By JR Musashino Line to Maihama Station. The entrance to Disneyland is a 5-minute walk from the station.

Buy tickets here: Tokyo Disneyland 1 Day Pass (Airport Pick-up) OR Tokyo Disney 2-Day Pass (Airport or Shinjuku Pick-up)

2. TOKYO DISNEYSEA

If there are no kids traveling with you and you can only pick one Disney park to go to during your trip, I suggest that you go to Tokyo DisneySea. The rides and over-all ambiance of the park are more suitable and appealing to adult park-goers.
Duration: Whole day
Location: 1 −13 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0031, Japan
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
How to get there: By JR Musashino Line to Maihama Station. Then take the Disney Resort Line and get off at Tokyo DisneySea Station

Buy tickets here: Tokyo DisneySea 1 Day Pass (Airport Pick-up) OR Tokyo Disney 2-Day Pass (Airport or Shinjuku Pick-up)

3. SHIBUYA CROSSING

You can’t leave Tokyo without joining the scramble at the Shibuya Crossing. Get the perfect viewpoint from the second floor Starbucks at the Shibuya’s Q-Front building and watch one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world in action.
How to get there: By JR Shonan-Shinjuku or Yamanote Line OR Subway Fukutoshin Line to Shibuya Station, take Hachiko Exit 8

Travel Tip: Get your camera ready before you even cross the infamous Shibuya Scramble Crossing. I prefer taking videos, it’s much more fun and you get to relive the experience over and over again!

Shibuya at night

4. SAY HELLO TO HACHIKO

It’s almost customary to pay a visit to the statue of Hachiko, located just outside the Shibuya Station and adjacent to the Crossing. The story of the faithful dog who waits patiently for his master at the train station every single day until his death will melt anyone’s heart.
How to get there: By JR Shonan-Shinjuku or Yamanote Line OR Subway Fukutoshin Line to Shibuya Station, take Hachiko Exit 8

5. HARAJUKU

Anything with a hint of kawaii, you can find in Harajuku. In Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street), you’ll find vintage clothes, cute character merchandise and several creperies. Although it is more appealing to the younger and trendy crowd, it is still worth visiting even just to drop by the big Daiso store halfway through the street. Check the back streets too, it’s less busy but still has some interesting finds.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 1 Chome-17 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Operating hours: Most shops are open from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station, Takeshita Exit OR Subway Fukutoshin Line to Meiji-jingumae ‘Harajuku’ Station, Exit 3

Travel Tip: For a hipster and slightly less-busy vibe, go to Harajuku Cat Street instead. Connecting Harajuku and Shibuya, you’ll find a variety of cafes, restaurants and boutiques, both local and international. Checking the side streets for a hole in the wall find is also every bit exciting.

6. MEIJI JINGU SHRINE AND YOYOGI PARK

One of the many things that I love about Tokyo is the beautiful parks in the middle of the city. Pack your lunch or just buy a bento box and sushi at a konbini and enjoy a relaxing hour at Yoyogi Park. Within the grounds of the park is the Meiji Jingu Shrine. And if you’re lucky, you’ll witness one of the many festivals and ceremonies being held at Meiji Jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan
Operating hours: Opening Hours change per month. Check the schedule here.
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station, Takeshita Exit OR Subway Fukutoshin Line to Meiji-jingumae ‘Harajuku’ Station, Exit 2

Travel Tip: On some weekends (usually a Sunday), there’s a flea market in Yoyogi Park. Check the schedule of activities in the area if there’s one during your visit.

Suggested Tour: Panoramic Tokyo One Day Tour (8 hours)

7. SHOP TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT

Shibuya and Shinjuku, or even the posh Omotesando and Ginza, you’ll surely shop until you drop while in Tokyo. Anime fans and gadget lovers will want to spend hours browsing through the many shops in Akihabara and Ikebukuro.
Location: Ginza is a popular shopping district but is more upscale. I prefer Shibuya and Shinjuku because of the variety of options for every budget, style and interest.
Operating hours: Time varies per shop/mall

8. SHINJUKU GYOEN NATIONAL GARDEN

This luscious garden is especially beautiful during the Sakura season. It’s the perfect distraction from the busy streets of Tokyo. Picnic with the family is also a popular activity here.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Closed on Mondays
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station OR By Subway Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station, Exit 1 or 3

9. SHINJUKU GOLDEN GAI

Rub shoulders (literally) with locals looking to unwind after a hard day’s work at any of the 200 bars and eateries in Golden Gai. Unfortunately, some bars (thankfully not all) ban foreigners or tourists because well, we tend to act very touristy. If you do come across a foreigner-friendly bar, go in, order a drink and simply enjoy the night. Be aware though that some bars, have a cover charge.
Location: 1 Chome-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0021, Japan
Operating hours: Time varies but it’s mostly from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM.
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station OR By Subway Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku Station, Exit B10 or East Exit

Travel Tip: Keep in mind that Golden Gai is located in Tokyo’s red-light district, Kabukicho. Although Tokyo is a safe city, it’s still smart to keep your wits about you especially when exploring red-light districts or any of the alleyways. The Kabukicho area is an unpopular choice for those traveling with kids, but it’s still worth passing by the area just to see the bright lights and bustling streets. There are some cheap but delicious restaurants in the area too. Just avoid those people approaching you with “specials, etc”. There’s nothing special about them.

10. OMOIDE YOKOCHO

Also in Shinjuku is the Piss Alley or Memory Lane. Choose among the izakayas and ramen joints that line up the alleyways. Go on a yakitori binge and pair it up with Japanese shochu to complete the experience.
Duration: 1 hour
Location: 1 Chome-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
Operating hours: From Late afternoon. Closing time varies per shop
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station OR By Subway Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku Station, West Exit

Travel Tip: If you’re in Shibuya, you can also check out Nonbei Yokocho right by the Shibuya Station.

11. FREE CITY VIEWS AT THE TOKYO METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT BUILDING

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building offers free access to their two observation decks(North and South Towers) on the 45th floor. When the sky is clear, you will get the chance to see Tokyo’s major landmarks from the South Tower such as Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, the Meiji Shrine and if you’re very lucky, even Mt. Fuji!
Duration: 1 hour
Location: 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan
Operating hours: North Tower 9:30 AM to 11:00 PM | South Tower 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
How to get there: By Subway Oedo Line to Tochomae Station, Exit A4

View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

12. ENROLL IN A JAPANESE COOKING CLASS

This has been in my bucket list for a while and I’m putting it on top of my itinerary the next time I visit Tokyo. Choose from a variety of cooking classes from tempura and sushi-making, ramen, bento box, and even a multiple-course meal called kaiseki.
Duration: 3 hours
Location: Classes are held either in a cooking studio or the instructor’s home.
Operating hours: Most classes start in the morning around 9:00 AM, so you can finish and enjoy your meal by lunchtime.

Book a class here: Wagyu Kaiseki Cooking Course | Sushi Making Course

13. SHOP AT DON QUIJOTE

No matter which city in Japan, you’ll always find a Don Quijote or Donki store. There you’ll find a throng of tourists shopping for souvenirs, food items and just about anything you need or didn’t even know you want. There’s a Don Quijote in all of the major shopping areas in Tokyo. Check out the Mega Don Quijote in Shibuya!
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 28-6 Udagawa-cho Shibuya-ku Tokyo, Japan
Operating hours: 24 hours
How to get there: By JR or Subway to Shibuya Station

14. 100-YEN AND 300-YEN STORES

Also worth mentioning are the discount stores scattered throughout the city. The most popular are Daiso, Seria, Can★Do, 3Coins and Daiso’s newest discount store, Threeppy. Just a little outside Tokyo is The Daiso Giga-Funabashi, seven floors of discount heaven!
Duration: 1 hour
Location: 1 Chome-6-3 Honcho, Funabashi, Chiba 273-0005, Japan
Operating hours: 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM
How to get there: By JR Sobu Main Line to Funabashi Station

15. TOKYO TOWER

Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Tower is a working communications tower and one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions. At the base of the tower is FootTown which has several restaurants, shops and a One Piece (manga and anime) themed amusement park. There are two observation decks, the Main (150m) and the Top Deck (250m).
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato City, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
How to get there: By Subway Oedo Line to Akabanebashi Station

Travel Tip: Tokyo Tower is best seen from afar. Walk to the nearby Shiba Park to get a good view. It’s also nice to see the tower at night when it’s lit.

Buy tickets here: Tokyo Tower Main Deck Admission | Tokyo One Piece Tower | Main Deck and One Piece Tower Combo

Tokyo Tower

16. TOKYO SKYTREE

Another of Tokyo’s tall landmarks is the Tokyo Skytree. Like the Tokyo Tower, it is a broadcasting tower with an observation deck. The base of the tower also has cafes, restaurants and a shopping complex. It’s a popular tourist spot so expect a line and quite a waiting time when going up the tower.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan
Operating hours: 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
How to get there: By Subway Hanzomon Line to Oshiage ‘Skytree’ Station

Buy tickets here: Tokyo Skytree Tembo Deck and Tembo Galleria Fast Ticket

17. VISIT THE SENSOJI TEMPLE IN ASAKUSA

Get a glimpse of Old Tokyo by walking through the streets of Asakusa. Visit the Sensoji Temple and see the giant red lantern in its entrance gate called Kaminarimon. Buy traditional Japanese crafts and treats at Japan’s oldest shopping street, the Nakamise Dori.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Operating hours: 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
How to get there: By Subway Asakusa or Ginza Line to Asakusa Station, Exit 1 or 3

Travel Tip: Asakusa is also well-known for its tempura so make sure to eat at one of the many tempura shops in the area.

Suggested Tours: Panoramic Tokyo One Day Tour (8 hours) | Tokyo Asakusa Rickshaw Tour

Sensoji Temple

18. RENT AND WEAR A KIMONO

One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself with the Japanese culture is by renting and wearing a kimono while you explore the grounds of Asakusa. Take those Instagram-worthy photos especially during the Cherry Blossom season.
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Location: 1-3F, NW building, 1 Chome−1−11−4, Hanakawado, Taitō-ku, Tokyo
Operating hours: Pick up the kimono on your preferred time between 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM and return it by 4:30 PM
How to get there: By Subway Asakusa or Ginza Line to Asakusa Station

Book the kimono rental here: Tokyo Kimono Experience

19. EXPLORE AKIHABARA

Famous for being the electronics hub of Tokyo, it is also the capital of anime and manga lovers.
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line or Subway Hibiya Line to Akihabara Station, Exit 3

Travel Tip: Also in Akihabara are the Gundam Cafe and AKB48 Cafe and Shop.

Akihabara Sega Building

20. SANRIO PUROLAND

Get ready for a load of cuteness when you visit Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo. It’s an indoor theme park for Sanrio-lovers!
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Location: 1 Chome-31 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo 206-8588, Japan
Operating hours: Time varies. Check the schedule here.
How to get there: By Keio Line to Tama-Center Station

Buy tickets here: Tokyo Sanrio Puroland Admission Ticket

21. RIDE A HOHO BUS

If you only have a couple of days in Tokyo, consider taking a Sky Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour. You get unlimited Sightseeing bus rides for 24 hours that goes around Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions. Just to be clear though, they do not operate 24 hours but rather the validity of your ticket is 24 hours from the first time you use it. So it’s either you use it for the whole day or you can use it first in the afternoon and continue on the following morning.
Duration: 24 hours
Location: SKY BUS Ticket Counter, 1/F of Mitsubishi Building in Marunouchi
Operating hours: Ticket redemption 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
How to get there: By JR Chuo Line OR Subway Marunouchi Line to Tokyo Station, South exit

Buy tickets here: Sky Hop-on and Hop-off Bus Pass

22. SHOP FOR FOOD AT A DEPACHIKA

If you haven’t been to a depachika before, you’re missing out on some seriously delicious foodie experience. Depachikas are department store basement food halls and it’s one of Tokyo’s hidden gems. You’ll find a wide variety of food, beverage and all sorts of treats; French, Italian, Chinese, Korean and of course, Japanese. From bento boxes to fresh sushi, you’ll also be delighted with an assortment of sweet treats and pastries. You can also pick up a souvenir that you can take back home. It’s every food lovers’ idea of heaven.
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Most major department stores but the best ones are in Ginza, Shinjuku or Shibuya. Ikebukuro Tobu is the biggest so that’s also worth checking out.
Operating hours: Time varies but most are open from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Travel Tip: Food stalls usually sell perishable food items at a discount an hour before closing time. This is actually a great dinner option if you’re on a budget and trust me, the food is still of high quality. I love picking up my late-night dessert at a depachika!

23. UENO PARK

Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist spots, especially during the Cherry Blossom season. It is home to the Kaneji and Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, and the Toshogu Shrine. Aside from that, there are many museums in the area such as the Tokyo National Museum and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. There is also the Ueno Zoo for fun family activity.
Duration: 2 hours
Location: 5-20 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Operating hours: The park is open 24 hours but the temples, museums and zoo have varying operating hours.
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line or Subway Hibiya Line to Ueno Station, Exit 7-9

24. ODAIBA

Located in a man-made island by the Tokyo Bay is Odaiba. Known as an entertainment and shopping hub, Odaiba is worth visiting if only to access and see the Rainbow Bridge, especially at night when it is illuminated. Gundam fans will enjoy spending a few hours in DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. Also located here is Japan’s biggest indoor theme park, Tokyo Joypolis.
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Odaiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Operating hours: Time varies
How to get there: By Yurikamome to Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station

Suggested Tour: Panoramic Tokyo One Day Tour (8 hours) | Tokyo Joypolis Passport

25. TSUKIJI MARKET

Even though the original Tsukiji Wholesale (Inner) Market where the infamous tuna auctions are being held had already closed, the Outer Market and the many food stalls and restaurants surrounding the area are still open to food lovers looking to taste Tokyo’s freshest catch.
Duration: 2 hours
Operating hours: 5:00 AM to 2:00 PM
How to get there: By Toei Oedo Line to Tsukijishijo Station, Exit A1

Travel Tip: Aside from the fresh produce and seafood being sold in the Outer Market, it is also famous for the many sushi restaurants where patrons line up for breakfast or lunch. Prices vary and you could end up paying as much as $100 for a meal. Don’t worry though, because there are many affordable options in the area that doesn’t sacrifice the quality. That’s Japan for you!

Suggested Tour: Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Half Day Tour

Tsukiji Market Restaurant

26. TOYOSU MARKET

Toyosu Market is the new fish market, replacing Tsukiji Wholesale Market. For visitors who would like to watch the auction, there are observation windows and decks, however, advance reservations are required for your preferred date which needs to be submitted on a given date a month prior. The participants are chosen by lottery will be given 10 minutes to view the auction. Don’t worry though because even if you can’t be there to experience the auction, there are still many things to see and do in the market area, and that includes eating of course!
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Location: 6 Chome-3 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan
Operating hours: 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM
How to get there: By Subway Yurakucho Line to Toyosu and then Yurikamome to Shijo-mae Station

Apply here for the Tuna Auction Ticket: Toyosu Tuna Auction

27. SHOP FOR KNIVES AND OTHER KITCHEN EQUIPMENT AT KAPPABASHI DORI

Kappabashi Dori or Kitchen Town is every cook’s dream. Whether you are a professional chef or a home cook, one of the best investments you can buy for yourself is a high-quality, Japanese-made chef’s knife. You can even have it custom-engraved!
Duration: 1 hour
Location: 3 Chome-18-2 Matsugaya, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0036, Japan
Operating hours: Most shops are open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
How to get there: By Subway Ginza Line to Tawaramachi Station, Exit 3

28. DAYTRIP TO MT. FUJI

If you have an extra day to spare while in Tokyo, why not go on a day trip to the beautiful Mt. Fuji. Need I say more?
Duration: Whole day
How to get there: The best way to get there is by bus. There are bus stations in Shinjuku or Shibuya Stations that would take you there in about two hours.

Suggested Tour: Mt Fuji & Hakone Day Tour

29. MAID CAFE

One of the unique Japanese experiences you can have is visiting a Maid Cafe. Catering to otaku or anime and manga fanatics, young women are dressed usually in French maid uniforms and treat the patrons as masters, usually providing entertainment by singing, dancing or playing with them.
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Akihabara
Operating hours: Time varies but it’s usually between 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
How to get there: By JR Yamanote Line or Subway Hibiya Line to Akihabara Station, Exit 3

Buy tickets here: Maid Cafe Experience at Maidreamin Tokyo

30. SHOP FOR COSMETICS AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS

Japan is also known for its great skin, body and hair care products. There’s the popular but expensive SK-II but don’t worry, you won’t have to break the bank for some good quality products. Some of my favorites are the popular Senka Perfect Whip, Lululun Face Masks and the Shiseido Tsubaki hair products.
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Department stores, local pharmacies, groceries or even Don Quijote
Operating hours: Time varies per shop

Just a couple of reminders before you leave for your trip

If you have plans of traveling extensively in Japan, I recommend purchasing the JR Rail Pass. This pass is only available to foreign visitors and must be purchased online before your visit. It gives you unlimited access to the majority of JR Railways (including the Shinkansen), local buses and some ferries. You can choose from 7-day, 14-day and 21-day access.

I also recommend renting a pocket wifi. It usually includes unlimited data and can be delivered straight to your hotel. Tokyo has some public wifi access in tourist-packed areas, but a pocket wifi will ensure you’ll have access all the time. It’s especially handy when figuring out where to go to next or looking for restaurant options.

This list is regularly updated, so please bookmark this page! And, if you also have Osaka in your travel plans, check out my 30+ Things to Do in Osaka!

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